Toxic puddles at Fukushima nuclear plant: report

August 19, 2013
Reporters and Tokyo Electric Power Co workers look up the unit 4 reactor building during a media tour at TEPCO's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in the town of Okuma, in Japan on June 12, 2013. Puddles with extremely high radiation levels have been found near water storage tanks at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, Japan's atomic regulator and operator said Monday, according to a report.

Puddles with extremely high radiation levels have been found near water storage tanks at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, Japan's atomic regulator and operator said Monday, according to a report.

The radiation level, measured around 50 centimetres (20 inches) above the toxic water, was about 100 millisieverts per hour, Kyodo news agency reported, citing the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO).

Around 120 litres is believed to have leaked out from a water storage tank.

TEPCO denied that toxic water had flowed into the adjacent Pacific ocean, but the Nuclear Regulation Authority ordered the utility to study the possibility that it had escaped into the sea through nearby drains.

The NRA released a preliminary assessment that the incident was a level one incident on an eight-point international scale, defined as an "anomaly".

A low barrier around the tanks is meant to block water when a leak occurs, but drain valves may have been left open, allowing water to flow outside, the report said.

A TEPCO employee found water leaking from a valve at about 9:50 am (0050 GMT) Monday. One of the puddles outside the barrier had an area of about three square metres and was one centimetre deep.

TEPCO has faced a growing catalogue of incidents at the plant including several leaks of radioactive water, more than two years after the worst in a generation triggered by a huge quake and tsunami in March 2011.

The company—which faces huge clean-up and —has struggled with a massive amount of accumulating as a result of continuing water injections to cool reactors.

The embattled utility in July admitted for the first time that radioactive groundwater had been leaking outside the plant and this month started pumping it out to reduce leakage into the Pacific.

While no one is officially recorded as having died as a direct result of the meltdowns at Fukushima, large areas around the plant had to be evacuated, with tens of thousands of people still unable to return to their homes.

Explore further: Fukushima operator pumps out toxic groundwater

Related Stories

Japan says battle to stop nuclear plant leaks 'urgent'

August 7, 2013

Japan's prime minister Wednesday said Tokyo would get more involved in cleaning up the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, as he described as "urgent" a battle to stop radioactive water from leaking into the ocean.

Radioactive water 'may have leaked' from Fukushima

April 6, 2013

Radioactive water may have leaked into the ground from a tank at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the operator said on Saturday, the latest in a series of troubles at the crippled facility.

Fukushima plant springs another radioactive leak

April 11, 2013

Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has sprung yet another leak of radioactive water, its operator said on Thursday, the latest in an increasingly long line of mishaps to rattle public confidence.

Toxic radiation in groundwater at Fukushima: operator

June 19, 2013

Cancer-causing radioactive substances have been found in groundwater at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, its Japanese operator said on Wednesday, as it pledged to prevent it getting into the sea.

Recommended for you

Permanent, wireless self-charging system using NIR band

October 8, 2018

As wearable devices are emerging, there are numerous studies on wireless charging systems. Here, a KAIST research team has developed a permanent, wireless self-charging platform for low-power wearable electronics by converting ...

Facebook launches AI video-calling device 'Portal'

October 8, 2018

Facebook on Monday launched a range of AI-powered video-calling devices, a strategic revolution for the social network giant which is aiming for a slice of the smart speaker market that is currently dominated by Amazon and ...

Artificial enzymes convert solar energy into hydrogen gas

October 4, 2018

In a new scientific article, researchers at Uppsala University describe how, using a completely new method, they have synthesised an artificial enzyme that functions in the metabolism of living cells. These enzymes can utilize ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.