Fukushima nuclear plant’s operator mishap leaks highly radioactive water into Pacific, Again

Officials from the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) have announced that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has been leaking radioactive water which may have reached the Pacific Ocean already.

Fukushima nuclear plant Japan

In an interview with Reuters, TEPCO admitted that they found the leak late on Wednesday, and said that it had likely spilled into the Pacific Ocean. But the authorities explained that the contaminated water was overflowing from a storage tank. and that more than 100 gallons may have leaked into the surrounding harbor by the time it was stopped.

The operator on the plant said that at least 430 litres spilled when workers overfilled a storage tank which lacked a gauge that could have warned them of the danger. The workers detected the water spilling from the top of one large tank when they were patrolling the site the night before. The amount is tiny compared to the untold thousands of tons of radioactive water that have leaked, much of it into the Pacific Ocean, caused by a massive tsunami  and earthquake wrecked in 2011.

The tank is one of about 1,000 erected on the grounds around the plant to hold water used to cool the melted nuclear fuel in the broken reactors. TEPCO says the water contained 200,000 becquerel of strontium 90, with some other radioactive isotopes, per liter. The exact composition still remains unclear, but the legal limit for strontium 90 in water is 30 becquerel per liter.

Fukushima nuclear plant Japan

Masayuki Ono, from TEPCO, admitted that the organization does on have the capacity to contain the excess water at the plant.. The spill spread into a large trench near the plant leading into the Pacific. Despite the disaser TEPCO claims that toxic water will not pose a threat to other nations.

hopefully the government pushes through with its promise to spend $470 billion to build an underground ‘ice wall’ around the reactor, as well as turbine buildings to block groundwater water inflows and prevent further potential leaks from spreading.

source: Reuters,TheVerge


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Add Comments October 3, 2013