The operator of the tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant has detected a new radioactive water leak through the drainage of one of its reactors that could have been spilling into the Pacific Ocean, Japanese media reported Wednesday.
The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) Tuesday announced having detected deposits of highly radioactive water on the roof of the plant’s reactor number 2. The liquid contained 29,400 becquerel per litre of radioactive cesium and 52,000 of strontium and other beta-ray emitting substances, according to TEPCO data cited by the media.
Rainwater, contaminated by radioactive residues from the reactor, could have filtered out through the building’s drainage system into the Pacific Ocean, Tepco said. In April last year, the operator detected rainwater accumulation on the roof of the reactor and an increase in radiation levels in the drainage system every time it rained, according to Tepco officials, NHK television reported.
The company did not take any measures and decided against making the findings public until now as it did not have results of the analysis on the accumulated liquid’s radioactivity levels. To check the spillage, Tepco announced the installation of sandbags on the roof of the reactor and the covering of drains that lead to the sea, measures that are expected to be completed by the end of March.
The operator also claimed that there had been no increase in levels of radioactivity in the sea water near the nuclear plant. The news came to light two days after Tepco detected another possible radioactive water leakage in one of its drainage channels.
The company decided to close the drain and pump out the radioactive water to prevent it from ending up in the sea, according to Tepco. Fukushima’s fishermen’s association has expressed its concern over the recent incidents could affect its confidence in Tepco, according to Masakazu Yabuki, a member of the association. (IANS)