February 20, 2014
A new leak of highly radioactive water has been discovered at Japan’s tsunami-stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant.
Plant operator TEPCO said Thursday that 100 tons of contaminated water leaked from a storage tank at the facility.
A TEPCO spokesman said the leak has been stopped and that it is unlikely any of the water reached the sea, which is 700 meters away.
“Regarding the extent and position of the leakage, as far as we have confirmed at this point, there is no drain nearby and we have ascertained the position of the leakage. Also, the position is far from the ocean, and we think there has been no leakage into the ocean,” said the spokesman.
He said the leak occurred because two valves on the storage tank were mistakenly left open and another malfunctioned.
It is one of hundreds of storage tanks containing water used to cool melted down reactors that were hit by a tsunami and earthquake in 2011.
Repeated leaks of contaminated water have been reported at the plant. TEPCO admitted last year that some was flowing into the ocean.
TEPCO said decommissioning the entire Fukushima complex could take 30 to 40 years.