December 21, 2013
TEPCO has found a record 1.9 million becquerels per liter of beta ray-emitting radioactive substances at its No.2 reactor. Also radioactive cesium was detected in deeper groundwater at No.4 unit’s well, as fears grow of a new leak into the ocean.
The level of beta ray-emitting radioactivity in groundwater around the crippled Fukushima reactor No. 2 reactor has been rising since November, NHK reported.
Previous the highest level – 1.8 million becquerels (bq/liter), of beta-ray sources per liter – was registered at reactor No.1 on December 13.
Meanwhile, TEPCO’s latest examination of deeper groundwater beneath the #4 reactor’s well has raised new concerns that there might be another source of radioactive substances leakage into the ocean.
For the first time, the analysis of water samples taken from a layer 25 meters beneath the No. 4 reactor’s well that is facing the ocean has revealed radioactivity in groundwater.
TEPCO investigators detected 6.7 bq/liter of Cesium 137 and 89 bq/liter of strontium as well as other beta ray-emitting radioactive substances.
However, the company’s officials said that it is early to talk about a hotspot of radiation leak and more examinations are needed to prove that. TEPCO suggested that current numbers could be wrong because radioactive substances may have been mistakenly mixed during the process of getting the sample.
Leakage of radiation-contaminated water has been the major threat to Japan’s population and environment from the very beginning of the Fukushima disaster in March 2011.
Only in late July 2013 did TEPCO acknowledge the fact that contaminated water is escaping from basements and trenches of the Fukushima plant into the ocean.
Since then, TEPCO reported about two major leaks of highly radioactive water into the ocean from storage tanks – a 300-ton leak in August and 430 liters in October.