Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the operator of Fukushima nuclear power plant, reported a new leak, with around 300 tons of radioactive water spilling into the ground. It is the most recent incident in a series of embarassing revelations related to the crippled power station, according to the international media.
“We believe it is still leaking at this moment,” TEPCO General Manager Masayuji Ono said.
Around the places where the radioactive water has leaked were detected high levels of radiation, the company said. These areas were emitting a radiation dose of 100 millisieverts an hour measured about 1.6 feet above the surface, it added.
Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority classified the leak as a level 1 incident, the second lowest, on an international scale for radiological releases.
TEPCO doubts the contaminated water has reached the ocean, as the tank is located far from the harbor and as no high radiation levels were dected in the water trench located close to the radioactive water tank, according to the company officials.
“We would like to apologize for the concern we have caused people due to this problem,” Ono added.
In the mean time, TEPCO inserted over 26 pipes into a well to pump out 100 tons of contaminated water a day, and erected an underground barrier.
A much larger plan has also been proposed, involving creating an underground wall to surround the crippled reactor, but the project is still in its planning stage and is expected to take several years to build.