The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is facing new problems after its third radioactive water leak was confirmed two weeks ago.
At the power plant groundwater is pouring into the plant’s ravaged reactor buildings at a rate of almost 75 gallons a minute, and the workers are struggling to fix this problem relying on storage tanks that hold a quantity of radioactive water similar to the one of 112 Olympic-size pools, the international press reports.
But TEPCO needs more storage space. In order to obtain it, the company plans to cut a small forest close to the nuclear plant and to create more space for placing several hundreds more tanks.
Some of the contaminated water is leaking from storage pits that have also been used at the site. They are earthen pits that have been lined with sheets of plastic, and the plastic may have torn or it may just leak, according to the international media. TEPCO says the radioactive water is unlikely to flow into the sea.
Cleaning up the Fukushima site will take about 40 years and will cost at least $13 billion, according to the Japanese government.