Another Fukushima Storage Tank is Leaking
October 3, 2013 12:35 PM
Reports say it could be draining into the Pacific Ocean
Another tank holding toxic water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan is
, according to officials.
According to a new report from
, the Fukushima plant's operator discovered a leak in another tank on site, which may be draining toxic water into the Pacific Ocean.
The report said approximately 430 liters (113 gallons) of water spilled over a period of as much as 12 hours. The water that leaked had 200,000 becquerels per liter of radioactive isotopes, including strontium 90. The legal limit for strontium 90 is 30 becquerels per liter.
The water likely flowed into a trench leading to the Pacific Ocean -- which is about 300 m (330 yards) from the tank.
A plant worker reportedly misjudged how much water the tank could hold. To top it off, the tank is tilting on an uneven area.
Japan's government is learning that Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) isn't handling the containment of toxic water as well as it had hoped. The government stepped in last month and said it would help improve water management at the plant.
In fact, it came up with an idea to create an
around the plant. The ice wall technique turns soil into a permafrost-type condition through the use of refrigerated coolant. This would build an underground containment wall made of ice to hold the water and stop it from going into the Pacific.
However, the ice wall won't be completed anytime soon. The government doesn't have a cost estimate for the project yet, but Kajima Corp. -- the construction company that largely built the nuclear plant -- has until March 31, 2014 to create a feasibility study of the ice wall. The government would like the project to be completed by July 2015.
Back in August, it was reported that Fukushima is
leaking about 300 tonnes of toxic water
into the Pacific Ocean per day. The water, which is seeping through the soil and through the plant into the ocean, contains radioactive particles of cesium, tritium and strontium.
This all started in March 2011, when a
shook Japan and crippled the reactor at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. It caused quite a bit of havoc with the release of
contamination of crops
and of course, the thousands of lives lost.
Ever since, Tepco has been pouring "hundreds of metric tons" of water per day over the Fukushima reactors to keep them cool. The toxic water is then stored in tanks above ground. But many are raising questions as to whether the storage tanks are strong or large enough to contain all the water.
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