Strontium-tainted water leak suspected
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says about 45 tons of strontium-tainted water may have leaked out of a water treatment device, with a portion of it spilling out of the facility.
Tokyo Electric Power Company says the water may contain high levels of radioactive strontium. Strontium causes internal radiation exposure.
The company is trying to determine whether the water reached the sea.
The utility said at about 11:30 am on Sunday a water leak was spotted in a device to remove salt from contaminated water from which radioactive material had already been removed.
It said the leak was stopped after the device was turned off, but at least 45 tons of water containing radioactive materials may have leaked out, with some portion possibly reaching a ditch outside the facility.
The level of radioactive cesium had been reduced to 45 becquerels per cubic centimeter after the treatment. But the water is believed to have contained 130,000 becquerels per cubic centimeter of radioactive strontium.
The ditch connects to the sea about 600 meters away. The power company is piling up sand bags in the ditch to prevent the water from flowing to the sea.
The water is used to cool down the reactors in the power plant and the utility says the leak does not pose any problems for the process.
Monday, December 05, 2011 06:09 0900 (JST)