Saturday, February 4, 2012
Radioactive leaks at crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant increase two months after it was declared safe
Less than two months ago the crippled Japanese nuclear power plant at Fukushima was declared stable.
Yet now it has emerged that radioactive water is continuing to leak at the stricken site. These were spotted by workers at the reprocessing areas and were found to release enough beta rays that can lead to radiation sickness.
A series of nuclear meltdowns at the power plant were triggered by the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.
The organisation charged with keeping the site under control is the Tokyo Electric Power Company, and their spokesman Junichi Matsumoto said that no one was injured and the leak stopped after bolts were tightened on a tank.
Matsumoto said TEPCO also found that 8.5 tons of radioactive water had leaked earlier in the week after a pipe became detached at Unit 4, one of the plant's six reactors.
The company earlier had estimated that only a few gallons had leaked.
He said officials are investigating the cause of that leak, but that it was unlikely the pipe had been loosened by the many aftershocks that have hit the plant.
The structural integrity of the damaged Unit 4 reactor building has long been a major concern among experts because a collapse of its spent fuel cooling pool could cause a disaster worse than the three reactor meltdowns.