New high-radiation spots found at quake-hit Fukushima plant

TOKYO Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:57am EDT

1 of 2. An aerial view shows Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)'s tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and its contaminated water storage tanks (bottom) in Fukushima, in this photo taken by Kyodo August 20, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Kyodo

TOKYO (Reuters) - The operator of Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant said on Thursday new spots of high radiation had been found near storage tanks holding highly contaminated water, raising fear of fresh leaks as the disaster goes from bad to worse.

The announcement comes after Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) said this week contaminated water with dangerously high levels of radiation was leaking from a storage tank.

A tsunami crashed into the Fukushima Daiichi power plant north of Tokyo on March 11, 2011, causing fuel-rod meltdowns at three reactors, radioactive contamination of air, sea and food and triggering the evacuation of 160,000 people.

It was the world's worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986 and no one seems to know how to bring the crisis to an end.

In an inspection carried out following the revelation of the leakage, high radiation readings - 100 millisieverts per hour and 70 millisieverts per hour - were recorded at the bottom of two tanks in a different part of the plant, Tepco said.

Although no puddles were found nearby and there were no noticeable changes in water levels in the tanks, the possibility of stored water having leaked out cannot be ruled out, a Tokyo Electric spokesman said.

The confirmed leakage prompted Japan's nuclear watchdog to say it feared the disaster was "in some respect" beyond Tepco's ability to cope.

The U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Wednesday it viewed the situation at Fukushima "seriously" and was ready to help if called upon.

China said it was "shocked" to hear contaminated water was still leaking from the plant, and urged Japan to provide information "in a timely, thorough and accurate way".

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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Comments (6)
MartinHouston wrote:
Who planned to have a nuclear power station built so near to the sea, and even worse on to of a large aquifer that the melted cores may reach (if they have not done so already).

The protesters against nuclear have had all their worst fears confirmed but in a bitter twist of fate is the storage of SO MUCH spent fuel on site not a consequence of their being such effective opposition to the transport and reprocessing of fuel?

However is is not a time for recrimination. We and by that I mean ALL the people of earth are now faced with the huge urgent task of making Fukushima safe.

Aug 22, 2013 6:55am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Rhino1 wrote:
Only after the Last Tree has been cut down,
Only after the Last River has been poisoned,
Only after the Last Fish has been caught,
Only then will you find that
Money Cannot Be Eaten.

(Cree Prophecy)

Aug 22, 2013 6:58am EDT  --  Report as abuse
monique87 wrote:
World!… this issue with Fukushima must be put on the front line of everybody, just put aside Egypt, Syria, Russia or whatever…for a while.
Fukushima will negatively affect us for generations.

Aug 22, 2013 6:59am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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