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How much toxic water has leaked into the sea? (2)

April 21, 2015

Outage hits pumps at Fukushima plant; toxic water leaks into ocean




Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Tuesday reported that a power outage has shut down all eight water transfer pumps at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station and that radioactive water is again leaking into the Pacific Ocean.

The pumps are being used to pump tainted water from a drainage channel to another channel leading to a fence-enclosed artificial bay facing the station. The beleaguered utility said it was checking into what happened and how much water had leaked.

The pumping had begun last Friday, in response to a finding in late February that highly radioactive water in the channel was reaching the ocean. They were confirmed to be working Monday afternoon but found stopped at 8:45 a.m. Tuesday.

The utility said earlier this year that water samples from the drainage channel last May contained concentrations of radioactive materials that surpassed the legal limit.

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Radioactive water leaking into sea

Apr. 21, 2015 - Updated 09:45 UTC+2



The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says radioactively contaminated rainwater is spilling outside the facility's port after pumps to prevent leakage stopped working.

In February, Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, found that radioactive rainwater that had accumulated on the roof of the plant's No. 2 reactor building was leaking outside the port through a drainage channel.

TEPCO blocked the channel and installed 8 pumps in a tentative measure to reroute the channel so that contaminated water would not leak into the sea.

The firm started operating the pumps last Friday. But on Tuesday, a worker found that they had stopped and the water was going into the sea.

TEPCO officials say they don't know the amount or radioactive level of the water. But they say that as of April 9th, the level was extremely low.

They add that the pumps were working normally when workers checked them on Monday afternoon. They say they don't know what caused the problem or when they can restart the pumps.

The pumps can handle rainfall up to 14 millimeters per hour. It was not raining heavily when they presumably stopped.

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