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information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise

Accumulated hydrogen in the tanks likely caused leaks

 May 22, 2015

Radioactive wastewater leak linked to hydrogen



May 22, 2015 - Updated 08:44 UTC+2


The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says recent leaks of highly radioactive wastewater from their containers were likely due to accumulated hydrogen gas in the tanks.

Tokyo Electric Power Company reported this to the Nuclear Regulation Authority on Friday. TEPCO has found since April that the wastewater, produced during the process of treating radioactive water, had seeped out through the lids of a number of containers.

The utility says that 28 of the 265 inspected containers had leaked, and in 15 of them, bubbles formed when workers stirred the liquid inside, and water levels went down.

The utility believes the bubbles mainly consist of hydrogen, generated by strong radiation inside the containers. TEPCO officials suspect the gas increased the volume of the wastewater, forcing some to overflow.

They say none of the spilled water has affected the external environment. As stopgap measures, they plan to put liquid absorbents on the lids of the containers, and reduce the amount of water stored inside.


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