3 Juin 2015
June 2, 2015
Jun. 2, 2015 - Updated 02:46 UTC+2
Officials at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant say a hose that leaked radioactive water was left untended even though its durability was in doubt.
The leak of highly radioactive wastewater was detected on Friday. Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, estimates that 7 to 15 tons of water leaked from a crack in the hose, some into the plant's port.
Water sampled from 4 locations inside the port turned up the highest levels of radioactive substances since monitoring began 2 years ago.
Company officials say the crack in the hose was caused by stress from excessive bending that went beyond the permissible level set by its maker.
TEPCO had been replacing the same type of hose at other parts of the plant due to doubts about its durability.
But the one that leaked was left untouched since it was placed at a site where workers were busy building a wall of frozen soil around the nuclear complex to keep groundwater from seeping into the reactor buildings.
No clear rules for patrols were in place at the site. A worker passing by happened to notice the leak.
TEPCO plans to speed up work to replace the hoses with stronger ones. It also plans to draw up a new manual to ensure proper monitoring when the hoses are used.