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

Contaminated rainwater leak

July 12, 2016

Fukushima plant workers recover tainted rainwater



The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says contaminated rainwater leaked into a ditch but workers were able to recover all of it. Tokyo Electric Power Company blamed the accident on human error.

TEPCO says the leak occurred on Monday while workers were using a vacuum truck to remove rainwater from a storage tank. Company officials say a hose came loose and about 80 liters flowed out, and some of it went into an underground ditch.

They say the rainwater contained 1,200 becquerels per liter of strontium and other beta ray-emitting radioactive substances. The figure is 40 times the government limit for releasing strontium tainted water into the ocean.

TEPCO says workers blocked the ditch with sandbags and recovered all the water, so none of it is expected to flow into the ocean. It says a radiation monitor installed in a drainage channel downstream has picked up no abnormalities.

The utility says right after the March 2011 nuclear accident the tanks were used to store wastewater tainted with relatively high levels of radiation. It says they're no longer used, and there are no barriers around them to prevent water from leaking into the ditch.

TEPCO says workers will decontaminate the ditch, and investigate what caused the hose to come off.



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