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

900,000 becquerels per liter at a well near the port

July 6, 2013

Tritium levels on steep rise at Fukushima Daiichi



The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says the level of radioactive tritium found in nearby seawater is the highest it has been for 2 years.

Tokyo Electric Power Company says it detected 2,300 becquerels of tritium per liter of seawater collected from a port near the nuclear plant on Wednesday.

That's twice the amount detected about 2 weeks ago, and the highest since monitoring began in June 2011.

But the figure is still about one-twenty-fifth of the government-set limit for water to be released into the sea.

The tritium found in seawater stayed at around 100 becquerels per liter for one year through April. But it started to rise in May.

On Friday, TEPCO workers tested water collected from a well near the port. They detected 900,000 becquerels of radioactive substances, including strontium, per liter.

That's the highest level ever found in samples from observation wells.

TEPCO officials say they have yet to confirm the cause of the spike in readings, but they cannot rule out the possibility that contaminated groundwater seeped into the sea.

The company plans to build more observation wells and solidify the ground to prevent underground water from reaching the ocean.



Highly radioactive water found in another well at Fukushima plant



TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Friday it has detected highly radioactive water in a well newly built to check the spread of underground contamination at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The well is only several meters from a pit from which highly radioactive water was found seeping into the adjacent sea in April 2011, shortly after the nuclear crisis commenced at the plant.

According to TEPCO, a water sample collected Monday from the well, around 25 meters from the sea, contained about 900,000 becquerels per liter of radioactive substances such as strontium that emit beta rays.

TEPCO spokesman Masayuki Ono told a press conference that the company will check whether the water leak more than two years ago has affected the contamination level of water inside the well.

Meanwhile, to improve the reliability of the cooling system for the crippled Nos. 1 to 3 reactors, TEPCO started using a 3-kilometer-long water circulation route that is 1 km shorter than previously.

Water once used to cool the damaged reactors is currently recycled as coolant after the level of radioactivity has been lowered in a water-processing facility.

The shortcut became possible because TEPCO created a route that enables water to be sent to the reactors without going through makeshift tanks located northwest of the No. 1 reactor building. TEPCO plans to shorten the length of the water loop to around 1.3 km by the end of fiscal 2014.



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