28 Juin 2013
June 27, 2013
The Nuclear Regulation Authority will order Tokyo Electric Power Co. to take immediate measures to prevent radioactive tritium from spreading in the sea near the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
The nuclear watchdog on June 26 expressed strong suspicions that high tritium levels detected in the sea were a result of contaminated water leaking from the plant.
TEPCO said earlier this month that high levels of tritium were found in the port area in front of the nuclear plant, but it has not confirmed if the contamination was caused by water leaks from the crippled facility.
The NRA said safety should come before confirmation.
“It is strongly suspected that contaminated water is leaking into the sea,” NRA Commissioner Toyoshi Fuketa told a regular meeting on June 26. “It is very dangerous to deal with the situation based on the presumption (that contaminated water is not leaking).”
The utility said on June 26 that seaborne tritium levels between the water intakes for the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors had been halved to 420 becquerels per liter.
But TEPCO also said that tritium levels in the sea north of the water intakes for the No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 reactors in the port area had risen to 1,500 becquerels per liter when it analyzed seawater that day.
The plant operator said those tritium levels likely increased because contaminated water has accumulated inside a nearby wall being constructed to prevent water from leaking at the plant.