10 Septembre 2013
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said groundwater at an observation well near the site of a leaky storage tank at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant has shown high levels of radiation.
Tests found 3,200 becquerels per liter of beta ray-emitting materials, including strontium. As a result, it “now seems more likely” that radioactive water from leaking tanks at the crippled facility became mixed with groundwater in the area, Tepco said Monday.
The level of contamination far exceeds the government limit of just 10 becquerels of strontium per liter in drinking water and 100 becquerels per kilogram for food. If ingested, experts say, strontium accumulates in bones and can cause cancer.
Many of the tanks were used to cool molten fuel in the No. 1 plant’s three reactors that experienced core meltdowns from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Last week, the government unveiled a ¥47 billion plan to stem the leaks by creating a wall of ice under the plant. Tepco also plans to use wells to pump out groundwater before it seeps into the Pacific Ocean.
The latest findings could affect that plan, as the nearest pumping well is only 130 meters from the monitoring site where the highly irradiated water sample was taken.
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Monday it has detected 3,200 becquerels per liter of radioactive substances in a well near a leaky water storage tank at its crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The radioactive substances emitting strontium and other beta rays were detected in samples taken Sunday from a well about 20 meters north of the water storage tank in the H4 area where toxic water had leaked. On Thursday, TEPCO said it had detected 650 becquerels per liter of such radioactive substances in another well located about 20 south of the storage tank.
The latest finding raises the possibility that leaked toxic water has reached groundwater at the power plant, which was devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
To prevent groundwater from being contaminated at the reactors, TEPCO plans to use wells to pump up the groundwater before it flows into the reactor buildings and is discharged into the sea.
But the latest finding could affect the utility's plan as the nearest well to be used to pump up groundwater is only 130 meters away from the monitoring well where highly radioactive contamination was found in samples on Sunday.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. has discovered radioactive materials from groundwater at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. It is the second such instance, which suggests contaminated water that leaked from a storage tank is spreading underground.
The utility said Sept. 9 that 3,200 becquerels of radioactive materials, such as strontium, were detected per liter of water taken from an observation well the previous day.
The well is located 20 meters north of the storage tank from which the company said on Aug. 20 that an estimated 300 tons of highly radioactive water leaked.
TEPCO will investigate how widely the leaked water has spread and check whether it will affect plans to intercept uncontaminated groundwater and release it into the ocean.
The utility is planning to pump water from a well 130 meters on the seaward side of the observation well before it flows into buildings and mixes with radioactive water generated from reactor cooling operations.
The company previously detected 650 becquerels of radioactive materials per liter of water taken Sept. 4 from an observation well 20 meters south of the storage tank.
Fukushima leaks contaminate more groundwater
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it has recorded another spike in the level of radioactive substances in groundwater in the plant compound.
Tokyo Electric Power Company says it suspects contaminated water that leaked last month from a storage tank may be spreading.
TEPCO says it detected 3,200 becquerels of strontium and other radioactive substances per liter of water collected on Sunday from a new well. The well is about 20 meters north of the tank that leaked.
The reading was 5 times higher than in a sample taken from another well, to the south of the tank, last Wednesday.
TEPCO is planning to dig more wells to try to find out how the underground water is being contaminated.
In another development, TEPCO officials said they detected 80,000 becquerels of tritium per liter in a sample collected last Thursday from a well on the coastal side of the No.1 reactor building. The well has been there from before the nuclear accident.
That's higher than a reading taken from the well about a year ago.