3 Septembre 2013
Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the wrecked Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, said Sept. 2 that a patrol of workers had found a new area of high radiation near tanks used to store contaminated water.
The latest revelation came a day before Japan's government was set to announce new steps to address deep-seated problems in controlling the spread of radiated water at Fukushima and criticism that the utility has bungled the response to the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.
TEPCO said it had found a radiation reading above 100 millisieverts per hour on the ground near a water storage tank.
The latest leak was found in an area called H6, which is situated south of an area called H4, where about 300 tons of contaminated water was found to have leaked on Aug. 19.
TEPCO said in a statement there was no sign of a water leak around the newly discovered area of high radiation. The utility could not give a precise reading for the level of radiation since workers were using instruments that only recorded radiation up to 100 millisieverts.
Japanese nuclear workers are limited to a cumulative exposure of 100 millisieverts over five years.
TEPCO officials cast doubt that contaminated water might have seeped through rivets and materials designed to absorb water at the tank.
The utility is investigating the leakage.
Radiation levels of over 100 millisieverts per hour have been detected at the base of another storage tank at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) announced Sept. 2.
The high radiation level has raised fears of yet another radioactive water leak at the plant. There have been suspected leaks in four areas of the plant ground so far.
The new radiation spike was found at the base of a storage tank about 100 meters to the south of another tank that leaked some 300 metric tons of radioactively contaminated water earlier this year. The new radiation hotspot was discovered by a maintenance patrol on Sept. 2, though there was no sign of a leak at the base of the tank.