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July 26, 2013


TEPCO provides conflicting accounts on toxic water leak



Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) was aware of a leak of contaminated water from the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant prior to its official announcement of the leak on July 22, the head of TEPCO's reconstruction headquarters in Fukushima Prefecture has suggested.

Headquarters chief Yoshiyuki Ishizaki said at a news conference on July 25 that he received an email from the utility's headquarters in Tokyo saying that TEPCO had no choice but to announce that radiation-tainted water from its crippled nuclear power plant had leaked into the Pacific Ocean.

While TEPCO had submitted data on the leak to the secretariat of the Nuclear Regulation Authority on July 18, the utility had thus far insisted that it couldn't explain the data until July 22.

After Ishizaki's news conference on July 25, TEPCO's public relations office said that it had no means to answer which email Ishizaki referred to. It said the office had heard TEPCO finished collecting data on July 21.

Ishizaki said he couldn't remember who sent him the email. He said the Tokyo headquarters' nuclear power division and the Fukushima No. 1 power station team determined that contaminated water was spilling out into the sea. The Fukushima reconstruction head office was not involved in determining the situation, he added.

When asked by reporters if TEPCO had delayed the announcement due to a possible impact on the House of Councillors election on July 21, the public relations office denied it.

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