20 Juin 2013
June 19, 2013
TEPCO to increase groundwater testing
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says it will increase checks for strontium and tritium in groundwater near the damaged reactors.
Tokyo Electric Power Company workers detected the radioactive materials in groundwater taken from an observation well on the sea side of the No.2 reactor building. Company officials say they found no major changes in radiation levels in nearby seawater.
But they plan to set up more monitoring posts and observation wells. And they will reinforce nearby embankments to prevent contaminated groundwater reaching the sea.
TEPCO officials say wastewater spilled out into the sea near the No.2 reactor building in April 2011. They say highly radioactive materials might have seeped into the ground and ended up in the well about 30 meters from the sea.
Workers will also check a nearby underground tunnel to determine how the groundwater was contaminated.
Tokyo Electric has again drawn criticism for a delay in revealing the latest incident.
Workers took a sample of the groundwater on May 24th.
Officials at the plant were aware by May 31st that tritium levels were higher than the government-set level.
But they did not share the data with TEPCO executives until June 11th. It took another week for the company to make the data public.
TEPCO officials say they were waiting for results of strontium tests, which take longer. They apologized for the delay.