1 Août 2013
Fukushima steps up tainted water monitoring
The government of Fukushima Prefecture in northeastern Japan has stepped up monitoring of seawater around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The prefecture took the move after the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, admitted last week that groundwater contaminated with radioactive substances was leaking into the sea.
The government increased the number of sampling sites from 2 to 6 and monitoring frequency from once every 3 months to every month.
About 185 liters of seawater is to be sampled at each of 6 points from the plant's port to 3.5 kilometers offshore to analyze levels of 4 radioactive substances, including cesium and tritium.
A ship of the prefecture left a port in Iwaki City, south of the plant, for monitoring on Wednesday.
Shunji Watanabe, the chief of Fukushima's radiation monitoring section, says the prefecture has stepped up its activities to conduct its own monitoring of the sea. He says research results will be released as soon as possible.