Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), the utility operator that manages the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant said on Thursday that the water they collected from the drainage ditch has double the radiation than from the previous week. This is a new record high for contaminated water in the plant, ever since the meltdown in 2011, the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.
TEPCO said that the readings they collected from the water sample in the drainage ditch on Wednesday sets it at 140,000 becquerels per liter of beta ray-emitting substances. It is 2.3 times more than the previous record of 59,000 becquerels seen last Tuesday in the same area and 11 times higher than the reading from the previous day. TEPCO theorizes that the heavy rains from the past few days may have carried the radioactive material to the areas surrounding the ditch.
Even though there were sandbags placed in anticipation of the rains from Typhoon Wipha last week, the heavier than expected rains may have caused the contaminated water to overflow into the Pacific Ocean. The location where they got the water samples is just 600 meters from the ocean and close to the storage tanks containing the contaminated water that TEPCO admitted had leaked almost 300 tons of radioactive water last August. They also announced on Thursday that they have started transferring the contaminated water that have built up in the tank’s flood enclosures to a closed reservoir in preparation for Typhoon Francisco that is expected to hit Japan this weekend.