The strong rains from Typhoon Man-yi has forced Fukushima Daiichi operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) to release some of the tainted rainwater that accumulated inside the plant into the ocean. They assured the public however that the radioactivity of the water was low enough and did not exceed the government’s limit of 30 becquerels per liter.
The rainwater pooled within the circular barriers near the storage tanks that house the contaminated water used to cool the damaged reactors. TEPCO spokesman Yo Koshimizu said they decided to release it into the ocean because after they monitored the levels of radiation, it was considered rainfall rather than a leakage from the tanks. The barriers, created to contain the leakage from the storage tanks, were opened and the pooled water was released through rainwater ditches. They said they released the rainwater, which contained low levels of strontium 90, at seven locations but did not specify how large of a volume was released into the ocean. The overall radiation level of the rainwater was at a maximum of 24 becquerels per liter.
But in the areas where the water was still highly toxic at 170,000 becquerels per liter, instead of releasing it into the ocean, they transferred it somewhere else using makeshift pumps. The typhoon also forced the cancellation of outdoor operations on Monday. There was no major damage reported inside the Fukushima nuclear plant, which had been out of operations since the meltdown in 2011.
[ via Kyodo News ]