After it was discovered that one of the storage tanks in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has leaked 300 tons of contaminated water, further evaluation suggests that the leak might have begun more than a month prior to Tokyo Electric Power’s (TEPCO) knowledge and admission. According to a representative of the company during a Nuclear Regulation Authority sub-committee meeting on Tuesday, a study on beta-ray doses acquired by the workers assigned for patrolling in the facility supports the suspicion.
It was on Tuesday last week when Tokyo Electric Power Co. admitted the leak in the plant, adding that some of the contaminated waters may have even reached the Pacific Ocean. Although the result of the operator’s assessment revealed that there was only one storage tank that lost integrity in containing the radiation-sullied waters, the electric company was understandably not spared from criticisms. TEPCO was also accused of poor management and lackadaisical maintenance since the nuclear meltdown of 2011.
Among the faults of TEPCO was its failure to record rounds of inspections. Those who do record it fail to take dosimeters with them to measure the radiation level. The 300-ton leak contained 80 million becquerel of radiation per litre, obviously way higher than its threshold. The country’s nuclear watchdog has told TEPCO to further investigate the cause of the leak and assess its extent. Besides the reported tons of contaminated water, other leaks are also believed to have occurred and feared to have spread throughout and outside the plant.
[via The Asahi Shimbun]