More radioactive water leaks during Tepco transfer effort at Fukushima No. 1

JIJI

There were further leaks of radioactive water during work to transfer water from a leaking sunken reservoir at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 power station, Tepco said Thursday.

About 22 liters of radioactive water apparently leaked from a joint between a pipe and a pump used to send water from the problematic reservoir No. 3 to another reservoir, it said.

The incident happened just after the utility announced Wednesday a plan to move all radioactive water currently stored in the sunken reservoirs to above-ground tanks once they are available. The latest leak may affect the plan, which was drawn up to stop the contamination of the environment by the leaked water.

Work to transfer water from reservoir No. 3 started at 2 p.m. but was halted due to the leak from the pipe-to-pump fitting three minutes later. The water seeped into soil near the reservoir, according to Tepco officials.

Reservoir No. 3 holds some 10,400 tons of water containing strontium and other radioactive materials, releasing 290,000 becquerels of radiation per cubic centimeter.

After discovering a leak Sunday, Tepco decided to transfer some 2,000 tons of water to reservoir No. 6 for temporary storage.

On Thursday, no water was transferred to or from reservoirs No. 1 and 2, which have also suffered leaks, Tepco said.