FUKUSHIMA – Up to 6 tons of radioactive water has leaked into the ground at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co.
The water, which had been scrubbed by Units A and C of the advanced liquid processing system (ALPS), leaked from pipes while being transported to storage tanks on Wednesday afternoon, the utility said.
The water seeped into the ground, officials said, adding that it did not flow into the sea because there was no drainage ditch nearby.
The ALPS system can remove all radioactive substances except tritium. It wasn’t clear how radioactive the water was before the spill.
Wednesday’s incident came on the same day that a team of experts from South Korea visited the heavily damaged plant to examine the safety of Japanese fishery products.
The South Korean experts spent about three hours inspecting facilities at the plant, including ALPS. They were told about measures to keep the nuclear crisis under control.
The experts asked questions about the types of radioactive materials contained in the water and the results of radiation checks on local seawater, according to the Fisheries Agency.
In September last year, South Korea banned imports of fishery products from Fukushima and seven other prefectures due to the recurring water leaks at the Fukushima No. 1 plant.
Tepco said Wednesday it will cut business costs by ¥837 billion in fiscal 2014, up sharply from the previously planned ¥576 billion. The deeper cuts will allow Tepco to forego another rate hike for households through 2015, company officials said.
In a special business plan approved by the government in January, Tepco said it would slash business costs by ¥4.8 trillion over the 10 years to fiscal 2022. Tepco Chairman Fumio Sudo said the utility hopes to increase that to about ¥6 trillion.
The plant is in the final stages of removing fuel rods from storage at the heavily damaged No. 4 reactor building.