Japan’s nuclear regulators call for operator of crippled plant to find solution to thousands of tons of radioactive water
October 18, 2013
Radioactivity levels in a well near a storage tank at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan have risen immensely on Thursday, the plant’s operator has reported.
Officials of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said on Friday they detected 400,000 becquerels per liter of beta ray-emitting radioactive substances – including strontium – at the site, a level 6,500 times higher than readings taken on Wednesday, NHK World reported.
The storage tank leaked over 300 tons of contaminated water in August, some of which is believed to have found its way into the sea through a ditch.
The well in question is about 10 meters from the tank and was dug to gauge leakage.
TEPCO said the findings show that radioactive substances like strontium have reached the groundwater. High levels of tritium, which transfers much easier in water than strontium, had already been detected.
Officials at TEPCO said they will remove any contaminated soil around the storage tank in an effort to monitor radioactivity levels of the water around the well.
The news comes after it has been reported a powerful typhoon which swept through Japan led to highly radioactive water near the crippled nuclear power plant being released into a nearby drainage ditch, increasing the risk of it flowing into the sea.
On Wednesday TEPCO said it had detected high levels of radiation in a ditch leading to the Pacific Ocean, and that it suspected heavy rains had lifted contaminated soil.
(ABC/Reuters) The operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant says it has found a new leak of radioactive water that might have flowed into the Pacific Ocean.
The leak from the 450-tonne storage tank is the second of its kind in as many months, and involved water with high concentrations of radioactive strontium and caesium.
Fukashima operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) says it does not know how much water leaked, adding that it could have flowed from an adjoining drainage ditch into the sea.
TEPCO has apologised for causing anxiety.
Last month, 300 tonnes of highly contaminated water leaked from a tank and some is believed to have flowed into the Pacific.
A 6.5 magnitude earthquake has shaken Japan, with residents of the capital, Tokyo, reporting significant shaking on social media sites.
There have been no immediate reports of casualties, and local authorities say there is no risk of a tsunami.
The quake was given a preliminary magnitude of 6.9, with the USGS later grading it 6.5.
The quake struck at 0018 GMT at a depth of 404 kilometres (251 miles), the USGS said.
“The epicentre is in the Pacific, hundreds of kilometres (miles) south of Tokyo. We see no risk of a tsunami,” a spokesman for the Japanese weather agency said.
Fukushima operator TEPCO reported there were no new problems at the stricken nuclear plant.
The epicentre of the quake was near the Izu Islands, south of Tokyo.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Gushing hot lava from an erupting volcano killed six people sleeping in a beach village in eastern Indonesia on Saturday, after ash and smoke shot up to 2,000 meters (6,560 feet) into the air, a disaster official said.
Mount Rokatenda in East Nusa Tenggara province erupted early Saturday morning, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency. Nearly 3,000 people were evacuated from the area on Palue island. The volcano has been rumbling since October 2012.
The victims included three adults and two children, said agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. He said the age of the sixth person killed was unclear and that the children’s bodies had not been recovered from Ponge beach in Rokirole village.
Indonesia, an archipelago of 240 million people, is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity because it sits along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” a horseshoe-shaped series of fault lines.
Published April 19, 2013
TOKYO – A 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck in seas off far northern Japan and far eastern Russia, but no damage was expected.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said sea changes were possible. No tsunami warnings have been issued.
The tremor around midday was in the Pacific Ocean at a relatively shallow depth of 6.2 miles. Japan and Russia both claim some of the sparsely populated islands in the remote region.
The epicenter was 160 miles east-northeast of Kuril’sk, Russia, and 328 miles northeast of Nemuro, Japan.
The area is almost 930 miles northeast of Tokyo.