About 300 tons of contaminated water leak into sea per day from Fukushima
A Japanese government official said an estimated 300 tonnes of contaminated water is leaking into the ocean per day from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged on Wednesday to step up government efforts to stem radioactive water leakage.
Abe ordered the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry to urgently deal with the water situation and ensure the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co, takes appropriate action to deal with the cleanup, which is expected to take more than 40 years and cost $11 billion.
The ministry official also said the government plans to reduce the leakage amount to 60 tons per day by as early as December.
Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) is failing to prevent radioactive water leakage from the Fukushima power plant into the Pacific Ocean, according to Shinji Kinjo, head of a Nuclear Regulatory Authority. As reported, 400 tons of groundwater seeps into the plant’s basement on daily basis where it mixes with water, used to cool down the reactor, before escaping into the coastal waters.
The company previously stated it had successfully stored all the excess water in special tanks, but last month admitted that there is some leakage. Tepco has already fortified the earth around the plant and created an impenetrable barrier on the side of the plant adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, but the shell works only 1.8 meters below the ground and further down, and once it reaches the surface, it could start to flow quite quickly into the water.
According to the Asahi newspaper, the contaminated water could rise to the surface within three weeks and the only course of action right now is to pump water out. However, a new problem arises: where to store all this water when more than 1,000 giant holding tanks surrounding the plant are nearly all full?
Tepco stated on Monday that it plans to start pumping out a further 100 tons of groundwater a day.