Monday, January 30, 2012

Water leaks found at Fukushima nuclear plant AGAIN

Japan's stricken nuclear power plant has leaked more than 600 litres of water, forcing it to briefly suspend cooling operations at a spent-fuel pond at the weekend, but none is thought to have escaped into the ocean, the plant's operator and domestic media said.

The Fukushima plant, on the coast north of Tokyo, was wrecked by a huge earthquake and tsunami in March last year, triggering the evacuation of around 80,000 people in the world's worst nuclear crisis in 25 years.

The operator of the complex, the Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco), reported two main leakages on its Web site yesterday, one from a pump near the plant's office building and another from a back-up cooling system at reactor No.4.

"The cooling water is from a filtrate tank for fire extinction and doesn't contain radioactive materials," Tepco said of the incident at reactor No. 4. It added that some water from the other leakage had flowed into a drain and "we are examining whether this water has flowed into the ocean or not".

The Nikkei newspaper today quoted Tepco as saying around 40 litres had leaked from the pool-cooling system of the No. 4 reactor yesterday morning, with probably 600 litres of purified water leaking from another point. Water had also leaked at other facilities within the complex, the Nikkei added. Read More