Tepco announce another leak of radioactive water at the fifth unit

Saturday, 19 July, 2014 at 10:52 UTC

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the operator of the Japanese nuclear power plant Fukushima-1, has reported another leak of radioactive water at the fifth unit, according to a company’s press release Saturday. TEPCO has said the leak on the fifth floor of the unit was found on Saturday at about 01:30 local time (16:30 GMT Friday). Preliminary estimates show that the amount of leakage is about 100 liters of fluid. The leak was discovered in the watergate area of the pipe which is used to transfer liquid for the spent fuel pond cooling. Currently, the temperature in the pond is 25.2 degrees centigrade. No changes in radiation background at the unit have been registered so far. For cooling the pond in emergency mode, the company is using the same system that helps to cool the reactor itself, which means the system would be consistently cooling both the reactor and the pond. Earlier this month, the pond cooling system was already stopped due to the leak. The company managed to restore the system in two days back then. In March 2011, Japan was hit by a massive magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami, claiming more than 15,000 lives and causing a number of explosions at the Fukushima plant. In what has been dubbed the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, three of the plant’s reactors underwent a partial meltdown as radiation leaked into the atmosphere, soil and seawater. 300 tons of water with strontium levels equaling 80 million becquerels per liter leaked from a storage reservoir into the Pacific Ocean. The leak was then classified as a level three incident on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES).

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