On Saturday, April 6, 2013 operator of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station said that up to 120 tons of contaminated water had leaked into nearby soil from the No. 2 spent fuel pool (Kyodo). On Sunday, April 7, it said a further 47 tons may have leaked while they tried to transfer the water to the No. 1 pool. A much smaller leak was also discovered at the No. 3 pool (WSJ). The water transfer was halted after the discovery.
Every day, contaminated water levels rise by about 400 metric tons and it have become a serious problem. As of last Tuesday, more than 80% of storage capacity was filed. "Water storage will soon be a grave problem, if the leak issue complicates matters further," a spokesman of the operator said.
At least three of seven underground chambers at the site are now seeping radioactive water.
“We understand that we have caused tremendous worry to the people of Fukushima and the wider public and we apologise for that,” Masayuki Ono, acting general manager of TEPCO’s Nuclear Power and Plant Siting Division. told reporters. When asked whether the plant’s other underground pools might also be prone to leaking, Mr. Ono had no clear answer. “We are still assessing the situation,” Ono said (NYT).
An IAEA expert team will visit Japan this month at the request of the Japanese government to review the nation's efforts to plan and implement the decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. The team expects to hold a press briefing in Tokyo on April 22, 2013 to describe the mission's preliminary results. (IAEA)
In the past month, Fukushima nuclear plant has experienced two power outages that shut down some of its cooling systems for spent fuel ponds.
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