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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Japan : Oil leaking into sea near Fukushima nuclear plant

Via Japan Today :

" TOKYO : Oil has been found leaking into the sea near the crisis-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant, possibly from nearby oil tanks that may have been damaged in the March earthquake and tsunami, the plant operator said Tuesday, adding that it will set up oil fences to prevent the liquid from spreading into the Pacific Ocean.

The oil slick was found at 8 a.m. by Tokyo Electric Power Co workers who were patrolling the premises of the plant on the Pacific coast, and is believed to be spreading at a 200-300 meter range inside breakwaters.

As the leakage appears to have remained inside the breakwaters, the government’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency spokesman Hidehiko Nishiyama said that the impact on areas outside the breakwaters is likely to be ‘‘extremely limited’’ so far.

Tokyo Electric suspects that the oil may have leaked from tanks located near the water intake for the Nos. 5 and 6 reactors or pipes that deliver the oil, because the March 11 disaster took place when a tanker was supplying oil. One of the tanks was moved from its original location because of the tsunami.

The tanks, each with a 960-kiloliter capacity, are believed to have had some heavy oil inside, but it is unknown exactly how much."

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