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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Japan : Heavy rain may cause toxic water to overflow outside Fukushima plant

Another article from Japan Today :

" TOKYO : Tokyo Electric Power Co said Friday radioactive water accumulated at its crippled nuclear power plant may overflow to the outside if heavy rain falls by June 15, fanning fears that radiation could further pollute the ocean and soil. The plant operator plans to start activating new equipment that can decontaminate the problem water June 15 or later but the possibility lingers that the project will not be completed in time, the officials said.

The amount of contaminated water, which may be leaking from the No. 1 to No. 3 reactors damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, has risen to 105,100 tons in total as of Tuesday as a recent typhoon brought substantial rainfall to the complex, utility officials said.

Even if there is no rain, the contaminated water may start overflowing to the outside June 20 at the earliest as coolant water for troubled reactors is believed to be seeping through the outer buildings, the officials said, adding that the combined amount of radiation in the tainted water is estimated to be 720,000 terabecquerels.

Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman for the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, said, ‘‘If the possibility grows that tainted water will spill to the outside, we have to consider taking emergency measures’’ to stop the leakage.

Even if TEPCO successfully transfers around 4,300 tons of the toxic water to condensers at the Nos. 2 and 3 reactors and a waste-processing facility, the remaining water is feared to overflow to the environment June 20 at the No. 2 unit and June 21 at the No. 3 reactor, the officials said."

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