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Monday, August 5, 2013

Japan : TEPCO reveals scale of radioactive tritium leak into Pacific for first time

Via Xinhua, excerpt :

" Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has announced to the public the amount of radioactive tritium that has leaked into the Pacific Ocean since its Fukushima nuclear power plant was crippled by an earthquake-triggered tsunami more than two years ago.

Local media reported Monday that TEPCO admitted that between 20 trillion to 40 trillion becquerels of the highly-radioactive material likely leaked into the sea following the crisis in March 2011, at the nuclear facility in Japan's northeast.

The reports are in contrary to TEPCO's original claims that they had managed to contain the toxic water within the confines of the crippled plant.

Following probes from Japan's nuclear watchdog and claims by overseas regulatory bodies about TEPCO's ineptitude and lack of transparency regarding the severity of the nuclear leakage, the embattled utility finally conceded the scale of the radioactive tritium leak.

Media reports on Monday quoted a TEPCO spokesperson as saying that between May 2011 and July 2013, around 22 trillion becquerels annually of toxic water had been released into the Pacific Ocean from the stricken six-reactor plant.

The spokesperson went on to say the company would also conduct tests to estimate the amount of cancer-causing strontium which may also have leaked into the Pacific Ocean during the same period.

TEPCO's ambiguity and lack of transparency has consistently drawn the ire of foreign nuclear experts and regulatory bodies."

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