Fiji Time: 11:57 AM on Thursday 23 October

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / World

Fukushima confirms toxic water flowing to sea

AP
Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Update: 7:57AM THE operator of Japan's stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant says contaminated ground water has likely been flowing into the sea, acknowledging such a leakage for the first time.

Tokyo Electric Power Co, or Tepco, made the announcement a day after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's pro-nuclear Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner scored a decisive victory in elections to the upper house, cementing his grip on power.

The head of Japan's new Nuclear Regulation Authority, created since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami wrecked Fukushima, said this month he believed contamination of the sea had been continuing since the accident.

But Tepco had previously failed to confirm the ground water leakage more than two years after the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

"We would like to offer our deep apology for causing grave worries for many people, especially for people in Fukushima," Masayuki Ono, Tepco's general manager, told a news conference in comments broadast on public NHK television.

Tepco said that based on water sample tests, any impact of the leakage appeared to be contained by silt fences erected near the devastated reactors.

The utility is already injecting the chemical sodium silicate into part of the seawall separating the ocean from the plant site to prevent ground water from seeping through. It said it now intended to solidify a larger part of the seawall with the chemical.

The March 2011 earthquake and tsunami knocked out cooling systems at the Fukushima plant, triggering fuel meltdowns and causing radiation leakage, food contamination and mass evacuations.

Tepco this month acknowleged that levels of radiation in groundwater had soared, suggesting highly toxic materials from the plant were getting closer to the Pacific.





Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Nadolo out
  2. Unapproved move
  3. No rush
  4. Ruggers to shave
  5. School observe Diwali in style
  6. Auditor cites poor record keeping
  7. Pink morning fundraiser
  8. Fish spawning critical
  9. Diwali treat for elderly
  10. Call to protect resources

Top Stories this Week

  1. False rumours warning Friday (17 Oct)
  2. Death shocks family Monday (20 Oct)
  3. Biman gets nod Saturday (18 Oct)
  4. Detailed report Friday (17 Oct)
  5. Inside Fiji sevens Tuesday (21 Oct)
  6. Public access Tuesday (21 Oct)
  7. Budget overspent Wednesday (22 Oct)
  8. 8-room home gutted Friday (17 Oct)
  9. Forgery suspect still in remand Tuesday (21 Oct)
  10. $20m in excess Wednesday (22 Oct)