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UPDATE1: 300 tons of highly toxic water leak from tank at Fukushima plant.

TOKYO, Japan, Aug. 20 Kyodo

(EDS: CHANGING DATELINE, UPDATING WITH MORE INFO)

An estimated 300 tons of highly radioactive water have leaked from one of the water storage tanks at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant, making it the worst leakage incident from such containers, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Tuesday.

TEPCO detected in the leaked water 80 million becquerels per liter of radioactive substances emitting beta rays, such as strontium-90, and admitted that it has not yet identified from which area of the tank the polluted water is escaping.

"We think the leakage is continuing," TEPCO spokesman Masayuki Ono told a press conference, but denied that toxic water is flowing into the adjacent Pacific Ocean on the grounds that the radiation level of the water in a nearby gutter was not high.

TEPCO calculated the amount of leakage based on the water level within the tank, which was about 2.9 meters lower than it should have been. The tank originally contained about 1,000 tons of contaminated water.

TEPCO has collected around 4 tons of the leaked water. Admitting that the toxic water has most likely flowed into the soil, TEPCO said it is currently working to prevent the spread of contamination.

The latest revelation came a day after TEPCO said puddles with extremely high radiation levels had been found near the tanks.

A massive volume of radioactive water has been accumulating at the Fukushima plant as a result of continuing water injections into the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors that suffered meltdowns during the nuclear crisis triggered by a huge earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.
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Publication:Japan Energy Scan
Date:Aug 26, 2013
Words:272
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