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October 03, 2013

Another Toxic Leak Reported at Japan's Fukushima Nuclear Plant

by VOA News

The operator of Japan's tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant is apologizing for yet another leak of radioactive water.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company said on Thursday that about 430 liters of toxic waste water spilled, probably into the Pacific Ocean, when workers overfilled a storage tank.

The company says it was under pressure to fill the tank as high as possible in order to deal with large amounts of rainwater from recent typhoons. The tank did not have a gauge and was built on uneven ground.

The tank is one of about a thousand hastily built structures meant to hold the toxic water used to cool the plant's reactors after they were damaged by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

In August, TEPCO said about 300 tons of radioactive water leaked from one of the tanks, most of it reaching the ocean. It also acknowledged that hundreds of tons of toxic groundwater are seeping into the ocean every day.

The accidents have called into question TEPCO's ability to manage the cleanup effort. They have also prompted the Japanese government to step up its involvement in decommissioning the facility, a process that could take decades.

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