News / Asia

Fukushima Operator Acknowledges Contaminated Water Flowing into Sea

An aerial view shows the No.3 reactor building at Tokyo Electric Power Co. [TEPCO]'s tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, July 18, 2013.
An aerial view shows the No.3 reactor building at Tokyo Electric Power Co. [TEPCO]'s tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, July 18, 2013.
Reuters
The operator of Japan's stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant said on Monday that contaminated ground water likely had 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 broadcast 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 already is 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 acknowledged that levels of radiation in groundwater had soared, suggesting highly toxic materials from the plant were getting closer to the Pacific.

You May Like

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
July 24, 2013 12:52 AM
It has been expected that some amount of radioactive materials seeped into groundwater because pools to store washing water of nuclear power plants had some leak. It was TEPCO's laziness that they has not checked groundwater near the sea. TEPCO is also suspected to avoid protest from pubric opinion to pro-neclear power plant Abe before the upper house election by delaying this announcement until just the day after the election.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid