News / Asia

TEPCO 'Losing Faith' in Leaking Fukushima Water Pits

FILE - An aerial view shows Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, March 11, 2013.
FILE - An aerial view shows Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, March 11, 2013.
Reuters
The company that runs a Japanese nuclear power plant destroyed by a tsunami two years ago said on Tuesday it was losing faith in temporary storage pits for radioactive water - but it doesn't have anywhere else to put it.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said it had found a new leak at one of the pits at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Three out of seven storage pits are now leaking, compounding clean-up difficulties after the world's worst nuclear crisis in 25 years.

"We cannot deny the fact that our faith in the underwater tanks is being lost," TEPCO General Manager Masayuki Ono told a hastily arranged news conference.

FILE - TEPCO General Manager Masayuki Ono speaks during a news conference at the company's head office in Tokyo, March 19, 2013.FILE - TEPCO General Manager Masayuki Ono speaks during a news conference at the company's head office in Tokyo, March 19, 2013.
x
FILE - TEPCO General Manager Masayuki Ono speaks during a news conference at the company's head office in Tokyo, March 19, 2013.
FILE - TEPCO General Manager Masayuki Ono speaks during a news conference at the company's head office in Tokyo, March 19, 2013.
"We can't move all the contaminated water to above ground [tanks] if we opt not to use the underground reservoirs," Ono said. "There isn't enough capacity and we need to use what is available."

A tsunami crashed into the power plant north of Tokyo on March 11, 2011, causing fuel-rod meltdowns at three reactors, radioactive contamination of air, sea and food and triggering the evacuation of 160,000 people.

The fresh leak was found in the No. 1 storage pool where contaminated water from the leaking No. 2 pit was being transferred. TEPCO has halted the transfer of the contaminated water.

Ono said on Monday TEPCO did not have enough tank space should it need to move the water out of the storage pits, which were dug into higher ground away from the damaged reactors and lined with waterproof material. The company has stepped up construction of the sturdier tanks, he said.

TEPCO said over the weekend about 120,000 litres (32,000 gallons) of contaminated water leaked from the No. 2 and 3 pits. The plant's cooling system has also broken down twice in recent weeks.

The government instructed TEPCO to carry out a "fundamental" review of the problems at the plant, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters on Monday.

TEPCO's president, Naomi Hirose, was also summoned to the Industry Ministry to explain the leaks and got a public dressing down from the minister, Toshimitsu Motegi.

Immediately after the explosions at the plant, TEPCO released some radioactive water into the sea, prompting protests from neighboring countries. Many nations put restrictions on imports of Japanese food after the disaster.

It was the worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

Last month, a senior TEPCO executive said the company was struggling to stop groundwater flooding into the damaged reactor buildings and it may take as long as four years to fix the problem.

You May Like

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Patrick McFadden from: Phillipsburg NJ USA
April 09, 2013 9:36 PM
For 2 years now I've watched in amazement as the world sits by and does NOTHING about Fukushima except let a utility company try and fix a disaster of biblical proportions. During this time the brain drain has been accelerated leaving only an overwhelmed group of undertrained employees to try an fix a plethora of highly dangerous problems that have begun,and will continue to, plague this earth for thousands of years into our future.
I beg of you, plead with you, Japan, please bring in all the worlds resources to try and stop this madness that is only getting worse. The world needs you to open up your doors so that we all do not die a slow and awfull death. All life on earth depends on this to happen.
PLEASE !!!!! Patrick

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs