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Another Fukushima Leak Likely Sends More Contaminated Water into Ocean

Oct 03, 2013 05:11 PM EDT

Another leak of radioactive water at the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear campus was reported Thursday, and some of the water may have have reached the plant's harbor on the Pacific Ocean.

The water, which leaked out of a holding tank, contained 200,000 becquerels per liter of beta-emitting radioactive isotopes, including strontium 90. Levels of strontium 90 were found to be 6,667 times the legal limit, which is 30 becquerels per liter.

Tokyo Electric Power Co., the plant's operator, said an employee found radioactive water leaking out of a storage tank late Wednesday.

In a press kit regarding the leak, which took place near a drainage channel, Tepco said: "We cannot deny the possibility of the water having flowed into the drainage channel C through a side ditch near the tank, and then flowed out into the ocean."

"We sincerely apologize to the residents nearby and broader society for the extreme anxiety and inconvenience caused by this matter," Tepco said in a statement.

About 430 liters (113 gallons) of water were spilled over a 12 hour period, Reuters reported, adding that the amount of water the leaky storage tank could hold was underestimated.

Yoshihide Suga, the top spokesman for the Japanese government, said the latest leak, the second of this kind in less than two monthsm further highlights Tepco's inability to sufficiently control the situation at the beleagured nuclear campus.

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