The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) reported on Saturday that has leaked a ‘small’ amount of radioactive water from the nuclear power plant Fukushima-1, after the break in the reactor coolant system.
In a press conference, TEPCO spokesman Masayuki Ono reported that there has been a leakage of 120 tons of radioactive water in one of the seven containers -that is, 0.85 percent of a deposit, which are used to store the water used to cool the nuclear core.
Apparently, the engineers of the Japanese power company water said that strontium has been detected between impermeable layers covering storage facilities, as reported by public broadcaster NHK.
TEPCO has already launched an investigation to determine the source of the leak and, meanwhile, has begun to pump 13,000 cubic meters of water left in the tank to the other six, a task that will take about two weeks.
On 11 March 2011 an earthquake and tsunami rocked the Fukushima Prefecture, located in northeastern Japan, leading to a humanitarian crisis and a nuclear incident, which became the largest in history, even over the one in Chernobyl (Ukraine).
Since then, TEPCO operators have tried to cool the nuclear plant pumping water to their facilities and then purifying it with special systems to ensure environmental safety.
The contaminated water has been accumulating in seven tanks that were installed around the nuclear plant, each of which has a capacity of 14,000 tons, although it is believed that this capacity may be insufficient to hold the water.
The leak occurred shortly after the reactor’s cooling system shut down for three hours, apparently due to an electrical fault, although the causes are unclear. The incident took place at 14:30 (local time) on Friday and affected the cooling system of the pool where the fuel rods from reactor three are located.
According to TEPCO, the suspension resulting from the reactor three has reached a temperature of 15 degrees celsius, but stressed it would take several weeks to exceeded the legal limit of 65 degrees celsius.
TEPCO believes the cause may be an electrical fault caused accidentally by workers that used a wire mesh to place it around the control panels that are outside Fukushima-1.
The aim of these wire mesh is to prevent access of animals to the control panels, after a rat cause a power outage on March 18.