The Fukushima Dai-ichi nightmare just got even more nightmarish. A storage tank at the devastated nuclear plant has sprung a leak, spilling out roughly 300 tons of contaminated water, Reuters reports. And by contaminated, we mean that standing within a couple feet of it for an hour would give a worker five times the annual upper limit on radiation exposure. "We failed to discover the leak at an early stage," a Tepco official says, which means the monitoring system needs to be checked as well.
The ongoing breach comes on top of the the groundwater leaks officials already knew about. To deal with those leaks, officials have devised an ambitious plan to freeze the soil around the plant into a massive wall of ice, National Geographic reports. Refrigerators like those used to cool hockey rinks would pump coolant through tubes built vertically into the ground. "There is no precedent in the world to create a water-shielding wall ... on such a large scale," Japan's chief Cabinet secretary said yesterday, according to the Japan Times.