Concrete Pit Leaking Radioactive Water Into Ocean

Japan trying to plug newly found crack at Fukushima plant
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2011 9:14 AM CDT
Concrete Pit Leaking Radiation at Japan Plant
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, right, speaks to employees of Tokyo Electric Power Co. as he visits J-Village, a national training center at Naraha town, Fukushima prefecture.   (AP Photo/Prime Minister's Office of Japan)

(Newser) – Japan might have figured out why seawater near the Fukushima plant has been showing such high levels of radioactivity: a cracked concrete maintenance pit. The newly discovered crack may have been allowing radioactive water to leak directly into the ocean since the earthquake, and workers are trying to plug it by pouring new concrete, reports AP. "There could be other similar cracks in the area, and we must find them as quickly as possible," said a plant official.

Japan's prime minister, meanwhile, made his first visit to areas hit by the tsunami, notes Reuters. "It will be kind of a long battle, but the government will be working hard together with you until the end," Naoto Kan told evacuees at one makeshift camp. Three weeks after the quake, some sobering numbers: 11,800 confirmed deaths, 15,500 people missing, 165,000 people living in shelters, 260,000 households without running water, and 170,000 without electricity. (Read more Fukushima Dai-ichi stories.)

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