Fukushima Springs a New Toxic Leak

Contaminated water likely went into Pacific Ocean
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2013 7:19 AM CDT
This aerial photo shows the storage tank, fifth from left at left plot, which workers detected the water dripping from the top, at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013.   (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

(Newser) – For the second time in less than two months, a tank holding highly contaminated water has overflowed at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, Tepco said today. The tank was tilted on uneven ground and a worker misjudged its capacity; about 113 gallons of water spilled over a period as long as 12 hours. It likely went into the Pacific Ocean, Reuters reports. Workers discovered the leak yesterday, the BBC reports.

The water contained beta-emitting radioactive isotopes at 200,000 becquerels per liter; the legal limit is 30 becquerels per liter. A Tepco official noted the overflow happened "partly because we've had to fill our tanks to the brim in order to deal with rain water overflow following [a typhoon]." Japan's top government spokesperson was quick to slam Tepco's efforts to handle the situation, but said he thought it was under control now. (Read more Fukushima Dai-ichi stories.)

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