Radioactive water floods tunnel at Fukushima plant

December 20, 2011

Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Dec. 19 released a photo showing about 230 tons of radioactive water that had accumulated in an underground tunnel at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The tunnel, adjacent to the central waste treatment building, may have been flooded with water leaked from supposedly waterproof storage containers of highly radioactive water in the building.

The water in the tunnel was discovered on Dec. 18.

TEPCO said the tunnel is about 4.5 meters wide and about 54 meters in length. The radioactive water reached a height of about 50 centimeters and had one-100th the radioactivity concentration of the highly radioactive water in the building, according to the utility.

Water was dripping at the top of the tunnel from a tube about 5 cm in diameter used to house an electric wire. But that water had only about one-10,000th the radioactivity concentration of the water on the floor.

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency on Dec. 19 instructed TEPCO to move the water in the tunnel to a facility where it can be placed under appropriate control and to determine where the water had flowed in from.

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Radioactive water was found Dec. 18 in an underground tunnel at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. (Provided by Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

Radioactive water was found Dec. 18 in an underground tunnel at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. (Provided by Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

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  • Radioactive water was found Dec. 18 in an underground tunnel at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. (Provided by Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

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