Strontium detected in well on seaward side of Fukushima plant

July 12, 2013

By SHUNSUKE KIMURA/ Staff Writer

Radioactive materials, including strontium, have been found on the premises of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in a well farther afield from those in which high levels of radioactivity were previously detected, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

TEPCO, operator of the plant, said levels of strontium and other radioactive substances as high as 1,400 becquerels per liter were detected in water collected from the No. 3 observation well on July 11. That is 200 meters south of wells where high radioactive levels were found earlier.

The latest discoveries suggest the possibility radioactive materials may be spreading underground on the seaward side of the reactor complex.

“We cannot decide whether radioactive contamination has been spreading underground until we analyze more data,” a TEPCO official said.

In May, the utility began increased surveillance after radioactive contamination was first discovered in groundwater at the nuclear complex, which suffered a triple meltdown following the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

By SHUNSUKE KIMURA/ Staff Writer
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The Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant seen from the sea off Fukushima Prefecture on April 23, 2013 (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

The Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant seen from the sea off Fukushima Prefecture on April 23, 2013 (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

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  • The Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant seen from the sea off Fukushima Prefecture on April 23, 2013 (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

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