Extremely high tritium level found in water in pit at Fukushima plant

July 29, 2013

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said on July 28 that an extremely high level of radioactive tritium has been detected in a pool of water that has accumulated in a pit in the compound of its crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The level stood at 8.7 million becquerels per liter of water, which was 145 times that of the permissible level stipulated under the law, the plant operator said.

Radioactive water apparently flowed into the pit, located on the ocean side of the turbine building for the No. 2 reactor, immediately following the March 2011 nuclear accident and has remained there, the utility said.

On June 26, the Nuclear Regulation Authority expressed concerns that high tritium levels detected in the sea near the plant were a result of contaminated water leaking from the site.

It is believed that more than 5,000 tons of radioactive water still remain in the pit after flowing from the No. 2 reactor building to the turbine building and, then, into the pit.

On July 22, TEPCO admitted that some radioactive water is leaking into the sea from the compound of the nuclear plant.

It is suspected that some of the water that accumulated in the pit could have permeated the soil and leaked into the sea.

On July 27, the utility announced that an extremely high level of 2.35 billion becquerels of radioactive cesium per liter of water has been detected from the water that has accumulated in the pit.

A TEPCO official said the utility believes the radioactive water is remaining within the pit, although it would check for leaks into the soil and seal the ground to prevent leaks into the sea.

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
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Workers in the rain install underground walls to prevent contaminated groundwater from flowing into the ocean on July 22. (Pool)

Workers in the rain install underground walls to prevent contaminated groundwater from flowing into the ocean on July 22. (Pool)

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  • Workers in the rain install underground walls to prevent contaminated groundwater from flowing into the ocean on July 22. (Pool)

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