Tokyo Electric Power Co. has discovered radioactive materials from groundwater at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. It is the second such instance, which suggests contaminated water that leaked from a storage tank is spreading underground.
The utility said Sept. 9 that 3,200 becquerels of radioactive materials, such as strontium, were detected per liter of water taken from an observation well the previous day.
The well is located 20 meters north of the storage tank from which the company said on Aug. 20 that an estimated 300 tons of highly radioactive water leaked.
TEPCO will investigate how widely the leaked water has spread and check whether it will affect plans to intercept uncontaminated groundwater and release it into the ocean.
The utility is planning to pump water from a well 130 meters on the seaward side of the observation well before it flows into buildings and mixes with radioactive water generated from reactor cooling operations.
The company previously detected 650 becquerels of radioactive materials per liter of water taken Sept. 4 from an observation well 20 meters south of the storage tank.
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