Highly radioactive water accumulating in underground tunnels at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is spreading to the surrounding soil, according to new data.
Radioactive substances of 400,000 becquerels per liter were found in water samples from a well at the wrecked nuclear power plant, the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., said on Sept. 27.
TEPCO said it detected radioactive materials that emit beta rays, including strontium, from a new observation well on the seaward side of the reactor complex earlier that day. Strontium is believed to accumulate in bones and cause bone cancer and leukemia.
According to TEPCO, the unusually high radioactivity levels were discovered in water sampled from a well it had recently dug on the seaward side between the No. 1 and No. 2 reactor buildings. It was the first time that the operator has measured levels of radioactive substances in the well, TEPCO said.
On July 5, a record reading of 900,000 becquerels was found in another well between the No. 2 reactor building and the sea, to which the newly dug well is closely located.
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