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  • » 08/21/2013, 00.00


    Fukushima leaks radioactive water. Government faces nuclear emergency

    After the Japanese executive’s admission Tepco raises the situation of the eastern coasts of the country to a "level 3", or "serious accident". In recent days, more than 300 tons of radioactive water has leaked from a tank at the nuclear power plant affected by the earthquake of 11 March 2011.

    Tokyo (AsiaNews) - Fear has returned to haunt the eastern coast of Japan this morning, after the Japanese Nuclear Agency raised the alert to "Level 3" (or "serious accident" on the International Nuclear Event Scale) following the leaking of 300 tons of highly radioactive water from the Fukushima plant. The classification at level 3 (out of a scale of up to 7) is equivalent to the "release of a large amount of radioactive material from inside the installation."

    The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) confirmed the leak two days ago. In addition, the company engineers - acting on behalf of the government as "liquidator" of radioactive material still present in the damaged plant - have said that some of the leaked material has seeped into the ground. The tank is one of 26 installed next to the reactor 4 and the tanks are surrounded by a low barrier low.

    TEPCO now plans to remove the soil near the damaged tank and measure radiation levels in the area to determine the extent of the radioactive water leakage from the nuclear plant. The company also had to admit that there is a record concentration of tritium - a radioactive isotope of hydrogen emitted from nuclear power plants - in the sea in front of Fukushima Daiichi. The samples taken on August 15 not far from the reactor 1 contain a tritium level of 4,700 becquerels per liter, up from 3,800 Bq / l of 11 August. The water taken on August 15 near the reactor 2 contains 2,600 Bq / L of tritium.

    This is the highest level of leakage since the nuclear disaster. The radioactive contamination of the Pacific Ocean around the Fukushima power plant is due to leakage of the water contained in the basement of the reactor (and now also in the emergency tanks) but Tepco can not explain the increased levels of isotopes from May 2013 . At the end of June, the plant had detected a tritium concentration of 1,100 Bq / l in the sea, 25 meters from the coast. The normal level in clean waters is about 50Bq / l, but can reach up to 350 Bq / l before generating problems.

    On 11 March 2011, an earthquake hit the eastern coast of Japan, causing a huge tsunami - with waves of over 40 meters high - which swept the area of ​​Fukushima and its nuclear power plants. The magnitude 9 earthquake had a catastrophic impact: 15,850 dead, 6,011 wounded and 3,287 missing; 800 thousand buildings destroyed; fires in many areas, roads and railways damaged; dams breached. Four million families in the Northeast were left without electricity and a million without water.



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    See also

    28/03/2011 JAPAN
    Fukushima still out of control: months or years to return to normal
    Radioactive levels in the sea close to the reactors 5 and 6 grows, while there are problems to reactivate the normal cooling system. A British expert says: "The complexity of the situation is certainly equal to that of Chernobyl."

    12/03/2012 JAPAN
    Japan remembers its 19,000 tsunami victims
    The country halts on Sunday for a minute of silence. A memorial is inaugurated in Tokyo for the victims. Some 16,000 people protest against nuclear power, demand compensation for victims.

    30/06/2011 JAPAN
    Earthquake in Japan, 7 injured. The country thinks about energy policies
    The epicenter is in the central prefecture of Nagano. After Fukushima the country anxiously wonders how to rebuild the area affected by the earthquake and tsunami, doing without nuclear energy. From tomorrow the supply to industry will decline by 15%. For individuals it means a change in the lifestyle. The government distributes "condolence money" to those who have lost a relative. But not all accept it.

    21/03/2011 JAPAN
    Fukushima: signs of progress, but alarm over contaminated water, food and milk
    The technicians at the damaged power station were able to restore electricity in three of the reactors, and are trying to restore the water pumping system. No need to further expand the evacuation area (20 km) around Fukshima, but the emergency is not yet over.

    24/03/2011 JAPAN
    Death toll climbs amid progress at Fukushima
    Toll now stands at 26 thousand between dead or missing. The water in Tokyo returns to normal levels of radioactivity. Electricity restored to reactors 1 and 3. Three workers hospitalized for radioactive contamination. Highway to the north and the high-speed train service reopened. Many survivors not yet reached by rescue teams.

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