Radioactive water is leaking from storage tanks at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
When an earthquake followed by a tsunami hit Japan more than two years ago, power was lost to the cooling system at the nuclear power plant. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant suffered a meltdown in three of its six reactors. In order to contain the meltdown, water was sprayed on the towers to cool the radioactive fuel.
This water became radioactive. Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) built retaining ponds constructed from two layers of polyethylene linings and an outer clay lining. While cesium is removed from the water before storage, other radioactive elements are still present.
Now, three of the seven retaining ponds have been discovered to be leaking. At least 32,000 gallons have escaped the reservoirs.
In the past, some of the radioactive water has leaked into the ocean. This time, TEPCO officials assure the public that no radioactive water has made it to the ocean because “there is no drainage ditch near the reservoir.” The Japanese government has ordered TEPCO to fix the leaks.
Nuclear power plant in Japan at night photo via Shutterstock