AT LEAST 45 tonnes of highly radioactive water has leaked from a purification facility at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, and some of it may have reached the Pacific Ocean.
Nearly nine months after Fukushima No. 1 was ravaged by an earthquake and tsunami, the plant continues to pose a major environmental threat. Before the latest leak, the Fukushima accident had been responsible for the largest single release of radioactivity into the ocean, threatening wildlife and fisheries in the region, experts have said.
The new radioactive water leak called into question the progress that the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, appeared to have made in bringing its reactors under control. The company, known as TEPCO, has said that it hopes to bring the plant to a stable state known as a cold shutdown by the end of the year.
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