According to the operator, around 5,500 liters of radioactive water escaped from a leak at the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan. However, no signs of contamination were found around the plant, a spokeswoman for operator Tepco said on Thursday. The water came out on Wednesday morning and an employee discovered the leak while cleaning a filter. It was then immediately closed.
Although the operator Tepco does not assume that the surrounding area was contaminated, the soil around the leak should now be replaced, according to the spokeswoman. The water leaked from a part of the plant where radioactive water is treated.
Since August 2023, Tepco has been diverting some of the former cooling water from the nuclear power plant into the sea. To do this, it is prepared, filtered and diluted in several steps. Because the storage capacity for the radioactive water in the plant is not sufficient, a total of more than 1.3 million cubic meters will be discharged into the sea over decades.
According to TEPCO, all radioactive components except tritium are filtered out beforehand. Most experts agree with Japan that the procedure is safe.
The east coast of Japan was hit by a severe earthquake and tsunami in 2011. At that time, 18,000 people died. The cooling system in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant failed and a core meltdown occurred in three of the six reactors. It was the worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.