TOKYO, October 21 (Itar-Tass). — Radioactive water leaks outside the protective barriers around the clusters of tanks for the storage of contaminated fluid have been registered around 12 clusters at Japan’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi (Fukushima 1) nuclear power plant, the NPP operator - Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) reported on Monday.
The company said the leaks have been caused by heavy rain in the area of the NPP during the past week that intensified over the weekend. On Sunday, the rainfall level in the Fukushima prefecture reached 30 mm per hour. Meanwhile, the height of the concrete protective barriers that surround the clusters of tanks, is only 30 cm. TEPCO also acknowledged that it so far could not timely pump out the accumulating rainwater because the capacity of the NPP pumps is enough to lower the water level within the barriers by only 2 cm daily.
Experts have been trying to find out how much polluted water has spilled from the concrete barriers and measure the content of radioactive substances in it. TEPCO is afraid that the liquid could have flown into the sea.
Since the beginning of October, several incidents with rainwater have already occurred at the Fukushima 1 NPP. In early October, about 0.5 tonnes radioactive water spilled from the barriers. Meanwhile, last Wednesday, due to heavy rain caused by Typhoon Wipha, special reservoirs for rainwater harvesting overfilled. In this connection, the station’s employees had to discharge the liquid into the ground. TEPCO stressed, however, that the content of radioactive substances in the water was within the permissible limits.