Skip to main content

New radioactive water leak at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant

By Yoko Wakatsuki, CNN
updated 7:28 AM EST, Thu February 20, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • TEPCO says it discovered highly contaminated water leaking from a tank
  • An estimated 100 metric tons flowed over a barrier and onto the ground, it says
  • The company says it has shut off the flow of water into the tank and the leak has stopped
  • TEPCO has struggled to manage the vast amounts of tainted water at crippled plant

Tokyo (CNN) -- A large amount of radioactive water has leaked from a holding tank at Japan's troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, its operator said Thursday.

The leak of an estimated 100 metric tons of highly contaminated water was discovered late Wednesday, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said in a statement.

The tainted water flowed over a barrier around the tank and is being absorbed into the ground, TEPCO said. The plant has shut off the inflow of water into the tank and the leaking has stopped, it added.

The company doesn't believe that there was any leakage of the radioactive water into the nearby Pacific Ocean.

See inside Japan's damaged nuclear plant

Since the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan in March 2011 set off meltdowns at three of the reactors at the nuclear plant, TEPCO has been storing the enormous volumes of water contaminated at the site in a steadily growing collection of containers.

The company has struggled to manage the vast amounts of radioactive water, with a number of leaks reported last year.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government vowed to step in to deal with the toxic water crisis at the plant that caused concern in Japan and abroad about the scale of the problem faced by TEPCO.

The leak reported Thursday is one of the largest since TEPCO reported last summer that about 300 tons of radioactive water had leaked from a tank.

CNN first learned about the latest incident on Twitter.

READ: Inside Fukushima: Decommissioning Tepco's stricken nuclear reactor

READ: Journey to the heart of Fukushima's crippled nuclear plant

READ: Fukushima's nuclear power mess: Five big questions

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:02 PM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
updated 11:33 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
updated 12:07 PM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
updated 10:40 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
updated 5:59 AM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
updated 9:19 AM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
With so many new attractions on the way, the next few years are going to be a roller coaster ride.
updated 12:29 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
Thomas Malthus famously predicted that rising populations would create a food crunch: Could this be true?
updated 5:45 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
The lives of everyone close to Oscar Pistorius and the girl he killed are changed forever, his siblings say.
updated 5:30 AM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Gene Simmons reflects on 40 years of KISS, and how even rock royalty needs sound business principles.
updated 6:33 AM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
From "Sick Man of Europe" to the world's fourth largest economy.
updated 5:15 AM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT