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Japan Nuclear Crisis: Radioactive Water Leak Traced To Crack In Fukushima Shaft

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A crack in a system of concrete trenches and tunnels has been identified as a possible route through which water has been leaking to the sea from Fukushima Daiichi unit 2. Work is under way to seal the crack.

Water had previously been discovered in a concrete shaft which carries power cables to the plant’s sea water intake pumps. Water was seen spilling into the sea from a crack in the side of the shaft measuring some 20 centimetres.

On 2 April Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) tried twice to stop the leak by pouring concrete into the shaft, but this failed to change the rate of water leakage.

Concrete was poured into the shaft in attempts to stop the crack (Image: Tepco)
Concrete was poured into the shaft in attempts to stop the crack (Image: Tepco)

The next day the company tried injecting polymer into the shaft as another way to end the discharges. This was followed with the injection of a tracer to enable the water flow patterns to be examined.

The system of tunnels which is connected to the bottom of the turbine building for unit 2 also connects to the shaft, and it is now assumed that contaminated water from the turbine building has flowed into the shaft and through the crack into the sea. In response, Tepco has added three additional offshore sampling stations to monitor discharges.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News

World Nuclear News

World Nuclear News

World Nuclear News is an online service dedicated to covering developments related to nuclear power. Established in 2007, WNN has grown rapidly to welcome over 40,000 individual readers to the website each month, while its free daily and weekly emails both reach more than 16,000 people. These figures represent a broad audience that includes not only nuclear professionals but also journalists, researchers, opinion leaders, policy-makers, and the general public.

One thought on “Japan Nuclear Crisis: Radioactive Water Leak Traced To Crack In Fukushima Shaft

  • Avatar
    April 5, 2011 at 12:56 pm
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    ‘Reassuring’ the public takes the place of informing the public of the real dangers. This disaster will affect the world, not just Japan, and it is a wise step for all families to purchase a handheld geiger counter so as to know the truth of contamination of goods in the global marketplace. I’d also say that the nuclear power industry’s statements and ‘reassurances’ should be read as a political strategy to retain the billions of dollars it enjoys from government subsidies and research grants.

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