Japanese Nucler plant operator says that about 45 tons of highly radio active water leaked out from a purification facility and may have reached the Pacific Ocean.
The leak comes as Tokyo Electric Power company (Tepco) brings the damaged Fukushima Daiichi under control. A statement by the company said that utility workers found radio active water pooling in a catchment next to a purification device. The system was then switched off and the leak appeared to stop. But later it was discovered that leaked water was escaping through the cracks in the catchment's concrete wall and reached an external gutter.
According to a report in the newspaper Asahi Shimbun, as much as 220 tons of water may have leaked out. The water had about one million times as much radioactive strontium as the maximum safe level set by the government, but appeared to have already cleaned of radioactive cesium before leaking out. Both elements are readily absorbed by living tissue and can greatly increase the risk of developing cancer.
Tepco said it was exploring ways to stop any more water from escaping. Since the earth quake in March, workers have been trying to cool the reactors by flooding them with water, which is contaminated with radioactivity in the process which now have become another major problem.