Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, has reported a radioactive water leakage at the plant to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The incident involved 5.5m³ of water leakage from a caesium absorption tower during cleaning operations.
The leak occurred during the process of flushing valves from a water filtration system in preparation for an inspection. A valve was inadvertently left open. It was then closed by workers and the leak ceased six minutes later.
The company has given assurances that the incident is not connected to the Advanced Liquid Processing System-treated water discharge.
It has not caused any significant changes in radiation levels at the site and poses no risk to the public or the environment.
A contractor at the nuclear power station observed the leak from the caesium absorption tower, which is located within the high-temperature incinerator building.
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This facility is instrumental in removing caesium and strontium from contaminated water at the site.
Tepco’s subsequent assessment revealed that the leaked water was a combination of contaminated water from the absorption system and the filtered water used for cleaning.
The total volume of leaked water contains an estimated 0.022 terabecquerels of radioactive substances.
The company has taken steps to manage the potential soil contamination resulting from the leak.
Access to the affected area has been restricted and soil samples have been collected for analysis.
Tepco also notified the Nuclear Regulatory Authority of Japan, which is currently conducting an on-site investigation to further evaluate the situation.
In August 2023, the company began releasing the treated water to decommission the plant after the nuclear disaster caused by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.