TEPCO ‘finds crack’ in Fukushima’s water tank after huge sea leak

000_hkg9034059.siWorkers from Japan’s TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi plant have located a crack in the bottom of a tank that may have leaked 300 tons of radioactive water in August, Japanese media reports. This comes as the company seeks to reopen another nuclear plant.

The water that was being pumped into the tank at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant could have caused the existing gap to expand and likely led to the massive leak, TV channel NHK reported. The leak which sparked the crisis came from one of the 1,000 above-ground storage tanks built inside the plant by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). The company promised to continue their investigations.

Moreover, silt fences intended to prevent soil containing radioactive substances from slipping into the ocean were found to be damaged on Thursday. The damage was found close to the buildings of the fifth and sixth units, NHK reported. Both were on cold shutdown for planned maintenance, thereby managing to avoid meltdowns.

A TEPCO spokesman said that the area was not a danger zone. “Radiation levels in this area’s seawater are very low, and no contaminated water tanks are placed near reactors 5 and 6,” he told AFP.

The fence is also designed to prevent radioactive material emerging from damaged units 1, 2, 3 and 4, where another separate fence is set up. It was damaged in April by rough waves and bad weather.