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Water leaks may become new Japan nuclear disaster

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TOKYO (AP) Japan's nuclear watchdog said a leak of highly radioactive water at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant could be the beginning of a new disaster a series of leaks of contaminated water from storage tanks.

The plant operator has built hundreds of steel tanks to store massive amounts of radioactive water coming from three melted reactors, as well as underground water running into reactor and turbine basements.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. says about 300 tons (300,000 liters, 80,000 gallons) of contaminated water leaked from one of the tanks, possibly through a seam. The leak is the fifth, and the worst, since last year involving tanks of the same design at the wrecked Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, raising concerns that contaminated water could begin leaking from storage tanks one after another.

"That's what we fear the most. We must remain alert. We should assume that what has happened once could happen again, and prepare for more," Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shunichi Tanaka told a news conference. "We are in a situation where there is no time to waste."

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TEPCO said the leaked water is believed to have mostly seeped into the ground after escaping from the barrier around the tank. It initially said the leak did not pose an immediate threat to the sea because of its distance about 500 meters (1,650 feet) from the coastline.

But TEPCO reversed that view late Wednesday and acknowledged a possible leak to the sea after detecting high radioactivity inside a gutter extending to the ocean.

The company also said the tank may have been leaking slowly for weeks through a possible flaw in its bottom. That could create extensive soil contamination and a blow to plans to release untainted underground water into the sea as part of efforts to reduce the amount of radioactive water.

The leaks have shaken confidence in the reliability of hundreds of tanks that are crucial for storing water that has been pumped into the broken reactors to keep melted radioactive fuel cool.

The plant suffered multiple meltdowns following a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 a level 7 "major accident" and the worst since Chernobyl in 1986.

About 350 of some 1,000 steel tanks built across the plant complex containing nearly 300,000 tons (300 million liters, 80 million gallons) of partially treated contaminated water are less-durable ones with rubber seams.

TEPCO says the tanks that have leaked use rubber seams that were intended to last about five years. TEPCO spokesman Masayuki Ono said it plans to build additional tanks with welded seams that are more watertight, but will still have to rely on ones with rubber seams.

Figuring out what to do with the radioactive water is among the most pressing issues affecting the cleanup process, which is expected to take decades.

http://xfinity.comcast.net/articles/news-world/20130820/AS--Japan-Nuclear/

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Very difficult to find out what is really going on here. My brother advised me to stay clear of sushi and sashimi for a while!

TEPCO appears to have a political stronghold, and this problem is not discussed that much on the news. I remember March 11 2011. It was frightening as the American and Japanese governments were giving different advice. One didn't know who to believe.

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Very difficult to find out what is really going on here. My brother advised me to stay clear of sushi and sashimi for a while!

TEPCO appears to have a political stronghold, and this problem is not discussed that much on the news. I remember March 11 2011. It was frightening as the American and Japanese governments were giving different advice. One didn't know who to believe.

Japan has decided saving face and maintaining it's place is the world, is more important than the health of its citizens, or the rest of the world, for that matter. Immediate needs take precedence over future goals. The Japanese model is a big lie. If you have ever encountered Japanese fishermen anywhere in the Pacific Ocean, this would come as no surprise Edited by The Patriot

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Jacque you better get out of there. And stay away from California, that's where it will end up eventually.

Come rescue me lol!

well I don't intend to procreate so I am not really bothered. Once you have lived in Japan for a long time it is difficult to live anywhere else in the world. The food is great, the health service fantastic and a very low crime rate ( provided one has nothing to do with the yakuza).

I wish my fiance would move here but he hates Japan, the people etc. He's very much a New Yorker.Sigh.

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Japan has decided saving face and maintaining it's place is the world, is more important than the health of its citizens, or the rest of the world, for that matter. Immediate needs take precedence over future goals. The Japanese model is a big lie. If you have ever encountered Japanese fishermen anywhere in the Pacific Ocean, this would come as no surprise

i think the government doesn't want to have all the citizens in a state of panic.

Since the big earthquake in 2011, most young people get dressed straight after coitus in case there is an earthquake . People here have emergency kits at the ready in their houses Incase of an earthquake. I used to mock them, but ended up suffering after the big one as the banks and shops were all closed, and there was no water, electricity or gas for months.

Edited by Jacque67

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