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Latest Radioactive Leak at Fukushima: How Is It Different?

      

An aerial view shows the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and its storage tanks for contaminated water (bottom) August 20. Leakage from a temporary storage tank has raised new concerns about the ongoing problems at the plant.  Photograph by Kyodo/Reuters

The latest leakage at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant comes from a different, more contaminated water source and raises new questions about TEPCO's ability to manage the crisis.

nationalgeographic.com - by Patrick J. Kiger - August 21, 2013

In the latest crisis to strike the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) has discovered that 300 tons (nearly 72,000 gallons) of highly radioactive water has leaked from a holding tank into the ground over the past month.

The development comes on top of TEPCO's admission last month that an estimated 300 tons of radioactive groundwater, which picks up small amounts of contamination when it flows through the damaged reactor buildings, has been leaking into the Pacific Ocean every day.  (See related story: "Fukushima's Radioactive Water Leak: What You Should Know.")

The new storage tank leak presents a different and potentially more serious problem than the ongoing groundwater flow leaks.

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