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Fukushima power plant crisis gets worse

Updated September. 16, 2013 06:18

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Tritium levels were found to have soared 36 folds over the past five days at a monitoring well near a wastewater storage tank at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant, Japan, meaning that radioactive water leaks seeped from the tank into the ground are flowing into groundwater.

Tokyo Electric Power Company announced Saturday that the level of radioactive tritium found in groundwater collected Friday from one of the wells near the leaking tank rose to 150,000 becquerels per liter. Statutory allowance is 60,000 becquerels.

The level of tritium, which was first detected on September 8 at 4,200 becquerels per liter, has increased day after day to reach 150,000 becquerels Friday. The power company said, “radioactive water leaks from the tank, which seeped into the ground, seem to have flowed into underground water increasing tritium levels.”

The power company said Friday in a meeting on marine monitoring of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that radioactive cesium levels in the ocean near the power plant had been released lower than the actual levels by several Becquerel’s per liter due to errors in the measuring process and that this problem was corrected in June.