Skip to main content

New radioactive water leak at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant

By Yoko Wakatsuki, CNN
February 20, 2014 -- Updated 1228 GMT (2028 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • TEPCO says it discovered highly contaminated water leaking from a tank
  • An estimated 100 metric tons flowed over a barrier and onto the ground, it says
  • The company says it has shut off the flow of water into the tank and the leak has stopped
  • TEPCO has struggled to manage the vast amounts of tainted water at crippled plant

Tokyo (CNN) -- A large amount of radioactive water has leaked from a holding tank at Japan's troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, its operator said Thursday.

The leak of an estimated 100 metric tons of highly contaminated water was discovered late Wednesday, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said in a statement.

The tainted water flowed over a barrier around the tank and is being absorbed into the ground, TEPCO said. The plant has shut off the inflow of water into the tank and the leaking has stopped, it added.

The company doesn't believe that there was any leakage of the radioactive water into the nearby Pacific Ocean.

See inside Japan's damaged nuclear plant

Since the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan in March 2011 set off meltdowns at three of the reactors at the nuclear plant, TEPCO has been storing the enormous volumes of water contaminated at the site in a steadily growing collection of containers.

The company has struggled to manage the vast amounts of radioactive water, with a number of leaks reported last year.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government vowed to step in to deal with the toxic water crisis at the plant that caused concern in Japan and abroad about the scale of the problem faced by TEPCO.

The leak reported Thursday is one of the largest since TEPCO reported last summer that about 300 tons of radioactive water had leaked from a tank.

CNN first learned about the latest incident on Twitter.

READ: Inside Fukushima: Decommissioning Tepco's stricken nuclear reactor

READ: Journey to the heart of Fukushima's crippled nuclear plant

READ: Fukushima's nuclear power mess: Five big questions

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2245 GMT (0645 HKT)
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0012 GMT (0812 HKT)
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1026 GMT (1826 HKT)
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1054 GMT (1854 HKT)
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1431 GMT (2231 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT