Tuesday 20 August 2013 5:59 am

Largest ever radioactive leak from steel tank reported at Fukushima

Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), operator of Japan’s tsunami-hit nuclear power plant, has said around 300 tonnes of radioactive water has leaked from one of hundreds of storage tanks.

While contaminated water is entering the Pacific Ocean at a rate of hundreds of tonnes every day, the latest leak at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant is the worst yet to come from a steel tank in terms of volume. The radiation level of the water from this leak is said to be around 100 millisieverts per hour – five times the annual exposure limit for plant workers.

TEPCO has said that, because the tank is around 100m from the coastline, the leak does not pose an immediate threat – although regulators have suggested the water could reach the sea through a drain gutter.