A second tank at the stricken Fukushima nuclear power station has reportedly leaked radioactive water into the Pacific. One hundred thirteen gallons of contaminated water is said to have spilled, after a plant worker misjudged the amount of liquid the container could hold. This tank was one of several built rapidly to contain excess cooling water, and is said to be tilting due to its uneven location.
All of the containers, says Reuters, are being filled to the brim because the plant simply doesn’t have enough space to hold the radioactive water. The contaminated water contains high levels of beta-emitting radioactive isotopes. Strontium 90 has a legal limit of just 300 becquerels per liter: the levels here are around 200,000. The Japanese government has said it will step in to deal with the problem, and is already footing a $470 million bill to build an “ice wall” in the ground around the reactor
It is just six weeks since Tepco, the firm running the plant, admitted that water was seeping from a tank into the ground around the facility. And earlier this year, officials realized that contaminated water from the plant had made it into the man-made harbor, after they saw water levels in the wastewater trench rising and falling with the tide.