Typhoon Etau causes more leakage at Fukushima

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Fukushima in 2011.
Image: Digital Globe.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Radioactive water has been leaking from the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant following damage caused by Typhoon Etau. The plant's drainage system has been inundated by a surge of sea water brought in by the typhoon, which reached Japan on Wednesday. A spokesperson for TEPCO, the company that runs the plant, yesterday said they were investigating the leaked water but it did not present a significant danger.

This comes after authorities in eastern Japan ordered over 100,000 people to leave the area as a precautionary measure as the typhoon proceeded to flood the town of Joso. Up to 25 people are still missing and at least three are dead as a consequence of the flooding. Hundreds of thousands more people in the region have been encouraged to evacuate as well. Rescue efforts are being hampered by the floods, with some people being plucked from roofs and cars by teams in helicopters.

The Fukushima nuclear plant was damaged after a huge earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. As recently as April this year there were concerns about leakages as a result of electrical problems with water pumps that caused contaminated water to escape into the Pacific Ocean. A large volume of water used as part of the cooling mechanism before the reactors were damaged has since been stored in numerous steel drums.


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