TOKYO -- Japan's crippled nuclear power plant leaked about 45 tons of highly radioactive water from a purification device over the weekend, its operator said, and some may have drained into the ocean.
The leak is a reminder of the difficulties facing Tokyo Electric Power Co. as it tries to meet its goal of bringing the tsunami-damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant to a cold shutdown by year's end.
A pool of radioactive water was discovered midday Sunday around a decontamination device, TEPCO said in a statement on its website. After the equipment was turned off, the leak appeared to stop. Later, workers found a crack in a concrete barrier leaking the contaminated water into a gutter that leads to the ocean.
TEPCO estimated about 300 liters leaked out before the crack was blocked with sandbags.
Officials were checking whether any water had reached the nearby ocean.
The leakage of radioactive water from the Fukushima plant into the Pacific Ocean in the weeks after the March 11 accident caused widespread concern that seafood in the coastal waters would be contaminated.
The pooled water around the purification device was measured Sunday at 16,000 bequerels per liter of cesium-134, and 29,000 bequerels per liter of cesium-137, TEPCO said. That's 270 times and 322 times higher, respectively, than government safety limits, according to the Citizens' Nuclear Information Center in Tokyo.
Cesium-137 is dangerous because it can last for decades in the environment, releasing cancer-causing radiation. The half-life of cesium-134 is about two years, while the half-life of cesium-137 is about 30 years.
TEPCO is using the purification devices to decontaminate water that has been cooling the reactors. Three of the plant's reactor cores mostly melted down when the March 11 tsunami knocked out the plant's cooling system.
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People participate in movements when that particular movement
(1) meets their concrete and tangible needs, (2) offers individuals real experiences in the movement's outcome (3) provides a sense of community, (4) makes available ongoing education and skills training and (5) shows direct and effective ways for people to take further action.
A loose interpretation of a message sent on Sunday, October 4th, 2009 by the Program on Corporations, Law & Democracy
A worker walks out of a factory building outfitted with nets, installed to prevent workers from jumping to their deaths, at a Foxconn factory, in Langfang, Hebei Province August 3, 2010. There have been nearly a dozen suicides at Foxconn plants around China this year alone, prompting calls for investigations into poor working conditions at the plants that make parts for customers such as Apple, HP and Dell. (REUTERS/Jason Lee) #
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You can't have peace for the sake of peace. Peace is a consequence of an equitable arrangement.