The utility company in charge of the Fukushima nuclear power plant (pictured) has reported another setback in its struggle to stop radioactive water escaping the plant.
Toyko Electric Power Company (TEPCO) says around 300 tonnes of radioactive water leaked through an open valve from a storage container into surrounding soil, according to reports.
The storage tank contains water pumped into a reactor to cool fuel rods during the disastrous meltdown in April 2011, mixed with ground water which seeped into the reactor basement.
The spill was uncovered when crews noticed a drop in the water levels of the 1,000-tonne tank, a spokesperson told Bloomberg, although they were unable to explain why the valve – used for draining rainwater – had been left open.
TEPCO has more than 1,000 tanks on the site capable of holding 390,000 tonnes of water in total and around 85% of this capacity has reportedly been used so far.
The announcement comes just weeks after TEPCO admitted that 300 tonnes of contaminated water was leaking into the Pacific Ocean each day. Earlier this month Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signalled the utility company isn’t up to dealing with the disaster on its own, though Japan’s government hasn’t revealed what measures are being considered.