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Toxic water at Fukushima plant leaked into nearby bay(Kyodo)

fukushimaosensui110705_3TOKYO (Kyodo) — Highly radioactive water at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has leaked into a nearby bay, but the cause and amount of the leakage have yet to be investigated, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Monday.

A company official said the bay is surrounded by fences and the plant operator believes the water did not flow into the ocean outside the bay, but details remain unknown.

According to TEPCO, radiation levels more than 70 times greater than usual were detected in a gutter on the premises of the complex on Sunday. The levels of beta ray-emitting substances, such as strontium, measured up to 7,230 becquerels per liter as of Sunday morning, but fell to 20 becquerels by around 10 p.m. the same day.

TEPCO had shut the gutter, which drains rain water into the bay, but the firm opened the gate on Monday after confirming that radiation levels have lowered.

The problem of radioactive water building up at the Fukushima site remains a major challenge in the process of decommissioning nearly four years after the outbreak of the nuclear crisis. In December, TEPCO said around 6 tons of radioactive water leaked into the ground, in a series of recent mishaps at the plant.

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