The operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant said Tuesday workers had spilled four tonnes of radioactive water, likely contaminating the soil and possibly groundwater.
Workers were pumping rain water that was trapped in a concrete gutter into an empty 12-tonne tank that sat on open soil, said a spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO).
“Work crew started operating the pump around 10:38 am. At 11:50 am, they found water was spilling from the manhole on top of the tank,” the spokesman said.
TEPCO has estimated roughly four tonnes of collected rain water might have escaped. The extent of contamination was unclear, the spokesman added, although it was not thought to be highly polluted.