Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant leaks water for at least the third time this month

Around 600 liters of water have leaked from Japan’s stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, forcing operators to stop cooling at a spent fuel pond, according to Reuters.

The plant's operator said no water containing radioactive materials had leaked into the ocean. According to news reports, the leak was at least the third at the plant this month.

On the Japanese coast north of Tokyo, the plant was wrecked ten months ago by an earthquake and tsunami which Reuters said forced the evacuation of 80,000 people and was the worst nuclear catastrophe since the Chernobyl disaster of 1986.

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Kyodo News Service reported that temperatures around the plant had dropped to less than 18 degrees Fahrenheit and that this was believed to have caused the leaks. Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency directed the Tokyo Electric Power Co, orTepco to determine the cause of the leaks and take remedial steps.

Kyodo also reported earlier this month that Tepco had said about 10 liters of water containing radioactive strontium had leaked from a water processing facility at the number 1 reactor. Ten days later, a leak occurred a the number two reactor and two liters of radioactive water spilled from a turbine building, RIA Novosti reported, citing Kyodo.

Citing a report on Tepco's website, Reuters said the company had found two leaks today, one from a pump near the plant’s offices and one from an auxiliary cooling system near reactor number 4.

The cooling water was from a filtrate tank intended for use in putting out fires and did not contain radioactive substances, the company reportedly said of the incident at the number 4 reactor. Some water from the other leak had flowed into a drain and the company said “we are examining whether this water has flowed into the ocean.”

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According to Reuters, this the newspaper Nikkei reported today that Tepco had said it believed no radioactive water had been released into the ocean.

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