Radioactive groundwater at the Japanese crippled nuclear plant has risen to levels above a barrier built to try and contain it – with risks of spilling over and reaching the ocean, Japanese media report.
The Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), which is responsible for decommissioning the wrecked plant, estimated that contaminated groundwater could reach the surface within three weeks, the Asahi newspaper said.
One of the biggest challenges facing Tepco is to try and contain the radioactive water that cools the destroyed reactors as it mixes with 400 tonnes of fresh groundwater pouring into the plant every day.
The company has been attempting to inject a chemical into the ground to create a barrier to physically contain the groundwater, but the method is only effective 1.8 meters below the surface, whereas data from test wells shows that contaminated water has already risen to one meter below the surface.
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