According to samples of water that were tested this week, the groundwater radiation levels at the Fukushima nuclear plant have spiked upward near a tank that leaked toxic water back in August.
RT reports that officials of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said on Friday they detected 400,000 becquerels per liter of beta ray-emitting radioactive substances - including strontium - at the site, a level 6,500 times higher than readings taken on Wednesday, NHK World reported.
TEPCO said the findings show that radioactive substances like strontium have reached the groundwater and they will remove any contaminated soil around the storage tank in an effort to monitor radioactivity levels of the water around the well.
The leaking storage tank was discovered in August, according to The Raw Story.
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“Other wells are not showing such a high level. We need to take additional measures for the areas around this well,” TEPCO spokesperson Masayuki Ono said during a press conference on Friday.
A large earthquake and tsunami in 2011 devastated Japan’s northeast coast and sparked reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima plant by knocking out its cooling systems.
Radioactive water is being stored in tanks but TEPCO, which has poured thousands of tonnes of water onto the reactors to keep them cool in an ongoing operation, has reportedly admitted contaminated liquid has made its way into the sea.
Experts believe that even a small earthquake could lead to more serious nuclear damage in the area.
“They have a thousand tanks that are held together with a plastic pipe, so if there is a moderate earthquake the plastic pipes will fail and all that material will run across the ground surface and into the ocean,” nuclear power expert Arnold Gundersen told RT.