NRA: TEPCO may have overestimated Fukushima leak amounts

Nuclear Regulatory Authority NRA overestimated radioactive water leak nuclear Fukushima Daiichi Japan

Japan’s nuclear regulator says Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) may have overstated the amount of radioactive water leaking from a storage tank at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, according to Bloomberg.

The chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority said in the article that the reported 300 metric tons of water that TEPCO thought was leaking from the storage tank was based on the assumption that the tank had been full before the leak was found. Since there was no gauge measuring how much water was in the tank, that assumption may not have been reliable, the article said.

The leader of the disaster task force at the NRA said in Bloomberg that TEPCO was careless in its monitoring of the storage tanks and did not maintain records of inspection. The NRA ranked the latest leak as a level 3, or “serious incident,” on the zero to seven scale of the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES). When the leak was first detected in mid-August, it was characterized as a 1, or an “anomaly,” on the INES.

The Japanese government has since taken over the utility’s water-management efforts, the article said.

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