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Tepco confirms oil leakage at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant


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Tepco confirms oil leakage at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant

2011-06-01 05:52:24 GMT+7 (ICT)

TOKYO (BNO NEWS) -- The Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco), which operates the troubled Fukushima nuclear plant, on Tuesday announced that the facility's reactors have been leaking oil into the sea.

At about 8:00 a.m. local time Tepco workers noticed oil floating on the sea during a patrol. The oil stain is around 200 to 300 meters long and leaked from the curtain wall of the water intake canal of reactors 5 and 6 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Tepco reported the incident to the Futaba Wide-area Fire Headquarters and the Fukushima Coastguard Office. In addition, workers installed oil fences to prevent the oil from spreading to the outer sea.

The cause of the leakage is under investigation bur preliminary reports indicated that the tanks and pipes for heavy oil were damaged in the earthquake and tsunami that stuck Japan on March 11. If confirmed, oil could have been leaking into the sea since then.

It was also informed that Tepco workers completed the installation of adsorption mattress around the affected sea bank area. The pipes were stained with oil but the leaking has almost stopped.

The company scheduled reinforcement work around pipes inside sea bank as well as recovery efforts to control the oil spill. Each one of the damaged oil tanks has a capacity of 960,000 liters.

Last week, Tepco informed that two more nuclear meltdowns occurred at Units 2 and 3. The melted cores were cooled by injected water. On May 12, a nuclear meltdown occurred at the reactor No. 1 of the troubled nuclear plant.

Japan allocated a 4 trillion yen ($48.89 billion) emergency budget to finance the early phase of reconstruction efforts. In addition, the evacuation zone was expanded beyond the initial 20-kilometer (12.4-mile) radius surrounding the damaged plant.

At least 14,294 people were killed, while some 13,000 people remain missing due to devastating earthquake and tsunami. Japanese officials have called it the worst crisis since the end of World War II.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-06-01

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