Fukushima Workers Battle Radioactive Flood

Experts warn plant is still accident-prone
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2013 2:07 AM CDT
Fukushima Workers Battle Radioactive Flood
Cylindrical tanks built for storage of polluted water are seen near the four reactor buildings, background, at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant in Okuma, northern Japan.   (AP Photo/Kyodo News, File)

More than two years after a quake and tsunami crippled Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, workers are battling yet another crisis, the New York Times finds. Huge amounts of groundwater have been pouring into the plant, leaving workers struggling to contain a flood of 75 gallons of radioactive water a minute. Plant operator Tepco is scrambling to build more storage space for the contaminated water, but there are fears that it could end up reaching the Pacific Ocean.

"The water keeps increasing every minute, no matter whether we eat, sleep, or work," a Tepco spokesman says. "It feels like we are constantly being chased, but we are doing our best to stay a step in front." Experts say the flood is another sign that the company is barely managing to fight day-to-day problems at the plant and has no long-term strategy for the cleanup—much less any way to prevent another disastrous radiation leak if another strong earthquake hits. (More Fukushima Daiichi stories.)

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