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TEPCO Admits Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant Leaking Radioactive Water Into Sea

IAEA officials inspect recovery work on one of the damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. (Photo: Greg Webb/IAEA)

IAEA officials inspect recovery work on one of the damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. (Photo: Greg Webb/IAEA)

The Japanese company that operates the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has acknowledged the likelihood that the disaster-stricken facility is leaking radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean.

The Associated Press reports Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) announced what experts have long suspected at a Monday press conference. Company spokesman Masayuki Ono told reporters that TEPCO officials believe radioactive water is leaking from reactors damaged in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami and subsequent meltdown into the local underground water system and out into the sea.

This, despite repeated TEPCO denials that radioactive water had leaked into the Pacific. The company has been accused of failing to report and covering up information related to leaks and other serious problems. Similar allegations have dogged the Japanese government. Earlier this year, an independent panel concluded that while TEPCO lied to investigators and blocked inspections, the company did not engage in a cover-up.

TEPCO is attempting to minimize sea-bound radiation leakage by injecting chemical solution into the adjacent coastline in a bid to strengthen underground structures to stop water from entering the ocean.

After observing high levels of radiation in fish living near the Fukushima plant, scientists warned of seawater contamination. But both TEPCO and the Japanese government insisted that nuclear contamination was not entering the food chain.

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