Report: Major new leak at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant

By REUTERS
February 2, 2012 02:24

 
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More than 8 tons of water have leaked from Japan's stricken nuclear power plant after a frozen pipe burst inside a reactor building, but none of the water is thought to have escaped the complex, Kyodo news agency said on Thursday.

Kyodo, quoting the Fukushima plant's operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco), said the water had leaked from the No.4 reactor when a pipe "dropped off" but that the liquid had all been contained inside the reactor building.

The plant, on the coast north of Tokyo, was wrecked by a huge earthquake and tsunami in March last year, triggering the evacuation of around 80,000 people in the world's worst nuclear crisis in 25 years. The major leak follows the discovery and plugging of smaller leaks at the same reactor last weekend.

Kyodo quoted Tepco officials as saying the latest leak had been found late on Tuesday night and was stopped by closing a valve. The report did not make completely clear if the leaked water was radioactive but implied it, noting that water inside the No.4 reactor was being used to cool spent fuel rods.

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