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Radioactive water may have leaked again into the ground from a storage tank at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in north-east Japan, the plant’s operator reported on Sunday.
The fresh leak is the latest in a series of troubles at the nuclear power plant, which was hit by a massive earthquake and an ensuing tsunami in 2011.
The leak comes a day after the plant’s operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said about 120 tons of contaminated water might have escaped from another of the seven underground reservoir tanks.
TEPCO said, however, the amount of the fresh water leak was extremely small and the contaminated water was unlikely to flow into the sea.
In March 2011, Japan was hit by a massive 9.0-magnitude quake which caused a tsunami, claiming over 15,000 lives and triggering a number of explosions at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.
The tsunami caused a partial meltdown at three of the nuclear plant’s reactors. Radiation leaked into the atmosphere, soil and seawater, making the accident the world’s worst nuclear disaster after Chernobyl.
Japan will need at least 40 years to recover fully from the nuclear catastrophe, scientists say.
Some 315,000 victims are still living in a temporary housing unable to return to their houses in the plant’s vicinity.
Fukushima’s cooling systems sustained a one-day power outage in late March. The incident was tentatively blamed on a rat that short-circuited the switchboard with its body.