The ongoing tragedy in Japan, the result of a 2011, 8.9 magnitude earthquake which caused severe damage to several of the reactors at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in the Daiichi prefecture turns another chapter today as the strongest typhoon in ten years, Wipha, is projected to hit land in the direct vicinity of the crippled complex. Storm activity in early October 2013 led to a spill of 430 litres (114 US gallons) of polluted rainwater as workers tried to empty one of 1,000 tanks used in a makeshift cooling system for the damaged reactors. It is now admitted that some of this water may have entered the ocean.
Update: Following the storm which dumped 80 centimeters of rain in less than 24 hours, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO,) which operates the Fukushima Daichi plant, said that tests revealed high levels of radiation, from sources such as Strontium-90 - a fission product, and other isotopes, emitting beta rays of 1,400 becquerels (Bq) per liter in a ditch leading to the Pacific Ocean at a site located 150 meters from the ocean. The company suspects heavy rains lifted contaminated soil to the ditch and from there to the ocean. Test results are far over the legal limit of 30 Bq and 70 times the pre-storm test site levels.
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