via AlJazeera.com / July 23, 2013 / The operator of Japan’s stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant has said contaminated ground water had likely been flowing into the sea, acknowledging such a leakage for the first time.
Tokyo Electric Power Co, or Tepco, also came under fire on Monday for the revelation that the number of plant workers with thyroid radiation exposure times exceeding the threshold levels for increased cancer risks was ten times the number it had released previously.
Tepco has been repeatedly blamed for overlooking early signs, and covering up or delaying the disclosure of problems and mishaps
The head of Japan’s new Nuclear Regulation Authority, created since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami wrecked Fukushima, said this month he believed contamination of the sea had been continuing since the accident.
The admission came when company general manager, Masayuki Ono, told news conference that plant officials have come to believe that radioactive water that leaked from the wrecked reactors and is likely to have seeped into the underground water system and escaped into sea.
Nuclear officials and experts have suspected a leak from the Fukushima Dai-ichi since early in the crisis, but Tepco had previously failed to confirm the ground water leakage more than two years.