The Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) has released contaminated groundwater from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean in an attempt to manage the huge amounts of radioactive water that have built up at the complex. The nuclear plant has been crippled since being hit by an 11-meter tsunami and a 9.0 scale earthquake in March 2011.
There have been massive amounts of radioactive water accumulating at the site since the disasters struck. Groundwater continues to flow down from nearby hills, with an estimated 400 tons entering the basements of the reactor building each day. The water is pumped out and stored in over 1,000 temporary tanks, but those tanks have just about hit capacity.
Tepco dumped 560 tons of radioactive water into the ocean. The company is also planning on dumping another 790 tons of contaminated water in the Pacific, but will not confirm when that will be taking place.
Tepco claims the safety limits for the water are tighter than the recommendation of the World Health Organization guidelines for drinking water. However, the facility being used to remove the most dangerous nuclides from the water continues to have problems and has been shut down. According to reports, the system, which was installed two years ago, has yet to be completely functional, suffering from equipment leaks and repeated leaks.
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