Monday, April 4, 2011

WRAPUP 5-Japan uses bath salts to find leak, and release radioactive water into sea.

* Operators forced to release radioactive water into sea

* Bath salts, sea curtain sought to stop radiation leaks
* Government demands quick action to avoid fouling sea
* Business sentiment turns negative after disaster (Adds latest on radiation leaks, quotes, economy)
By Risa Maeda and Yoko Kubota

TOKYO, April 4 (Reuters) - Japanese engineers on Monday were forced to release radioactive water into the sea while resorting to desperate measures such as using bath salts to try to find the source of the leaks at a crippled nuclear power complex.

Engineers also planned to build a giant silt curtain in the ocean to stop the spread of more contamination from the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
The plant operator had to release low-level radioactive seawater that had been used to cool overheated fuel rods after it ran out of storage capacity for more highly contaminated water, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said.

Operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) said it would release over 10,000 tonnes of contaminated water that was about 100 times more radioactive than legal limits.

Engineers are still struggling to regain control of damaged reactors at the plant in the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986, with the government urging TEPCO to act faster to stop radiation spreading.
But it could take months to stem the leaks, warned one official, and even longer to regain control of the power station, damaged by a March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

"We need to stop the spread of (contaminated water) into the ocean as soon as possible. With that strong determination, we are asking Tokyo Electric Power Co to act quickly," said Edano.
"If the current situation continues for a long time, accumulating more radioactive substances, it will have a huge impact on the ocean."

In the face of Japan's biggest crisis since World War Two, one newspaper poll said nearly two-thirds of voters wanted the government to form a coalition with the major opposition party and work together to recover from the natural disaster.

Underlining the concern over the impact on the world's third largest economy, a central bank survey showed big manufacturers expected business conditions to worsen significantly in the next three months, although they were not quite as pessimistic as some analysts had expected.

No comments:

Post a Comment