The Fukushima nuclear disaster shows no signs of getting better as Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Tuesday reported yet another setback. In an announcement they stated that a power outage has shut down all eight water transfer pumps at the No. 1 nuclear power station causing radioactive water to again leak into the Pacific Ocean.
The latest setback comes just two weeks after the failure of supposedly radiation proof robots, who were sent inside the radioactive reactor to survey the damage. The failure was cause by extreme levels of radiation and indicates that the disaster may be far worse than initially thought.
Radiation from the incident has been found along the California coast, as far north as Vancouver, Canada. It has also contaminated many fish stocks in the Pacific.
The pumps that failed Tuesday are being used to pump contaminated water from a drainage channel to another channel leading to an artificial bay facing the station. The struggling utility said it was checking into what happened and just how much water had leaked.
It's doubtful the public will ever know the true extent of the latest leak given the past history of understating water leakages.
The pumping had only begun last Friday, after a finding in late February that highly radioactive water in the channel was reaching the ocean. The pumps were confirmed to be working Monday afternoon but found stopped at 8:45 a.m. Tuesday.
The utility reluctantly said earlier this year that water samples from the drainage channel contained concentrations of radioactive materials that surpassed the legal limit. The samples were taken last may, highlighting how secretive the utility has been about disclosing all the facts in the accident.