Via: New York Times
By HIROKO TABUCHI
Published: April 9, 2013
The operator of Japan’s crippled nuclear plant halted an emergency operation Tuesday to pump thousands of gallons of radioactive water from a leaking underground storage pool after workers discovered that a similar pool, to which the water was being transferred, was also leaking.
At least three of seven underground chambers at the site are now seeping radioactive water, leaving the Tokyo Electric Power Company with few options on where to store the huge amounts of contaminated runoff from the makeshift cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Those systems were put in place after a large earthquake and tsunami damaged the plant’s regular cooling systems two years ago, causing fuel at three of its reactors to melt and prompting 160,000 people to evacuate their homes. Since then, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, or Tepco, has been flooding the damaged reactor cores to cool and stabilize the fuel.
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