Yet another radioactive leak at Fukushima

The leak was small, but also preventable

By Lindsay Abrams
Published October 3, 2013 1:35PM (EDT)

That things are continuing to go wrong at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant is old news by this point, given how out of control the situation has already become. The latest iteration of the disaster, the plant's operator says, occurred when a storage tank overflowed and spilled an additional 110 gallons of radioactive water into the sea.

Frustratingly, the spill appears to have been preventable -- the storage tank in question was missing a gauge that could have warned workers it was about to overflow. From the Associated Press:

TEPCO spokesman Masayuki Ono told an urgent news conference Thursday that the overflow occurred at a tank without a water gauge and standing on an unlevel ground, slightly tilting toward the sea. The tank was already nearly full, but workers pumped in more contaminated water into it to maximize capacity as the plant was facing storage crunch.

Added to allegations of faulty equipment, insufficient inspections, unskilled employees and a general lack of preparedness to deal with any of this, the newest spill is doing nothing to restore confidence in TEPCO's ability to handle the cleanup.

Lindsay Abrams

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