As if it wasn’t having enough environmentally disastrous troubles, Japanese power company Tepco reports that four tons of slightly radioactive water leaked into the ground at the Fukushima nuclear reactor site as workers tried to transfer material between two tank holding areas.

This most recent problem began with a typhoon sweeping ashore near the crisis-riddled power plant, according to Reuters:

Heavy rain during a recent typhoon flooded one of the tank holding areas where Tepco stores excess water flushed over damaged reactors to keep them cool, a spokesman said.

After tests last month showed the rainwater contained 160 becquerels per litre of radiation, a relatively low level, Tepco officials decided to transfer the water to another holding area for tanks, he said.

During the transfer a worker found the leak, which the company estimated to be 4 tonnes and was absorbed into the ground, the spokesman said.

Even worse news: There’s still another month or so to go in the busiest stretch of the region’s typhoon season.

Fukushima, as we’ve reported, has been an environmental disaster of historic proportions, and the risks continue to grow as contaminated water seeps unabated into the ocean. And apparently without a sense of irony, Tepco — which has failed miserably at handling the Fukushima crisis — recently began the process to gain permission to restart reactors at another one of its sites as Japan debates its reliance on nuclear power.

But the contamination hasn’t scared off one fast-food business. Yoshinoya announced that it will begin growing vegetables for its restaurants about 60 miles from the meltdown site, despite a general aversion by Japanese consumers for any food grown in the area.

Of course, at some point radioactive leaks at Fukushima stop being news.

—Posted by Scott Martelle.


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