Tokyo Electric Power Co confirmed that contaminated water being used to cool melted fuel inside the damaged reactors is leaking into the sea at a rate of about 300 tons a day, according to CBS. The Nuclear Regulation Authority's latest criticism of TEPCO came soon after the plant's operator acknowledged that this leakage, which perhaps can be better understood as either a 300,000-liter or 80,000-gallon leak, probably began nearly a month and a half before it was discovered on Aug. 19.
The report from the Guardian describes the efforts to contain radioactive leaks at Fukushima as being "frantic" after the discovery of the highly contaminated water seeping out of a storage tank at the site.
The story reports that this is the worst such incident since the March 2011 meltdown. TEPCO's spokesman, Masayuki Ono, reported that the water breached a concrete and sandbag barrier around the tank.
Sometime in 2014, according to an article at the HuffingtonPost, a radioactive plume of water in the Pacific Ocean from Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, can reach U.S. coastal waters.
And from an abstract study report at Stringer this month entitled: "An ensemble estimation of impact times and strength of Fukushima nuclear pollution to the east coast of China and the west coast of America" comes news of statistics and simulations to define impact times and the strength "... of Fukushima nuclear pollution to the east coast of China and the west coast of America ...."
The authors believe that Fukushima nuclear pollutants will be carried towards and reach the east coast of China as well as the west coast of the United States.
From the abstract they note:
"Under the circumstances of the radioactive pollutants drifting in the ocean surface, preliminary research results show ... the tracers took about 4 years to reach the west coast of USA ...."
And from ABCnews is the report that experts fear a new crisis at Fukushima, which is said to be "the inability to contain vast quantities of radioactive water."
Seepage into groundwater is a concern.
After one inspection, ABC notes the remark made by a regulatory commissioner that the nuclear plant's twice-a-day leak-spotting patrols were "sloppy."
They quote Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shunichi Tanaka about the various problems encountered at the plant:
"It's like a haunted house, one thing happening after another. But we must take any steps that would reduce risks to avoid a fatal accident."
Ken Buesseler, a marine chemist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts also worried about the radioactivity, stating he found that since radioactive cesium levels in most fish caught off the Fukushima coast hadn't declined in the year following the March 2011 disaster, it might suggest the contaminated water from the reactor-turbine areas has been leaking into the sea.
"Any contamination in the groundwater would eventually flow into the ocean. That is very difficult to stop even with barriers."