Fukushima Emergency: Radioactive Water Breaches Underground Barrier, Contaminates Ocean [VIDEO]

By Philip Ross on August 6, 2013 5:19 PM EDT

A Fukushima emergency has been issued after authorities discovered contaminated water from the power plant was leaking into the nearby ocean. Pictured, members of a Fukushima prefecture panel, which monitors the safe decommissioning of the nuclear plant, inspect the construction site of the shore barrier meant to stop radioactive water from leaking into the sea near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. (Photo: Reuters)

A Fukushima emergency has been issued in Japan where authorities say radioactive water at the Daiichi power plant has breached an underground barrier and is leaking into the ocean. According to NBC News, the group responsible for containing the radioactive water has been having trouble doing so.

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The Fukushima emergency issued today is the result of a devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami that knocked out the Fukushima Daiichi power plant north of Tokyo, causing the a fuel-rod meltdown at three of the reactors. More than 160,000 people had to be evacuated from the area as radioactive material contaminated the surrounding air, sea and food.

Over the past two years, between 20 trillion and 40 trillion Becquerel of radioactive tritium has leaked into the sea.

Following the meltdown at Fukushima, the job of cleaning up the mess was left to Tokyo Electric Power co. But it looks like their countermeasures are failing.

"[Tepco's] sense of crisis is weak," Shinji Kinjo, head of a Nuclear Regulatory Authority task force, a watchdog group, told Reuters. "This is why you can't just leave it up to Tepco alone."

And now, two years later, radioactive water used to cool the reactors during the meltdown is leaking into the ocean, having breached an underground barrier made by injecting chemicals into the ground that solidified.

Officials worry that the contaminated water could rise to the surface of the ground within three weeks. According to Christian Science Monitor, new measures will be taken to counteract the power plant leak, including pumping out 100 tons more of groundwater a day.

Read more from iScience Times:

Fukushima Vegetables Have Bizarre Tumor-Like Growths And Deformities: Is Nuclear Meltdown To Blame For Freaky Produce? [PHOTOS]

Did The Fukushima Meltdown Create Mothra? Japan Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Caused Mutant Butterflies

California Tuna Contaminated With Fukushima Radiation

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