The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant plans to build more wells to monitor the spread of radioactive contamination under the ground.Tokyo Electric Power Company has detected high levels of radioactive substances since May in samples of underground water collected at a newly dug well close to the ocean.The company detected on Friday a total of 900,000 becquerels per liter of radioactive substances, including strontium that emits beta particles, in underground water collected from the well. That's the highest level ever detected in samples from observation wells.The newly dug well is close to a pit from which highly radioactive water was found seeping into the sea in April 2011, shortly after the nuclear accident.TEPCO suspects that the water leak more than 2 years ago may be linked to the level of contamination of water inside the well.But the company says it's hard to determine just what happened.For instance, the reason for the level of strontium is not known. Previously, strontium was thought unlikely to show up in measurable quantities in water because it is believed to remain in the soil.TEPCO says the level of radioactivity in nearby waters has not greatly changed, and that it is also unknown whether there has been any further leak into the sea.
Jul. 6, 2013 - Updated 09:03