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Huma error caused 100 tons of radioactive water leakage

Human error, not equipment failure, may be responsible for the roughly 100 tons of highly radioactive water released from a storage tank earlier this week, according to TEPCO.

When TEPCO first disclosed the incident on Feb 20th, it said a faulty valve may have allowed water to flow into the tank, which was already nearly full.

On Feb 21th, however, the utility dismissed that possibility and said it found photographs that showed the valve appeared to be operating properly around the time the leak occurred.

“There could have been some (human) error, but we have to check the situation,” Tepco spokesman Masayuki Ono said at a press conference Friday.

The photos show the valve was in the “open” position at around 11 a.m. Wednesday but in a “closed” position at 12:30 a.m. Thursday. The tank leak was noticed at 11:25 p.m. Wednesday.Because the valve was open, the radioactive water was directed to the wrong tank.

Early Thursday, Tepco confirmed the leak had been stopped.

The photos also show that a lever used to operate the valves was left attached to the valve in question, which Ono said was undesirable.

“Usually, a lever should not be left attached to a valve so that someone does not accidently touch the lever when passing and change the valve’s status,” he said.


<Media Report>
TEPCO: Radioactive water leaked after worker opened valves (Asahi Newspaper)

Human error, not equipment, may have caused water leak: Tepco(Japan Times)

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