The operator of the disabled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says most of the facility’s other hoses like the one that developed a leak last month need repair or replacement.
The leak from a cracked hose in late May sent highly contaminated water into the plant’s port, sending radioactivity in the seawater there to the highest level since observations began 2 years ago.
Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company believes the crack in the hose was caused by stress from excessive bending. It has checked 159 hoses of the same type at the site, and found that 139 — or nearly 90 percent — are also being used in an incorrect manner.
Some are similarly bent beyond the permissible level set by the maker, or have not been coated with material to protect them from damage.
TEPCO says all the hoses that need improvement carry relatively low-level radioactive water, including rainwater tainted at the site. The utility plans to speed up work to replace the hoses with a more durable type. It will also shorten the length of hoses used to carry contaminated water to reduce the risk of leakage.