Radioactive material leaks detected at Japan’s nuke fuel research facility



Tokyo, Sep 13 (IANS) The Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) has confirmed the detection of radioactive material leaks in one of its nuclear fuel research facilities but reported no adverse effects on the health of the staff or the surrounding environment, local media reported on Wednesday.In its report, Kyodo News citing the JAEA said that the leaks were detected within the Plutonium Fuel Development Room No. 3 at the JAEA’s Nuclear Fuel Cycle Engineering Laboratories, located in Tokai village, Ibaraki prefecture, reports Xinhua news agency.

On September 8, the Plutonium Fuel Development Room No. 3 identified pollution caused by radioactive materials at four locations within the facility.

The pollution was discovered during a routine inspection of the glovebox equipment, which is designed to be airtight.

The contamination was found both above and below the glovebox, with the highest level of radioactive activity measuring approximately 33 becquerels.

Although the glovebox contained nuclear fuel materials, it had not been in recent use and was solely undergoing a biennial routine inspection, said the JAEA.

The JAEA has reassured the public that the leak of nuclear material has not had any negative consequences for the health of the facility’s four staff members or the surrounding environment.

At present, the cause of the radioactive material leak is under investigation.

Authorities at the laboratories suspected that the radioactive materials may have seeped out of the equipment.



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