New leak at crippled Fukushima nuclear plant: Tepco

This Sept. 18, 2013 photo shows the bottom of a storage tank at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant at Okuma town in Fukushima prefecture, north-eastern Japan. -- FILE PHOTO: AP 
This Sept. 18, 2013 photo shows the bottom of a storage tank at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant at Okuma town in Fukushima prefecture, north-eastern Japan. -- FILE PHOTO: AP 

TOKYO (AFP) - A new radioactive water leak has been discovered at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, its operator said on Wednesday, according to Japanese news agencies.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) said the highly radioactive water had leaked at the Fukushima No. 1 plant from a different storage tank to the one where a similar leak was found in August, Jiji and Kyodo news agencies reported.

It was not clear how much water had leaked from the 450 tonne tank. Tepco said it had determined that contaminated water had accumulated within barriers around the tank, and may have flowed past the barriers.

The barriers were installed to block water from spreading when a leak occurs in the storage tanks at the plant, which was heavily damaged by a March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

In August, some 300 tonnes of toxic water was discovered to have leaked from a separate tank, with part of it believed to have flowed into the Pacific Ocean.

Concerns have grown over Tepco's handling of radioactive water at Fukushima since the August leak was discovered, with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last month ordering the operator to set a timeline to fix the leaks.