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Contaminated water found leaking at Japanese nuclear plant

By the CNN Wire Staff

December 5, 2011 -- Updated 1813 GMT (0213 HKT)

Fukushima plant wreckage post earthquake

(CNN) -- Workers at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility have discovered a leak of 45 metric tons of radioactive water, operator Tokyo Electric Power Company said in a statement Monday.

It's unclear whether the contaminated water reached the Pacific Ocean.

The water was found Sunday morning inside a barrier around an evaporative condensation apparatus, which is used to purify sea water used at the plant to cool reactors damaged in the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami in March.

TEPCO said it was able to stop the leak by stacking sandbags around a crack found in a concrete barrier around the condensation unit. The company said the sea water around the drain had a slightly higher level of a radioactive substance -- cesium 137 -- than usual. TEPCO said it is still working to see how much contaminated water may have reached the ocean.

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