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Fukushima radioactive water leak an ‘emergency’

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 : Japan’s nuclear watchdog has said the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is facing a new “emergency” caused by a build-up of radioactive groundwater. The crippled Fukushima plant has suffered water leaks and power cuts in recent months

A barrier built to contain the water could be breached in three weeks, the Nuclear Regulatory Authority warned.

This meant the amount of contaminated water seeping into the Pacific Ocean could accelerate rapidly, it said.

There has been spate of water leaks and power failures at the plant, devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Its operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), has been criticised heavily for its lack of transparency over the leaks.

It admitted for the first time last month that radioactive groundwater had breached an underground barrier and been leaking into the sea, but said it was taking steps to prevent it.

However, the head of a Nuclear Regulatory Authority task force, Shinji Kinjo, told the Reuters news agency on Monday that the countermeasures were only a temporary solution.

Tepco’s “sense of crisis is weak,” Mr Kinjo said. “This is why you can’t just leave it up to Tepco alone”

“Right now, we have an emergency,” he added.

Agencies

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Article publié le lundi 5 août 2013
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