Agence France-Presse reports that TEPCO’s handling of radioactive water at Fukushima has been like “whack-a-mole”, according to a minister who visited the plant, and he is pledging Japan’s government would step up its involvement at the site.
300 tonnes of highly radioactive toxic liquid has leaked from one of the hundreds of tanks storing heavily polluted water used to cool broken reactors at the plant.
“With regard to TEPCO’s handling of contaminated water, it has been just like whack-a-mole,” said industry minister Toshimitsu Motegi, in reference to the anarchic fairground game in which players bash creatures that pop up from random holes.
“From now on, the government will play a greater role,” he said.
The newspaper goes on to say that critics accuse TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Co) of being incapable of dealing with the vast — and growing — volumes of radioactive water at the site.
“Last week’s leak was dubbed the most serious single incident since the plant went into meltdown in March 2011 after being hit by a quake and tsunami.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in early August described as “urgent” the battle to stop contaminated water escaping into the ocean.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said in Tokyo that Abe had ordered his industry minister to take “every possible measure”, including the use of reserve funds from the national budget.
“The leak of contaminated water from the tank was extremely regrettable,” Suga told a news conference. “Failing to manage tanks properly is a big problem.”
“As a government, we will do whatever we can do to resolve the problem.”
Inspectors from Japan’s nuclear watchdog who toured the plant Friday declared water storage at the site was “sloppy”.
TEPCO said Saturday the tank that sprang a leak was one of three to have been relocated from its original spot because of subsidence.
The utility has not yet pinpointed the reason for the problem with the first tank, but at the weekend began emptying the other tanks that were moved with it in 2011.”
Article appearing courtesy Celsias.