Japan government considering support for Tepco on Fukushima water problem: Official

TOKYO (REUTERS) - The Japanese government is considering whether to support Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) , the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, in dealing with the growing toxic water problem on the site, an official at the economy and trade ministry said on Wednesday.

The ministry takes the water problem "very seriously" and is mulling ways to assist the beleaguered utility, said the government official, who declined to be named.

The official did not confirm whether government support would be paid for by taxpayers.

Tepco is taking various countermeasures to block radioactive groundwater from seeping into the Pacific Ocean.

A Nuclear Regulation Authority official this week called the water problem an "emergency" and called for more action to prevent the water from flowing into the ocean.