Japan government to take 'emergency measures' in Fukushima leaks
TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan's government will lead "emergency measures" to tackle radioactive water spills at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, wresting control of the disaster recovery from the plant's heavily criticised operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco).
"We've allowed Tokyo Electric to deal with the contaminated water situation on its own and they've essentially turned it into a game of Whack-a-Mole," Trade Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told reporters on Monday at Fukushima. "From now on, the government will move to the forefront."
Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry "is working to draw up, by some time in September, both emergency measures and more fundamental steps to eliminate the roots of the contaminated water problem, as well as measures to be carried out going forward," the Prime Minister's office said in a response to written questions.
More than two years after the March 2011 nuclear disaster, Tepco's recovery effort has taken a turn for the worse. Japan's nuclear regulator last week questioned the company's ability to deal with the crisis, echoing comments earlier in the month by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.