Japan minister vows help for resolving nuclear crisis
TOKYO (AP) - Japan's industry minister visited the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Monday and promised that the government would take urgent action to curb leaks of radiation-contaminated water.
Trade Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told reporters that lax maintenance by the plant's operator was largely to blame for leaks of water from storage tanks surrounding the plant, which suffered triple meltdowns after the massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
"The urgency of the situation is very high," Mr Motegi said. "From here on the government will take charge."
A priority is monitoring of tanks set up to hold contaminated water used to cool reactor cores at the plant. A 300-ton leak last week was the fifth and worst from a tank at the plant. Most of the water is thought to have seeped into the ground, but some may have escaped into the sea through a rainwater gutter, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co.