Japanese agency labels radioactive water leak 'serious'
TOKYO (AP) - Japan's nuclear regulator on Wednesday upgraded the rating of a leak of radiation-contaminated water at its tsunami-wrecked nuclear plant to a "serious incident" on an international scale.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority originally gave a Level 1 rating - an "anomaly", to the Aug 19 leak of 300 tonnes of water from a tank at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Last week it proposed raising that to Level 3 - a "serious incident" - and it made that change after consulting with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The ratings are designed to inform the international community, and changing them does not affect efforts to clean up the leak by the government and plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco).
The 2011 Fukushima disaster itself was rated the maximum of 7 on the IAEA's International Nuclear and Radiological Events Scale, the same as the 1986 Chernobyl accident.