Operator of crippled Japan nuclear plant says tank leaked contaminated water
TOKYO (REUTERS) - The operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant said on Tuesday it believes about 300 tonnes of highly contaminated water has leaked from a storage tank designed to hold overflows from the site.
Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority has classified the leak as a level 1 incident, the second lowest, on an international scale for radiological releases, a spokesman told Reuters on Tuesday.
It is the first time Japan has issued a so-called INES rating since three reactors melted down at Fukushima in March 2011, shortly after the plant was wrecked by a an earthquake and tsunami, and the disaster was assigned the highest rating of 7.
Since then, the operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co, has been struggling to contain radioactive leaks to the growing alarm of neighbouring countries. It has been criticised for its failure to prepare for the disaster and it has also been accused of covering up the extent of the problems at the plant.