As the disaster goes from bad to worse the operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has revealed new spots of high radiation have been found near storage tanks holding highly contaminated water, raising fear of fresh leaks.
The announcement comes after Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said this week contaminated water with dangerously high levels of radiation was leaking from a storage tank.
The result has been radioactive contamination of air, sea and food and the evacuation of 160,000 people.
In an inspection carried out following the revelation of the leakage, high radiation readings, 100 millisieverts per hour and 70 millisieverts per hour – were recorded at the bottom of two tanks in a different part of the plant, TEPCO said.
The confirmed leakage prompted Japan’s nuclear watchdog to say it feared the disaster was “in some respect” beyond TEPCO’s ability to cope.
The United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it viewed the situation at Fukushima “seriously” and was ready to help if called upon.
China said it was “shocked” to hear contaminated water was still leaking from the plant, and urged Japan to provide information “in a timely, thorough and accurate way”.