2 Septembre 2013
September 2, 2013
Govt. compiling measures to address Fukushima leak
The Japanese government will compile a basic plan on Tuesday to deal with a leak of radioactive water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday that the government would spearhead tackling the problem and not leaving it to the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company. He said previous measures were taken on an ad hoc basis and that drastic steps are now needed. He was speaking at a meeting of the government and the governing parties.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the government will do all it can, including using reserve funds. He says the government plans to present a comprehensive package of measures on Tuesday at a meeting of its nuclear disaster task force, which includes all Cabinet members.
Contaminated water leaked from a storage tank and some of the water may have escaped into the ocean.
Tokyo Electric Power Company detected a radiation level of 1,800 millisieverts per hour near another tank on Saturday. This level could kill a person within 4 hours after exposure.
Sep. 2, 2013 - Updated 08:27 UTC
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The government will present Tuesday a set of emergency measures to deal with the huge volume of radioactive water accumulating at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, officials said Monday.
The measures to prevent a further buildup of contaminated water, possibly including steps financed by the state budget, will be presented at a ministerial meeting headed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
"We will present a package of comprehensive countermeasures on Tuesday" at the meeting, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said during the talks between the government and the ruling coalition at the prime minister's office, according to one of the officials.
Suga also said the government is planning to set up another ministerial panel focusing on the issue, which has put Japan under the international spotlight over its handling of the nuclear crisis triggered by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
In July, Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the plant, admitted that contaminated groundwater was flowing from the nuclear complex into the area within breakwaters. TEPCO also later found that 300 tons of highly toxic water had escaped from a storage tank.
On Monday, Abe said at the meeting the government will play major roles in tackling the problem, not leaving it entirely to the company alone. He also said the government will compile Tuesday "basic principles" to handle the situation.
Abe was responding to requests from the New Komeito party, junior coalition partner for his Liberal Democratic Party.
The toxic water leakage is "very serious," New Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi told Abe at the meeting. "I want the government to deal with the problem in a comprehensive manner."
LDP Secretary General Shigeru Ishiba, who also attended the meeting, said, "We must be responsible for explaining to the public how we respond" to the development.