Japan's nuclear regulator has ordered the operator of the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant to determine whether the radioactive water that leaked from a storage tank is entering the sea through a drainage pipe.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority issued the instruction to Tokyo Electric Power Company after agency inspectors found increased radiation levels in sand bags set up near a drainage pipe leading to the ocean.
The inspectors have so far found no abnormal rise in levels of radiation inside the pipe.
The deputy head of the nuclear regulator, Hideka Morimoto, told a news conference the agency is not ruling out the possibility that the contaminated water is seeping into the ocean through the pipe.
Fukushima governor urges government action
Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato has urged the central government to take the initiative in dealing with the wastewater leak at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The prefecture's top officials held an emergency meeting on Tuesday following Monday's revelation of a massive leak of radioactive water from a storage tank.
The governor described the situation as a national emergency, and stressed the need for the government to draw up specific measures to deal with the problem.
Senior Fukushima prefectural official Shoji Furuichi summoned Tokyo Electric officials to his office on Tuesday and asked them to quickly find out whether the leak has contaminated the environment.
Furuichi called the leak extremely regrettable and said the utility must make a company-wide effort to deal with it.
He said the prefectural government wants the firm to determine the cause and take steps to prevent leaks from other storage tanks.
The TEPCO officials apologized for the leak and promised to respond quickly.