Japan watchdog checks Fukushima plant

An aerial file photo of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan.

Japan’s nuclear watchdog has examined the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant following reports of a huge toxic water leak and unexplained radiation hotspots.

The country’s nuclear regulator said on Friday that the plant owner TEPCO failed to properly monitor storage tanks and keep records of their inspections.

This comes after a 15-member team, including Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) committee member Toyoshi Fuketa and experts on radiation and water flow, started the inspection on Thursday. They inspected areas particularly near where the radioactive water was found escaping.

Japan’s nuclear agency has already raised the severity level of a radioactive water leak at the crippled plant from one to three on an international scale, describing it as a Å“serious incident.”

Earlier, TEPCO said around 300 tons of radioactive water has leaked from one of the plantâ„¢s tanks.

The leak is the fifth and worst since last year, raising concerns that more leaks are likely in the future. Meanwhile, fishing bans remain in place off the coast of Fukushima. TEPCOâ„¢s officials earlier apologized for the inconvenience caused to Japanese fishermen.

The Fukushima nuclear plant has suffered multiple meltdowns following a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. But TEPCO is still struggling with the clean-up efforts.

A report released by a Japanese parliamentary panel later said the incident at the Fukushima nuclear plant was not only due to the tsunami, but was a Å“man-made disaster.”

The report criticized Å“governments, regulatory authorities and Tokyo Electric Power” for being devoid of Å“a sense of responsibility to protect peopleâ„¢s lives and society.”

JR/KA

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Republished from: Press TV