September 3, 2013
Japan Promises Quick Action To Stop Fukushima Leaks

Japan promised quick action to stop the worsening problems at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant on Monday. The comments came as authorities stepped in to help the facility's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, with mounting radiation leaks.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced on Monday that the government will deal with the flood of radioactive water from the plant and "implement all policies" to get it under control.

The problem of contaminated water has only gotten worse since the plant suffered a series of meltdowns more than two years ago, reports Reuters.

Since TEPCO appears to be overwhelmed by the task of containing the radiation and shutting the plant down, the government will take a more direct role than it has in the past.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga explained to reporters that the government has had a more background role to support TEPCO's effort to close down the plant.

However, Suga stated, "But we've now decided that Tokyo Electric's patchwork response has reached its limit, and the government needs to come forward and quickly respond, even by using budget reserves."

Yahoo! News notes that the announcement by the government comes after several revelations from TEPCO last month, including the acknowledgement that contaminated water has been leaking from the crippled Fukushima plant since the initial meltdowns happened two years ago.

The company also stated that radioactive water groundwater breached its underground containment wall and a temporary storage tank leaked highly radioactive water.

The admissions were an about-face for the company, which previously claimed no contamination had leaked into the Pacific Ocean beyond the initial meltdowns. The company also announced this weekend that radiation near a leaking storage tank spiked to 18 times its initial reading. The level could kill an unprotected person in just four hours.

It is unclear what the government will be able to do to stop the leaks of radioactive water from Fukushima.

[Image by Kawamoto Takuo via Wikimedia Commons]