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New leak at Fukushima nuclear plant

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2365

Japan has seen mass protests against the use of nuclear power

Japan has seen mass protests against the use of nuclear power (Pic: Kumuaka on Flickr)


More radioactive water is leaking out of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean.

The country’s Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) watchdog said the plant faces an “emergency”.

The Tepco firm that runs the plant has tried to keep the extent of leaks and power failures secret since meltdowns at the site in 2011.

It admitted last month that a barrier that was supposed to contain radioactive water had been breached. 

The NRA concluded that, “You can’t just leave it up to Tepco alone” to solve the crisis.

Tepco blamed the 2011 meltdowns on a tsunami and earthquake. 

Yet a six-month investigation into the disaster last year described it as “profoundly man-made” and said it should have been prevented.

It said that bosses, regulators and the government’s “disregard for public safety” caused the disaster.


Figure it out

  • £2.9 billion: The net profit made by Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) in the three months to June 
  • £4.4 billion: The bailout Tepco received from Japan’s government in the same quarter
  • 8.5 percent: The price rise imposed by Tepco on household rates in September last year, backed by the state

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Article information

International
Tue 6 Aug 2013, 16:22 BST
Issue No. 2365
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