Japan redoubles efforts to control leaks at Fukushima

The situation at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant is far from being “under control,” said Sunday a senior official from plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), only to be refuted a couple of hours later by a company’s official statement.

TEPCO said Kazuhiko Yamashita’s comments got lost in translation and that the officer really meant to say that there were continuous problems with storage tanks, reports Euronews.

The fact is that TEPCO has been struggling to contain contaminated water at the plant. So far, it has poured thousands of tonnes of water on the plant's reactors to tame meltdowns generated by the 2011 quake-tsunami disaster.

TEPCO’s comments came on the same day the Japan’s nuclear authority (NRA) announced it has decided to expand radiation contamination assessments from the current 200 spots to 600,000 points on the seabed off the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

The area stretches 50 kilometres north-south and 20 kilometres east-west off the plant, the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported.

Fukushima’s ongoing crisis has come under the international spotlight in recent weeks as NRA disclosed in early September that radiation levels around the plant were “18 times higher” than thought.

The radioactive stream of toxic fluids released during the nuclear plant disaster is expected to reach the West Coast of the US by March next year.

Image: The four reactors damaged in 2011/Wiki Media Commons