TEPCO, operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, admits it needs overseas help to contain the radioactive fallout, after 18 months of trying to control it internally. It comes after the latest leak at the facility was deemed a “serious incident.”
“Many other countries outside of Japan have experienced decommissioning reactors, so we hope we can consult them more and utilize their experience,” TEPCO’s vice president, Zengo Aizawa, said at a news conference on Wednesday night.
“In that sense, we need support, not only from the Japanese government but from the international community to do this job.”
The call comes after one of the 1,060 temporary tanks used to store highly contaminated water sprang a leak on Wednesday, discharging as much as 300 tons of radioactive liquid containing large amounts of cesium. Further tests revealed excessive radiation levels elsewhere in the facility.
Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) rated the incident 3 on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale, which spans from 1 to 7.
“The current situation is at the point where more surveillance won’t be enough to keep the accidents from happening,” declared Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the NRA.