Fukushima alert level up, may be much worse, says observer

August 22
11:25 AM 2013

Although Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority had proposed upgrading the severity incident level of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)'s Fukushima nuclear plant to three in a scale of seven, an observer doubts that the latter has the site under control.

In 2011, a series of earthquakes and an accompanying tsunami had caused three reactors to melt down. Recently, TEPCO announced that an estimated 300 tonnes of radioactive water from a storage tank had leaked. The company had insisted in numerous reports that regardless of the situation, they have full control of the site. TEPCO had also dispelled inquiries whether contaminated water had found itself into the sea.

Mycle Schneider, a nuclear consultant who has clients in the French and German governments, told BBC, "The Japanese have a problem asking for help. It is a big mistake; they badly need it."

Chairman Shunichi Tanaka of Nuclear Regulation Authority seconded Schneider's fears in a news conference. ''We should assume that what has happened once could happen again, and prepare for more. We are in a situation where there is no time to waste," he said to the press.

Losses stemming from the Fukushima incident were estimated over USD500 billion, and cleaning costs were also of the same estimate. 

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