Prime Minister Shinzo Abe admitted Japan could use a hand from the international community in containing the radioactive leaks at the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant.
During an international conference in Kyoto Prefecture, Abe appealed for foreign help to mop up tons of highly-contaminated water spilling from the plant’s damaged reactors.
“We are wide open to receive the most advanced knowledge from overseas to contain the problem,” Abe said. “My country needs your knowledge and expertise.”
The distress call came weeks after Abe reassured the International Olympic Committee that the crisis were “under control.”
But almost daily reports of leaks and other mishaps prove the problem at the plant to be worse than expected.
Tokyo Electric Power Co has long struggled to curb the seemingly endless flow of tainted ground water escaping from the damaged plant since the meltdowns triggered by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
About 300 tons of radioactive water may have spilled into the Pacific Ocean after the plant operator found leaks at storage tanks in the facility. New leaks, the latest of several mishaps in less than a month, were discovered from a separate tank after workers reportedly overfilled it.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority summoned TEPCO president Naomi Hirose for a public dressing down over the blunder.
“It is extremely regrettable that contaminated water leaked because of human error,” Katsuhiko Ikeda, administrative head of the agency, said. “We must say on-site management is extremely poor.”
Abe had ordered Tepco to decommission all six reactors at the plant. He has also agreed to let France assist in the dismantling process.
By: Maesie Bertumen
Image of workers at Fukushima Daiichi, 2012: IAEA Imagebank/Flickr