TOKYO: Japan declared a radioactive water leak at the crippled Fukushi—ma plant a level-three “serious incident” on Wednesday, its highest warning in two years, as operators scrambled to seal a tank that has seeped 300 tons of toxic water.
The leak is the worst since the nuclear crisis began in March 2011, when a quake-generated tsunami knocked out reactor cooling systems and sparked meltdowns.
“Something that we were very much concerned about has occurred,” Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shunichi Tanaka told a meeting in Tokyo. “We are in a situation where there is no time to lose.”
The regulator raised the assessment on the United Nations’ seven-point International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) to a level three “serious incident,” from level one which indicates an “anomaly.”