Tepco Faces ‘Emergency’ in Fukushima Water Leak, Reuters Reports

Groundwater laced with radiation that is leaking into the Pacific Ocean from Japan’s wrecked Fukushima atomic plant is creating an emergency, according to the country’s nuclear regulator, cited by Reuters.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501), the operator of the plant north of the capital, has taken temporary measures to deal with the leaks yet doesn’t seem to grasp the scale of the crisis, Reuters reported, citing Shinji Kinjo, who leads a task force for the Nuclear Regulatory Authority, known as the NRA.

Kinjo was not available to comment today, the NRA said after three phone calls.

Two weeks ago, the utility known as Tepco said radiated water had been flowing into the sea at Fukushima, backtracking on previous comments that said it couldn’t be confirmed. The delay earned a rebuke from the government and academics.

Tepco’s announcement on July 22 angered unions that lost access to fishing areas and customers on concern radiation would contaminate catches and enter the food chain. In August 2012, the utility found record high levels of radioactive cesium in fish it caught for tests within 20 kilometers of the coast from the nuclear plant.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Langan in Tokyo at plangan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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