Fukushima operator's monitoring of failing storage tanks inadequate-agency
Hirono, Japan Aug 23 (Reuters) - The operator of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant failed to properly monitor storages tanks holding dangerously contaminated water that have sprung leaks and are a source of international concern, the country's nuclear regulator said on Friday.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. also failed to keep records of inspections of the tanks, Nuclear Regulation Authority member Toyoshi Fuketa, told a press briefing in Hirono village, after a visit to the nearby Fukushima Daiichi station.
Japan's nuclear crisis this week escalated to its worst level since a massive earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima plant more than two years ago, with Tokyo Electric saying a tank holding highly contaminated water leaked 300 tonnes of fluids. It was the fifth and most serious breach of the same type of tank.
The U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Wednesday it viewed the situation at Fukushima "seriously" and was ready to help if called upon, while nearby China said it was "shocked" to hear contaminated water was still leaking from the plant, and urged Japan to provide information "in a timely, thorough and accurate way".