Tuesday 25th October 2016                 Change text size:

Japan PM pledges help to stop Fukushima radioactive water leaks

Chatham House  via flickr

Japan prime minister Shinzo Abe has said that the government is ready to help fund plans to stop the spill of radioactive water that is leaking into the sea from the Fukushima nuclear plant.

Abe promised “firm measures” to put an end to the leaks, after Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), the firm that owns Fukushima, realised that the barriers previously installed had been breached and that the nuclear waste was contaminating the sea.

There is heightened concern among the public, particularly about the contaminated water problem,” Shinzo Abe told a special nuclear disaster commission.

This is an urgent matter that needs to be addressed. The government will step in to take firm measures.”

It is an urgent problem. We will not leave this to Tepco, but put together a government strategy. We will direct Tepco to make sure there is a swift and multi-faceted approach in place.”

The government announced in May it will fund a project that would freeze the ground around the reactor and stop the water from leaking, but this will only be ready by 2015.

The Fukushima disaster occurred in 2011, and led to the earthquake and tsunami responsible for killing over 18,000 people and devastating many more lives.

It caused great concern relating to water and food contamination, with radioactivity found in fish meat even as recently as August 2012.

Further reading:

Japan declares ‘emergency’ over radioactive water spill at Fukushima nuclear plant

Fukushima two years on

French activists break into nuclear power plant and demand its closure

Getting beneath nuclear power

Government set to provide nuclear with four-decade financial backing

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