facebook
twitter
search
search

Danger level of toxic water leak at Japanese nuclear plant raised

Aug. 28, 2013 at 7:46 AM
| License Photo

TOKYO, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- The toxic water leak at Japan's damaged Fukushima power plant has been raised to a "serious incident" classification, the country's nuclear watchdog said.

A spokesman for Japan's Nuclear Regulatory Authority said the decision to give the leak a level 3 classification follows a discussion with the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, CNN reported.

Previously, the leak was assigned a level 1 or "anomaly rating" on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale.

The scale ranges from zero for no safety threat to seven for major incidents like the meltdown the plant suffered as a result of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The decision to raise the alert level came two days after a Japanese government minister compared efforts by the plant's operator to deal with toxic leaks to a game of "whack-a-mole."

The leakage of some 300 tons of highly radioactive water from a surface tank at the plant went unnoticed for more than a month before it was discovered on Aug. 19, Japan's The Asahi Shimbun reported.

The leak was found due to a spike in the beta-ray exposure levels of plant workers.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Pilot in Taiwan plane crash shut down wrong engine, black boxes show
Texas police body cam video shows fatal shooting
Law enforcement gives 'all clear' after U.S. Navy Yard lockdown
Talks with NKorea come with conditions, says White House advisor
North Korea seeks help from Iran in battle against drought