Greenpeace frets over Fukushima response in Japan

Sept. 3, 2013 at 9:11 AM
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TOKYO, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Greenpeace said a decision by the Japanese government to step into the Fukushima Daiichi crisis may be an indication of broader nuclear safety concerns.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday the government would spend $472 million to help stem the radioactive water leaking from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant, the Kyodo News agency reported Tuesday.

A 9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami crippled the nuclear facility in 2011. Tokyo Electric Power Co., known also as Tepco, increased plant monitoring activities after it discovered 79,000 gallons of contaminated water had leaked from one of the plant's storage tanks.

Tokyo last week said it was frustrated with Tepco's inability to resolve the situation on its own. The government said it was working on an "underground ice shield" to prevent groundwater from seeping into the contamination zone.

Greenpeace said Tuesday the government's role in the disaster was risky. The group said Abe was working to restart more nuclear facilities but has so far shown the government is not able to handle existing crises.

The environmental group added Tepco hasn't been able to handle the problem either. It said initial inspections of the storage tanks were minimal, reporting Tuesday the company initially had two workers assigned to inspect 1,000 tanks.

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