Japan will declare the latest radioactive leak at the Fukushima nuclear power plant a level 3 “serious incident.” It is its gravest warning since the massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami that have led to the meltdown of three reactors.
The country’s Nuclear Regulation Authority said the leak was expected to be classified as a level 3 incident on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale. At the moment, it is expecting the confirmation from the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, according to the international press.
“The current situation is at the point where more surveillance will not be enough to keep the accidents from happening,” Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the authority, said. “Our job is now to lower the risk of these accidents from becoming fatal,” he added.
TEPCO, the operator of the plant, is trying to remove the large quantities of radioactive water, storing it large water tanks at the site.
The company was confronted with a series of leaking incidents, with the latest one occurring this week, when 300 tons of contaminated water leaked into the ground.
“This is extremely radioactive water, and it would pose a very significant risk to the workers who are going to be in a position to clean it up,” Michael Friedlander, a nuclear engineer and former U.S. power plant operator, said.
“It is a very difficult situation because we do not know exactly know where the leak is coming from.”