TOKYO (AP) — Japan will fund some of the costly, long-term projects to control the worrisome and growing leaks of contaminated water at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.
Public funding is part of several measures the government adopted Tuesday. Most were already announced but they are widely seen as a safety appeal before the International Olympic Committee votes on which city will host the 2020 Olympics. Tokyo is a front-runner.
The operator of the Fukishima Dai-ichi plant says hundreds of tons of radioactive underground water have been leaking into the sea daily since early in the crisis, caused by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Several leaks from storage tanks in recent weeks have added to concerns that the plant is unable to manage the radioactive water.
On Monday, Japan's top nuclear regulator raised safety concerns about the hastily built storage tanks and their foundations after signs of new leaks.
One was found over the weekend in a connecting pipe, and plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., said it suspects three storage tanks where elevated radioactivity was detected also have had leaks.
Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shunichi Tanaka told a news conference that the small leak and possible other leaks have added to concerns about the plant's stability.
They follow a major leak two weeks ago. TEPCO reported a loss of 300 tons of highly radioactive water from a steel tank on Aug. 19, saying most of it is believed to have seeped underground but some might have escaped into the sea. The company has yet to determine the cause or exactly where the water went.
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