Fukushima nuclear plant owner apologises for still-radioactive water
The owner of the Fukushima nuclear plant, destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami more than seven years ago, said water treated at the site still contains radioactive materials that for years it has insisted had been removed.
The admission by Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) could ruin its chances of releasing the water into the ocean, a move the nuclear regulator says is safe but which local fishermen oppose.
Tokyo got the bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics more than five years ago, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declaring that Fukushima was "under control" in his final pitch to the International Olympic Committee.
The nearly one million tonnes of stored water at the wrecked plant, enough to fill about 500 Olympic swimming pools, still contained detectable levels of potentially harmful radioactive particles, Tepco told a government committee on October 1.
Tepco 9501.T apologised to the committee under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which is looking into ways to dispose of the water.
A spokesman at Tepco confirmed the findings and the apology. ■