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Fukushima levels spike '18-fold'

Radiation at a storage tank holding highly contaminated water at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has spiked 18-fold, the plant's operator has said. The levels are enough to kill an exposed person in four hours.

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Nuclear watchdog criticises Fukushima plant safety

Japan's nuclear watchdog has criticised the safety checks by plant workers at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. The comments come as it emerged hundreds of tonnes of highly radioactive water leaked from the plant into the Pacific Ocean. The leak is the fifth such incident in a year.

Officials said workers apparently overlooked several signs of the leaks - and suggested that the twice-daily patrols recorded were largely just a walk. Water levels inside tanks were not monitored, and the puddle that caused this latest leak was not detected, until it was too late.

Watchdog chairman Shunichi Tanaka said another radioactive leak into the sea is a real fear, and steps must be taken immediately to safeguard the plant.

That's what we fear the most. We must remain alert.

We should assume that what has happened once could happen again, and prepare for more. We are in a situation where there is no time to waste.

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