There have been further meltdowns at Japan’s stricken Fukushima nuclear plant, according to Tepco, the operators of the facility. The firm has now confirmed that three of the six reactors suffered meltdowns within days of March’s deadly earthquake and tsunami.
Until now, Tepco had only admitted a meltdown at No. 1 reactor. But the revelation by the firm’s General Manager, Junichi Matsumoto, has only raised more questions about why the extent of the damage was not disclosed earlier.
To help provide answers, the International Atomic Energy Agency has sent a team to investigate how things went so badly wrong.
“We’re here to gather information and to seek to learn lessons, because the basis for the high standards in nuclear safety is never being complacent,” said Michael Weightman, head of Britain’s nuclear safety agency and leader of an 18-member International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team.
IAEA representatives, which include nuclear safety experts from France, Russia, China and the United States, will meet Japanese officials this week before travelling to Fukushima.
Engineers are still battling to stop radioactive water leaking from the reactors and to bring the plant under control.