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Fresh problems at Fukushima as Japan nuclear watchdog reprimands TEPCO

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Fresh problems at Fukushima as Japan nuclear watchdog reprimands TEPCO

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As Fukushima faces further problems in its complex cleanup, the operator of the stricken plant has been reprimanded by Japan’s nuclear regulator.

Naomi Hirose, President of the Tokyo Electric Power Co., or Tepco, apologised for what he called “repeated mishandling misjudgements on site”. He had been summoned to appear before the watchdog which did not hold back in its criticism.

“The problem at TEPCO’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant was caused by the failure to take basic precautionary measures,” he was told by Katsuhiko Ikeda, Secretary-General of the Nuclear Regulatory Agency. “I must say that the on-site management at TEPCO’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant is becoming extremely poor.”

The latest mishap after the earthquake and tsunami in 2011, occurred on Friday when an alarm went off on a water decontamination system which then had to be shut down. It had only just resumed operations after previous problems.

On Thursday, TEPCO said that a tank holding highly contaminated water had overflowed, probably sending the liquid into the Pacific Ocean. It was the second such breach in less than two months.