[…]The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) called in Tokyo Electric Power Co president Naomi Hirose and other executives over “the inappropriate management of contaminated water”.
The meeting came as it was revealed that a key system to decontaminate radioactive water at the plant had stopped again. The stoppage came just four days after TEPCO got the system back up and running following a breakdown when a piece of plastic clogged the machine.
Independent experts have said that ultimately this water will have to be dumped in the ocean once it has been scoured of the worst of its radioactive contamination.
But neighbouring countries, global pressure groups and local fishermen are deeply opposed to the idea, unmoved by assurances that the radiation will be massively diluted as it mixes with the vast Pacific.
Friday's stoppage is the latest in a growing list of setbacks at the plant, where TEPCO's haphazard and uncoordinated efforts to fix the mess have been derided by one government minister as akin to someone playing "whack-a-mole".
On Thursday the company announced 430 litres of polluted water had spilt from a tank as workers tried to remove rainwater dumped at the plant during a recent typhoon.
Its admission that the "contaminated water may well have flowed into the sea" came after the firm announced in August that 300 tonnes of toxic water that had leaked from a different tank had made its way into the ocean.
The UN atomic agency said Friday it was sending experts to Japan on October 14 for a week-long review of progress on the clean up.
After some time in Fukushima and meetings with government officials, the International Atomic Energy Agency will publish a report on its findings.