(AP) Japan's nuclear regulator says the impact that radiation-contaminated water leaks from the country's wrecked nuclear plant is having on the Pacific is not known and the situation must be monitored more closely.
Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shunichi Tanaka said Thursday that the Fukushima plant's leaks cannot be plugged immediately. He said the monitoring of the leaks is insufficient and urged a more comprehensive effort to monitor the ocean near the plant.
The plant suffered triple meltdowns after the massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., must constantly cool the reactors with water, and is struggling to contain the waste.
TEPCO recently acknowledged the chronic leaking of radiation-tainted underground water into the Pacific, plus a 300-ton (300,000-liter, 80,000-gallon) seepage from a storage tank.