Thinking Outside Fukushima

This month—nearly two and a half years after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station—the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) finally admitted that it needed outside help to control the numerous problems at its stricken plant.

After news broke recently that at least 300 metric tons of contaminated water leaked from above-ground storage tanks into the surrounding soil, the Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), an agency formed after the Fukushima crisis, classified the situation as a serious incident—a three on the International Nuclear Event Scale (far from the highest level seven, a major accident, which was the scale of the Fukushima accident in March 2011).

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