The government is considering using reserves from the fiscal 2013 budget to deal with the leaks of radioactive water at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 power plant, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday.
Suga said he has instructed industry minister Toshimitsu Motegi to pursue all possible measures to deal with the leaks, including the money.
Motegi, who visited the plant Monday for an inspection, said Tepco’s lax maintenance was largely to blame for the leaking storage tanks surrounding the poorly protected 40-year-old plant hit by the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
He said the government would be taking charge and stepping up patrols of the tanks to prevent more problems.
Suga said the big problem is that Tepco has failed to properly manage tanks for storing contaminated water, unlike the structural factors behind the contamination of groundwater at the plant.
The building crisis involving leaks of radioactive water from the crippled plant will not hamper Japan’s bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, Suga also said at the same press conference.
He acknowledged that Japanese diplomats have been briefing other countries on the escalating crisis at the plant, but added, “I believe this will not influence” the Olympics bid.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is scheduled to join a general meeting of the International Olympic Committee on Sept. 7 in Buenos Aires and make a final presentation for Tokyo’s bid to host the games, which Madrid and Istanbul are also seeking to host.