Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's assurances to the international community that radioactive water is being contained inside the port of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant may have come without him knowing exactly which area he was talking about.
Abe told the International Olympic Committee earlier this month the "influence of the contaminated water is completely blocked within the 0.3 square-kilometer area of the plant's port." He made the remarks during Tokyo's final presentation for the right to host the 2020 Summer Olympics in an attempt to erase concerns over the buildup of radioactive water at the plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co.
However, during a visit to the Fukushima complex Thursday, he asked the plant's chief Akira Ono in the presence of reporters, "Where is the 0.3 (square-km area)?" prompting Ono to point to the relevant area.
Meanwhile, TEPCO said Friday that five bolts at the bottom of a tank that has leaked about 300 tons of toxic water, some of which has reached the adjacent Pacific Ocean, were found to be loose.
The huge cylindrical tank, one of about 300 containing highly radioactive water at the plant, is made of steel plates that are bolted together.
Responding to the leakage incident, the utility has reinforced its patrolling activities of the tank area and plans to increase the number of more reliable welded-structure containers at the site.