TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's nuclear crisis escalated to its worst level since a massive earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima plant more than two years ago, with the country's nuclear watchdog saying it feared more storage tanks were leaking contaminated water.
The U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Wednesday it viewed the situation at Fukushima "seriously" and was ready to help if called upon, while nearby China said it was "shocked" to hear contaminated water was still leaking from the plant, and urged Japan to provide information "in a timely, thorough and accurate way".
"We hope the Japanese side can earnestly take effective steps to put an end to the negative impact of the after-effects of the Fukushima nuclear accident," China's Foreign Ministry said in a statement faxed to Reuters in Beijing.
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga called the situation "deplorable", and the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) said it feared the disaster - the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl a quarter of a century earlier - was "in some respects" beyond the plant operator's ability to cope.http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE97K02B20130821?irpc=932
The Gadfly, for the public record, would like to propose that any story about a possible nuclear meltdown which references that great bastion of environmental responsibility and natural resources veneration - China - as being "shocked" -- is officially fucking scary.
Considering that the Japanese nuclear industry folks are about as trustworthy as "Pentagon spokespeople", The Gadfly wonders if it might not be a good idea to begin stocking up on crates of iodized salt.
Jeebus . . . . .