3 Sep 2013

New radiation found at Fukushima

7:00 am on 3 September 2013

The operator of Japan's ruined Fukushima nuclear plant says high radiation levels are spreading, as the Japanese Government prepares to offer more funding and oversight to try to contain the crisis.

The Tokyo Electric Power company says patrolling workers have come across a new area of high radiation near storage tanks of contaminated water.

The tanks were built to house water used to cool the nuclear plant after the 2011 earthquake.

The power company says a radiation reading on the ground near the newly found hot spot would expose a worker in just one hour to the safety limit Japan has set for exposure over five years.

The company had previously said radiation near a different tank had spiked dangerously last week, to a level that could kill an unprotected person in four hours.

As much as 300 tonnes of highly radioactive water was found to have leaked from another tank last month.

The latest announcement came just hours after the Japanese Government sought to reassure the public.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the Government would take prompt comprehensive steps to clean up the plant.