World News

New Hot Spots Found at Japan's Fukushima Plant

The operator of Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant says new hot spots of radiation have been found near storage tanks holding radioactive water, but no new leaks have been discovered.

During an inspection of the plant's stoage tanks Thursday, the Tokyo Electric Power company says it found two new areas with dangerously high levels of radiation.

A TEPCO spokesman says water levels in the tanks near the new hot spots have not changed and the ground around them was dry. But it is not clear if the possibility of a new leak has been ruled out.

TEPCO has said at least 300 tons of radioactive water have leaked from a steel storage tank at the coastal plant. It is one of hundreds of such tanks holding toxic water used to cool melted reactors.

The leaking has raised questions about the reliability of the tanks to secure reactor cooling water, which is accumulating at a rate of 400 tons a day.

On Wednesday, Japan raised its alert level in response to a new leak. Regulators upgraded the situation from a level one "anomaly" to a level three "serious incident" on an international scale for radiation leaks. The scale goes from zero to seven, with seven being the most serious.

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