TROUBLE WITH NUCLEAR POWER IN NORTHERN ASIA
Asia's confidence in nuclear power continued to falter as Taiwan said that a plant may have been leaking radioactive water for three years, and as the Fukushima site faces additional complications. In Taiwan, the government's watchdog released a report warning that the First Nuclear Power Plant, located near densely populated Taipei, has been leaking toxic water from the storage pools of two reactors. An official from the plant's operating company responded that the water did not come from the storage pools, but may have come from condensation or water used to clean the floors. The official also said that the water posed no threat to the environment, as the water has been collected in a reservoir used for spent nuclear fuel rods and has been recycled back into the storage tanks. The watchdog, called Control Yuan, said that it did not believe the explanation from the operator and that the company lacks a proper plan for how to handle spent nuclear materials. In Japan, the prime minister stepped in to promise "firm measures" to combat Fukushima's continuing radioactive water leaks. Tepco, the plant's operator, has been criticized for lack of action and announced last week that some of the water from the plant had seeped over an underground barrier it had created by injecting chemicals into the soil. For the full story, see http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/08/09/us-asia-nuclear-idUKBRE9780BD20130809. For the story on the Taiwanese plant, see http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/08/09/us-taiwan-nuclear-idUKBRE97803Y20130809. For the story on Fukushima, see http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/08/japan-pm-fukushima-leaks.