"Japan To Raise Severity Rating for Fukushima Leaks To Level 3"

"Japan will raise the severity rating of a recent toxic water leak at the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant to level 3, or 'serious incident', on an international scale for radiological releases, underlining the deepening sense of crisis at the site."

"Contaminated water with dangerously high levels of radiation is leaking from a storage tank at Fukushima, the plant's operator said on Tuesday, the most serious setback to date for the clean up of the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) assessed that the leak merits a level 3 rating, classifying it as a "serious incident" on the INES scale, according to a document posted on the agency's website on Wednesday.

The leak had previously been assigned a level 1 'anomaly' rating, but the increase to level 3 is scheduled for formal adoption by the authority's commissioners later on Wednesday after a meeting that is currently under way, a spokesman for the agency told Reuters by phone."

Kentaro Hamada reports for Reuters August 21, 2013.

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Source: Reuters, 08/21/2013