The drama at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan seems to be turning into a crisis, after the country’s nuclear agency upgraded the alert level from One to Three on the INES scale. More than 300 tons of radioactive water has already seeped into the ground, and employees at the plant are attempting to suck up the remaining water from the leaking tank, which they have surrounded with sandbags.
It’s a difficult and dangerous process, however, and Tepco, the firm that runs the Daiichi nuclear power station, is having to rotate the teams of workers constantly to minimize their radiation exposure. Last month, Masao Yoshida, the plant’s boss during the 2011 crisis, died of cancer. He was 58 years old.