Number 2 reactor building at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan
TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's nuclear regulator has upgraded the rating of a leak of radiation-contaminated water at its tsunami-wrecked nuclear plant to a "serious incident" on an international scale.
Nuclear Regulation Authority officials say the severity of the Aug. 19's leak has been raised to level 3 from the original level 1.
The Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant suffered triple meltdowns after the massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. The plant's operator is spraying tons of water into its reactors to cool them and is struggling to contain the resulting waste water.
Tokyo Electric Power says some 80,000 gallons of water escaped from one tank last week, and some may have reached the sea through a rainwater gutter.