Russia has once again offered Japan assistance in dealing with the aftermath of the accident at the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant. It would appear that this time round Tokyo is ready to accept it. The proposal came in response to Tokyo Electric Power Co's decision to seek outside help, Bloomberg reports.

Earlier the operator of the troubled nuclear plant said there had been a leak of some 300 tonnes of radioactive water from a storage tank. Then higher levels of radiation were detected on the surface of two more water storage tanks.

"From the point of view of global contamination, increased discharge of water into the Pacific just sounds scary, whereas in fact the amounts of toxic water, when compared with the dilution factor for the Pacific Ocean, should be divided by billions," says head of the nuclear safety laboratory at the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Research Centre, Anatoly Stroganov.

"What sort of assistance can be provided here? Only technological. But the Japanese are very sensitive when it comes to accepting help," he adds.

Radiation levels in some residential areas near the stricken nuclear power plant are higher than the norm. The local authorities are most of all concerned by water contamination.

The accident at the Fukushima plant took place after the March 2011 earthquake in north-eastern Japan. The quake was followed by a 14-metre tsunami wave that flooded four of the nuclear plant's six reactors and disrupted their cooling systems.

Experts estimate that the clean-up operation may take some 40 years.

First published in Russian by BFM.ru

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