(OILPRICE) — The 11 March 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has left TEPCO struggling with a potential public relations disaster ever since.

Since the onset of the incident TEPCO used massive sprays of water to cool the damaged reactor complex.

The debacle ignited concerns worldwide about the release into the environment of radioactive debris from the stricken nuclear facility, a topic that both TEPCO and the Japanese government worked to downplay.

Relentlessly upbeat and optimistic information has been sparingly released by TEPCO ever since, but on July 25 the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbum reported that Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority chairman Shunichi Tanaka told journalists that “The Fukushima No. 1 (nuclear reactor) plant is filling up with water. Inevitably the contaminated water will have to be discharged into the sea after TEPCO processes it properly and lowers (its radioactivity levels) below the standards.”

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