Japan’s nuclear crisis took another turn on Tuesday when utility firm TEPCO, which operates the Fukushima nuclear plant, admitted that a storage tank was leaking radioactive water, contaminated when an earthquake and tsunami damaged the plant in early 2011. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said it was “deplorable”, and the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) said the disaster was “in some respects” beyond TEPCO’s capabilities.

Decommissioning at Fukushima represents a significant obstacle to reactor restarts, which the government is pushing for. The likely short term impact of any delay is the continued imports of LNG – Japan bought 87.2mn tons last year, an increase of 9mn tons on 2011. (CONTINUED - 1670 WORDS)