EXCUSE THE DELAY

Tepco Delayed Upgrading Nuclear Crisis

Shortly after Japan's nuclear-safety agency Tepco increased the crisis level from 5 to 7 at the country's troubled Fukushima Daiichi plant, the agency admitted that it delayed upgrading the crisis rating and prompted calls for "swift and accurate" information about the full scale of the disaster. Tepco allegedly upped the crisis level after finding high levels of radioactive contamination in the air, tap water, vegetables, and seawater surrounding the plant. One agency official admitted, "Our concern is that it could eventually exceed Chernobyl." Five more communities have been added to the Japanese government's list of places to be avoided. The delayed announcement of the new crisis rating has caused Japan's citizens to question whether Tepco has been withholding details about the extent of the disaster. The nuclear safety agency has been accused of falsifying safety data in the past.