Japan to stop dumping radioactive water into sea

Japan expects to stop pumping radioactive water into the sea from its crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant today, a day after China expressed concern at the action.

"The emptying out of the relatively low radiation water is expected to finish tomorrow (Saturday)," a Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) official was quoted by Reuters as saying late on Friday.

TEPCO is struggling to contain the worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl, with its engineers pumping low-level radioactive seawater, used to cool overheated fuel rods, back into the sea for the past five days due to lack of storage capacity.

According to the Reuters report, China said it will closely monitor Japan's actions to regain control of the plant and demanded Tokyo provide swift and accurate information on the crisis, which began on 11 March when a magnitude 9 earthquake was followed by a huge tsunami.

"We hope that Japan will act in accordance with international law and adopt effective measures to protect the marine environment," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement on Friday.

China said it had detected 10 cases of ships, aircraft or cargo arriving from Japan with higher than normal levels of radiation since mid-March.