Japan Tsunami

Japan Likely to Scrap All Reactors at Contaminated Fukushima Nuke Plant

Tokyo (Xinhua): Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said today that it was highly likely that the stricken reactors at the radiation-leaking Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in northern Japan would be scrapped.

Speaking at a news conference, the top government spokesperson said that he believed all six reactors at the troubled facility should be decommissioned.

He said scrapping the reactors would be in the best interests of society.

“I believe it is very clear from the viewpoint of society (that the reactors should be decommissioned). That is my perception,” the chief cabinet secretary said.

An aerial view, taken by unmanned aircraft, issued by Air Photo Service shows Tokyo Electric Power Co's Fukushima nuclear power plant. Shares in the beleaguered firm plunged 17.66 percent Wednesday on concerns over its ability to manage the crisis at the stricken power plant. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)

In the absence of Masataka Shimizu, 66, estranged CEO of the nuclear plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) who having not been seen for the past two weeks was hospitalized yesterday due to high blood pressure and dizziness, TEPCO chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata said at least four of the reactors should be scrapped.

“We have no choice but to scrap reactors 1 to 4 if we look at their conditions objectively,” Katsumata said at a separate news conference.

Edano said that the ongoing crisis will take some time before it is resolved and as such local residents evacuated from the vicinity of the Daiichi facility may not be able to return home anytime soon.

“Unfortunately, some time is needed before the situation is brought under control and we can be sure that people are safe from radiation,” said Edano.

Earlier Wednesday the government was mulling taking the unprecedented measure of covering three of the badly damaged nuclear reactor buildings with special fabric caps and fitting air filters to limit radiation leakage.

The idea of anchoring an empty tanker near the troubled No. 2 reactor building so that workers can pump several hundred tons of highly-radioactive water into its storage facilities, has also been floated by government and nuclear experts.

Seawater near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility’s No.1 reactor contained radioactive iodine at 3,355 times the legal limit and a spokesperson for Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said earlier on Wednesday and extraordinary measures must now be taken.

“The (radiation) figures are rising further,” said the agency’s Deputy Director-General Hidehiko Nishiyama.

“We need to find out as quickly as possible the cause and stop them from rising any higher. We are in an unprecedented situation, so we need to think about different strategies, beyond those we normally think about,” Nishiyama added.

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