Power Company Predicts 9 More Months of Fukushima Drama
Posted on Apr 17, 2011
After five weeks of struggling to avoid a total meltdown at the quake- and tsunami-battered Fukushima nuclear plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. has announced that it could be nine months before it is able to cool damaged reactors completely.
Meantime, it remains unclear when local evacuees will be able to return home, and concerns over new and accelerating leaks are escalating as radiation levels in the nearby sea rose last Friday to 6,500 times the legal limit—nearly six times the amount measured just a day before. —ARK
Radiation levels in the sea near reactor 2 rose to 6,500 times the legal limit on Friday, up from 1,100 times a day earlier, Tepco has said, raising fears of fresh radiation leaks.
Tsunehisa Katsumata, the chairman of Tepco, Asia’s largest utility, told a news conference in Tokyo on Sunday they would need up to nine months to bring the power plant to ‘‘cold shutdown’‘.
He said the plan would allow the tens of thousands of families evacuated from the area around the facility to return home as soon as possible.
“We sincerely apologise for causing troubles,” Mr Katsumata said. “We are doing our utmost to prevent the crisis from further worsening.”
Illustration by PZS based on a graphic by Cary Bass