– Fukushima: Japan’s PM ready to send residents back home despite radiation (Voice of Russia, March 11, 2014):
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has publicly announced that he would like to have 30,000 residents return to their houses in the Fukushima area despite grave radiation concerns.
The reactors will be turned back on within two years’ time, it has been said. What is worse is that a nuclear industry expert told one media outlet that the hard hit Fukushima reactor is still unstable, three years post disaster. Two former prime ministers and a Fukushima insider revealed that moving all of those people back into their homes would be an irresponsible move, according to a news agency. Requesting to stay anonymous, the man who was employed at TEPCO’s Fukushima power plant for over two decades said the situation at the reactor is not under control. Another nerve wracking issue is that nobody knows how to solve the problem on hand, according to the insider.
“There are too many systems and they all have problems,” the Fukushima insider said and continued on, “For example, too many water tanks with too many lines – it’s very difficult to operate. It’s made worse because all the experienced workers have reached their radiation limits, so TEPCO has to rely on staff that don’t know the site and who aren’t trained.”
Errors are being made on a weekly basis and the Pacific Ocean is the receiver of the contaminated water leaks, claims the whistleblower. The man also explained that the damaged reactors never have a shot at being decontaminated and that residents should not even consider moving back into the no-go zone. The area that is off limits as of right now is about 12 miles of excluded land around Fukushima.
“I feel it is impossible to fix before my death,” he said, according to an abc.net.au article, “We just don’t have the technology to fix it. It currently doesn’t exist. We just can’t deal with the melted fuel.” TEPO declined to make a comment about the allegations being brought against the viability of the area.
In spite of the harsh words the insider had given, the government will start bringing people back into the region in April of this year. Fukushima evacuees will be able to return to the no-go zone in just a few short weeks. This is part of a larger effort of the Abe government’s agenda to switch on all of Japan’s 48 nuclear reactors by mid-2104. All of these power plants have been turned off since 2011 when the disaster struck the island country.
There is no such thing as a zero risk nuclear plant, according to the words spoken from a government spokesman from Japan. Some degree of risk is always involved but could be managed in the proper manner with the new safety standards that have been put in place, according to the spokesperson.
It has been noted that it in the best interest of the economy to make nuclear power the main source of Japan’s energy. Concern has been made vocal over relying on coal and gas imports to the extent that the economy would stagnate and weaken the country’s frail recovery process.
“The causes of the accident haven’t been investigated properly. Contaminated water is still leaking, and compensation for victims hasn’t been sorted out,” former prime minister, Morihiro Hosokawa said, according to an abc.net.au article, “I think in these circumstances it is very irresponsible to turn the reactors back on.”
Hosokawa is not alone in his opinion as another ex-prime minister feels the same way. “They are trying to restart the nuclear reactors without learning the lessons of the March 11 accident,” Naoto Kan, the ex-prime minister who was in office at the time when the nuclear disaster hit in 2011, said, “If the accident had spread just a little further, then 50 million people around Tokyo would have been evacuated for a long time and that would have put Japan in chaos for 20 to 30 years.”
Kan claims that no nationwide evacuation plan has been created and by rushing to turn the reactors back on the government is disregarding the public safety and well-being. Today marks the third year since the Fukushima meltdown.