Japan’s prime minister said on Saturday the decommissioning of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant would take decades, in the first government announcement of a long-term timeframe for the clean-up.
A monster tsunami crippled cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi plant following the March 11 earthquake, with three reactors suffering meltdowns, triggering the world’s worst nuclear emergency in a generation.
"Many people have been forced to evacuate," Naoto Kan said during a meeting of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan.
"It is expected to take three, five, or 10 years for controlling it, and even several decades until the accident settles finally."
An aerial view shows the quake-damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant in the Japanese town of Futaba, Fukushima prefecture in March 2011. Japan’s prime minister said the decommissioning of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant would take decades, in the first government announcement of a long-term timeframe for the clean-up.
The Japan Atomic Energy Commission and Fukushima plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co have set a provisional goal of starting the removal of melted nuclear fuel at about 2021, public broadcaster NHK said.
The station reported that the authorities, the operator and equipment manufacturers also expect "several decades" to pass before the reactors are ready to be dismantled, citing a long-term roadmap for bringing the plant under control.
Japan has unveiled a short-term emergency plan to stabilise the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which has emitted high levels of radiation after its cooling systems were knocked out.
But the government had not until Saturday presented an estimate of how long it will take before the crisis can be brought to an end.
The blueprint obtained by NHK was mapped out by studying how the United States handled the 1979 Three Mile nuclear accident, the broadcaster said.
TEPCO expects to reduce radiation leaks by July and bring its reactors to a stable cold shutdown by January at the latest.
Goshi Hosono, newly appointed state minister in charge of handling the nuclear accident, has told Jiji Press that the government will announce a revised roadmap and a longer-term vision for the accident on July 19.
Your Smartphone Broadcasts Your Entire Life To The Secret Service 2014 09 23
Intelligence services collect metadata on the communication of all citizens. Politicians would have us believe that this data doesn’t say all that much. A reader of De Correspondent put this to the test and demonstrated otherwise: metadata reveals a lot more about your life than you think.
Ton Siedsma is nervous. He made the decision weeks ago, but keeps postponing it. ...
Scots were tricked into voting ‘No’ – Salmond 2014 09 23
London politicians gulled Scottish voters out of independence by making a false “vow” to grant Glasgow extra powers, First Minister Alex Salmond has said. He also raised the prospect of another referendum, saying the break-up is inevitable.
Alex Salmond, leader of the ’Yes’ campaign and the outgoing head of the Scottish National Party (SNP), told the BBC’s Sunday Politics program that ...
The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 2014 09 23 The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
Suspected Ebola patient Finda “Zanabo” prays over her sick family members before being admitted to the Doctors Without Borders Ebola treatment center on Aug. 21, 2014, near Monrovia, Liberia. Photo by John Moore/Getty Images
As the Ebola epidemic in West Africa has spiraled out of control, affecting thousands of Liberians, Sierra Leonians, and Guineans, ...
Man bitten by Ebola patient flown to Switzerland 2014 09 22
Swiss authorities say a male nurse who was bitten by an Ebola patient while working in West Africa has been flown to Switzerland as a precaution.
The health ministry says the unidentified man was working for an international organization in Sierra Leone when he was bitten by a child infected with Ebola on Saturday.
The ministry says the nurse was wearing protective ...