Keep up with the news by installing RT’s extension for . Never miss a story with this clean and simple app that delivers the latest headlines to you.

 

TEPCO accepts US offer to aid dangerous Fukushima cleanup

Published time: November 02, 2013 19:39
Edited time: November 04, 2013 17:16
4 reactor building at TEPCO's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in the town of Okuma, Fukushima prefecture in Japan (AFP Photo)

4 reactor building at TEPCO's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in the town of Okuma, Fukushima prefecture in Japan (AFP Photo)

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has accepted Washington’s offer to help with the cleanup and decommissioning of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The move comes as TEPCO prepares for the major operation of removing fuel rods from Unit 4.

TEPCO president Naomi Hirose said the decision was made Friday when US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz visited the nuclear plant.

“Secretary Moniz and I became consistent through our talking today with the necessity of further strengthening cooperation, to contribute to the nuclear power and decommissioning industry not only between the two countries but throughout the world, by sharing and accumulating technology and knowledge towards the stability and decommissioning of the power station,” Hirose said in a statement published on TEPCO’s website.

In 2012, Japan and the US created a bilateral commission to strengthen engagement on civil nuclear issues.

A Japan-US commission is set to meet in Washington, DC on Monday to exchange opinions on Fukushima emergency response and regulatory issues.

TEPCO’s president said he has “high hopes” that Japan will “benefit from US to experience and expertise at Fukushima Daiichi."

"We will work together to tackle many challenges toward decommissioning,"
Hirose said in an interview with Japanese public broadcaster NHK.

On Friday, US Energy Secretary Moniz visited the crippled Fukushima plant to inspect preparations to remove fuel rods from a storage pool at Unit 4.

Escorted by Hirose, the US official also visited other facilities at the plant, including storage tanks for contaminated water and radioactive water treatment units.

"It appears that spent nuclear fuel will begin to be removed from Unit 4 as scheduled in mid-November,"
said Moniz, the highest ranking US official to visit Fukushima since a March 2011 earthquake and tsunami caused a series of nuclear meltdowns at the plant.

The fuel removal at Unit 4 is said to be the toughest and most dangerous operation for TEPCO; one wrong move could result in horrific quantities of radiation being released into the atmosphere or cause an explosion many times worse than the original disaster.

Reactor 4 contains 10 times more Cesium-137 than Chernobyl did. Scientists have warned that another nuclear disaster could be the beginning of an ultimate catastrophe for the planet. The mid-November fuel removal operation will be just the first step in a decommissioning process that is expected to take decades.

Moniz has stated that the cleanup operation “has global significance” and that “we all have a direct interest in seeing that the next steps are taken well, efficiently and safely.”

Comments (18)

 

Maynard 18.11.2013 22:42

U.S. airfarce is enemy.

 

Carolyn Nigro 13.11.2013 14:30

Why didn't we help two years ago? Too busy destabilizing Syria?

 

nicolel 08.11.2013 18:24

Pride can be a wonderful, terrible thing. Dont just keep your fingers crossed on this one. TEPCO is not competent and we need international expertise. This is so scary. I just think of my two babies and people all around the world. How sad and frightening.

View all comments (18)
Add comment

Authorization required for adding comments

Register or

Name

Password

Show password

Register

or Register

Request a new password

Send

or Register

To complete a registration check
your Email:

OK

or Register

A password has been sent to your email address

Edit profile

X

Name

New password

Retype new password

Current password

Save

Cancel

Follow us

Follow us