And finally, good news for Japan as Fukushima decontamination starts

[Sikura Kimoto, Japan News Contributor] It seems that the Fukushima crisis has somewhat abated as decontamination works have now been started at the hugely compromised plant.

At the moment, viciously toxic water at the basement of the plant is being moved to a recycling facility as fast as possible in order to avoid sea pollution and to enable the operator to close the whole complex down.

If the operation is successful (and the pumping works are expected to end  in around a month, as up to 67,500 tons of radioactive water have built up inside the buildings) workers will be able to enter the plant and restore the cooling systems. If cooling is not put back, a total meltdown will occur.

On Monday, the latest  robot-taken pictures and radiation measurements  inside the buildings were disclosed to the public. Levels at reactors 1 and 3 were still dangerously high – 50 milisieverts per hour (when the safe limit is an annual equivalent).

However, the plant operators, TEPCO, still has not abandoned hopes to find some less dangerous places within the  buildings.  It promises that as soon as its technicians are able to safely enter the plant,  new cooling facilities will be set up and reactors 1,3, and 4 will get covered in concrete so to achieve ‘cold shutdown‘ of the plant in nine months.

The Chairman of TEPCO, Tsunehisa Katsumata, as well as its president, Masataka Shimizu, have announced that because of the disaster they are likely to quit. However, there are likely to be criminal investigations of the plant operators over the incident, analysts are saying.


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