A lethal level of radiation has been detected inside one of the reactors at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, throwing fresh doubts over the operator's claims that the disabled complex is under control....
The struggle to decommission the Daiichi plant continues as a potentially epic battle looms between pro- and anti-nuclear forces. Only one of Japan's 54 reactors is still online after Reactor 6 of the world's largest nuclear complex, Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, shut down for maintenance earlier this week.
With Japan's nuclear power capacity down to less than two per cent, from 30 per cent, the Government and businesses fear a summer power crisis unless idling plants are restarted. However, each plant needs approval from sceptical local communities, and post-Fukushima surveys put opposition to nuclear power in Japan at around 80 per cent. Public fears have forced regulators to order tests to determine whether the plants will stand up to another large earthquake or tsunami.
Tepco's disgraced executives also face a 5.5-trillion-yen (£42bn) lawsuit by shareholders. "The company repeatedly ignored tsunami and earthquake research showing that the plant would be overwhelmed," said lead lawyer Hiroyuki Kawai this week. "The plant was run haphazardly and carelessly."
Thursday, March 29, 2012
David McNeill: " Latest readings from tsunami-stricken nuclear plant overturn claims that reactors have been made safe"
David McNeill at The Independent, "Still critical: radiation levels at Fukushima can kill in minutes: Latest readings from tsunami-stricken nuclear plant overturn claims that reactors have been made safe":