Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Update for December 16th –December 19th, 2011

  • Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Update for December 16th –December 19th, 2011

    In spite of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s announcement that the nuclear crisis is under control and TEPCO has achieved so-called “cold shutdown conditions” at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, some experts are skeptical that Noda’s statement was simply a symbolic political milestone designed to allay fears about the nation’s safety, but not grounded in reality. Even some members of the Prime Minister’s own Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) have called the declaration a “fiction,” and Japanese distrust of the government and Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) is growing. Critics expressed concern this week about the unknown status of melted fuel, continuing leaks of radioactive water, and worker safety. Fukushima governor Yuhei Sato said, “The accident has not been brought under control.”

    A government panel studying Japan’s energy policy has endorsed new estimates of nuclear power costs, which reveal that they may be 50% greater than previously determined in 2004. The new figures reflect the possibility of a Fukushima-like accident, which has been assessed at a minimum of six trillion yen ($77 billion), and raise the cost of each kilowatt-hour. Experts expect that the new estimates will affect the revised energy policy, due out this summer.

    Source: greenpeace.org