Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordered the operator of the country’s crippled nuclear power plant on Thursday to scrap all six reactors at the site instead of just four already slated for decommissioning and to concentrate on tackling pressing issues like radioactive water leaks.
After taking a look at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, , Mr. Abe insisted that radiation-contaminated water had been contained and said he would fend off “rumours” regarding its safety.
Following a three-hour tour of the plant, Mr. Abe instructed its operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco), to decommission the Nos. 5 and 6 reactors, which survived the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Mr. Abe said that he urged Tepco to ensure it has enough funding on hand to take care of urgent work needed to clear the way for the plant’s decommissioning, and that Tepco president Naomi Hirose promised to obtain one trillion yen ($10 billion).
Mr. Abe said he stood by the reassurance about Tokyo’s safety that he gave to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) efore the city of 35 million was awarded the right to host the 2020 summer games earlier this month.
Officials have acknowledged that radiation-contaminated groundwater has been seeping into the Pacific since soon after meltdowns and explosions crippled the plant following earthquake and tsunami. Mr. Abe said he was convinced that all of the contaminated water had been contained.
During his tour, he was shown some of the 1,000 tanks containing radioactive water, water treatment equipment and a chemical dam being installed along the coast.