TEPCO, the utility company at the centre of the worst nuclear accident in Japan in 25 years, said Wednesday that it will scrap the troubled four reactor units of the Fukushima Daiichi nuke power plant while warning that the ongoing efforts to contain the crisis will be a drawn-out process. Of particular concern on Wednesday was reactor No 2 where the govt admitted high radiation levels record inside and outside the building made it almost certain that a partial meltdown of fuel rods had occured, indicating the critical situation of the reactor’s core beginning to melt due to overheating.[from Kyodo News]: ”We apologize for causing the public anxiety, worry and trouble due to the explosions at reactor buildings and the release of radioactive materials,” Tsunehisa Katsumata, TEPCO’s chairman said at the company’s head office in Tokyo, 220 kilometers southwest of the plant on the Pacific coast.
”We probably have no choice but to scrap reactors 1 to 4 if we look at their conditions objectively,” Katsumata added, expressing for the first time the co.’s intention of scrapping the accident-stricken reactor units at a time when workers are continuing efforts to cool them down.
But Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano suggested that all six reactors should be scrapped at the 40-year-old plant in Fukushima, saying at a news conference, ”It is very clear looking at the social circumstances.”
In a sign of growing public frustration over the escalating radiation leaks from the plant since it was damaged by the earthquake and tsunami (possibly as high as 10 meters) that hit the country on March 11, more than 100 antinuclear protesters gathered outside the TEPCO head office on Wednesday evening, calling for an end to reliance on nuclear power.