East Japan Earthquake    March 11, 2011

Fukushima nuclear plant to be decommissioned: Gov't

March , 2011

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is in no condition to restart and is most likely to be decommissioned as it has caused many critical problems since a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan on March 11, the top government spokesman suggested Sunday. "Looking at the situation objectively, (the answer to the question of) whether it can be operated again is clear," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said at a news conference, when asked whether the government plans to close the plant once its overheating reactors are brought under control. It is the first time that a senior government official has mentioned about the likelihood of it being decommissioned. Edano's remarks came at a time when Japan is in a flurry to grapple with the threat of a nuclear meltdown. He said what is now most important is containing the emergency situation at the plant. When the government has yet to follow formal procedure, Edano said he cannot make a predicative statement over the fate of the plant. "But with my objective views just stated, I suppose you would understand what it means," Edano said, when asked to confirm whether the government has already decided not to allow the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., to restart it. The chief Cabinet secretary also told the news conference that Prime Minister Naoto Kan may visit near the crippled plant as early as Monday, for the second time since the quake occurred. (Mainichi Japan)

The Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture is pictured in this August 2003 file photo. (Mainichi)

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