18 Juillet 2016
July 15, 2016
Japan's state minister for industry has ruled out the option of sealing off disabled reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant with a Chernobyl-style sarcophagus.
Yosuke Takagi met Fukushima Governor Masao Uchibori in Tokyo on Friday.
Uchibori said he was shocked to hear the word "sarcophagus" and called the option unacceptable.
Two days earlier, a government body charged with decommissioning the plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company mentioned the sarcophagus method for the first time.
The body said it remained committed to removing fuel debris from the reactors that suffered meltdowns in the March 2011 accident. But it presented a technical report that left room for entombing the reactors in a massive metal and concrete structure.
Responding to Uchibori, Takagi said the government has no intention of using such an option, and that completing the decommissioning process is the top priority.
Takagi said the government's policy is to stand by the people of Fukushima, and that his ministry has told the decommissioning body to rewrite its technical report.