A recent post in the Wall Street Journal reports that Prime Minister Abe:
said he told Tepco president Naomi Hirose to decommission the remaining two reactors as well. “I have asked (Tepco) to decommission the No. 5 and No. 6 reactors so that they can focus on work to contain the situation,” Mr. Abe told reporters who were also in the tour.
The report went on to say that:
Mr. Hirose also told Mr. Abe that Tepco would set aside an additional Y1 trillion ($10.12 billion) for Daiichi cleanup over the next 10 years, without specifying the source of the funds, the Tepco spokesman said. The money-strapped Tepco has already set aside Y960 billion for Fukushima Daiichi-related cleanup as of the end of June. Where the additional money will come from isn’t clear: Tepco has been on the brink of bankruptcy since the Fukushima accident due to huge bills for compensation paid to victims, as well as extra fossil fuel needed to make up for the loss of its nuclear-power generation. The government “is not going to give out any more money,” trade minister Toshimitsu Motegi, told reporters later on Thursday. The Tepco spokesman said the company may have to cut maintenance work on its thermal power plants and grid network to gin up the Y1 trillion. Mr. Abe also asked Mr. Hirose on Thursday to set a deadline for decontaminating the 350,000 metric tons of radioactive water stored in tanks at the site; Mr. Hirose answered that he will try to remove all the radioactive materials except tritium from the water by March 2015. There was no talk of the cost for that either, according to the spokesman.
The politicians and the corporate heads are saying that this problem can be solved with money, but they have not yet established a source for the money. Tepco is hear bankruptcy. The government does not want to ask the taxpayers for help, at the same time they, the government, are promoting nuclear power. It will be interesting to follow the story for the next several years to see whether their attempts are successful.
- Future of Japan depends on stopping Fukushima leaks, PM tells workers (theguardian.com)
- UPDATE3: Abe urges TEPCO to scrap 2 Fukushima reactors that avoided meltdowns (english.kyodonews.jp)
- TEPCO needs $10.05 billion to dismantle nuclear reactors in Fukushima (japandailypress.com)