Fukushima disaster, Tepco ‘too big to fail’


TEPCO, cartoon

From Japan Safety blog:

Insight: Japan ponders Fukushima options, but Tepco too big to fail — Reuters

SEPTEMBER 12, 2013 BY MELANIE

Fukushima nuclear plant operator Tepco Electric’s response to the world’s worst atomic disaster in a quarter century has been called ad hoc and more concerned with cost than safety, but 30 months later, the utility is still in charge.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in the centerpiece of Tokyo’s successful bid to host the 2020 Olympics, said he would be personally responsible for a plan to cope with the legacy of the March 2011 disaster in which a massive earthquake and tsunami caused triple meltdowns, spewing radiation and forcing some 160,000 residents to flee their homes.

A crisis over radiation-contaminated water at the plant has revived calls to put Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) into bankruptcy as a prelude to nationalizing the clean-up and shut-down of the reactors, but there is little political support for the idea given its potential fallout for financial markets, Tepco’s creditors and other nuclear utilities.

With concerns over Tepco’s ability to cope, policymakers are pondering ways to take the <A HREF=”http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/inspector-says-japan-needs-international-help-for-nuclear-plant-a-921302.html”Fukushima shut-down off the utility’s hands, perhaps through an agency along the lines of Britain’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. Even that, though, faces hurdles, including the likely need for new legislation, clarity on the size of the bill for taxpayers and government liability, and working out the implications for Japan’s other utilities.

That means, at least for now, the government may just end up pouring in more money, leaving Tepco in charge while stepping up official oversight. … “

Read article here.

Sharp tritium level rise in Fukushima: here.

Fukushima unit four fuel removal risks: here.

Strontium readings spike 6,500-fold in one day: Water radiation soars at Fukushima No. 1 — The Japan Times: here.

TEPCO Downplays Huge Risks Involved in Removing Fukushima Fuel Rods: here.

Tepco under-calculated radiation exposure for 142 Fukushima workers: here.

Tepco haunted by mismanagement: Glaring errors have met utility’s cleanup effort at nearly every turn — The Japan Times: here.

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