Fukushima ‘unprecedented challenge’: Japan new PM

FUKUSHIMA DAIICHI, JAPAN, Dec 29: The clean-up at Fukushima after its tsunami-sparked nuclear meltdowns is an “unprecedented challenge” Japan’s new prime minister told workers today during a tour of the plant.
“The massive work toward decommissioning is an unprecedented challenge in human history,” the newly-elected Shinzo Abe said. “Success in the decommissioning will lead to the reconstruction of Fukushima and Japan.”
Abe was touring the crippled Fukushima Daiichi just days after being formally elected as prime minister after his pro-business Liberal Democratic Party swept to victory in national elections.
The prime minister’s trip to the still-ruined site is part of a push by his new administration to tackle an issue that has been a major talking point over much of the last two years.
Observers widely expect Japan to restart its nuclear programme on the LDP’s watch, despite public concerns that the party was partially responsible for the extent of the catastrophe because of the culture of complicity during its more than five-decade rule.
His government said Thursday it would review a pledge by the previous administration to scrap nuclear power within three decades and would allow the restarting of any power plants deemed safe by regulators.
Japan’s entire stable of 50 reactors was shuttered for safety inspections in the aftermath of the March 2011 disaster at Fukushima, where a tsunami swamped cooling systems, sparking meltdowns. (AGENCIES)


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