The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team, headed by Juan Carlos Lentijo said that the decommissioning of the Fukushima nuclear plant might take more than 40 years. The nuclear watchdog also urged Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), the operator of the crippled plant to improve the “essential systems” so as to avoid prolonging the clean-up.
Lentijo said that they should replace their temporary equipment with a permanent system that is more reliable and stable. The makeshift equipment that is running the plant now has been experiencing power glitches and rodent infestations, not to mention the leaks in the underground pools. The draft report submitted by the team today showed milestones already accomplished as well as areas that need to be improved, including continual assessment of the integrity of site facilities and enhancing protection against external hazards.
The 13 member expert team conducted an initial assessment of Japan’s plans to decommission the plant, in consultation with officials from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Nuclear Regulation Authority and TEPCO. They examined the different issues related to it, including the strategic approach of the government’s Roadmap, the current condition of the damaged reactors and the fuel pools, how TEPCO is managing the large amount of accumulated water at the site and the radioactive releases from the plant. Lentijo said that the over-all damage to the plant is too “complex” that it is near impossible to actually predict when the clean-up will be finished. The final report from the team will be submitted to the government by May.
[ via The Republic ]