Japan asks international community to help solve Fukushima crisis.
By Danielle Demetriou in Tokyo 7th October 2013. Find Article Here:-
Japan’s prime minister has appealed to the international community to help fix the on-going crisis at its damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant.
Shinzo Abe, the prime minister, confirmed that Japan was open to receiving assistance from overseas in a bid to help resolve the world’s worst nuclear crisis in decades.
“We are wide open to receive the most advanced knowledge from overseas to contain the problem,” said Mr Abe, during a speech made in English at a science forum in Kyoto. “My country needs your knowledge and expertise.”
His comments were made against a backdrop of on-going technical issues, with operators confirming that the latest mishap was an accidental power cut stopping pumps used to inject water to cool damaged reactors.
The incident occurred when a worker carrying out system inspections accidentally pushed a button which switched off power to some of the systems within the four reactor buildings.
Although a backup system was implemented immediately, the accident is the latest in a spate of high-profile problems at the plant, which is currently in the sensitive early stages of a decades-long decommissioning process.
Other issues relate to the contamination of groundwater with radioactive leakages which has been seeping into the Pacific since the reactors melted down shortly after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
The issue of how to dispose of vast quantities of contaminated water, used for critical cooling purposes, has also been top of the agenda at the plant, where further leakages have been reported from hastily-built storage tanks.
Japan has faced widespread criticism for its handling of the disaster, in particular its perceived hesitancy in taking decisive action and accepting foreign assistance in resolving the on-going technical problems.
However, with the seven year countdown to Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic Games underway, the government is showing tentative signs that it is increasingly open to foreign assistance.
Testimony to this was the recent establishment of an organisation among major utilities and nuclear experts, including advisors from the UK, France and Russia, in order to discuss decommissioning.