Tokyo Electric Power Co. — or TEPCO as it is commonly known — has said that it is likely to completely shut down the four unstable nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant that were damaged after the March 11th earthquake and ensuing tsunamis. The reactors have caused a nation-wide nuclear crisis after they were unable to be stabilized and now officials are saying that in addition to shutting down the reactors, their containment will be a very long process.
”We probably have no choice but to scrap reactors 1 to 4 if we look at their conditions objectively,” Tsunehisa Katsumata, TEPCO’s chairman said. ”We apologize for causing the public anxiety, worry and trouble due to the explosions at reactor buildings and the release of radioactive materials,” he added. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said in a news conference that four reactors was not enough. He believes that all six reactors at the 40 year old plant should be shut down, adding, “it is very clear looking at the social circumstances.”
Katsumata responded to the government’s call for all reactors to be shut down by saying that the “basic functions have been retained” at Fukushima Dailchi reactors numbers 5 and 6. The country of Japan called a nuclear emergency soon after the reactors were damaged and since then tens of thousands of citizens have been evacuated from the surrounding areas because of fear of radiation poisoning. Reactors numbers 1, 2 and 3 are believed to have suffered damage that reaches into their cores and the number four reactor lost cooling capabilities and it is also thought that a pool containing spent fuel rods is also overheating.
Due to the overwhelming cost of the disaster, TEPCO is now facing a financing crisis that could cripple the company, but they are pushing forward. ”By consulting with the government, we will work hard to avoid experiencing fund shortages because we are coming up short no matter how much money we have due to mounting fuel and restoration costs,” Katsumata told the public while his company works to make sure they have enough fuel to provide power to the areas affected.