March 7, 2018
Nearly 7 years after the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Japan’s chief nuclear regulator says the 2011 accident is not over.
Toyoshi Fuketa, Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman, held a news conference on Wednesday, 4 days before the 7th anniversary of the severe accident.
He suggested the perceived magnitude of damage from the accident can change based on many factors that will influence future judgment. He cited decontamination and radioactive waste disposal efforts, areas where evacuation orders can be lifted, and the reconstruction of affected areas.
Fuketa also said that attitudes towards regulation have changed since the accident but he suggested that people should not forget what happened 7 years ago.
He predicted there would be almost no risk of any new problems affecting areas outside the compounds of the nuclear plant in the decommissioning process.
The biggest challenge of the decommissioning is said to be the removal of fuel debris, a mixture of molten nuclear fuel and broken interior parts, from the 3 reactors.
He said the removal work has not yet reached a point where “exit is in sight.”