Fukushima N-plant clean-up will take decades: Japan

Japan`s prime minister said the decommissioning of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant would take decades.

Last Updated: Jul 09, 2011, 23:58 PM IST

Tokyo: Japan`s prime minister said on Saturday
the decommissioning of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant
would take decades, in the first government announcement of a
long-term timeframe for the clean-up.

A monster tsunami crippled cooling systems at the
Fukushima Daiichi plant following the March 11 earthquake,
with three reactors suffering meltdowns, triggering the
world`s worst nuclear emergency in a generation.

"Many people have been forced to evacuate," Naoto Kan
said during a meeting of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan.

"It is expected to take three, five, or 10 years for
controlling it, and even several decades until the accident
settles finally."

The Japan Atomic Energy Commission and Fukushima plant
operator Tokyo Electric Power Co have set a provisional goal
of starting the removal of melted nuclear fuel at about 2021,
public broadcaster NHK said.

The station reported that the authorities, the
operator and equipment manufacturers also expect "several
decades" to pass before the reactors are ready to be
dismantled, citing a long-term roadmap for bringing the plant
under control.

Japan has unveiled a short-term emergency plan to
stabilise the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which has
emitted high levels of radiation after its cooling systems
were knocked out.

But the government had not until Saturday presented an
estimate of how long it will take before the crisis can be
brought to an end.

PTI