Japan plans new tsunami wall at nuclear plant

Last Updated: Monday, May 2, 2011 - 16:25

Tokyo: The operator of Japan`s Fukushima
nuclear plant will build a wall to defend it against future tsunamis, reports said Monday, as public confidence slipped in the government`s handling of the disaster.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) also plans to triple
from about 1,000 to 3,000 the number of staff nuclear workers
and subcontractors handling the crisis to reduce each
individual`s radiation exposure.

Emergency crew have been battling for eight weeks to
stabilise the six-reactor plant which was damaged by the March
11 quake and tsunami, and which has since been hit by
explosions, leaking radiation.

Confidence has slipped among voters in the handling of the
wider disaster by the centre-left government of Prime Minister
Naoto Kan, according to a nationwide telephone poll by the
mass-circulation Asahi Shimbun daily.

The survey showed 55 per cent of respondents expressed
reservations about how the government was dealing with the
crisis, while 27 per cent were hopeful about the efforts,
according to the poll of more than 3,000 people on April
23-24.

In order to guard the plant against future quakes and
tsunamis, TEPCO plans to build a wall about two metres (six
feet) high and 500 metres long, made of rocks contained by
wire mesh, said reports citing TEPCO officials.

The wall would be built at a height of about 10 metres
above sea level and be designed to resist a wave generated by
an 8-magnitude quake -- smaller than the monster wave
triggered by the 9-magnitude quake in March.

TEPCO will also set up air ventilation machines with
filters at the reactor one turbine building in order to pave
the way for workers to re-enter the site where radiation is
now too high, reports said.

The operator also said it plans to hire more staff with
training in the nuclear industry to share the burden, and the
radiation exposure, of the roughly 1,000 workers currently
tackling the crisis.

Japan raised the maximum exposure level for male nuclear
emergency workers to 250 millisieverts a year, up from 100
millisieverts previously, amid the current atomic crisis, the
world`s worst since Chernobyl 25 years ago.

PTI



First Published: Monday, May 2, 2011 - 16:25

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