Japanese operator to ‘scrap’ four reactors at Fukushima N-plant

TEPCO Chairman said four of its six reactors at stricken nuclear plant will be completely ‘scrapped`.

Tokyo: Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumatahas said that four of its six reactors at the earthquake-cum-tsunami nuclear plant in Japan will completely be ‘scrapped’.

“We have no choice but to scrap the No. 1, 2, 3 and 4 units at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station,” The New York Times quoted Katsumata, as saying.

He said the No. 5 and 6 units were still operational, but added any decision to restart the other units would be taken only after consulting with the government and local residents.

Seventy-year-old Katsumata is taking over leadership of Tokyo Electric Power after the President, Masataka Shimizu, was hospitalised on Tuesday for hypertension and dizziness, the company said.

The power plant has been badly affected following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

The Japanese government`s nuclear agency has claimed earlier today that radioactive iodine-131 at a concentration of 3,355 times the maximum allowable level under the law was detected in the seawater sample taken near the earthquake-cum-tsunami hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The highest concentration observed so far in seawater near the plant suggest that the radioactive core that has melted through the bottom of its containment vessel to a concrete floor might have leaked into the Pacific Ocean.

Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman for the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, said the exact cause of the high iodine concentration is not known, but data taken by the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Coorporation suggest that the radiation might have leaked to the sea water somehow.

``It is important that we keep monitoring radiation data, find out what caused the pollution as soon as possible and take measures to prevent the radiation levels from rising further,`` Nishiyama said.