May 30, 2011
Once again, TEPCO, the utility company responsible for the Fukushima disaster, is ill-prepared to protect the people of Japan.
In response to the former Typhoon Songda now steaming toward the island and threatening to blow radiation into the sea and air, Tokyo Electric Power Company has apologized.
On Saturday, before Songda degraded into a tropical storm, TEPCO said some reactor buildings were uncovered and radiation would spread due to the storm. “We have made utmost efforts, but we have not completed covering the damaged reactor buildings,” said an official at that time.
During the ongoing crisis, the Japanese government has continually demonstrated its capacity for understatement. In response to TEPCO’s ineptitude, a special adviser to Prime Minister Naoto Kan criticized the large utility corporation, saying that the current safety measures “cannot be said to be appropriate.”
TEPCO has been pouring synthetic resins over the facility to stop radioactive material from being swept away, but the job is far from complete, news reports indicate.
The threat of further radioactive contamination comes as the United Nation’s nuclear monitoring group, the International Atomic Energy Agency, visits the crippled plant.
On Saturday, Bloomberg reported that academics warned TEPCO failed to disclose the scale of radiation leaks and now faces a “massive problem” with contaminated water.
“Contaminated water is increasing and this is a massive problem,” said Tetsuo Iguchi, a specialist in isotope analysis and radiation detection at Nagoya University. “They need to find a place to store the contaminated water and they need to guarantee it won’t go into the soil.