Nuclear Meltdown

Japan PM: Stricken nuclear plant must be scrapped

Updated: 2011-03-31 22:38
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TOKYO- Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said on Thursday that the stricken Fukushima Daiichi (No 1) nuclear power plant must be scrapped.

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Kan made the remarks when meeting with the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) chief on Thursday.

The nuclear power plant was crippled by the catastrophic March 11 earthquake and ensuing tsunami. The situation has not been contained as it is still leaking radioactive substances.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano on Wednesday said that it was highly likely that the stricken reactors at the radiation-leaking Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in northern Japan would be scrapped.

Speaking at a news conference, the top government spokesperson said that he believed all six reactors at the troubled facility should be decommissioned.

He said scrapping the reactors would be in the best interests of society.

"I believe it is very clear from the viewpoint of society (that the reactors should be decommissioned). That is my perception," the chief cabinet secretary said.

In the absence of Masataka Shimizu, 66, estranged CEO of the nuclear plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), who having not been seen for the past two weeks was hospitalized Wednesday due to high blood pressure and dizziness, TEPCO chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata said at least four of the reactors should be scrapped.

"We have no choice but to scrap reactors 1 to 4 if we look at their conditions objectively," Katsumata said at a separate news conference.

Edano said that the ongoing crisis will take some time before it is resolved and as such local residents evacuated from the vicinity of the Daiichi facility may not be able to return home anytime soon.