Wednesday, May 18, 2011

16/05 Govt preparing N-crisis road map

The Yomiuri Shimbun

The government is preparing a road map on its measures related to the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, including assistance for victims and restoration of the areas contaminated by radiation from the plant, it has been learned.

The road map will stipulate that a third-party panel will investigate the crisis and draw up an interim report by the end of this year, sources said. Prime Minister Naoto Kan recently announced creation of the panel.

The government plans to adopt the road map on Tuesday at its Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters, according to sources. On the same day, Tokyo Electric Power Co. plans to announce a revision of its road map for stabilizing the nuclear reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant. TEPCO announced its initial road map on April 17.

By announcing its road map on the same day, the government aims to highlight its measures, according to the sources.

The third-party panel will investigate the cause of the nuclear accident and discuss measures to prevent similar accidents. It will also review the government's and TEPCO's handling of the nuclear crisis.

The government plans to stipulate in its road map that full-fledged restoration activities for areas contaminated by radiation from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant will begin by autumn, so that the rebuilding activities in the areas will not lag behind those in other areas hit by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the sources said.

In its initial road map, TEPCO said it would seek to significantly reduce the amount of radioactive substances from the crippled nuclear complex within six to nine months. However, various newly-emerged factors forced the utility firm to review the plan.

(May. 16, 2011)

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