PM says Fukushima cleanup could take ‘several decades’


Cleaning-up at Fukushima nuclear power plant

TOKYO (majirox news) – The clean-up of the leaking Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor could take “several decades,” Prime Minister Naoto Kan told a Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) meeting in Tokyo on Saturday, according to the Asahi newspaper.

Kan spoke to a gathering of DPJ party secretaries from across Japan, saying there will be no early end in dealing with the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) plant where three reactors went into meltdown following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that struck mainly in the Tohoku Region, killing more than 20,000.

“Forecasts for dealing with the accident could take three years, five years, 10 years or we could be talking in terms of needing several decades to clean it up,” the prime minister said.

Later, Kan urged a comprehensive re-think of Japan’s nuclear power policies, once an unshakable cornerstone of the country’s energy policy.

“The time has come where we must have a fundamental review of thoughts about the merits of nuclear power as we have thought about it up until now,” he said.

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