– Crippled nuke plant not prepared for heavy rain, wind (Mainichi, May 28, 2011):
TOKYO (Kyodo) — The crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant is not fully prepared for heavy rain and strong winds forecast due to a powerful typhoon moving Saturday toward disaster-affected areas of northeastern Japan, according to the plant’s operator Tokyo Electric Power Co.
Heavy rain has been forecast for the areas from Sunday to Monday due to the season’s second typhoon, Songda, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.
Tokyo Electric, or TEPCO, has for the last month been spreading anti-scattering agents around the troubled Nos. 1 to 4 reactor buildings to prevent radioactively contaminated dust from being carried into the air and sea by rain and wind.
But some of the reactor buildings have been left uncovered after they were damaged by hydrogen explosions following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. TEPCO plans to launch the work to put covers on the destroyed buildings in mid-June.
A TEPCO official said, “We have made utmost efforts, but we have not completed covering the damaged reactor buildings. We apologize for the lack of significant measures against wind and rain.”
Goshi Hosono, a special adviser to Prime Minister Naoto Kan, told a press conference Friday that the current measures “cannot be said to be appropriate.”
He added, “We are now doing the utmost to prevent further spreading of radioactive materials in consideration of the typhoon.”
On TEPCO’s ‘utmost efforts’:
“We are still considering typhoon measures and can’t announce detailed plans yet,” Takeo Iwamoto, a spokesman at Tokyo Electric Power Co., said by phone when asked about the storm.