Statement contradicts assurances of Japanese PM, comes as fresh steam is spotted billowing from reactor
By Sarah Lazare
Fukushima nuclear plant in the immediate aftermath of Japan’s March 2011 tsunami (Photo: AP)
“I’m sorry, but we consider the situation is not under control.”
Those were the words of Kazuhiko Yamashita, executive-level fellow for Fukushima plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company when he was pressed by the opposition Democratic Party of Japan.
His statements directly contradict the claims of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, who assured the International Olympic Committee meeting in Buenos Aires Saturday that the situation is under control.
TEPCO officials moved quickly to cover Yamashita’s tracks, releasing a statement Friday declaring
It is our understanding that the Prime Minister intended his statement ‘the situation is under control’ to mean that the impact of radioactive materials is limited to the area within the port of the power station, and that the densities of radioactive materials on the surrounding waters are far below the referential densities and have not been on continuous upward trends. According to this understanding, we share the same views.
Yet, all evidence suggests that the crisis is far beyond the current abilities of the Japanese government and operator TEPCO to contain it.
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