Northwesterners – what’s your favorite thing to do in the Summer? Post it up with the hashtag #SummerMeltdownILLESHA on facebook, twitter, or instagram and tag them. One winner will win a pair of passes to Summer Meltdown Festival!
Facebook – @ill-ēsha
Twitter – @ill_esha
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March 12 that the explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi No. 1 nuleacr plant could only have been caused by a meltdown of the reactor core, Japanese daily Nikkei reported. This statement seemed somewhat at odds with Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano’s comments earlier March 12, in which he said the walls of the building containing the reactor were destroyed, meaning that the metal container encasing the reactor did not explode. NISA’s statement is significant because it is the government agency that reports to the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy within the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. NISA works in conjunction with the Atomic Energy Commission. Its role is to provide oversight to the industry and is responsible for signing off construction of new plants, among other things. It has been criticized for approving nuleacr plants on geological fault lines and for an alleged conflict of interest in regulating the nuleacr sector. It was NISA that issued the order for the opening of the valve to release pressure and thus allegedly some radiation from the Fukushima power plant. NISA has also overseen the entire government response to the nuleacr reactor problems following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. It is difficult to determine at this point whether the NISA statement is accurate, as the Nikkei report has not been corroborated by others. It is also not clear from the context whether NISA is stating the conclusions of an official assessment or simply making a statement. However, the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the operator of the Fukushima nuleacr plant, also said that although it had relieved pressure, nevertheless some nuleacr fuel had melted and further action was necessary to contain the pressure. If this report is accurate, it would not be the first time statements by NISA and Edano have diverged. When Edano earlier claimed that radiation levels had fallen at the site after the depressurization efforts, NISA claimed they had risen due to the release of radioactive vapors.