Japan “racing against time” to prevent nuclear disaster: IAEA

March 19th, 2011 - 12:33 pm ICT by ANI  

Tokyo, Mar.19 (ANI): Yukiya Amano, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has said that Japan’s battle to stabilize the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant and its attempt to prevent further leakage was “a race against time.”
Amano also said that the IAEA has brought its own monitoring equipment to test radiation levels in Tokyo.
Referring to the explosions and fires that hit the Fukushima nuclear power plant, where workers continue their desperate attempts to spray water into the overheated fuel rod pools to prevent a further disaster, he said that it was a very grave and serious accident.
Engineers there are now considering a “Chernobyl solution,” which involves covering the damaged reactors at the plant in concrete, leaving the radioactive rods permanently entombed on the site.

IAEA has said that although the situation has not worsened in the last two days, things were still bad.

Japan’s chief cabinet secretaryYukio Edano has admitted that the government had made a mistake in assessing and addressing the gravity of the situation.

He said: “In hindsight, we could have moved a little quicker in assessing the situation and coordinating all that information and provided it faster.”

Japan has now upgraded the accident at Fukushima from level four to level five out of seven on an international scale of nuclear accidents, The Telegraph reports.

Plant operators Tokyo Electric Power Company said that they are trying to restore electricity to some of the reactors after a temporary power line was put in, so that the cooling systems could be enabled and further damage prevented.
Japan is going through a major crisis after being hit by a magnitude 8.9 earthquake and tsunami last Friday, which damaged cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant causing explosions in some of the reactors and radiation leakage in and around the plant.
Meanwhile, the humanitarian crisis facing survivors of the disaster continues to deteriorate with freezing temperatures, food shortages putting lives in peril. Many people have been rendered homeless and missing.
The official death toll has now reached 6911, with another 10692 missing. (ANI)

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