Japan PM wants Fukushima plant entirely scrapped

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Associated Press

Posted on September 19, 2013 at 6:33 AM

OKUMA, Japan (AP) — After getting a firsthand look at Japan's crippled nuclear power plant, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (shin-zoh ah-bay) has ordered the operator to scrap all six reactors at the site instead of just four already slated for decommissioning.

Following a three-hour tour of the Fukushima Dai-ichi (foo-koo-SHEE'-mah dy-EE'-chee) plant, Abe said Tokyo Electric Power Co. should concentrate on tackling pressing issues like radioactive water leaks. However, the prime minister also insisted that radiation-contaminated water has been contained at the complex and vowed to fend off "rumors" regarding Fukushima's safety.

The plant's Nos. 5 and 6 reactors survived the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, but the disaster caused three other reactors to melt and damaged a fuel-cooling pool at another. TEPCO has been unsure about what to do with the two surviving reactors, leading some to believe that it may be still be hanging on to hopes of keeping them alive.

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APPHOTO TOK909: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, third right, wearing a red helmet, is briefed about tanks containing radioactive water by Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant chief Akira Ono, fourth right, during his inspection tour to the tsunami-crippled plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013. During his three-hour tour, Abe was shown some of the 1,000 tanks containing radioactive water, a water treatment equipment and a chemical dam being installed along the coast — steps meant to contain the radiation-contaminated water leakage. (AP Photo/Japan Pool) JAPAN OUT (19 Sep 2013)

<<APPHOTO TOK909 (09/19/13)££

APPHOTO TOK904: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives at a facility housing water treatment equipment called advanced liquid processing system (ALPS) during his inspection tour to the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013. During his three-hour tour, Abe was shown some of the 1,000 tanks containing radioactive water, the water treatment equipment and a chemical dam being installed along the coast — steps meant to contain the radiation-contaminated water leakage. (AP Photo/Japan Pool) JAPAN OUT (19 Sep 2013)

<<APPHOTO TOK904 (09/19/13)££

APPHOTO TOK908: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, second right, wearing a red helmet, is briefed about tanks containing radioactive water by Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant chief Akira Ono, second left, as they stand near the tank, seen between two tanks, which is being dismantled after leaking contaminated water, during his inspection tour to the tsunami-crippled plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013. During his three-hour tour, Abe was shown some of the 1,000 tanks containing radioactive water, a water treatment equipment and a chemical dam being installed along the coast — steps meant to contain the water leakage. (AP Photo/Japan Pool) JAPAN OUT (19 Sep 2013)

<<APPHOTO TOK908 (09/19/13)££

APPHOTO TOK902: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, inspects a facility housing water treatment equipment called advanced liquid processing system (ALPS) during his tour to the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013. During his three-hour tour, Abe was shown some of the 1,000 tanks containing radioactive water, the water treatment equipment and a chemical dam being installed along the coast — steps meant to contain the radiation-contaminated water leakage. (AP Photo/Japan Pool) JAPAN OUT (19 Sep 2013)

<<APPHOTO TOK902 (09/19/13)££

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