TEPCO to be banned from operations at Fukushima 1 plant

Japanese Fukushima prefecture’s Governor Yuhei Sato said he will never allow Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) to resume reactor operations at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, cramped by March 11 Japanese tsunami and earthquake, Kyodo news agency said.

The 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent 15-meter tsunami triggered a crisis at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which is being rated at the same level as the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

“A resumption of plant operations must be impossible,” Sato told Masataka Shimizu, president of TEPCO.

Fukushima’s operator has since been struggling to stop radioactive leaks from the plant’s crippled reactors. Almost 80,000 people living within the evacuation zone were forced to flee their homes.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan visited the Fukushima prefecture as the 20-km evacuation area around the crippled nuclear power plant was officially declared a no-go zone on Thursday.

TEPCO has started pumping radioactive water into storage tanks, the Kyodo news agency said on Tuesday, citing company sources.

The earthquake and tsunami left up to 28,000 people dead or missing, and wrecked infrastructure in northeastern Japan.

MOSCOW, April 23 (RIA Novosti)

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