A Fukui Prefecture court in Japan has ruled that the only real protection from a catastrophic nuclear accident is to keep the nation’s atomic reactors shut down. Hideaki Higuchi, a local judge for Fukui, ordered that the Takahama nuclear power plant remain closed as there is not adequate proof that another disaster caused by an earthquake can be reliably averted if the atomic reactors are operating. Judge Higuchi had previously ordered that the Ohi nuclear plant in Fukui also remain closed for the same reason. Judge Higuchi’s Takahama order overruled Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority’s decision to restart under revised regulatory standards. In spite of the Abe government’s push to restart atomic power, Japan remains “Zero Nuclear” by popular demand and legal authority.
The court order occurs as TEPCO officials admit that environmental cleanup of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster is centuries away. Naohiro Masuda and Akira Ono , two top-level TEPCO senior managers charged with “decommissioning” the three melted Fukushima reactors say that a myriad of extremely complex and unproven technologies for removing, cleaning up and managing the melted reactor cores does not currently exist and “cannot say it is possible.”
Dale Klein, a former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chair and now TEPCO’s chief apologist for the bankrupt corporation’s reactor restart committee, also admitted that a cleanup technology is non-existent. He and TEPCO however continue to hold out hope that robotic technology can eventually be developed to cleanup the radioactive site which accumulates hundreds of tons of radioactive water each day.
Meanwhile, the latest in state-of-the-art robotic technology commissioned to locate one of melted cores had to be abandoned by TEPCO after it failed three hours on its journey into the wreckage. The globally touted snake-like robot technology shut down before it could gather any information on the still missing and uncontained core material somewhere under Unit 1.