The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which owns the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility struck by the massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11, has made it abundantly clear that protecting people and the environment from the radioactive falloutof its three massive reactor “melt-throughs” is not a priority.
According to a recent report in The Mainichi Daily News, TEPCO officials claim that installing proper containment vessels to prevent melted fuel from seeping into groundwater will cost too much, and hurt the company’s stock value — and thus it is fighting against calls by the Japanese government to install a concrete containment barrier below the damaged reactors.
After all that has occurred since that fateful March day, including the revelation that TEPCO has been basically lying about the true, dire condition of the Fukushima plant for months, the company has the audacity to openly put profits before public safety by denying the only logical propositions being made to contain deadly radiation from contaminating the environment even further.
When reporters questioned the company as to why it had not already begun construction of such underground barriers, TEPCO officials actually responded by claiming that “[u]nderground water flows at a speed of about five to ten centimeters a day, so we have more than a year before it reaches shores.” In other words, TEPCO believes there is no need to really do anything because radioactive hot particles will move slowly, and may take years to reach the ocean.
Such blatant disregard for human life is astounding in light of the ongoing fallout and devastation coming from Fukushima, the extent of which could take months or years to fully materialize. And if TEPCO ultimately rejects pleas to build proper containment fortifications at Fukushima because it costs too much, the company will be willfully guilty of causing untold destruction and death because of its greed.
Sources for this story include: