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【时政翻译】Tokyo Says Risk of Radiation Leak, Explosion Receding 东京方面称核泄漏及爆炸造成的威 作者:川透社


Tokyo Says Risk of Radiation Leak, Explosion Receding


              APRIL 23, 2011, 3:32 P.M. ET ,from the Wall Street Journal 

TOKYO—The immediate danger of explosions or major radiation leaks at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power plant has receded, an administration official said.


Six weeks after an earthquake and tsunami set off the nation's worst nuclear-power crisis in a quarter century, the government can't say the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has been completely stabilized, said Goshi Hosono, Prime Minister Naoto Kan's special adviser responsible for managing the accident. Still, Tokyo is comfortable with its evacuation policy even after studying various possibilities of deterioration at the plant, he said.


"There is no way Tokyo or Kyoto will come into harm's way," Mr. Hosono said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Saturday.


Tokyo this past week tightened its evacuation policy for residents near the damaged plant, but officials said the change was driven by the confirmation of the longer-term outlook on the impact of the contamination, rather than immediate danger at the site of the accident.


On Thursday, the government fully banned entry into the 12-mile-radius evacuation zone amid concerns about looting in the deserted communities. It also has issued a formal evacuation notice to residents of five towns and villages outside the zone due to the threat of long-term radiation exposure.


Installing cooling functions outside of the plant is a component of Japan's effort to stabilize the situation, said Mr. Hosono, a lawmaker with the ruling Democratic Party of Japan.


The effort, however, is being made difficult by two problems: Radiation levels within the damaged reactors must be lowered to allow workers to carry out tasks and it must find ways to process contaminated water generated as a result of cooling.


"Our goal is very clear: Preventing further spreading of radiation into the atmosphere and into the ocean," Mr. Hosono said.


For processing of the contaminated water, in particular, Tokyo has been seeking advice from scientists and corporations both from home and abroad.


The Japanese government plans to submit an interim report summarizing the outcome of its investigations into the Fukushima disaster at a ministerial meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency in June, he said.


Japanese officials and lawmakers are starting to look into potential causes and the handling of the accident that spread radiation to wide areas and forced tens of thousands of residents to evacuate from their homes, said Mr. Hosono. The investigation will be conducted by a special independent committee made up of experts with subpoena power, to be set up outside of Parliament.


He said the existence of numerous governmental entities实体 dealing with nuclear energy policy may have caused confusion and delay in communications between the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co., or Tepco, the operator of the plant, in the initial days of the accident.


The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Tepco let pressure in one reactor climb far beyond the level the facility was designed to withstand, a decision that may have worsened the nuclear accident.


Experts in the U.S. and Japan believe the venting delay may have helped create conditions that led to an explosion in the No. 1 reactor building.


Mr. Hosono said the latest disaster hasn't caused the government to change its long-term energy policy, which relies on the construction of 14 new nuclear-power plants before 2030. Once the evaluation of the Fukushima accident is completed, he said, the Japanese people should be asked to make a decision on whether to build more nuclear-power plants.


Mr. Hosono said Japan should maintain the two main options it has: Pursue a nonnuclear route, which would depend on promoting natural energy sources, or continue to use nuclear power to supply part of its energy demand.




                                Translated by:川透社  吴畅 梁江华 李心茹 

                                     当日负责人:刘晓宇  当日责编:吴畅