After three weeks, Tokyo Electric Power still has not been able to bring the first four reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant under control, and the company now says that they will all be decommissioned. “We have no choice but to scrap” them, said the company’s chairman, who has taken over since the president was hospitalized for high blood pressure and dizziness. The move may seem inevitable—and indeed, many analysts have said that it was—but yesterday’s announcement is the first time the company has acknowledged it will not be able to recover much of its investment in the plant, the New York Times notes.
Experts are considering covering the reactor buildings with a special material that would stop the spread of radioactive substances, the BBC adds. Reactors five and six were safely shut down, and the government and local residents will be consulted before their fate is decided. The company’s chairman also apologized, and said those who suffered damage will be compensated. Meanwhile, the government today ordered new safety measures implemented at nuclear power plants, including a back-up power source in case power is lost again. Click for the latest on Fukushima. (Read more Fukushima Dai-ichi stories.)