Friday, January 6, 2012

Worst scenario during Fukushima crisis was reactor explosion: Hosono

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The government predicted two weeks after the nuclear crisis erupted at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in March that the worst scenario would involve an explosion at the No. 1 reactor and the water inside the No. 4 unit's spent fuel pool drying up, nuclear disaster minister Goshi Hosono said Friday.

That scenario, which would have resulted in a more extensive release of radioactive material, was not announced because it was "quite difficult to foresee" at that time, Hosono said, noting the No. 1 reactor's containment vessel was believed to already have been damaged by an explosion inside the building housing the reactor.

"It was only a scenario based on a hypothetic assumption... We refrained from announcing it, as there was a possibility of triggering unnecessary concerns among people," said Hosono, who at the time was serving as a special adviser to then Prime Minister Naoto Kan. Read More