Officials from the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) are apologizing in advance for the fact that the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant is not ready for the high winds and heavy rain of Typhoon Songda, a massive storm that could make landfall in Japan as early as Monday.
The BBC quotes a TEPCO official as saying, “We have made utmost efforts, but we have not completed covering the damaged reactor buildings. We apologize for the lack of significant measures against wind and rain.”
Buildings housing the plant’s nuclear reactors are still standing open in the wake of crippling hydrogen explosions that followed Japan’s March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The approaching storm could scatter highly radioactive materials into the air and sea. Plant operators are currently spreading “anti-scattering agents” around the buildings housing reactors one and four.
An adviser to Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan has criticized TEPCO officials, saying that the current safety measures “cannot be said to be appropriate”. TEPCO and the Japanese government have faced condemnation of their handling of the crisis, which some see as inept and lacking in transparency.
It is unclear whether the Fukushima plant will be in the direct path of the typhoon.