Nuke plant not prepared for typhoon
Tokyo - Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear
plant is not fully prepared to deal with violent storms, officials admitted on Saturday,
as the country braced for Typhoon Songda to hit.
The storm system was located about 30km southwest
of Miyako-jima island, near Taiwan, as of 06:00 GMT, the Japan Meteorological
The typhoon, packing gusts up to 216km/h near
its centre, is moving northeast and could hit Tokyo as early as Monday, the
It is not yet clear whether it will move
towards the Fukushima Daiichi plant, more than 200km northeast of the capital.
But the typhoon has already brought heavy
rain to the Fukushima region, prompting worries that runoff water may wash away
radioactive materials from land into the Pacific Ocean.
Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co.
(TEPCO) has been pouring synthetic resins over the complex to prevent
radioactive deposits from being swept away by winds or rain.
A TEPCO spokesperson said workers were
mulling ways to continue their work even in storms.
"We are using a pump truck to pour water
to (cool overheating) reactors. It is not yet clear how exactly we would
conduct the work if strong typhoons hit the plant directly," he said.
Goshi Hosono, an aide of Prime Minister Naoto
Kan, told a news conference Friday that more work had to be done to ensure that
the approaching and future typhoons would not spread radioactive materials into