In one of the more disturbing things you'll hear out of Japan, the manager of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant is blaming the plant's sharply rising temperatures (a possible sign of radiation leaks) on a faulty thermometer, telling journalists on Monday that they'll hopefully allow people back to their homes soon.
It's been difficult to trust Fukushima officials since last year's tsunami damaged the reactors. From lack of timely information, to the discovery of secret evacuation plans for Tokyo, to today's reports of residents' radiation exposure and incomplete health surveys in the area, knowing exactly how severe a given situation is in the region hasn't been easy for Japanese citizens. And now, Takeshi Takahashi, the manager of the Fukushima plant, is claiming that the No.2 reactor's rising temperatures are due to a faulty thermometer. The Guardian reports that even though Takahashi believes the plant to be safe enough for a "cold shutdown" (the removal of melted fuel), TEPCO officials had been pouring in cooling fluid and Boric acid (a chemical used to prevent a chain nuclear reaction) into the reactor. "The plant has reached a state of cold shutdown," he said in The Guardian report. "We will now try to allow people to return to their homes as soon as possible." Adding to the fear factor and speculation, The Guardian curiously adds that Takahashi, looked "pale and exhausted" and dismissed questions about his health--Takahashi's predecessor had to retire early due to throat cancer, though TEPCO denied it had anything to do with exposure to radiation.