The nuclear power plant at Fukushima was officially declared "stabilized" in December, but maybe the plant's operators should have done a better job at cleaning up for visiting journalists today to avoid reports of how shabby the repairs look, like this one from the AP. Tokyo Electric Power Co., which runs the plant, let journalists, including the AP's Mari Yamaguchi, visit Fukushima following an independent watchdog report on the plant that said government officials were more worried about the threat of radiation hitting Tokyo following the meltdown than they publicly let on. And for her part, AP's Yamaguchi didn't seem too encouraged by how messy the plant still is:
Journalists given a tour of the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant on Tuesday, including a reporter from The Associated Press, saw crumpled trucks and equipment still lying on the ground. A power pylon that collapsed in the tsunami, cutting electricity to the plant's vital cooling system and setting off the crisis, remained a mangled mess.
Perhaps, too, they shouldn't be showing power-plant equipment mended with tape, which tends to be how we non-experts fix things around the house. "Plastic hoses cracked by freezing temperatures have been mended with tape. A set of three pumps sits on the back of a pickup truck."
As for a real nuclear scientist's assessment of the development at the Fukushima plant? "I have to admit that it's still rather fragile," the station's chief, Takeshi Takahashi, told the AP. Clearly, Fukushima is still a long work-in-progress.