By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — Japanese officials today announced that the bodies of two workers at the Fukushima nuclear power plant have been found. The two had been missing since a March 11 earthquake triggered a tsunami that badly damaged the plant.
TEPCO said the bodies need to be decontaminated before a proper autopsy can be performed.
The disaster has caused some in Japan to question the country’s use of nuclear power. Toward that end, several hundred people demonstrated against nuclear power in Tokyo today.
“I’ve had worries about [Japan’s] nuclear policies for some time, and if we don’t take advantage of this opportunity, who knows when the [antinuclear] movement will have this much energy again,” said protester Mayoko Nakahara. “So I’m here now to say we must get rid of nuclear energy.”
Demonstrators marched to the headquarters of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the owners of the Fukushima plant. Some held signs that read “No Nukes, More Lives” or “No Nukes, No Safer Nukes.”
For some, such as Nori Sato, the crisis is personal since it has affected immediate family members.
“My home is really close [to Fukushima] — my father and mother live nearby — so I’m worried about the risk to their health,” she said.
The demonstrators also went to the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry to make known their views on nuclear power, which currently supplies some 30 percent of Japan’s electricity needs.
Radiation levels at the Fukushima plant continue to register far above normal. Officials are currently concentrating on radioactive water leaking from the plant into the ocean.
Local media report TEPCO workers are using chemical polymers to try to halt the flow of radioactive water from an approximately 20-centimeter crack near Reactor No. 2. An earlier attempt to seal the crack with concrete failed.
Japanese lawmaker Goshi Hosono said on Fuji TV, “This is going to be a long battle.” Honoso, who has been advising the Japanese prime minister on the crisis at Fukushima, said there are thousands of spent fuel rods at the plant that need to be cooled in pools with circulating water. Hosono said it would take “a very long time” to reprocess the spent rods.
Although he called the current situation “unacceptable,” Hosono said it will likely take “several months” before radioactivity stops leaking from Fukushima.