July 22(Friday)

No. 25 [Nuclear Power] Moving on to Step 2 - Prime Minister's Dialogue with the People Engaged in the Work to Stabilize the Nuclear Power Station


Step 1 of the Roadmap towards Restoration from the Accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station compiled by the Government and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) was completed as planned. The Prime Minister visited the site to directly meet the people working there who made this happen and gave them words of appreciation and encouragement. Listening to their needs, the Government will join together with these people as we embark upon Step 2.



<At J-Village, where the people engaged in the work to stabilize TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station are stationed (July 16)>

<The Prime Minister encourages the members of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF)>
Prime Minister: I believe that we have come so far thanks to your self-sacrificing sprit and efforts.


<17th meeting of the Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters (July 19)>

Prime Minister: I convened the meeting in this form as we have just completed Step 1.


The Roadmap towards Restoration from the Accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station is updated once a month.
Every month the mark that shows current progress has moved steadily to the right, and on July 17 the conclusion of Step 1 was finally reached. This means that the "stable cooling" of the reactors has been achieved.

People working at the site are risking their lives to realize the plans in the Roadmap.
These people are stationed in the facility called J-Village, where the Prime Minister has already visited twice to provide his encouragement. The first visit was three weeks after the occurrence of the incident.


<First visit to J-Village (April 2)>

SDF member A: There are three tents. Each used for decontamination.


Prime Minister: There is one lane for the SDF and for TEPCO...


SDF member B: Two lanes. They are extremely advanced decontamination facilities.


<Hearing an explanation about internet teleconference>
TEPCO staff: It is currently connected to eight other locations. We leave it on all the time. We gather there even at night whenever something happens.


<The system is connected to TEPCO head office, Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, Fukushima Prefectural Office, etc., all the time; the TV monitors display each location>


<The Prime Minister sends his message to each location>
Prime Minister: Thank you truly for your hard work. In order to bring the nuclear power station under control by all means...


Three months after giving these words of encouragement...


<17th meeting of the Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters (July 19)>

Prime Minister: "Things have progressed this far with regard to Step 1 thanks above all to the people working really hard at the site. I visited the site myself last Saturday (on July 16) for the second time and I think their efforts are truly remarkable."


<Second visit to J-Village (July 16)>

<Giving words of encouragement to the SDF members>
Prime Minister: I am looking forward to seeing you deliver results and be acknowledged for rebuilding Japan stronger than ever and for engaging on the frontlines of this struggle.


There the Prime Minister also met for the second time with Mr. Masao Yoshida, General Manager of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, who has been at the forefront of the work to stabilize the nuclear power station since March 11. During the meeting...


General Manager Yoshida: Oh, an earthquake! This is what frightens us.


Prime Minister: Aftershocks are frightening.


On top of aftershocks, there is now another phenomenon that impedes the work...


General Manager Yoshida: In this heat, since as many as 3,000 people are working at the site even today, precautions must be taken against heat stroke and injuries.


People working at the site also appealed directly to the Prime Minister.


Medical staff: The protective suit is really stifling. Even when it is cool like in this room, you will be drenched in sweat the moment you start moving around in it.


Person 1 working at the site: Now everyone starts working early, before it gets hot. Most of us come to work at four in the morning.


Person 2 working at the site: It takes quite a lot of time to go and have a radiation check, and there are so many people...


Person 1 working at the site: It would be very helpful if something like a health check center could be established around here.


Prime Minister: The Government will do all it can to respond to the situation. Thank you for your continued cooperation.


<After face-to-face talks, the Prime Minister stands up and shakes hands with the people working at the site>

From now on, the people at the site are moving on to the next target - Step 2.
They will step up efforts to prevent the spread of radiation damage and aim to achieve a stable condition in the nuclear reactors known as "cold shutdown" within the next three to six months. The all-out efforts will continue.


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