During the presser by Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) yesterday (April 11 Japan Time), one reporter from the MSM (Asahi, in this case) asked a question that caught Mr. Nishiyama of NISA off guard: Is it safe to let the residents return while the nitrogen is being injected into the reactors at Fukushima I Nuke Plant?
The Asahi reporter, referring to the on-going effort at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, in particular the nitrogen injection into the Reactor 1 Containment Vessel, asked:
"So the operation to inject nitrogen gas into the Reactor 1's Containment Vessel is still on-going, and that operation is to prevent a potential hydrogen explosion. And you've said the similar operation is being planned for the Reactors 2 and 3. That seems to mean that the situation at the plant is still volatile and possibly dangerous.
"But I hear the government is planning to allow the residents within the 20-kilometer radius from the plant to return home on a temporary basis. Is it safe to do, given the current situation of the plant?"
Looking at the face of Mr. Nishiyama and hearing the highly bureaucratic answer that came out of him after a fraction of a second hesitation, my wild guess on what he really meant but didn't say was:
"Ooops. (Why didn't that Chief Cabinet Secretary think of that?)"
What he did saywas something like:
"The decision on the evacuation zone is being made by all the Ministries and Agencies involved, with close coordination with the Prime Minister's Office and Tokyo Electric, and all things are being taken into consideration."
As a good reporter from the MSM, the reporter didn't press Mr. Nishiyama and insist on knowing whether the nitrogen injection and potential hydrogen explosion at the plant was taken into consideration in deciding whether to allow the residents to return home.