In less than 4 hours from now, at 8PM JST on July 14, TEPCO will start injecting nitrogen gas in the Containment Vessel of Reactor 3.
High radiation? So what? TEPCO is just too eager to oblige the national government who, for some unknown reason, believes injecting nitrogen gas in a still very unstable Reactor housed in a half-destroyed reactor building (which does not offer any protection when the radioactive materials inside the Containment Vessel get pushed out by the nitrogen gas) is an excellent proof that the winding down of the Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident is on schedule. Then the government can issue an order that will either eliminate, or reduce the size of, the "emergency evacuation-ready zone", declaring it safe for the residents.
The cattle farm that ended up shipping radioactive meat cows all over Japan is located in the zone. 75,000 becquerels/kg of cesium in the hay and the area will be declared "safe".
I hate to think how many workers at Fukushima I Nuke Plant, both TEPCO's and affiliates', have been pushed hard in a high radiation environment of Reactor 3 to do what seems to me like a ceremonial work to mark the end of the "step 1" of the "roadmap".
TEPCO's headquarter job. TEPCO that can't say "no".
TEPCO's just released press release on July 14 (in English):
On July 8, 2011, we received an instruction document, from Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), entitled "Instruction to submit reports related to injection of nitrogen to the reactor containment vessel of Unit 3 at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station".
Subsequently, regarding the injection of nitrogen to the reactor containment vessel of Unit 3 at Fukushima Daiichi Power Station, we compiled a report that we would start the injection as early as possible and the environment impact from the injection would be below the exposure dose limit in normal daily lives, and submitted the report to NISA on July 11, 2011. (Previously announced on July 9 and 11, 2011)
Since NISA has evaluated the injection way we reported as being valid and the preparation for the injection has been completed, we will conduct the injection of nitrogen to the reactor containment vessel of Unit 3 from around 8 pm today.