Minister Motegi, ex-McKinsey management consultant whose most recent utterance about Fukushima I Nuclear Plant was that the contaminated water problems are not because of lack of money or faulty engineering but because of TEPCO and the plant workers not working hard enough, seems to think decommissioning a nuclear reactor is just like dismantling a factory line.
According to the Yomiuri article below, Minister Toshimitsu Motegi seems very confident that decommissioning of Reactors 5 and 6 will be finished way before the end of fiscal 2014 (March 31, 2015) with reactors, equipments, and buildings all removed, and the space can be used to install more tanks to store contaminated water until that water is completely treated by the end of fiscal 2014.
This is the minister in charge of the national government being "at the forefront" of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident.
And he screams, as always, "Accelerate! Ahead of schedule!"
From Yomiuri Shinbun (9/20/2013):
If Reactors 5 and 6 are decommissioned, more tanks can be installed, says Minister of Economy
During the press conference on September 20 after the cabinet meeting, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Motegi commented on Prime Minister Abe's request [to TEPCO] to decommission Reactors 5 and 6 at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. He said, "Reactors 5 and 6 have very similar structures to Reactors 1-4 (which are being decommissioned). Training can be done on the actual reactors," thus accelerating the process of decommissioning Reactors 1-4.
As to the contaminated water treatment, he said, "In the empty space created by decommissioning Reactors 5 and 6, we can build additional tanks to store contaminated water." He expressed his desire again to have all contaminated water stored in the tanks treated by the end of fiscal 2014, and emphasized he would "do anything ahead of schedule that can be done ahead of schedule".
"Happy", one of several workers who have been tweeting from the plant since the beginning of the accident, gently reminds his followers that:
Spent fuel assemblies in the Spent Fuel Pools of Reactors 5 and 6 should be removed first, and that won't happen until July 2014 at the earliest (tweet);
After spent fuel assemblies are removed, dismantling will start with equipments and pipes with low contamination. It will be at least 10 years before we start dismantling the reactors themselves. (tweet)
In dismantling a reactor, pipes and equipments in the primary line will be chemically cleaned and decontaminated, but dismantling doesn't happen at least until 5 years pass. (tweet)
It's because Cobalt-60, major source of radiation for pipes and equipment, has the half life of about 5 years. (tweet)
Even the decommissioning of small-scale or experimental reactors like the one in Tokai-mura is problematic, with unforeseen problems. (tweet)
I would suggest Mr. Motegi or his secretary follow these workers on Twitter.
I do feel sorry for TEPCO managers who have to kowtow to politicians like Motegi.