Somewhat internally inconsistent, but I will take it.
I had to double check this, and finally found China chiming in with Russia, so I think things are looking uppish.
The Japanese government has decided to decommission all six reactors at the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant. TEPCO is also considering the construction of a containment shell at some of its reactors.
Earlier on Wednesday, Tsunehisa Katsumata, a chairman of TEPCO, said the company saw scrapping its four most troubled reactors as inevitable, Kyodo News reports.
However, Yukio Edano, the chief cabinet secretary and top spokesman in the Kan government, went further and suggested that all of the reactors at the Fukushima plant should be scrapped.
"It is very clear looking at the social circumstances. That is my perception," Edano said to a news conference, as quoted by Kyodo News.
In addition, TEPCO is planning to cover the damaged units with a special containment shell made of a high-tech fabric. This cover is aimed at preventing radioactive particles from escaping into the atmosphere, Asahi Shimbun newspaper reports.
Specialists will first apply a unique compound onto all four reactors, to prevent radioactive particles from escaping into the atmosphere, and then will cover units 1, 3 and 4 with the fabric, to enforce the protection.
This decision echoes the steps that Soviet specialists had to undertake in the case of the Chernobyl reactor. It was eventually sealed off within a massive concrete tomb called the sarcophagus. The catastrophe provided valuable lessons in how to deal with a reactor disaster, but also stern warnings about the dangers of nuclear energy.
Japanese workers have been unsuccessfully trying to restore the cooling system at the Fukushima facility, in what is now the worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl. The level of radiation measured in seawater near the site, is now said to be around 3,500 times higher than normal.
Here's a more conservative report, but generally flowing in the same direction, from Japan.
More from Japan.
I'm going to guess that the arrival of the French experts is beginning to have an impact.
The government plans to spray a water-soluble resin over debris at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to prevent radiation leaks from spreading further, officials said Wednesday.
An unmanned, remote-controlled vehicle will spray the solution in order to affix radioactive substances onto the debris, the officials said.
Spraying resin over the debris at the plant is a temporary measure before fundamental measures are taken to contain radioactive substances, the officials added.
I don't know if the French will be arguing against burying it all, or for it. The company announced scrapping the four units, and the Japanese government added the other two, and then the French arrived... and the resin spraying shot into the headlines... but at least it's out there on the table for real.
Anne Lauvergeon, president of Areva SA, has arrived in Japan to offer help in resolving the crisis at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, officials at the French nuclear fuel company said Wednesday.
Accompanied by five French nuclear experts, Lauvergeon's visit appears to underline France's full-fledged commitment to assist Japan, which has sought French help in tackling the crisis.
Areva is commissioned by Japanese power companies to process uranium-plutonium mixed-oxide fuel, so-called MOX fuel. MOX fuel used at the No. 3 reactor unit at the Fukushima Daiichi plant was manufactured by Areva and was shipped from France.