Fukushima nuclear disaster: PM at the time feared Japan would collapse, Guardian by Justin McCurry, September 2011:
Japan’s prime minister at the height of the nuclear crisis has said he feared the country would collapse [...]
In candid interviews with Japanese newspapers, Naoto Kan, who resigned this month, said that at one point he believed the disaster could become many times worse than Chernobyl.
“It was truly a spine-chilling thought,” he told the Tokyo Shimbun, adding that he foresaw a situation in which greater Tokyo’s 30 million people would have to be evacuated, a move that would “compromise the very existence of the Japanese nation”.
In the first week of the crisis Tepco played down speculation that fuel rods had melted after the quake and tsunami crippled the reactors’ cooling systems. “The power was totally lost and there was no cooling capacity,” Kan said. “I knew what that meant and I thought, ‘This is going to be a disaster’.” [...]
Published: September 8th, 2011 at 6:16 pm ET