Crisis spokesman drinks decontaminated water

Kyodo

Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office Yasuhiro Sonoda, who briefs the media about the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima plant, staged a reckless safety appeal Monday by drinking a glass of supposedly “safe” water — decontaminated from low-level radioactive water taken from puddles inside the buildings housing reactors 5 and 6 at the plant.

Sonoda, a Lower House member from the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, said he drank the water after freelance journalists repeatedly prodded him during previous news conferences to “prove” the environment around the stricken plant is safe, as claimed by the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co.

“Just drinking (decontaminated water) doesn’t mean safety has been confirmed. I know that,” Sonoda said. “Presenting data to the public is the best way.”

Tepco has been removing radioactive cesium from contaminated water from units 5 and 6 by reducing the density of the substance to less than 50 becquerels per liter. Decontaminated water is then used within the compound for various purposes — but not for drinking.