After receiving repeated challenges from reporters to prove water from the troubled, quake-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was safe, a Japanese official drank the water to prove his point.
After drinking the water, Sonoda told the news conference: “Just drinking [decontaminated water] doesn't mean safety has been confirmed. Presenting data to the public is the best way.”
That same day, however, a report from Japan's Atomic Energy Commission found that the decommissioning of four reactors at the crippled plant will likely take more than 30 years to complete. Last month, plant owner Tokyo Electric Power Company estimated it would only take until the end of the year.
Officials sought to cushion the news by saying they would allow journalists to visit the site of the plant on Nov. 12, marking the first time journalists will have toured the area after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami ravaged it.