The only reason to have a shred of hope is to think that maybe TEPCO has been sidelined or put under adult supervision for this important job. Perhaps the water show has been a convenient, though unintended, distraction while the really important job got done. The nuclear industry certainly should be motivated to get it done right, for the same reason we trust pilots to land safely: self-preservation. If they don’t, it will be the death blow for the industry (one would think — for a while I thought the 2011 accident would accomplish this). But then again, despite the rational motive, we have to remember there is nothing rational about nuclear power. If the industry really worked so cautiously, the accident never would have happened in the first place. Who knows the limit to human recklessness?
* A TEPCO spokesperson contradicted this rosy assessment a few days later in this report filed by The South China Morning Post: