Australian news, and some related international items

New government inquiry damns Japan’s nuclear reactors as still not safe

Japan nuclear plants ‘still not safe’ Report from independent panel delivers damning assessment of country’s nuclear regulator and Fukushima plant operator. Aljazeera 23 Jul 2012 A government-appointed inquiry has delivered a damning assessment of Japanese nuclear regulators and the operator of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, raising further fears that despite new rules, the country’s nuclear sector still does not meet safety requirements.

The 450-page report by a 10-member panel of independent experts was released on Monday, and comes as anti-nuclear activists continue a vociferous campaign against the restarting of two nuclear reactors in the country.

The government is currently readying a new energy policy, due next month.

The panel suggested that post-Fukushima safety steps taken at nuclear
power plants across the country have not been enough to cope with a
complex catastrophe, a combination of human error and natural causes,
such as the one that struck the country after an earthquake and
tsunami last year….
Reactors restarting

The decision to restart two reactors operated by the Kansa Electric
Power Company has energised Japans’ anti-nuclear movement, with more
than 100,000 people taking to the streets in Tokyo a week ago.

All 50 of Japan’s nuclear reactors were shut down for safety checks
after the Fukushima disaster. Critics say that the two restarted
reactors do not meet the government’s new safety criteria, announced
this April.

The panel has called on the government to take immediate action on
certain issues, such as ensuring off-site nuclear accident management
centres are protected against the kind of massive radiation leaks that
rendered the one at Fukushima unusable…..
The panel said that there was no proof that the earthquake was a key
factor in the disaster, but added that a certain degree of impact
could not be ruled out.

TEPCO’s own investigation put the blame for the accident solely on the tsunami.

The panel, however, called on TEPCO to review data that had been
presented to it, saying that it believed that it contained errors. It
said that further investigations should be carried out….
It said that the Japanese Nuclear Industrial and Safety Agency had
been promoting nuclear energy without being open about the inherent

July 23, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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