Australian news, and some related international items

Safety of nuclear waste containers in doubt,as Kobe Steel firm suspected of nuclear waste data falsification 

Kobe Steel firm suspected of nuclear waste data falsification, By MASANOBU HIGASHIYAMA/ Staff Writer,February 15, 2018 

A subsidiary of Kobe Steel Ltd. may have falsified test data on highly radioactive waste disposal, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) announced on Feb. 14.

Kobelco Research Institute Inc. is suspected of tampering with data it gathered on behalf of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), which is contracted to carry out tests by the NRA.

The aim of the tests is to help form a regulatory standard for final disposal sites for nuclear waste, but a report the NRA received from the JAEA said that figures in the original data and those in reports Kobelco submitted to it did not match. Furthermore, some original data could not be located.

The NRA has instructed the JAEA to confirm details about the possible data falsification in response to the report.

A Kobelco source said, “Why data inconsistencies occurred remains unknown at the moment,” but that the research institute “will examine the case with data falsification in mind.”

The tests are designed to examine what happens to metal cladding tubes that had previously contained spent nuclear fuel when they are disposed of deep underground, including possible corrosion and by-products of gas, according to the NRA.

The nuclear watchdog outsourced the testing to the JAEA in fiscal 2012 through fiscal 2014 at a cost of about 600 million yen ($5.59 million).

Kobelco was subcontracted to undertake some of the tests for about 50 million yen.

February 16, 2018 - Posted by | General News

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