Japan Not Ready for Nuclear Disaster

Tuesday, June 7, 2011 @ 09:06 AM gHale


It is one thing to say you are ready in case a disaster occurs and it is quite another to actually be prepared.

In the case of Japan, the country falls into the latter category, as they were unprepared for a severe nuclear accident like the tsunami-caused Fukushima disaster. On top of that, the damage was greater than previously thought, the country said Tuesday in a report to the U.N. nuclear agency.

In the report, the government said the core melted in three units and likely breached the inner containment vessels after the March 11 tsunami knocked out the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant’s power and cooling systems. Fuel at Unit 1 started melting hours earlier than previously estimated.

The report, compiled by Japan’s nuclear emergency taskforce, factors in a preliminary evaluation of the disaster by a team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). They will submit the report to the IAEA.

The report acknowledged a lack of independence at Japan’s nuclear regulator and promised to improve the safety control system.

The report comes the day after the government’s nuclear officials doubled the estimate of how much radiation leaked from the tsunami-ravaged nuclear plant and said there was greater damage to the reactors than officials previously reported.

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said Monday in a report nuclear fuel inside three reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant probably melted through not only the reactor cores but also through the inner containment vessels.

The report Monday said twice as much radiation released into the air than earlier estimated by NISA. That would be about one-sixth of the amount released at Chernobyl instead of the earlier estimate of one-tenth.

NISA said its analysis used a different method than had been employed by the plant’s operator last month and better reflects “reality.”



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