08/26/2013, 00.00
JAPAN
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Fukushima, government charges Tepco with mismanagement of radioactive water

The Nuclear Regulation Authority blames system security management: "Failure to properly inspect the contaminated water deposits which leaked into the sea."

Tokyo (AsiaNews) - The inspectors and those involved in the safety of the nuclear power plant in Fukushima-Daiichi "did not properly check" deposits of radioactive water and "have not kept records of government inspections, in fact creating a short circuit that has resulted in the leaking of contaminated material" says Toyoshi Fuketa, Nuclear Regulation Authority commissioner, after an inspection of facilities.

The visit came a few days after the new crisis that hit the nuclear power plant, accused of having leaked at least 300 tons of radioactive water into the sea. Speaking with the media, Fuketa explained that "Fundamentally, for a facility holding that kind of radioactive water, they did not take action that foresaw the risks of possible leaks. On top of that, and this is an impression I had before my visit, I can't help but say that the inspections were careless.."

On 11 March 2011, an earthquake hit the eastern coast of Japan, causing a huge tsunami - with waves of over 40 meters high - which swept the area of ​​Fukushima and its nuclear power plants. The magnitude 9 earthquake had a catastrophic impact: 15,850 dead, 6,011 wounded and 3,287 missing; 800 thousand buildings destroyed; fires in many areas, roads and railways damaged; dams breached. Four million families in the Northeast were left without electricity and a million without water.


Since the disaster, the Japanese government and the Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO, the plant operator hit) have been blaming each other. At first, the government has sought to praise the "heroic" behavior of company managers but - with the passage of time - additional problems with the management and control of nuclear power plant have emerged which has led the Japanese public to believe Tepco "solely responsible" for what happened.

 

 

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