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  • » 06/01/2011, 00.00

    JAPAN-UN

    UN: Japan has "underestimated" the risk of a tsunami at Fukushima



    The International Atomic Energy Agency published a three-page report on the disaster at the Daiichi nuclear plant. The report highlights weaknesses, but also praises the "exemplary" response to the crisis. The future of the country’s nuclear industry is unknown. The government accepted the report.
    Tokyo (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The UN nuclear agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said in a three-page report that Japan had "underestimated" the risk of a tsunami hitting nuclear power plants, in particular Fukushima. However, it said the response to the nuclear crisis that followed the 11 March quake and tsunami was "exemplary". In addition, the IAEA says that the country must continue to carefully monitor the risks to human health after the crisis, which is still ongoing at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

    The report highlights some of the shortcomings made evident by the disaster. In particular, it stresses the failure to plan for a tsunami that would overrun the 5.7-metre break wall at the plant, despite warnings by government agencies and by scientists of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which operates the plant.

    The IAEA also highlighted the importance of independent observers in the field of nuclear energy. In Japan there has been criticism because the Nuclear Safety Agency is part of the industry ministry, which promotes atomic energy. Goshi Hosono, an aide to the Prime Minister Naoto Kan, has accepted the IAEA report in a step intended to show that the Japanese authorities want to use the lessons learned from Fukushima to make the remaining reactors safe. Hosono said that the government will revise the industry’s framework. The report will be discussed at an international ministerial conference from 20-24 June in Vienna.

    Japan is operating 19 of its 54 reactors. This number is expected to decrease if the government is not able to reassure local authorities with the new efficiency measures. In the worst case scenario, all the reactors could be closed by mid-2012 causing a 30% cut in electricity production, and increasing the possibility of permanent energy rationing. The disaster at Fukushima has forced approximately 80 thousand people to flee their homes, and has increased concerns for safety – in particular the safety of children – and for food.  

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    See also

    26/03/2011 JAPAN
    Sea near Fukushima contaminated. Radiation 1,250 times over safety limit
    Radioactive iodine leaked from the plant could also damage ground water beneath the reactors. The Japanese Agency for nuclear safety reduces alert level and hopes for a quick re-absorption of radiation by tides. According to Prime Minister Khan, the situation remains unpredictable.

    30/06/2011 JAPAN
    Earthquake in Japan, 7 injured. The country thinks about energy policies
    The epicenter is in the central prefecture of Nagano. After Fukushima the country anxiously wonders how to rebuild the area affected by the earthquake and tsunami, doing without nuclear energy. From tomorrow the supply to industry will decline by 15%. For individuals it means a change in the lifestyle. The government distributes "condolence money" to those who have lost a relative. But not all accept it.

    24/03/2011 JAPAN
    Death toll climbs amid progress at Fukushima
    Toll now stands at 26 thousand between dead or missing. The water in Tokyo returns to normal levels of radioactivity. Electricity restored to reactors 1 and 3. Three workers hospitalized for radioactive contamination. Highway to the north and the high-speed train service reopened. Many survivors not yet reached by rescue teams.

    11/03/2016 14:23:00 JAPAN
    Japan stops to remember the country’s devastating tsunami

    Five years later, many problems still linger. At least 174,000 people are still evacuated, whilst farming and fishing in Fukushima are far from recovered despite the government’s optimism. At least, “30 to 40 years” will be needed to undone the effects of the damaged reactors. Meanwhile, most former residents do not want to go ack.



    26/10/2016 09:32:00 JAPAN
    Enormous cost to dismantle Fukushima nuclear plant

    Government and TEPCO (the Company which operated the facility) estimate that it will take about 30 years and 2 trillion yen. The dismantling includes the removal of nuclear waste, the construction of structures to stabilize the reactor; the decontamination of the area with the removal of soil, contaminated buildings and trees.

     





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