TEPCO’s Fukushima Inspections Inadequate
- August, 24, 2013 - 12:57
- Nuclear news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Japan’s nuclear regulator concluded that the Fukushima nuclear plant’s operator was inadequate in its inspection of radioactive water tanks after news of yet another leak.
On Friday, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) Commissioner Toyoshi Fuketa visited the destroyed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to inspect the ongoing radioactive cleanup efforts. Fuketa’s comments follow those of the NRA chairman Shunichi Tanaka, who earlier this week worried that the makeshift giant radioactive containers were prone to failure.
"Fundamentally, for a facility holding that kind of radioactive water, they did not take action that foresaw the risks of possible leaks," Fuketa said at a press briefing in Hirono. "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."
The plant operator said on Thursday that a new radiation spill has been detected near the storage tanks, which sparked fears of newer leaks before the old ones had been dealt with, RT reported.
Furthermore, the company has been accused of failing to properly document inspections, leading to misspent resources and problems cropping up that should have been noticed before, according to Fuketa.
Japan has decided to raise the gravity of the latest Fukushima leak to Level Three, which is considered a “serious radiation incident” on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) for radiological releases. The most dangerous, Level Seven, has only been applied twice – for the Chernobyl catastrophe in 1986 and for the meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima plant.
TEPCO has also now admitted it will be seeking international expertise to help out with the leaks.
The UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that it was ready to help out, if needed, and that it viewed the situation “seriously,” just as China was saying it was “shocked” to hear that radioactive water leaks are still continuing. The neighbor has urged Japan to provide it with information “in a timely, thorough and accurate way.”