Fukushima Watchdog Doing Crummy Job: Experts

Regulators routinely approve TEPCO plans: investigators

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 8, 2013 11:49 AM CDT

(Newser) – Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority was launched in September to keep a closer watch on the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi plant and TEPCO's work there—but what was supposed to be a more independent, tougher regulator is simply running "the same old routine," says an investigator. The NRA is just rubber-stamping TEPCO's work, say investigators, who revealed their concerns in testimony today before a government nuclear committee—the first such testimony since their report in July, the AP notes. Regulators "make a risk assessment, submit their plans to the government, and they're approved."

"The public is extremely concerned," says one member of the 10-investigator-strong team. "Regulators should demonstrate they can properly carry out a decades-long decommissioning process." The testimony follows multiple cooling failures, including one Friday that preceded the announcement of a major leak of up to 120 tons of extremely contaminated water, which flowed out of a temporary underground tank; another tank leaked as well. TEPCO yesterday admitted that it waved off early indications of water loss as a margin of error, and didn't react until radiation levels spiked around the tank. It believes the water didn't reach the ocean.

This March 11, 2012 file photo shows storage tanks for radiation-contaminated water in the compound of the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan.
This March 11, 2012 file photo shows storage tanks for radiation-contaminated water in the compound of the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan.   (AP Photo/Kyodo News, File)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
7%
7%
5%
2%
67%
12%
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   HitFix   |   PopSugar Tech   |   RealClear   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   CollegeHumor   |   Barstool Sports   |   OK!