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IAEA: Japan underestimated tsunami impact

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Laaska News  June  1,2011

A team from the International Atomic Energy Agency will submit a summary of its report to the Japanese government on Wednesday after concluding its investigation into the nuclear disaster in Fukushima.

The 18-member team inspected the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and other nuclear facilities beginning May 24th.

The draft of the IAEA summary report says Japan took the best possible measures immediately after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, but it underestimated the danger of tsunami. The draft says it is hard to expect that Japan could have done more than it did soon after the accident occurred, with all safety systems lost and with insufficient manpower and lighting.
But the draft says Japan underestimated the impact of the tsunami and failed to respond to waves that were higher than had been expected.

It also says the chief characteristic of Japan’s worst nuclear accident is that 4 reactors were exposed to the risk of meltdowns.

The report calls on Japan to revise its current process of dealing with a severe nuclear accident. This process is based on the assumption that lighting and electricity would be available in such an accident.

The team criticizes Japan for failing to ensure the independence of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, despite the advice given 3 years ago by the IAEA that the agency should be separated from the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry.

The team will submit a full report to an IAEA ministerial meeting that will open on June 20th in Vienna.


Laaska News.