Two international nuclear experts who were invited to a nuclear reform monitoring panel took to task the organizer, Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) for their handling of the toxic water leaks at their crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The operator has been facing problem after problem ever since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami resulted in a nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, the worst nuclear disaster in recent history.
Dale Klein, former head of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) bluntly told the panel, composed of two foreign experts and four Japanese members including TEPCO’s chief executive, that their actions indicate they “don’t know what you are doing,” and that they do not have a conservative decision-making process. “It also appears that you are not keeping the people of Japan informed…and that you are not doing all you can to protect the environment and the people,” Klein blasted at TEPCO. He added that everyone is frustrated with the recent developments, and that because of this all the progress they’ve made on the clean-up at the plant will go unnoticed.
Initially, TEPCO reported that there was an increase in the levels of cancer-causing materials in the groundwater at the plant, but that they had contained the threat already from leaking outside of the area. But then they backtracked and admitted that the toxic water has already leaked into the sea, angering the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) as well as the fishing community and the locals who are still currently displaced because of the meltdown.
The other foreign member of the panel was Barbara Judge, chairman of Britain’s Atomic Energy Authority, who said that she was “disappointed and distressed” by the fact that TEPCO did not properly disclose the toxic water leakage issue. She admitted that there were sure to be problems with the decommissioning process since it is a “complicated and difficult process” but the important thing is that the public should always be informed about the situation and what their plans are to address it. Her statements seem a bit odd though, since technically she is part of the company, having been hired to oversee their safety campaign as deputy chairman of TEPCO’s Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee. Isn’t it her job to make sure that the transparency she’s talking about is followed by the whole company? Well, given the way that TEPCO has been handling this and other matters, we’re not surprised that we’re still in the dark.
[ via Fox News ]