The Japanese government came under criticism from international nuclear experts at a briefing held on the sidelines of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) annual assembly that opened Monday in Vienna. The IAEA is the United Nation’s autonomous nuclear watchdog, and its annual gathering attracts the foremost nuclear experts from around the world, some of whom criticized the Japan for the series of high-profile gaffes that are happening at the disaster stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
A Slovenian expert said all Japan has been doing for a long period of time was storing contaminated water in tanks, but that a long-term solution to the problem of storage for the radioactive waste water has yet to be found. A French expert also highlighted that the Japanese government have been remiss in handling information about leakage cases, with the government sometimes choosing to delay the information. The expert said Japan could have publicized information promptly and accurately through spontaneous social media avenues such as Twitter.
Ichita Yamamoto, Japan’s science and technology policy minister, tried to ease these international concerns about the continued leakage of radioactive water, even as Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) – the utility operator of the Fukushima nuclear facility – admitted to the fact that over 300 tons of radioactive water may be leaking into the Pacific Ocean on a daily basis. Yamamoto also pledged to improve efforts in providing the international community with accurate information on the issue. In his speech, Yamamoto reiterated that the Japanese government is tackling the water crisis as its “most urgent task” and intends to spend 47 billion yen (over US$470 million) on necessary measures. IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano then expressed the organization’s readiness to extend assistance to Japan, saying the water leak problem is “a matter of high priority that needs to be addressed urgently.”
[via Kyodo News]