Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) will conduct an on-site inspection of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant after its operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), is believed to have lied in order avoid an investigation by a parliamentary panel in 2012. This plan was announced by NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka at a press conference on Wednesday, February 13. Unfortunately, no specific date has been given.
It was recently discovered that TEPCO seemed to have misled the panel in February last year after it said that it was impossible to conduct an on-site inspection at the time due to a sheet covering that resulted in a pitch black interior. New developments arose saying that this was not true and that despite the presence of a covering, the lighting was adequate to conduct an inspection. However, Tanaka noted that there is a “need to conduct an inspection while looking at a decline in the radiation levels inside the reactor building.”
The only time frame he gave for the inspection was that it will be done “in the not-so-distant future.” Tanaka said that it was too early to say a specific date because of the high radiation levels on the fourth floor, where isolation condensers are located. TEPCO President Naomi Hirose, for the company’s part, gave assurance at a House of Representatives Budget Committee session on February 12 that the company will cooperate during the on-site inspection.