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Japan Nuclear Safety Agency: Radioactive Water Leaks to the Ocean 'Zero' 保安院 海への汚染水、ゼロ扱い 「緊急」で法適用外
Dec. 18, 2011
Translated by Satoko Norimatsu
Introduction by Satoko Norimatsu and Matthew Penney
Tokyo Shimbun, which many regard as one of the few Japanese newspapers that honestly report what is going on at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, ran an important article yesterday, drawing on their own investigative interview with NISA, Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, a division of METI, Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry. Here is a translation of the report. This is a critical article that calls for further investigation, particularly in the wake of PM Noda's "Cold Shutdown" declaration concerning which questions have been raised by experts and international media (See New York Times, Bloomberg, CNN, Xinhua). According to Geoff Brumfiel at Nature: "the reactors are leaking, and TEPCO must continue to inject water at the rate of around half-a-million litres a day, according to its latest press release. Moreover, the plant continues to pose an environmental risk, as evidenced by a recent leak from a system designed to decontaminate water flowing out from the core." Bloomberg quotes reactor safety expert Narabayashi Tadashi: “Achieving cold shutdown does not change the condition of the reactors. It does mean the government will start reviewing evacuation zones and perhaps lifting restrictions depending on extent of contamination.” He also emphasises that “Work on decommissioning is a long way off. For now, they have to focus on making robots to remove melted fuel and developing new technologies to demolish facilities.” With work on bringing Fukushima Daiichi under control far from over, despite the Japanese government's self-congratulatory tone in the "Cold Shutdown" announcement, Tokyo Shimbun's exposé on the lack of official concern for radiocative water leaks seems particularly important. Even if the situation at the plant itself is improving, honest reporting is absolutely necessary as Japan moves from control to clean-up. Here again, Japanese regulators and politicians seem to be falling short.
Japan's Nuclear Safety Agency Regards Radioactive Water Leaks to the Ocean as "Zero."
Asia-Pacific Journal articles on related subjects include:
Satoko Norimatsu and SAY-Peace Project, Protecting Children Against Radiation: Japanese Citizens Take Radiatoin Protection into Their Own Hands
Philip Brasor, "Public Anger", Power, and the Rule of Japanese Elites