Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Japan had an exemplary reaction but underestimated the threat of tsunami

Japan's reaction to the accident unleashed on 11 March was "exemplary." However, the country had underestimated the threat posed by tsunamis to nuclear power stations and now must watch closely the health of all people exposed to high radiation from the accident at the plant in Fukushima 1. These are the main conclusions reached by the team of nuclear security experts sent by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to investigate what happened.

The British team led by Mike Weightman has prepared a report which highlights some of the circumstances that contributed to the outbreak of the nuclear crisis. The central Fukushima 1 was not designed to cope with a wave of more than 5.7 meters, the height of the wall separating the premises from the sea.

In addition, the tsunami left inoperative emergency electric generators. Apparently both government agencies and scientists from the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) had previously warned of these risks. According to the group of the IAEA, the events in Japan offer several lessons to be applied globally, as the need to regularly review threats from natural disasters and emergency arrangements be "reinforced." "Designers and nuclear plant operators must properly assess and provide protection against risks of all natural hazards," reads the text.

Goshi Hosono, adviser to Prime Minister Naoto Kan, has received the report and admitted that the Government should review the regulatory framework for the sector. "We had a manual for action, but did not work," he told by the Vice President of the Atomic Energy Commission of Japan, Suzuki Tatsujiro.

The IAEA team also presented their findings at a ministerial conference on nuclear security to be held between 20 and 24 June in Vienna, headquarters of the agency. Currently work only 19 of the 54 Japanese nuclear reactors could be shut down and more if it increases the confidence in security measures.

30% of the energy consumed by the Japanese comes from this energy source. On the other hand, the crisis has diverted attention from the work of reconstruction. The economic cost of the tragedy adds a human. Besides the nearly 24,000 deaths from the earthquake and tsunami, more than 80,000 residents in the region of Fukushima had to leave their homes for fear of radioactivity.

While still is not clear who was in charge of field operations at the plant. The leaders of TEPCO were not in the area and executive vice president, Sakae Muto, spent the night of the earthquake together with the mayors of nearby towns to inform them of developments, rather than participate in the operations center.

There was some disorganization in the orders and Suzuki believes that "it was impossible to make the system work as it had been established." In his opinion, Japan's nuclear industry now must prove he can cope with the accident most unlikely to win public confidence, if not, "will be very hard." Fukushima install a hydraulic cooling system for the pool of reactor 2.

A spokesman has announced on Wednesday that the purpose of this measure is to lower the water temperature of 70 to 80 degrees today to 40. TEPCO plans to install additional cooling systems of this kind during the month of June in the reactor 1 and 3. In July also prepare for the reactor 4.

After the tsunami, the cooling stopped working. TEPCO workers managed to cool the sea water pools up, waiting for electricity to run again correctly circuits.

No comments:

Post a Comment