TEPCO officials admit failed to take enough safety measures before Fukushima disaster

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A group of American scientists met in Tokyo on Tuesday to study last year’s Fukushima nuclear accident in hopes of finding lessons to improve the safety of U.S. atomic power reactors.

Norman Neureiter, head of the 22-member committee of the National Academy of Sciences,  told The Associated Press  the committee is hearing from Japanese officials and will conduct its own investigation.

“Because after a thing like this in Japan and a damage and human losses and continuing radiation and all of these things, people will have more and more questions about nuclear energy. So, to draw the conclusion from this investigation hopefully useful lessons which can be applied to elsewhere to make sure nothing like this happens again.”

Neureiter said collusion between the industry and the regulators, a cozy relationship known as “the nuclear village” has caused deep-rooted distrust among the public. Japanese investigations have also blamed the lack of safety culture for contributing to the crisis.

A senior official of Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Monday at a U.S. National Academy of Sciences’ committee meeting in Tokyo, that the company failed to take sufficient safety measures before last year’s disaster at its Fukushima nuclear complex, fearing that taking such measures could “fuel the anxiety” of local people.

Akira Kawano, General Manager of TEPCOs International Relations and Strategy Group said, the utility  “was concerned that safety measures, if taken, might rather fuel the anxiety of local people.”

The committee’s members will visit the Fukushima Daiichi complex on Friday, and will compile a report to be released in April 2014.

Source: The Washington Post

Source: Kyodo News

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