TEPCO Incompetence in Managing 2-Year Nuclear Disaster at Fukushima Demands Outside Intervention

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Posted Aug. 28, 2013

Interview with Michael Mariotte, executive director with the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, conducted by Scott Harris

fukushima

More than two years after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that triggered the meltdown of three nuclear reactors at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi complex, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, the plant’s operator, reported 300 metric tons of highly radioactive water had leaked from storage tanks on-site. Japan’s nuclear regulatory agency labeled the water leak as a “serious incident.” The water leaking from the tank had levels of beta radiation of 80 million becquerels per liter, 8 million times the safe limit for drinking water established by the Japanese Health ministry.

There are 350 similar tanks built to store radioactive water at Fukushima, of which at least two others appear to be compromised. Another concern to Japanese authorities and the public was the recent admission by TEPCO that an estimated 300 tons of irradiated water are currently flowing into the Pacific Ocean every day.

Growing concern about TEPCO’s lack of transparency and capacity to manage the disaster and eventual decommissioning of the dangerously radioactive nuclear complex, has driven Japan’s government to announce they will take control away from TEPCO in leading emergency cleanup operations. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Michael Mariotte, executive director with the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, who examines the consequences of the ongoing crisis at Fukushima and also assesses the health consequences of the disaster and the future of the U.S. nuclear power industry.

Find more information about the Nuclear Information and Resource Service at nirs.org.

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