Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fukushima: risks have been underestimated, according to IAEA

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has given the Japanese government preliminary report after a group of experts completed a fact-finding mission a week on the central Fukushima Dai-Ichi, devastated by a giant earthquake and tsunami that struck northeastern Japan on March 11. The reaction of Japan to the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant has been "exemplary", but the risks of tsunami have been "underestimated" the IAEA said on Wednesday, while calling for the independence of the Japanese nuclear regulatory authority.

The complex atomic power was broken by a wave 14 meters high, shutting off the reactor cooling systems, causing a series of explosions and partial melting of nuclear fuel. The IAEA experts said they were "deeply impressed by the commitment of Japanese workers cope with this unprecedented nuclear accident" and deemed "exemplary" response from Japan.

Japan must ensure "the independence of the nuclear regulator, currently under the Ministry of Industry, has also emphasized the IAEA. Very fragile, the Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, will have also to face a confidence motion filed Wednesday by the conservative opposition. The Liberal Democratic Party and its ally the New Komeito, however, unlikely to gather enough votes Thursday in a vote in the House of Deputies, to harass the government in place, despite the support of "rebels" within own party of Mr.

Kan's Democratic Party of Japan (center left).

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