Bungling, cover-ups define Japanese nuclear power

Discussion in 'The Water Cooler' started by whoosh, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. whoosh

    whoosh Cooler King
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    TOKYO (AP) — Behind Japan's escalating nuclear crisis sits a scandal-ridden energy industry in a comfy relationship with government regulators often willing to overlook safety lapses.

    Leaks of radioactive steam and workers contaminated with radiation are just part of the disturbing catalog of accidents that have occurred over the years and been belatedly reported to the public, if at all.

    In one case, workers hand-mixed uranium in stainless steel buckets, instead of processing by machine, so the fuel could be reused, exposing hundreds of workers to radiation. Two later died.

    "Everything is a secret," said Kei Sugaoka, a former nuclear power plant engineer in Japan who now lives in California. "There's not enough transparency in the industry."

    Sugaoka worked at the same utility that runs the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant where workers are racing against time to prevent a full meltdown following Friday's 9.0 magnitude quake and tsunami.

    In 1989 Sugaoka received an order that horrified him: edit out footage showing cracks in plant steam pipes in video being submitted to regulators. Sugaoka alerted his superiors in the Tokyo Electric Power Co., but nothing happened. He decided to go public in 2000. Three Tepco executives lost their jobs.
    The Associated Press: Bungling, cover-ups define Japanese nuclear power
     
    #1 whoosh, Mar 17, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
  2. whoosh

    whoosh Cooler King
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    Hand mixing uranium . That is so crazy !
     

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