Japan nuclear safety on par, says IAEA
The nuclear agency highlighted 'good practices and also identified improvements' that Japan's nuclear regulators could make.
Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 02:04 PM
CHECKING FOR ERRORS: Tokyo Electric Power Co. employees work inside the emergency operation center at the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station in Okuma in 2011.(Photo: David Guttenfelder/AFP)
VIENNA — The UN's atomic agency said on March 27 that safety criteria for Japan's nuclear power stations generally met its standards, a year after the Fukushima disaster.
Japan's nuclear agency "NISA's instructions to power plants and its review process for the Comprehensive Safety Assessments are generally consistent with IAEA Safety Standards," the agency said in a statement.
An International Atomic Energy Agency team had visited Japan in January, at the request of the government there, to reevaluate its nuclear safety program.
In a report, "the team highlighted good practices and also identified improvements that would enhance the overall effectiveness of the Comprehensive Safety Assessment process", the IAEA said.
The team, led by IAEA director of nuclear installation safety, James Lyons, held meetings in Tokyo with officials of NISA, Japan's nuclear energy safety organization and the KEPCO power company, and visited the Ohi nuclear power station about 350 kilometers (220 miles) west of Tokyo.
A tsunami in March last year knocked out cooling systems at the Fukushima plant, sending three reactors into meltdowns that led to radiation leaking out over a wide area.
Tens of thousands of people were forced from their homes and vast swathes of farmland were contaminated in the world's worst nuclear accident for a quarter of a century.
Copyright 2012 AFP Asian Edition