23 Juillet 2012
Industry team set up to deal with nuclear accident
Japan's electric power companies are planning to jointly organize emergency response teams to deal with accidents at their nuclear power plants.
The Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan says the first team will be formed by next March.
The team will consist of 100 workers chosen from nuclear power plants across the country. They will have 3 robots capable of removing debris and transporting equipment at sites contaminated with high levels of radiation.
The robots will be kept at a nuclear power facility in central Japan's Fukui Prefecture.
The cost for purchasing robots is estimated at 1.2 million dollars. Another 2.5 million dollars more will be needed every year to cover the costs of operating the team. Utilities that have nuclear power plants will share the costs.
The federation plans to form another team in 2015. Its goal is for an emergency team to be able to start on-site work within 24 hours of a nuclear accident anywhere in the country.
The federation chairman Makoto Yagi says forming emergency teams is part of efforts to increase the safety of Japan's nuclear power plants to the world's highest level.