26 Juin 2013
June 25, 2013
The operators of troubled nuclear facilities such as the Monju prototype fast-breeder nuclear reactor do not have sufficient safety awareness and safety management systems in place, according to the government's 2013 white paper on science and technology.
The white paper approved by the Cabinet on June 25 touched on a string of mishaps at nuclear facilities in the country. The operator of the Monju prototype fast-breeder nuclear reactor was recently found to have failed to conduct inspections at appropriate intervals on about 10,000 devices, while the Japan Proton Accelerator Research Complex (J-PARC) -- a Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) nuclear physics laboratory in Ibaraki Prefecture -- was found to have leaked radioactive substances into the atmosphere.
The white paper states, "(These incidents) reflect a lack of both safety awareness and a sufficient safety management system on the part of operators of facilities that deal with radioactive substances."
On nuclear fuel cycle technology such as the Monju reactor, the white paper stopped short of clarifying what the government would do with it, saying only, "A decision will be made on whether to conduct further research and development with the country's energy and nuclear policies in mind."
In response to a string of incidents involving forged, falsified and plagiarized research data, the white paper says the government has been moving to set up offices to accept complaints and stiffen penalties for such misdeeds. It then stresses the need for steps to galvanize work in research and development. The white paper also points to the need to consider introducing a system of evaluation for the content of research papers, including the social effects of research to foster economic growth by promoting science and technology.