9 Juillet 2014
July 9, 2014
New safety rules may be applied to Fukushima plant
Japan's nuclear regulator is considering stricter safety measures for the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant, which is being decommissioned.
Serious damage to the plant's reactor buildings and highly radioactive wastewater in their basements and elsewhere have been hampering decommissioning work.
At issue are measures to prepare for another strong earthquake and tsunami.
At Wednesday's meeting of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, commissioner Toyoshi Fuketa pointed out the need to consider improved safety measures.
Fuketa stressed the seriousness of the radioactive water problem in case of another disaster.
Chairman Shunichi Tanaka agreed, and the authority decided to urgently assess a range of problems.
They agreed to refer to new safety standards the regulator introduced for other nuclear plants in Japan.
The body also discussed a delay in work to freeze wastewater in underground utility tunnels at the plant to block further inflows of water and stop contaminated water from leaking out to sea.
Members urged that the effort be speeded up. Some expressed doubt as to whether the plant's operator has a sense of crisis.
Jul. 9, 2014 - Updated 08:58 UTC