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information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise

Safety overlooked as a system, says AESJ panel

September 2, 2013

Nuke plant design dependent on power sources a mistake: experts

http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20130902p2a00m0na008000c.html

 

The design of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant that took power supply for granted was a "fundamental mistake" leading to the nuclear disaster, the Atomic Energy Society of Japan (AESJ) has announced.


An accident investigation panel under the AESJ, which has been investigating the Fukushima nuclear disaster since June last year, released an outline of its draft final report on the disaster during a meeting held in Tokyo for AESJ members on Sept. 2.


In the draft of its final report, the panel comprising some 50 experts called it a "fundamental fallacy" that "all functions (at the plant) presupposed the presence of power sources" in terms of equipment and other designs.


As to why the isolation condensers (IC) in the reactor building of the plant's No. 1 reactor failed to function, leading to a hydrogen explosion, the panel blamed a lack of awareness and experience among plant workers about the IC functions.


The draft report also cited a lack of preventive measures against the tsunami and severe accidents prior to the disaster as the direct cause of the nuclear catastrophe.


"The disaster could have been averted if measures against the tsunami and severe accidents had properly been implemented," the draft report said, adding, "Experts had been withdrawn in their own narrow fields of expertise and overlooked safety as a system."


With regards to on-site responses to the disaster, the report said, "Although there were some issues, there is a limit to what human beings can do in such extreme situations, and overall their responses were above regular standards."


The panel will also present the draft report at a convention to be held in Aomori Prefecture from Sept. 3, before compiling a final report based on AESJ member feedback by the end of the year.

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