3 Mai 2014
May 1, 2014
Expert: TEPCO's safety culture still insufficient
A panel of nuclear experts monitoring reforms at the Tokyo Electric Power Company says the utility's nuclear safety culture has not yet reached the required level.
TEPCO regularly reports to the independent advisory panel the utility set up after the 2011 accident at its Fukushima Daiichi plant. The utility gives updates on reforms to safety measures at nuclear power plants.
In the latest report, submitted on Thursday, TEPCO officials acknowledge management problems led to troubles with systems used to purify contaminated water, and repeated water leaks.
They say the firm has failed to end the vicious cycle of relying on makeshift systems due to lack of time, which leads to fresh troubles.
They say they were unable to make full preparations for cleanup work while being aware of a lack of technological capabilities.
The chairman of the panel, former US Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Dale Klein, says TEPCO's safety culture has not reached the desired level in terms of preparing for the unexpected. He says the utility must make sure workers are fully aware that they are dealing with a special plant which caused an accident.
He recommends the utility learn from measures taken at overseas nuclear facilities, and make the most of external support in order to improve operations.
TEPCO executive Takafumi Anegawa says the firm hopes to seek knowhow from abroad to compensate for its lack of on-site operation capabilities. He pledges to swiftly improve operations.
May 1, 2014 - Updated 10:28 UTC