“It’s Like Building on a Heap Of Tofu.”
There is a very interesting article on Yahoo this morning. It seems as if the Japanese government has been covering up many safety violations and accidents in their nuclear power industry. Go figure. Since the early 60’s, when the Japanese government decided to ween itself off its dependance of foriegn oil, the nuclear power industry has enjoyed a cozy relationship with federal regulators. There has been a history of accidents and cover ups in Japan that is only rivaled by the U.S. relationships with the oil industry. The list of Japanese power plant accidents is a long one, and includes
_In 1999, fuel-reprocessing workers were reported to be using stainless steel buckets to hand-mix uranium in flagrant violation of safety standards at the Tokaimura plant. Two workers later died in what was the deadliest accident in the Japanese industry’s history.
• At least 37 workers were exposed to low doses of radiation at a 1997 fire and explosion at a nuclear reprocessing plant operated in Tokaimura, northeast of Tokyo. The operator, Donen, later acknowledged it had initially suppressed information about the fire.
• Hundreds of people were exposed to radiation and thousands evacuated in the more serious 1999 Tokaimura accident involving JCO Co. The government assigned the accident a level 4 rating on the International Nuclear Event Scale ranging from 1 to 7, with 7 being most serious.
• In 2007, a powerful earthquake ripped into Japan’s northwest coast, killing at least eight people and causing malfunctions at the Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear power plant, including radioactive water spills, burst pipes and fires. Radiation did not leak from the facility.
In 1978, control rods at one Fukushima reactor dislodged but the accident was not reported because utilities were not required to notify the government of such accidents.
In 2006, Tepco reported a negligible amount of radioactive steam seeped from the Fukushima plant — and blew beyond the compound.
There are currently 54 nuclear plants in Japan, with 2 more under construction, and 11 more plant proposals to build. All in a heavily populated nation that is a virtual earthquake and tsunami magnet. It appears that Tepco built all these plants while cutting corners, and ignoring many industry standards. Tepco and the Japanese government have managed to put the entire island, and now possibly the planet at a danger level of epic proportions. Thanks to them, it probably will not be long until we all become luminescent like so many glo-sticks at an ecstacy laden rave. Considering the history of corruption in all of our energy industries, if this is President Obama’s idea of clean energy for America, I’ll pass. Thanks but no thanks.
- The energy company behind Japan’s nuke crisis (cbsnews.com)
- Japan’s Nuclear Power Industry Has History Of Scandals (huffingtonpost.com)
- Fukushima nuclear plant owner falsified inspection records (theaustralian.com.au)
- Japan’s BP? (bbc.co.uk)