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40% of Japanese nuclear export parts have not had safety checks


Japan neglected carrying out safety checks on at least 40% of nuclear reactor parts exported over a decade, a report said Monday, in the latest controversy to strike its troubled nuclear industry.

Nuclear reactor parts -- including pressure vessels which contain the fuel in power plants -- worth about 51.1 billion yen ($520 million) were shipped to 17 countries, as well as Taiwan, without undergoing safety checks, the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper reported.

Britain, Germany, Australia, Russia and Italy were among the countries that took delivery of the potentially unsafe equipment, the daily said, citing manufacturers and an industrial body among its sources.

Japan exported nuclear reactor parts worth 124.8 billion yen to more than 20 countries from 2003-2012, the Mainichi Shimbun said, citing official trade figures.

But safety checks, entailing simple examinations of documents, were only required for exports tied to loans from the state-run Japan Bank for International Cooperation or guarantees by the public agency Nippon Export and Investment Insurance, the daily said.

The unchecked parts included reactor pressure vessels shipped to Taiwan in 2004 and control rod drives, which regulate the rate of nuclear fission, supplied to Sweden and Brazil, Mainichi said.

The rest of the exports are thought to have undergone government safety checks before being shipped to China, the United States, France, Belgium and Finland, the daily said, citing the country's Agency for Natural Resources and Energy.

But much of the data disclosed by the agency was blacked out, raising the possibility that those exports may too have been shipped without being checked, Mainichi said.

Safety has been a huge concern for Japan's nuclear industry since a massive earthquake and tsunami ravaged the country's northeast coast and triggered a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in March 2011.

But the country has continued overseas sales of nuclear reactor technology, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assuring buyers the industry is among the world's safest.

© (C) 2013 AFP

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Well, we all now understand why TEPCO executives were able to enjoy a luxurious life for so long.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This is most " regretable" but I'm sure they will " sincerely reflect on the situation", "collect all relevant information swiftly " and "take appropriate action speedily ", "to avoid public confusion" - like form an expert panel.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

"Fukuppy" is not only the mascot of Fukushima Industries but also of Japan's nuclear exports (not to mention that of a certain electricity supply company...)

4 ( +4 / -0 )

shouganai ne.

1 ( +1 / -0 )


0 ( +3 / -3 )

So, according to officials nuclear power is still 'necessary', but safety checks are not?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Oh jolly good. As if we didn't have enough trouble back home already. Now we're waiting for a nuclear facility somewhere in Europe. Russia or Australia to blow up, because an unchecked vital part fails. This is getting better and better...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

assuring buyers the industry is among the world’s safest.

Abe's defintion of 'the world's safest' seems to be off.

How can you not safety check parts for a nuclear power plant? One would hope the importing countries would check them before letting them into the country. But, how can an exporter not?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why did Australia receive nuclear parts when we dont have any Nuclear power plants?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Wow, where is the news?

Here is the link to the original Mainichi article. http://mainichi.jp/journalism/listening/news/20131014org00m040002000c.html

The original article is not about safety checks by the manufacturers, but by the Japanese Government.

What the original article says is that nuclear plant exports do not need to undergo safety checks by the Japanese Government because the government that control the nuclear operation is the government of the importing country. Yet, 40% of the parts must under go safety checks by the Japanese Government due to tied loan agreements, which would result in extra costs for importing country.

It is not "Japan neglected carrying out safety checks", but safety checks by the Japanese Government is not required in the first place.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Abe says, "world's safest", but keep in mind he is the same man who said "everything is under control" while seeking international help.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Not to worry. These parts are all safe. If you trust Abe Shinzo's pronouncements that Tokyo and Japan are safe then there is absolutely nothing to worry about. Especially after this stand-up comedian went to the Middle East to sell nuclear power. A snake-oil salesman with all his fake credentials obvious to all except himself.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

gov't safety checks was not carried out because it was not necessary. Simply stated but being blown out of proportio.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

CH3CHO and mikihouse.

It's useless. The focus here should be whether or not the importing country is conducting their own due diligence but of course, AFP had to put a spin on Mainichi's irrelevant article.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Include strategically sensitive information like this in the proposed new state secrets law?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

you mean there are fellas out there still buying Japanese failed nuke technology!!!??

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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