Workers are seen in front of storage tanks for radioactive water at Tokyo Electric Power Co's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Photo: REUTERS file

Nuclear regulator to re-investigate Fukushima nuclear disaster


Japan's nuclear regulator said on Wednesday it would launch a new investigation into the Fukushima disaster, to look into how radiation leaked from damaged reactor containment vessels and other factors.

Three reactors at an nuclear power plant run by Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) melted down after an earthquake and tsunami eight years ago, spewing radiation that forced 160,000 people to flee, many never to return..

Authorities have said they are planning a series of investigations as radiation levels gradually fall enough in reactor buildings to allow closer examination.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) released a paper showing it would look into the leaks in the reactor vessels and at cooling systems set up to keep the melted fuel in the reactors from overheating.

TEPCO said it was ready to help. "If requested in the future, we would like to proactively cooperate in the investigation, such as providing necessary data," a spokesman said.

The March 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. It led to the eventual shutdown of all Japan's reactors, which before the disaster had supplied about 30 percent of the country's electricity.

A commission appointed by the Diet concluded in 2012 that Fukushima "was a profoundly manmade disaster – that could and should have been foreseen and prevented, (while) its effects could have been mitigated by a more effective human response."

In 2016, the government estimated the total cost of plant dismantling, decontamination of affected areas, and compensation would be 21.5 trillion yen ($199 billion), or about a fifth of Japan's annual budget.

Environment minister Yoshiaki Harada said on Tuesday TEPCO would have to dump radioactive water from Fukushima into the Pacific Ocean as it runs out of room to store it.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

The whole story of this plant after 2011 Fukushima is a way bigger disaster than the original tragedy.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Waste of time. They had 8 years to destroy any incriminating evidence.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

I would not poo poo this. Japan has dozens of reactors and its even in the corporatists' best interest to avoid another disaster as its bad for profits. Not that they care about us, but I suspect they also don't to eat or have their family eat lobster with strontium 90 in it.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I guess the results of previous probes were not sufficiently positive. Why not let an international third party team into the plant to do a thorough and impartial investigation? This is like asking high school kids to check their own exams.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

How deep will they go? Will they dig up and re-examine the Israeli Stuxnet contamination story too while they are at it?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nuclear regulator to re-investigate Fukushima nuclear disaster

yeah. sure.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

More and more investigations.

More and more wasting money for so-called experts.

And nothing new will come up, except for what the government and TEPCO want people to know.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The IAEA has had an investigation going on. The investigator posts on twitter. He Pro Nuke so you can guess what he has to say.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Melissa - Yes, the IAEA mission is to promote the safe use of nuclear power. Can hardly see them going in depth and criticising TEPCO's flawed and earlier corrupt management.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan's nuclear regulator The first word makes the whole article meaningless.

They must lie about it!

Let multiple countries do this!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It's 3.6 roentgen. Like in Chernobyl miniseries.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Of all the "hubris instead of quality control" problems in Japanese industry, this one is the biggest.

I think it is much more appropriate to view this as an industrial accident than a natural disaster. The human factor is much too high to blame it on nature.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There have been several extensive investigations so not sure what more they could learn. They should have built a water tight plant with every reactor building self contained for power and water. No major switch control panels below the 2nd level. Higher sea wall. Staff and plant operator safety training. Even the safety manual was just a few A4 pages. Hadn't held a safety drill for more than two decades.

The worse was the entire nuclear village, the government, the prefecture, the nuclear safety agencies, all believed a nuclear disaster was impossible. How dumb is that?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Funniest statement I've read for a long time! I'm sure a word is missing so I've included it in parenthesis.

"TEPCO said it was ready to help. "If requested in the future, we would like to proactively cooperate in the investigation, such as providing necessary (fake) data," a spokesman said."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Living in Japan is like being in that movie,'Being John Malkovich.'

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In Sweden they have shooten rain deer before the Chernobyl disaster with higher radiation than recommended.

In the 60th the background radiation were higher as effect of overground explosion of nuclear weapon in the Nevada desert in US. After that the world background radiation have decreased.

You may also at the positive side or radiation as it is used for treatment of cancers worldwide. Low level radiation may also have a vaccination effect. More studies about that ought to be performed,

The higheast background radiation in Sweden quite more than in Fukushima have also the higheast life length.

So the reality is more complex than only to avoid radiation. Yourself have an internal radiation which means that a group of four persons do have as heavy radiation level as the Harrisburg.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The current Japanese law states no one can live in any Fukushima location if the radiation level is greater than 20 millisievert per year.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They're looking for an excuse to restart Nuclear Power generation in Japan.

The investigation will make some recommendations, these will be applied, and a subsequent rubber-stamp OK will be given to the restart of all Nuclear reactors around Japan...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The power companies have/are applying for licenses to decommission more than 20 reactors. Currently there are 9 reactors operating.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just can't let it go can they

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They're going to have to dump the radioactive water soon. Which is more important, the nuclear lobby or the fishing lobby?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites