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TEPCO needs safety review from foreign nuclear operators: adviser

21 Comments
By Kentaro Hamada

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21 Comments
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How does one make a nuclear reactor earthquake proof?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This sounds like an excuse to let the world’s largest nuclear plant restart. "You can trust Tepco now, since there are also foreigner folks", This seems being the message. NO! Don't trust nuclear lobby, no matter its nationality.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

TEPCO) should convene a panel of nuclear power plant operators from outside Japan to review its safety standards even if it obtains clearance by regulators to restart the world’s largest nuclear plant, an adviser to the utility said on Tuesday.

That's like expecting the Yakuza to open their doors to the government and air their dirty laundry!

NEVER HAPPEN

9 ( +11 / -2 )

NEVER HAPPEN

Oh, you. Something like that is already happening

Dale Klein, a former chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the chairman of a third-party panel commissioned by Tokyo Electric to oversee the reform of its nuclear division, said such a step would provide additional assurance that the utility could be trusted to run a nuclear plant safely after the March 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima DaiIchi plant.

But if you think you can trust these foreign guys just because they are not Japanese you are WRONG.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Alex80 Dec. 03, 2014 - 08:10AM JST

Oh, you. Something like that is already happening

Dale Klein, a former chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the chairman of a third-party panel commissioned by Tokyo Electric to oversee the reform of its nuclear division, said such a step would provide additional assurance that the utility could be trusted to run a nuclear plant safely after the March 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima DaiIchi plant.

Dale Klein is window dressing and an attempt by TEPCO to bring some legitimacy to the third-party panel. Do you think TEPCO lets him just stroll through all their closets and open up all those books that they have stashed away? Just ask former chief executive of Olympus Corporation, British-born Michael Woodford and the respect that Olympus bestowed upon him.

The only way TEPCO could be trusted to run a nuclear plant safely is to nationalize it and disband the entire board of directors. At least the government won't be beholden to private sector forces and might have a smidgen more sense of duty to safety and following government procedures and guidelines and would not be cutting corners to save money as bureaucrats love spending our money! Nationalizing private sector entities should only be done when EVERY other possibility has been exhausted but TEPCO has clearly demonstrated that it can't be trusted any-longer and they are dragging their feet on every measure that dips into their corporate profit at the expense of safety, the lives of those who risk stabilizing the plant and those citizens who were forced to abandon their livelihoods.

TEPCO is like a cat with nine lives but reincarnated about a dozen times over already! They've had their chance and now it's time to put these geezers to pasture.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

TEPCO needs safety review from foreign nuclear operators: adviser

Makes complete sense, which is why it will NEVER happen. Especially since it came from a gaijin.

“It’s going slower than I would like,” he said.

Now there's a shock.

3 ( +6 / -5 )

@Mr. Perfect: I didn't read all your post. You are the typical person who thinks only Japanese business is corrupt, so it's useless to discuss.

-9 ( +2 / -10 )

Alex80 Dec. 03, 2014 - 09:20AM JST

@Mr. Perfect: I didn't read all your post. You are the typical person who thinks only Japanese business is corrupt, so it's useless to discuss.

I'm sorry, I should have made it shorter for some of you. I will rephrase then by saying TEPCO has shown an outstanding ability to manage the nuclear crisis and has made an even more outstanding effort to do all it can to be ethically sincere in all it business decisions since 3/11. Maybe this is one instance where one would be better served by refraining from trying to defend Japan's honor here because nothing TEPCO, let me repeat that one more time, TEPCO, has done is in any way honorable.

As to the second sentence regarding your assertion as to my selective criticism, well sir, I'll risk being accused of plagiarism by saying, it's so useless to discuss.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

"We don't need no stinking rules..."

If we look back at the track record, Tokai-Mura: When they precipitated their criticality accident there, killing two and exposing the entire population of the town to radiation exposure, it was found that the plant was operating according to a secret inside operating manual that bypassed basic safety procedures (workers were adding fissile materials to the experimental reactor by hand, using buckets) for expediency.

There are no amount of rules or expert-panels that can safeguard against such a culture.

Time has passed, but has the culture changed? I think we can all agree, without a doubt, that the culture has not only not changed, but that they have closed ranks and 'fixed the system' so that they can have their way again. That is, until the next catastrophe. Then it will be: "shoganai... it could't be helped...."

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Ahahahahaha yeah, right! When hell freezes over!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I like the idea of some form of outside panel to assess things from outside Japan, BUT they cant be putting people in the nuke industry on that panel because THEY TOO have huge vested interest in getting Japan going again on nukes.

These same outta Japan execs FREAKED out when the meltdowns etc occurred there was WORLDWIDE panic among nuke operators that nukes are bad would spread to the rest of the world!

They fought VERY HARD to minimize the potential damage to nuke power world wide, they cant be fully trusted, maybe they can help with technical clean up stuff, but regulation, safety...........NO FRIGGING WAY!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Alex80: you're the type of person where if it's not facts that praise japan you simply dismiss it as "japan bashing" or a "domestic issue", which is why things like this never get taken seriously, nor does Japan.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Sounds like some foreign regulators may soon get their pockets lined.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

smithinjapan Dec. 03, 2014 - 11:01AM JST

Alex80: you're the type of person where if it's not facts that praise japan you simply dismiss it as "japan bashing" or a "domestic issue", which is why things like this never get taken seriously, nor does Japan.

Or, "you gaijin don't understand Japanese culture!" or "why must the world impose their values on us Japanese?"

But is it only the baka-gaijin who are complaining or are some of us not listening to the Japanese who are tired of the the corporate world running unbridled and stampeding over the working class? Who among us here, right now, is pointing to the West and saying, look Japanese, look how corporate America or Europe deal with these issues, who is saying that? Sorry but I live HERE in Japan and some of us think we have a right to express OUR opinions too, at least on internet forums, and why shouldn't we, we pay taxes just like everyone else and we contribute to Japanese society!

Oh yeah, how does the saying go, "go home yankee-boy if you don't like it!" Real nice!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The concept sounds good, the content should be scrutinized. An outside advisory board is a good idea, but their recommendations should be made public. Further, the advisory board should also include scholars, people from the safety, medical, and engineering industry. If I'm reading it right, all of the advisers that Klien is suggesting are nuke operators themselves; I may be wrong, but a quick google search can fix that, I'm just assuming and shooting from the hip. Anyways, if they are a part of the global industry, how are we going to get an unbiased opinion that will serve the public's interest and not the industry? Also the last line in the article points out that Klein severs on the board of Pinnacle West, one of the companies that he is pushing to serve as an adviser. Nice little contract for Pinnacle don't you think?

The concept is good, the content should be scrutinized.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yeah, well, the last time they had an international team inspect and advise them on safety procedures was in the early 2000's and they totally ignored the recommendations, which directly caused the meltdowns at Fukushima Dai-Ichi. In 2001 a French team inspected reactors in Japan and made a recommendation to get the back up generators off the ground and onto the roofs of the housings and to waterproof all the electrical systems. However, it doesn't matter what degree of safety procedures they put into place, the fact is, nuclear reactors can never be safe in a country where earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis are previlant. It's been clearly documented that the earthquake nearly four years ago was an unprecedented event. This tells you very clearly that natural disasters can not be predicted, nor can they be prepared for.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Recent legal decisions and the desire to continue with the most dangerous technology in an earthquake prone country shows that profits and not safety is the major concern.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The headline says "foreign", but the article says US, not world-wide.

This guy Klein may be offering 'foreign' lip-service to help give TEPCO's efforts popular legitimacy within Japan, and thus speed things up.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@GW: excellent comment.

@Mr. Perfect and smithinjapan: both of you share the same "Japan bashing" attitude, ignoring the real facts. Nuclear lobby is corrupt everywhere, so if you think you can solve the problem in Japanese nuke industry employing some foreign people, you are wrong. I like a nuclear free world, but as GW said, many countries with a huge nuke industry are pressing Japan because they want it restarts its reactors. Do you think the nuke industry is more transparent in the US, UK or France? NO! So the solution for Japan isn't having more foreigners in the industry, but let its reactors OFF. Sadly, this can't happpen also because of foreign interests in the nuclear industry.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

What about world recognized independent third parties ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

TEPCO needs safety review from foreign nuclear operators: adviser

Oh sure. But with the secrecy act about to kick in, everything will soon be permanently "under control"

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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