The Nuclear Regulation Authority announced April 10 a draft of new safety standards for nuclear power plants. The criteria will be implemented in July, but the regulatory requirements, practically, ignore the serious experiences inflicted at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, though the draft wording pretends to intensify the tightened control. The new norm may open possibilities to build a new plant as well as to allow reoperation at the suspended nuclear sites.
NO LESSON LEARNED FROM DISASTER AT FUKUSHIMA
The draft of new safety regulations complied by the Nuclear Regulation Authority depends on an erroneous basis.
First: It is not a draft compiled after fully investigating severe consequences in the Fukushima accident and clarifying its causes.
At the disastrous site radiation emission is too massive to identify in which part of the containment vessel was damaged. Nobody can tell about piping conditions: around the reactors inside the containment vessel, cooling water supply and recirculation systems, main steam piping, various emergency cooling system and control rod guiding systems.
Nobody knows exactly where cracks and fractures are located and how they have emerged. It is more probable that the failures had occurred before arriving tsunami. If the earthquakes had caused, principally, loss of coolant water, meltdown of reactor core and hydrogen explosion, all the measures, including higher seawalls, an additional control room and a reinforced facility of seismic base isolation at the working site, would be solely of temporary consolation.
Once a severe accident happens, it is impossible for a person to approach to operate valves for vent. Exact measuring is impossible for a pressure meter, a water level meter and a thermometer to work correctly as they defunct or lose reliability.
Secondly: badly-contaminated water fills up at the site in the severe accident as Fukushima demonstrates today. It is indispensable to shield from underground water the building of containment vessel and reactor in the bottom and lateral sides.
This step is an imperative construction job in order to prevent serious sea water pollution at any nuclear site. If the government and business authorities claim that the job is too expensive to be commercially payable, a practical option is to give up reoperation at any station in the country.
Thirdly: If the new regulations are to allow reoperation and new installation of nuclear power plants, they will be the same as the existing ones, unless provided are concrete steps how to deal with and where to dispose spent fuel and highly-radioactive waste materials.
New Regulations Are to Promote Nuclear Power Generation
Fourthly: although four of the scientists who had researched the disputed underground faults running beneath the No.3 and No.4 reactors at Oi Power Plant told that the seismic phenomena there are probably active, the authorities decided on reoperation at the site, claiming more detailed investigation will be made later and postponing a decision. Judging from the practices, the Nuclear Regulation Authority is doubted to be qualified to draft new standards.
Let's look into the organization. It constitutes a fig leaf to conceal disgrace of monopoly, or mafia, being a tool of the state to promote nuclear power program in compliance with the Nuclear Power Basic Act.
The government is planned after July to lead the related authorities to approve reoperation at nuclear sites. It may admit an extended operation, for instance, by twenty years at the plant operating over 40 years. It may permit to build a new station.
We cannot rely on the Nuclear Regulation Authority. Let's intensify anti-nuclear movements together with citizens and workers.
May 7, 2013