By Shiro Namekata / via The Asahi Shimbun / October 14, 2013 /
Japan urgently needs an effective system that reuses radiation-contaminated water to cool down the crippled reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, said Gregory Jaczko, former chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
In an interview with The Asahi Shimbun, the nuclear expert said failure to handle the contaminated water problem at the site will damage Japan’s credibility.
Question: As an outside expert, how do you view the serious problem of contaminated water leaks at the Fukushima nuclear power plant?
Jaczko: There is a long-term challenge in Japan with the clean-up from the Fukushima nuclear accident, which is going to take decades to resolve, and this is just one of the first incidents to show that it needs continuous focus and attention.
What I saw was somewhat surprising: the lack of monitoring of the tanks. That seems to be something that is more straightforward and easier to do–to ensure that there are not spills, or when there are spills, they are identified readily and quickly addressed and remediated.
But it did not appear that they had any type of instrumentation, monitoring, for those tanks; it was done as “walk-arounds” and identified by workers. They demonstrate a weakness in the safety system, in the oversight and the management of the project, and I think what is needed is corrections for those elements.