Ja­pan ad­mits to fail­ure of nu­clear plant safe­guards

Townsville Bulletin - - World Snapshot -

JA­PAN’S gov­ern­ment has ad­mit­ted its safe­guards were in­suf­fi­cient to pro­tect a nu­clear plant against the earth­quake and tsunami that crip­pled the fa­cil­ity and caused it to spew ra­di­a­tion.

The strug­gle to con­tain ra­di­a­tion at the Fukushima Dai­ichi com­plex has un­folded with near-con­stant mis­steps – the lat­est in­clud­ing t hree work­ers drenched with ra­dioac­tive wa­ter de­spite wear­ing sup­pos­edly water­proof suits.

The March 11 t su­nami t hat slammed into Ja­pan’s north­east, wip­ing out towns and killing thou­sands of peo­ple, knocked out power and backup sys­tems at the coastal nu­clear power plant.

‘‘ Our pre­pared­ness was not suf­fi­cient,’’ Chief Cabi­net sec­re­tary Yukio Edano told re­porters. ‘‘ When the cur­rent cri­sis is over, we must ex­am­ine the ac­ci­dent closely and thor­oughly re­view the safety stan­dards.’’

The mis­sion to sta­bilise the power plant has been fraught with set­backs, as crews have dealt with fires, ex­plo­sions and ra­di­a­tion scares in the fran­tic bid to pre­vent a com­plete melt­down.

Highly toxic plu­to­nium was the lat­est con­tam­i­nant found seep­ing into the soil out­side the plant.

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