Japan admits to failure of nuclear plant safeguards
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.