‘Significant’ progress in nuke safety
VIENNA - Reuters
White smoke seen at the Fukushima Daiichi complex in this 2011 photo. AP PhotoImportant progress has been made towards strengthening global nuclear safety after Japan’s Fukushima accident last year, according to the United Nations atomic watchdog, but a leading environmental group disputed this.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) made the assessment in a report prepared for next month’s annual meeting of IAEA member states, which endorsed a safety action plan by consensus last September despite criticism that it did not go far enough. “Since the adoption of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, significant progress has been made in several key areas,” the Vienna-based U.N. agency said.
These included “improvements in emergency preparedness and response capabilities,” it added in the nine-page document posted on its website. But environmental campaign group Greenpeace, which opposes nuclear energy, said there had been “no real” progress.
The Fukushima Daiichi plant, 240 kilometers north of Tokyo, was hit by an earthquake and tsunami that knocked out power supply and swamped its backup power and cooling systems, resulting in meltdowns of three of its six reactors.