Japan’s quake-hit nuclear plant raises need for new standardsFebruary 27th, 2008 - 12:53 pm ICT by admin
Vienna, Feb 27 (DPA) A review of the July 2007 earthquake at Japan’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant underlined the lack of international regulations and experience for dealing with such an extraordinary event, the UN nuclear watchdog has said. Reporting on the results of a fact-finding mission to Japan in late January, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Tuesday the incident was likely to influence seismic safety standards in power plants around the world.
“The results of the evaluation and review process presently in progress will induce changes that will be implemented in Japanese regulatory guidance and standards. It is also likely that, eventually, there will be an influence on the approaches to the seismic safety of nuclear power plants worldwide,” the report said.
There was no significant damage to the parts of the plant important for its nuclear safety, the IAEA confirmed, despite the fact that the 6.6 quake on the Richter scale “very significantly exceeded” the seismic activity levels the plant had been designed for.
The IAEA’s mission, its second to Kashiwazaki-Kariwa after the quake July 16 2007, focussed on questions regarding seismic design basis and evaluation of seismic hazards, the plant’s behaviour and fire safety.
Questions regarding the possibility or timetable of bringing the plant back online were not discussed at the IAEA mission, officials said.
The quake had been an extraordinary event, the IAEA stressed, and the data collected by Japanese and international experts could help create new safety standards worldwide.
The Japanese plant operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), faced massive public criticism due to a bungled public information policy after the quake.
Tags: atomic energy agency, design basis, fact finding mission, fire safety questions, international atomic energy, international atomic energy agency, international atomic energy agency iaea, japanese plant, mission officials, nuclear power plant, nuclear power plants, plant operator, public criticism, public information policy, regulatory guidance, richter scale, seismic design, seismic hazards, seismic safety, tokyo electric power company