Japan: Not enough safeguards to protect nuke plant

(AP) - Japan's government admitted Tuesday that itssafeguards were insufficient to protect a nuclear plant against theearthquake and tsunami that crippled the facility and caused

TOKYO - (AP) - Japan's government admitted Tuesday that itssafeguards were insufficient to protect a nuclear plant against theearthquake and tsunami that crippled the facility and caused itspew radiation, and it vowed to overhaul safety standards. The struggle to contain radiation at the Fukushima Dai-ichicomplex has unfolded with near-constant missteps - the latestincluding two workers drenched with radioactive water despitewearing supposedly waterproof suits. The March 11 tsunami that slammed into Japan's northeast, wipingout towns and killing thousands of people, knocked out power andbackup systems at the coastal nuclear power plant. More than 11,000 bodies have been recovered, but officials saythe final death toll is expected to exceed 18,000. Hundreds ofthousands of people remain homeless, their homes and livelihoodsdestroyed. Damage could amount to $310 billion - the most expensivenatural disaster on record. The unfolding drama has drawn increasing criticism of theutility that owns the plant as well as scrutiny of Japan'spreparedness for nuclear crises. "Our preparedness was not sufficient," Chief Cabinet secretaryYukio Edano told reporters. "When the current crisis is over, wemust examine the accident closely and thoroughly review" thesafety standards. An Associated Press investigation found that Tokyo ElectricPower Co. officials had dismissed scientific evidence andgeological history that indicated that a massive earthquake - andsubsequent tsunami - was far more likely than they believed. That left the complex with nowhere near enough protectionagainst the tsunami. The mission to stabilize the power plant has been fraught withsetbacks, as emergency crews have dealt with fires, explosions andradiation scares in the frantic bid to prevent a complete meltdown. The plant has been leaking radiation that has made its way intovegetables, raw milk and tap water as far away as Tokyo. Residentswithin 12 miles of the plant have been ordered toleave and some nations have banned the imports of food productsfrom the Fukushima region. Highly toxic plutonium was the latest contaminant found seepinginto the soil outside the plant, TEPCO said Monday. Safety officials said the amounts did not pose a risk to humans,but the finding supports suspicions that dangerously radioactivewater is leaking from damaged nuclear fuel rods.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

1 New Jersey Sportscast, March 27
NJ Gubernatorial Candidate: John Wisniewski (D) 2 NJ Gubernatorial Candidate: John Wisniewski (D)
Arrest made in Paterson shooting involving rapper, city 3 Arrest made in Paterson shooting involving rapper Fetty Wap
VIDEO: News conference on Chatham helicopter crash 4 VIDEO: News conference on Chatham helicopter crash

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

It's good to know you have Walt Kane Kane in Your Corner

It's good to know you have Walt Kane in your corner.

News 12 takes a look at the hottest Tech Check

Eric Landskroner has a look at the latest gadgets and biggest stories in tech.

News 12 On the Scene

Check out these exclusive videos from New Jersey celebs!

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE