TEPCO workers involved in the Fukushima nuclear power plant at the time of last year’s tsunami “were not fully trained to think for themselves, and lacked a flexible and proactive way of thinking needed in crisis management,” according to a report published by a Japanese government-appointed panel.
According to a Washington Post report the investigators said the Japanese utility company has yet to address problems within its own culture that contributed to its failings in the crisis, including employees “not fully trained to think for themselves.”
“We still don’t perceive much enthusiasm in the accident investigation from” the company, the report said. “TEPCO must take our findings sincerely and resolve the problems to achieve a higher level of safety culture across the company.”
According to the Washington Post report TEPCO was not communicating unfavourable data in its computer analysis, which was to measure the extent of damage inside the reactors earlier this year. The panel has said that TEPCO officials acknowledged the simulation was inadequate, but they have to date not made any attempts to rectify the computer analysis or to root causes of the inaccurate data.
It has been reported that water gauges for the containment vessels were known by employees to be broken therefore giving out inaccurate readings, but chose to not communicate this. “New gauges installed in one reactor show that there is hardly any water inside, suggesting that the two other crippled reactors may have similar conditions,” said the Washington Post report.
Coalition of Nuclear Communities to tackle fuel storage matters
Plymouth, Massachusetts is home to a new nuclear community-based alliance that is lobbying federal lawmakers to change fuel storage practices at US nuclear energy plants.
The lobby group called the Coalition of Nuclear Communities has been spearheaded by Selectwoman Belinda Brewster. One of the leading requests the group is pursuing is to urge Congress to pass federal legislation amending the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 to allow taxpayer money in the Nuclear Waste Fund to be used to fund the“immediate” construction of local, on-site dry cask storage units in all nuclear power plants across the country who request funding.
Brewster said the group will focus on safe handling of spent fuel, and would not get caught up in the broader debate over nuclear energy, according to a Boston.com report.
“We’re not going out as pro-nuke or anti-nuke,” Brewster said according to the news report. “We’re going out as pro-safety. Our communities are being turned into long-term nuclear waste dump sites, with highly radioactive, crowded, spent fuel pools.”
The group’s website, www.nuclearcommunities.com, will act as an education tool space for press releases linked to nuclear fuel storage matters as well as a place to download form letters to send to US senators and representatives.
Brewster and others will be requesting officials in the nuclear reactor host communities to join the coalition in the coming weeks, it was reported.
Nuclear Energy Institute appoints new chairman
US nuclear trade group, the Nuclear Energy Institute, has elected and appointed John Young as chairman of the board of directors. Young has been serving as interim chairman since the previous chairman, Bill Johnson, former head of Progress Energy, resigned from Duke Energy and the NEI board earlier this month.
Young is president and CEO of Energy Future Holdings, an energy holding company based in Dallas, Texas.
EFH owns Texas generator Luminant Energy, retailer TXU Energy, and 80% of transmission and distribution utility Oncor Electric Delivery. Young is no stranger to the advocacy group since he has been vice chairman of the NEI board since May 2011.
In other NEI news, Christopher Crane, president and CEO of Exelon Corp., was elected vice chairman of NEI’s board.
Source: Nuclear Energy Insider