Photo: makitanaka on twitter
As concerns about a meltdown at the Fukushima plant escalate, the Telegraph reveals a series of two-year-old cables the paper obtained from Wikileaks that show unnamed experts telling Japanese officials they needed to update their nuclear safety protocols.Wikileaks intercepted a message sent to the US embassy during 2008’s G8 Nuclear and Security Group meeting:
“He [the IAEA official] explained that safety guides for seismic safety have only been revised three times in the last 35 years and that the IAEA is now re-examining them. Also, the presenter noted recent earthquakes in some cases have exceeded the design basis for some nuclear plants, and that this is a serious problem that is now driving seismic safety work.”
The court ordered the closure of one plant that wouldn’t survive an earthquake stronger than a 6.5 magnitude. Japanese officials opposed the action, partially because a 2006 study done by the country’s nuclear safety agency argued the reactor was safe.
Additionally, the Telegraph reports that Taro Kono, part of the country’s Liberal Democratic Party, told US diplomats in October 2008 that the government was “covering up” nuclear accidents.
In the cable, Kono – an outspoken critic of Japan’s nuclear policy – “also accused METI [the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry] of covering up nuclear accidents, and obscuring the true costs and problems associated with the nuclear industry.”
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