Purple Diary

[November 5 2011]


Now over seven months since the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has disclosed TEPCO‘s 170-page manual for operators at the no.1 reactor unit of the Fukushima plant. Instructions in the manual highlight the lack and failure of instructions for workers dealing with critical situations, the Japan Times highlighted. Acting as a major factor in the crisis, the lack of preparation and knowledge delayed the relieving of pressure for reactor 1, leading to its meltdown – one of the few examples of dangerous and threatening inadequacies in the manual. TEPCO has been arguing against the disclosure of these documents, claiming that such information release could serve to terrorists and raise serious concerns about the security of reactors. Last week, France’s nuclear monitor declared that the leakage of caesium 137 into the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima disaster, was the greatest single nuclear contamination of the sea ever. According to the the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), the dilution of caesium levels poses no great threat. Yet the IRSN continued to say “significant pollution of sea water on the coast near the damaged plant could persist… because of continuing run-off of contaminated rainwater from the land”. In September, the Japanese Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) had issued a statement estimating the amount of radiation released during the first week of the incident to be double what the government had originally told the public.

Photo and text Sophie Pinchetti

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