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Japanese Nuclear Watchdog: Drastic Measures Must Be Taken at Fukushima

By Clare Foran

National Journal

The head of Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority, Shunichi Tanaka, is calling for a drastic overhaul in operating procedure at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power plant to restore safety, the Associated Press reports.

Tanaka, the country's top nuclear regulator, expressed concern about the management of the plant in a meeting with Tokyo Electric Power President Naomi Hirose, saying that a series of recent problems at Fukushima are unacceptable and cannot be allowed to continue.

Tanaka urged Tepco to consider major changes to day-to-day operations and the way it supervises and trains its workforce. No concrete plan for improving efforts to decommission the plant's three failed nuclear reactors was decided upon, however.

In the month of October alone, Fukushima suffered no less than four separate incidents, including a stalled reactor pump, two separate leaks of contaminated water from storage tanks, and a mishap where six workers were exposed to radioactive material.

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