Yet another fire at Japan’s Tokyo Electric Nuclear Power Plant!

Industrial Accidents

These incidents really send a chill down my spine! Yet another fire has been reported at a Japanese nuclear power plant (TEPCO). This is reportedly the eighth such fire at the Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear station, since it was last shut by an earthquake sometime in the year 2007. Talk about consistency.

Regarding the earlier 2007 fire that was caused by an earthquake, it was scandalous- as the plant was not even designed for a magnitude 6.8 quake that hit it. Talk about robust designs! This quake triggered radiation leaks and a fire.This latest fire is now the eighth such fire after the 2007 earthquake incident.

This latest blaze happened when workers were doing some cleaning work on a pump. Reportedly there was no radiation leak, but a worker suffered burns on his face and had to be admitted to hospital. The fire was extinguished successfully.

This incident really brings to the fore one nagging issue that many of us as well as the general man on the street has-how safe are nuclear power plants? Do we really know? It is well known that Japan is an earthquake prone country, how come the design was not capable of withstanding a Richter 6.8 earthquake? And this is also supposed to be one of the world’s largest nuclear power plants! Wow!

Is any international nuclear watchdog monitoring these installations? (to the best of my knowledge-no, they are only running after plants that are suspected to produce weapons-never mind that a poorly designed plant can be worse than a well designed weapon, in the scale of mayhem that it can cause).

However people are waking up to the dangers. Al-Jazeera reports that “Civic groups opposing a restart of the generator submitted a petition with up to¬†600,000 signatures to Tepco last month, the company said.

Any comments on this issue are most welcome.

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