Energy Experts On Fukushima Power Plant

The drama in Japan began just a day after the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 35-nation Board of Governors had wrapped up its quarterly meeting in Vienna. Set up to “promote safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies” the IAEA has on staff some of the world’s leading experts on nuclear safety.

Describing the nuclear plant crisis in Japan, Ellen Vancko, an electric power expert with the Union of Concerned Scientists said, “They might have been prepared for an earthquake. They might have been prepared for a tsunami. They might have been prepared for a nuclear emergency, but it was unlikely that they were prepared for all three.”   The threat for the Fukushima plant, 150 miles northeast of Tokyo, is compounded, experts say, by the design of its 40-year-old reactors, known in the industry as the General Electric Mark 1.

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