Friday, April 1, 2011

Viewpoint: Japan plant - who is in charge?

Prime Minister Naoto Kan arrives at parliament on 30 March 2011
PM Naoto Kan is wrestling with both
humanitarian and nuclear crises

As Japan works to recover from its greatest natural disaster in modern times, attention remains focused on the evolving situation at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
(BBC News) - Despite efforts by Tokyo Electric Power Company's (Tepco) engineers, the Self-Defence Forces, police and firemen, conditions there appear to have grown steadily worse.
On 1 April, Prime Minister Naoto Kan admitted that the plant had not yet been "sufficiently stabilised", acknowledging it would be a "long-term battle".
Since the beginning, one of the unanswered questions has been: "Who is in charge?"
A Japanese law laying out measures to be taken by the government in case of a nuclear energy disaster dictates that when a nuclear accident happens, an atomic power disaster response headquarters headed by the prime minister is to be established.