Report this comment2011-04-29 02:42:53 PMPosted by: yohko hatada to Nature
The IAEA requires political will and the sense of urgency in order to play the safety/security for nuclear atomic energy. The disaster is ongoing so the IAEA must change and act correctly now.
The world needs a standard for radiation measurement methods in order to know individual items of radiation for consumption (water, vegetables, meat fish etc) and for living (environmental radiation) and for setting up appropriate restrictions.
The radiation levels reported by the Japanese authorities are given at the low ranges. Greenpeace by contrast measures at locations that would give the highest ranges. Japanese citizen draw conclusions from these two. The inconsistency in measuring methods however makes it impossible to compare between various disasters and deliberate nuclear explosions in the history in the world.
The world needs an independent authority to check and enforce nuclear safety/security for peopleâ€™s life/health and environment for now and future. In the past, the nuclear energy industry was closely linked to the development of nuclear weapons. During 50s and 60s there were frequent nuclear bomb experiments. During the cold war the west-east governments developed political power battle using nuclear bomb and life/health/environment were little concern for those power in the world. There was no obligation to report, rather there was strong interest to hide and trick. This is the culture in which the IAEA was established. The big nuclear energy corporations developed with nations' interests and with lobby groups (energy/plant industries) and corrupted relations with their governments. How can this kind of industry exist without knowing how the final decommissioning of Nuclear Power Plants should be done, what to do with the nuclear waste or how to protect human life and the environment in case of a disaster and contamination? Same as with oil companies, e.g. BP's recent legal battle with the plant operator companies about who should pay, the nuclear industry is primarily interested in making profit and will always attempt to cut corners in order to reduce cost and not take enough responsibility for safety. There seems not a "will" to openly discuss the reality of nuclear safety issues. This suggests that it is irresponsible to allow nuclear safety to be left entirely in the hands on the nuclear industry, simply because they have the most detailed knowledge of their power stations. Therefore a new independent body needs to be set up and provide oversight that nuclear safety is maintained, regardless of monetary cost, in order to protect and reduce damages to human health/life, economy, societal health and environment.
The damages and contamination due to the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster are expanding in various ways. Much of the health damage will likely be realized later. We must act now to put serious sincere effort to stop any further risks on the people at the site. The current attempts at dealing with this disaster are so far not pro-active but delayed post report and management, even hopeful underestimation. We need the best international collaboration NOW to minimize the ongoing damage spread.