Rosy telling of nuke response, warnings headed for IAEA

Kyodo

The government says in a draft report to be presented to the U.N. nuclear watchdog that it took appropriate action immediately after the crisis emerged at the Fukushima nuclear power on March 11, describing generally in a favorable light the responses of itself and Tokyo Electric Power Co., a gist of the report showed Sunday.

Although the government came under fire for not releasing sooner a forecast using its SPEEDI emergency estimate system for radiation impact in areas around the Fukushima No.1 nuclear plant, the draft report to the International Atomic Energy Agency says estimates are “made public in sequence,” the gist says.

But the report concerning the crippled Fukushima No. 1 and adjacent No. 2 nuclear power stations notes “inadequate responses having been pointed out” with regard to the government’s inability to foresee that the crisis could be prolonged.

The report is being produced by for an IAEA meeting of ministers in charge of nuclear safety scheduled for June 20 to 24.

The government has formed a team, comprising staff chiefly from the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, the Japan Atomic Energy Commission and Tepco, to compile the report after consulting with IAEA officials visiting Japan later this month, but it has withheld information about the team.

Critics say the report “will likely reflect the views of only limited sources, such as the government and Tepco.”

The gist of the draft report includes details regarding the massive quake and tsunami on March 11, the situation on the nuclear accident and its evaluation, emergency responses and their evaluations, and releases of radioactive materials.

On initial responses to the crisis, the gist says, “Basic responses such as evacuation instructions were generally implemented as desired” and “from the perspective of emergency evacuation, necessary responses were attempted generally.”

On the SPEEDI data that the atomic commission was reluctant to make public, the gist says radiation doses were “made public as needed since March 23” while forecasts on proliferation of radioactive substances were “publicized in sequence after May 5.”