Radiation leak in Japan raises concern over nuclear safety

Radiation leak in Japan raises concern over nuclear safety

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At least four, or even up to 55 people were exposed to radiation in Japan, when radioactive material leaked during an experiment. The information on the leak was given by the operators of the facility, but the authorities did not know about the leak for two days.

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The leak happened outside the nuclear physics laboratory located in Tokaimura, which is 110 km northeast of Tokyo. The Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) said in a statement that they did not report the incident to the nuclear regulator of Japan until 34 hours later.

Taichi Miura, director at the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization which runs the laboratory along with JAEA, in a news conference said, “We may have been too lax in our way of thinking and dealing with these nuclear materials”. This recent incident has shown how the country is still struggling with nuclear safety concerns, especially after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown of reactors.

At the moment, Japan has several idle nuclear reactors and there is still a debate going on whether these nuclear reactors should be restarted or not. After the Fukushima meltdowns, Japan has laid down strict measures on nuclear safety. Only two out of 50 reactors are active, while others still await safety checks.