Friday, March 18, 2011

Reuters: Chernobyl clean-up expert condemns nuclear industry & Int. Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for inadequate response at Fukushima

On Tuesday, Reuters reported that Russian nuclear accident specialist Iouli Andreev blamed a greedy nuclear industry and its influence over the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for intentionally ignoring lessons from Chernobyl:
"After Chernobyl all the force of the nuclear industry was directed to hide this event, for not creating damage to their reputation. The Chernobyl experience was not studied properly because who has money for studying? Only industry.

"But industry doesn't like it," he said in an interview in Vienna where the former director of the Soviet Spetsatom clean-up agency now teaches and advises on nuclear safety. Austria's environment ministry has used him as an adviser.

Andreev said a fire which released radiation on Tuesday involving spent fuel rods stored close to reactors at Fukushima looked like an example of putting profit before safety:

"The Japanese were very greedy and they used every square inch of the space. But when you have a dense placing of spent fuel in the basin you have a high possibility of fire if the water is removed from the basin," Andreev said.

The IAEA should share blame for standards, he said, arguing it was too close to corporations building and running plants. And he dismissed an emergency incident team set up by the Vienna-based agency as "only a think-tank not a working force".

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