Reports have emerged that a Wikileaks cable had warned that Japan's nuclear power stations safety was not up to the mark and had mentioned specifically that a strong earthquake could pose a serious safety challenge. The controversial cable leak comes at a time when Japan's is facing its worst times with radiation levels peaking every minute due to the nuclear plant overheating.
The report that appeared in The Telegraph revealed that an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) official had disclosed way back on Dec 2008 that the safety norms taken by Japan was out of date and strong earthquakes could pose a "serious problem" for nuclear stations. The cable also claimed that the Japanese government had then promised to upgrade safety. It had also built a emergency response centre at the now-ablaze Fukushima plant that was ideally designed to withstand an earthquake of 7 in the richter scale.
A quake of 9 in the richter scale togeather with the deadly tsunami rocked Japan putting the nuclear plant under huge risk.
Quoting from the cable, “He (an IAEA official) explained that safety guides for seismic safety have only been revised three times in the last 35 years and that the IAEA is now re-examining them. Also, the presenter noted recent earthquakes in some cases have exceeded the design basis for some nuclear plants, and that this is a serious problem that is now driving seismic safety work."
There seems to be a planned cover-up from various agencies in Japan on the efficacy of the power plants. The cables reveal that Tokyo had gone against a court order that seeked to check if the nuclear plant had the capacity to withstand a powerful quake. The whistle blower also said in its Mar 2006 cable that the court's concerns were not communicated to Japan's nuclear safety agency. It said: "Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency believes the reactor is safe and that all safety analysis were appropriately conducted." The government also overturned the ruling in 2009.
While Wikileaks is back to playing spoilsport especially when Japan is facing the worst time ever, grappling under a radiation cloud that could hinder generations to come.