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Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Japan sacks top officials over nuclear disaster

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO)'s handout shows a worker in protective gear measuring radiation levels at the bottom of a ventilation stack standing between Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant's No.1 and No.2 reactors, where radiation exceeding 10 sieverts (10,000 millisieverts) per hour was found, in Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan August 1, 2011, released by TEPCO August 2, 2011. Pockets of lethal levels of radiation have been detected at Japan's crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in a fresh reminder of the risks faced by workers battling to contain the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. Picture taken August 1, 2011 REUTERS/Tokyo Electric Power Co/Handout
Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO)'s handout shows a worker in protective gear measuring radiation levels at the bottom of a ventilation stack standing between Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant's No.1 and No.2 reactors, where radiation exceeding 10 sieverts (10,000 millisieverts) per hour was found, in Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan August 1, 2011, released by TEPCO August 2, 2011. Pockets of lethal levels of radiation have been detected at Japan's crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in a fresh reminder of the risks faced by workers battling to contain the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. Picture taken August 1, 2011
Credit: Reuters/Tokyo Electric Power Co/Handout

TOKYO | Wed Aug 3, 2011 9:48pm EDT
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan sacked three senior bureaucrats in charge of nuclear power policy on Thursday, holding them to account for a series of scandals which have broken out in recent weeks over the government's cozy relationship with the power industry.Japanese Trade Minister Banri Kaieda, who oversees energy policy, said he plans to replace three senior officials in the ministry following the crisis at the Fukushima power plant, the world's worst nuclear disaster in 25 years.
The three officials are Kazuo Matsunaga, the top bureaucrat at the trade ministry, Nobuaki Terasaka, head of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, and Tetsuhiro Hosono, head of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy.
Kaieda, who played a key role in handling the Fukushima crisis and who has said he intends to step down to take responsibility for missteps, vowed to carry out major changes in the ministry's personnel but did not say when he will resign.
"I'm planning to breathe fresh air into the ministry with a large-scale reshuffle," Kaieda told a news conference.
"This is what I've been thinking for about a month. I'll have new people rebuild the ministry."
Prime Minister Naoto Kan has called for gradually weaning Japan off of its dependence on nuclear power and has expressed growing distrust toward the trade ministry, which has promoted atomic energy.

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OK, so we just sack them 5 months down the track...... well done...... *Cough
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