9.0-magnitude earthquake struck Japan causing troubles with the Fukushima
Daiichi nuclear power plant, there has been a certain amount of nuclear
hysteria. For instance, some journalists have sensationalized Japan's nuclear situation,
and despite the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's conclusion that nuclear plants
in the U.S. were safe, two U.S. senators still pushed for an
expensive study to determine if these plants are safe.
looks like France is showing some concern regarding the use of nuclear power
after visiting Japan recently. French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced today
that he is calling for a reform of global nuclear standards by the end of this
Japanese friends, know that in this appalling catastrophe, the world is
watching and admiring you," said Sarkozy.
addition, Sarkozy said France would like to host a meeting this May consisting
of the bloc's nuclear officials "to fix new norms in the wake of the
crisis" in Japan. France is taking it upon itself to lead the assistance
of Japan, since, according to Reuters, France is the
most dependent on nuclear power.
must address this anomaly that there are no international safety norms for
nuclear matters," said Sarkozy.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a U.N. body, sets standards and
recommendations, but they are not "legally binding" and member states
are responsible for safety.
certainly having some issues with cooling the reactors' fuel rods, making sure crops grown near the plant are not contaminated,
keeping an eye on the amount of
radiation in the water, and the increased pressure to expand the
12-mile evacuation zone. But government officials have noted that the situation
has become much more manageable as of late, and that levels of radiation
outside of the plant's range are low-risk.
a reading of downtown Tokyo's radiation levels today showed 0.18 microsieverts
per hour, which is low in regards to global standards.
the experts agree that living in Tokyo now does not represent a health
risk," said Sarkozy.
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan agreed with Sarkozy regarding the call for
global nuclear review.
order to avid recurrence of such an accident, it is our duty to accurately
share with the world our experience," said Kan.
to the report, a total of 28,000 people are either dead or missing due to the
earthquakes and tsunamis, and the damage may exceed $300 billion.