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More Investigation Urged Into Fukushima Nuke Accident

A panel of experts which probed the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan urged the government to continue investigating the causes of the disaster.

Final report of the government-appointed panel submitted to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Monday also called for further study on the magnitude of damage caused by the accident, Japanese media reported.

High levels of radiation prevented the panel members from inspecting the four reactors at the tsunami-wrecked nuclear power plant in Japan's northeast. The report says that they were unable to learn why the No.2 reactor had discharged such large amount of radioactive substances. They were also unable to determine why a hydrogen explosion had occurred at the No.1 reactor immediately after the powerful earthquake and the resultant tsunami struck the plant.

The panel asked the government and plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company to continue with an on-site investigation after radioactive levels decreased.

The report also mentions large number of deaths caused by the stress of evacuation after the mishap. Lack of medical assistance and care facilities had also contributed for it, it said and urged the government to learn the reasons behind the deaths.

The panel emphasizes that insights gained from the accident must be shared with the public as important lessons for the future. "This is the government's responsibility," it added.

Accepting the report, Noda said he expected to see the government's new nuclear regulatory body play a central role in preventing recurrence of such nuclear disasters, and stressed that he would take the panel's findings with extreme seriousness, and leave no stone unturned in his response.

by RTT Staff Writer

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