Fukushima Disaster Was Man-Made, Investigation Finds
The Fukushima nuclear disaster was the result of “man-made” failures before and after last year’s earthquake, according to a report from an independent parliamentary investigation.
The breakdowns involved regulators working with the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. to avoid implementing safety measures as well as a government lacking commitment to protect the public, the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission said in the report.
The March 11 accident, which set off a wave of reactor safety investigations around the world, “cannot be regarded as a natural disaster,” the commission’s chairman, Tokyo University professor emeritus Kiyoshi Kurokawa, wrote in the report released yesterday in Tokyo. It “could and should have been foreseen and prevented. And its effects could have been mitigated by a more effective human response.”
The report dealt the harshest critique yet to Tokyo Electric (9501) and the government. The findings couldn’t rule out the possibility that the magnitude-9 earthquake damaged the Fukushima Dai-Ichi No. 1 reactor and safety equipment. This is a departure from other reports that concluded the reactors withstood the earthquake, only to be disabled when the ensuing tsunami slammed into the plant.
Phi Beta Iota: Completely apart from the issue of whether Israeli or other elements actually caused the Fukushima break-down, this report continues the long-standing understanding that broken feed-back loops–corruption in information-sharing and sense-making, turn simple disasters into complex catastrophes. The governments of Japan and the USA continue to withhold vital accurate information from their publics.
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