A New York Times article on the Fukushima disaster features a report by the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission that assigns “widespread blame” to the government, private sector operators of the plant (Tepco), and nuclear regulators.
“It was a profoundly man-made disaster – that could and should have been foreseen and prevented,” said Kiyoshi Kurokawa, the commission’s chairman, in the report’s introduction. “And its effects could have been mitigated by a more effective human response.”
According to the piece, “the 641-page report criticized Tepco as being too quick to dismiss earthquake damage as a cause of the fuel meltdowns at three of the plant’s six reactors, which overheated when the site lost power. Tepco has contended that the plant withstood the earthquake that rocked eastern Japan, instead placing blame for the disaster on what some experts have called a ‘once in a millennium’ tsunami that followed. Such a rare calamity was beyond the scope of contingency planning, Tepco executives have suggested, and was unlikely to pose a threat to Japan’s other nuclear reactors in the foreseeable future. ”
“However,” the report said, “it is impossible to limit the direct cause of the accident to the tsunami without substantive evidence. The commission believes that this is an attempt to avoid responsibility by putting all the blame on the unexpected (the tsunami),” the report continued, adding, “and not on the more foreseeable quake.”
It’s a great article and worth a read. Click here to continue.