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Five years on, Nuclear PR is still taking precedence over reality at Fukushima and more generally with nuclear promoters.
According to “The National Diet of Japan Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission“:
“The Earthquake and Tsunami of March 11, 2011 were natural disasters of a magnitude that shocked the entire world. Although triggered by these cataclysmic events, the subsequent accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant cannot be regarded as a natural disaster. It was a profoundly manmade disaster – that could and should have been foreseen and prevented. And its effects could have been mitigated by a more effective human response“.
(Kiyoshi Kurokawa, NAIIC , p.9)
“After a six-month investigation, the Commission has concluded the following:
A “manmade” disaster The TEPCO Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident was the result of collusion between the government, the regulators and TEPCO, and the lack of governance by said parties. They effectively betrayed the nation’s right to be safe from nuclear accidents. Therefore, we conclude that the accident was clearly “manmade.” We believe that the root causes were the organizational and regulatory systems that supported faulty rationales for decisions and actions, rather than issues relating to the competency of any specific individual…“(NAIIC, p. 16)
“Preface, page 1, The National Diet of Japan Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission:
Face reality and be humble before nature
by Chairman Kiyoshi Kurokawa
Around the Time I was appointed to chair this Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission, friends from around the world sent me this quote: “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.” These are words from Richard Feynman, a Nobel laureate in physics in 1965, who analyzed the causes of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster of 1986 with unique point of view in its investigation commission report as a commissioner. The Three Mile Island accident investigation commission (or the Kemeny Commis-sion) also pointed out that “mindset (pitfall of mindset)” as a likely human failure or inaction when facing a complex large-scale engineering system. ”Mindset” may root from the unique common sense developed through culture, education and preconceived ideas. The messages from those two accident reports shed light on the essence of the Fukushima accident that emerged through our six-month investigation.
The parties involved in this accident had forgotten some fundamental principles: “accidents will occur,” “machinery will break down,” and “humans will err.”
They minimized the possibility of accidents to the point of denying it, and in doing so they lost their humility in the face of reality. There is a case of reality close to us that presents an important lesson. The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake (with massive tsunami) off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, recorded a magnitude of M9.1, followed by an M8.6 earthquake the year after, and yet another one of M8.6 this year. There is no guarantee that the same thing will not follow the Tohoku Region Pacific Coast Earthquake.
It is a race against time to provide countermeasures to deal with the nuclear power plants that fall short of safety standards, and it is needless to point out the on-going vulnerability of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. One could say the true cause of the accident lurked in the “mindset” that has been developed within our Japanese social structure.
It is time for each one of us to face reality and adapt our way of thinking toward a new Japan, with humility, for the sake of our children who are tasked with creating the future. Finally, this independent Commission by the National Diet—comprised of private sector members—is the first in the history of Japanese Constitution. And we were fortunate to be supported by a number of people with a variety of professional expertise throughout each and every phase of our activity: the organizational set-up, the investigation, compiling the report, editing, and producing our report and its global edition. This report is the product of the efforts of all of these people, and I truly thank them for their support of the 10 commission members.” (Emphasis added)