New Fukushima Report Shows Failings Are Ongoing

More information is coming out in the English language media about the recently released 3rd report on the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Some new admissions in this report include that many of the same problems and mindsets that contributed to the disaster still exist.

  • TEPCO tried to cover up unflattering info in the computer simulations they did to estimate core meltdowns.
  •  Employees of TEPCO’s nuclear department demonstrated expertise in emergency equipment, but many failed to speak up when it was most needed during the crisis
  • Some employees were aware that water gauges attached to containment vessels were likely broken and their measurements unreliable. But none of them raised questions, and the company kept releasing what turned out to be wrong data for months.
  • The operator and regulators failed to upgrade plant safety and meet international standards to minimize risks, including the possibility of severe damage from power outages.
  • TEPCO failed to prevent the crisis not because such a large tsunami was unanticipated but because they were reluctant to invest time, effort and money in protecting against a natural disaster considered unlikely.
  • TEPCO had even weighed in on a report about earthquake risk and asked the government to play down the likelihood of a tsunami

 

  • The report criticized Kan’s office for controlling information, delaying crucial announcements to the public and overly softening expressions about the severity of the accident, causing confusion, threats to health and public distrust in the government.
  • Political leaders were upset after a NISA official let it slip on March 12 that the reactors were possibly melting down, the report said. After that, all NISA announcements had to be run by the prime minister’s office. NISA denied meltdowns for months afterwards.

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