Nuclear, O&M, Reactors

Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster was man-made and preventable, report says

A report from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission said the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on the east coast of Japan was not the result of natural events, yet it was “man-made.”

“The earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011 were natural disasters of a magnitude that shocked the entire world,” wrote commission Chairman Kiyoshi Kurokawa in the report. “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 man-made disaster – that could and should have been foreseen and prevented.”

The investigation included more than 900 hours of hearings and interviews with 1,167 people. The commission also made nine visits to nuclear power plants, including the Fukushima Daiichi plant. After their six-month-long investigation, the investigative panel concluded that the accident was the result of “collusion” between the government, the regulators and the Tokyo Electric Power Co., and the “lack of governance” by all three parties.

“They effectively betrayed the nation’s right to be safe from nuclear accidents,” the report said.

The commission made seven recommendations for the future of nuclear power generation in Japan, ranging from the monitoring of the nuclear regulatory body by the National Diet of Japan to reforming laws related to nuclear energy.

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