Posts Tagged ‘tsunami’

Fukushima one year on: Poor planning hampered Fukushima response

March 6, 2012

Fukushima in review: A complex disaster, a disastrous response

From Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 

One year after an earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11, 2011, an independent investigation panel has highlighted the country’s failures in disaster planning and crisis management for the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. The article shows that agencies were thoroughly unprepared for the cascading nuclear disaster, following a tsunami that should have been anticipated.

The Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation established an independent investigation panel to review how key actors responded during the disaster. According to the investigation, the tsunami could and should have been anticipated. Many human errors were made at Fukushima, illustrating the dangers of building multiple nuclear reactor units close together. A public myth of “absolute safety,” nurtured by nuclear power proponents over decades, contributed to the lack of adequate preparation. Even in the technologically advanced country of Japan, the government and the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, were astonishingly unprepared, and this grave oversight will affect the Japanese people for decades. The authors conclude. “Ultimately, the final outcome of studies of Fukushima Daiichi should be an intense effort to build up the resilience of the country, its organizations, and its people, so future disaster can be averted or responded to effectively.”

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Do the benefits of nuclear power outweigh the risks?: A time for Japan to review its policies?

March 23, 2011

The Challenge of Climate Change and Energy Policies for Building a Sustainable Society in Japan

From Organization & Environment 

In response to last week’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the role and safety risks of nuclear power are being reassessed globally. The 1990s witnessed an unprecedented recognition that environmental problems were occurring at a global level. Demonstrating Japan’s commitment to the Kyoto Protocol it switched from fossil fuels to nuclear power as its primary energy source. Nuclear power has become central to its climate change and energy policies. The shift to secure increasing energy demand instead of reducing energy consumption has been widely criticised. Through an in-depth analysis of Japan’s climate change policy, this study assesses to what extent Japan has succeeded in environmental reforms without generating other environmental impacts to provide insight into this debate. Are the recent devastating events in Japan a warning to review its nuclear policies?

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