Reuters reported today:
A lack of preparation and poor communication at top levels after disaster struck were among the failures that turned a nuclear accident at Japan’s Fukushima plant into the worst atomic crisis in 25 years, a panel probing the disaster said on Monday.
The panel — headed by an expert in why big mistakes are made — said Tokyo Electric Power, the utility operating Fukushima’s tsunami-wrecked Daiichi nuclear power plant, as well as regulators failed to sufficiently anticipate a massive tsunami and the devastating impact likely to result.
The report was critical of the actions of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA):
“The government’s nuclear regulatory body did not require Tepco to take specific measures, such as additional construction, after they received simulation results from Tepco in 2008 and early in 2011 regarding the impact of tsunamis on their facilities,” the panel said in the interim report.
The report also cited poor communications between NISA and top government officials as a contributing factor:
The panel also said poor communication between the government’s crisis management centre and top officials, despite both being housed in the same building, delayed the use of a system that predicts the spread of radioactivity, holding up and preventing more accurate evacuation orders.
The report was also critical of Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), the plants’ owner:
The report also noted that Tepco did not have enough expertise on the ground after the disaster struck, saying it made mistakes like misunderstanding the functioning status of the No.1 reactor’s cooling system and mishandling the No. 3 reactor’s cooling system.
Here’s a link to the Reuters article: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/26/japan-nuclear-idUSL3E7NQ00K20111226