In a new study of the causes and effects of the Fukushima disaster, Koichi Kitazawa, former president of the Japan Science and Technology Agency, says that the root of the problem is a culture in the nuclear industry that holds that nuclear power is absolutely safe. This has caused the industry to never adequately plan for the worst. As Kitazawa puts it:
“…you can’t adequately prepare for a disaster that you don’t admit can ever happen.”
This is reflected in the spin that the nuclear industry is using to talk about the one-year anniversary. Today’ featured story at World Nuclear News is titled:
“Optimism from industry on Fukushima anniversary
Meanwhile, not to be outdone on the cheerleading, the Nuclear Energy Institute’s NEI SmartBriefs has this banner story today:
“Nuclear energy continues growth after Fukushima”
There’s some more interesting stuff from the new Japanese report that reflects on the way the nuclear industry responded to Fukushima. NPR reports that Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) was less than cooperative to the Japanese government’s request for information in the month’s following the earthquake and meltdowns. Japanese lawmaker Tomoyuki Taira told NPR:
In a bid to get more information about the state of the reactors, the parliamentary committee asked TEPCO for copies of the Fukushima plant’s plans.
And when the company handed over the manual?
“That manual was blacked out,” Taira says. “Every line was blacked out, because this [document] is classified.”
Here’s a link for the NPR story: http://www.npr.org/2012/03/09/148231452/a-year-on-japan-is-still-looking-for-the-road-ahead