Posts Tagged Fukushima

A Culture of Complicity at Work in Fukushima

The old boys network comes though time after time, and did so at the nuclear plant at Fukushima. The plant has had serious problems since 2000, “including cracks in the shrouds that cover reactor cores,” says The New York Times. But regulators, politicians, and company executives colluded in keeping the lid on:

Investigators may take months or years to decide to what extent safety problems or weak regulation contributed to the disaster at Daiichi, the worst of its kind since Chernobyl. But as troubles at the plant and fears over radiation continue to rattle the nation, the Japanese are increasingly raising the possibility that a culture of complicity made the plant especially vulnerable to the natural disaster that struck the country on March 11.

Do we have any reason to think that things are different in the good old USofA. I think not. “Best practices” is a B-school aspirational concept, and is used to sell books and other merchandise, but it’s not used to actually operate nuclear power plants, or deep sea oil drilling rigs. In those worlds the Best Practice is to set up a PR smoke screen.

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4 minute video summarizing Fukushima disaster to date

Nature has uploaded the video:

For more comprehensive and detailed information, see their news special.

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Severity of Fukushima on Par with Chernobyl

Will it break the scale? The New York Times reports:

But at a separate news conference, an official from the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, said that the radiation release from Fukushima could, in time, surpass levels seen in 1986.

“The radiation leak has not stopped completely, and our concern is that it could eventually exceed Chernobyl,” said Junichi Matsumoto, a nuclear executive for the company.

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Radioactivity may leak for months in Fukushima

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano says that if the current situation continues for a long time, with accumulation of more radioactive substances, there will be “a huge impact on the ocean.”

From a summary of the current state of the disaster in The New York Times, 04/04/2011. A special issue of Nature is devoted to the disaster.

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