Japan self-criticizes Fukushima disaster

2012/07/06 Galarraga Aiestaran, Ana - Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

“Made in Japan”, with these words Kiyoshi Kurokawa has defined last year’s nuclear disaster in Fukushima in the scientific report prepared by independent experts commissioned by the Japanese parliament. Kurokawa, leader of the expert group, gave his message at the beginning of the report. It uses harsh words, according to which “it was not a natural disaster, but produced by man,” and the reasons to be sought in “Japanese nature.”
Kiyoshi Kurokawa, leader of the NAIIC expert group. - Ed. NAIIC

Kurokawa warns that the report considers both individuals and organizations guilty, but that it is not a matter of denouncing them, but of reflecting and learning what happened so that it does not happen again.

Thus, in the first lines of conclusions are exposed the people who have been declared responsible for the catastrophe: government, regulatory institutions and electric company Tepco. Below are the errors and negligence that have occurred before, during and after the earthquake and tsunami: deficiencies in security measures; damage caused by the earthquake; errors in evaluation and decision; failures in response to the emergency; failures in evacuation and then in health services; incorrections and deficiencies in rules and laws...

In addition, “cosmetic” solutions have been ruled out. They believe that it is not enough to change the names of institutions and certain people, but that the entire social structure must assume its responsibility. Along with this, they have condemned the ignorance and pride found among people related to nuclear energy.

Looking ahead, seven recommendations have been formulated “based on the evidence found.” Three councils have to do with the regulations and assurances of nuclear energy, the power plants and their workers, the rest are more general. Specifically, it has been recommended to modify the emergency management system, increase government responsibility for public health and create an independent research group. Finally, the criteria on which the regulatory body should be based are mentioned: independence, transparency, professionalism, solidity and capacity for action.

Right now, 16 months after the catastrophe, only two of Japan's 50 nuclear reactors are underway (started in May to respond to rising electricity consumption in summer).

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