It Could Never Happen Here, Right?

An inquiry by the Japanese parliament has concluded that the Fukushima nuclear disaster was largely man-made.

The parliamentary report, based on more than 900 hours of hearings and interviews with 1,167 people, suggests that reactor No. 1, in particular, may have suffered quake damage — including the possibility that pipes burst from the shaking, leading to a loss of cooling even before the tsunami hit the plant about 30 minutes after the initial quake. It emphasized that a full assessment would require better access to the inner workings of the reactors, which could take years.

“However, it is impossible to limit the direct cause of the accident to the tsunami without substantive evidence. The commission believes that this is an attempt to avoid responsibility by putting all the blame on the unexpected (the tsunami),” the report said, “and not on the more foreseeable quake.”

I can’t help noticing that ‘tsunami’ is a Japanese word.

As in the US, the Japanese people are paying for privatized profit and socialized risk. The unavoidable suffering of the earthquake disaster was multiplied by human folly– hubris, collusion, denial, complacency and greed. These are universals of human nature.

Before the world builds more nuclear power plants, consider the lessons of Japan.

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One response

  1. What about putting a majority stake of the ownership of a nuclear facility into the hands of a public commission made up of elected residents who live close to it?

    That’s what they do in Austin, TX, I believe.

    I’d GLADLY trade the coal plant upwind of me that ‘kills me a little bit when it functions properly’ for a nuclear plant that ‘kills me a medium amount if it fails’, and only one major failure happens worldwide in a generation. I’d GLADLY replace the aging nuclear plants in CT and VT with ones that are 1,000 times safer and produce 4x the energy and half the waste.

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