Three of the plant’s six nuclear reactors suffered meltdowns, after the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami knocked out power to the cooling systems last year. More than 80,000 people were displaced as a result of the radiation fallout.
Contrary to TEPCO’s own investigation, which cites the tsunami as the main cause of the nuclear accident, the parliamentary report says the quake might have significantly damaged equipment necessary to ensuring safety. TEPCO was quick to blame the “unexpected” tsunami for the accident, not the “foreseeable earthquake” in order to avoid responsibility, the panel writes.
“This was a disaster ‘Made in Japan,” commission chairman Kiyoshi Kurokawa said in the report’s introduction. “Its fundamental causes are to be found in the ingrained conventions of Japanese culture: our reflexive obedience; our reluctance to question authority; our devotion to ‘sticking with the program,’ our groupism, and our insularity.”
The report was issued on the same day a nuclear reactor went back on the power grid in western Japan, for the first time since the Fukushima accident in March 2011.
All 50 of Japan’s reactors have been offline since May for maintenance and safety checks, but Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has aggressively pushed to bring them back online to avoid power outages during the peak summer months, despite widespread opposition to nuclear power.
Noda has insisted sufficient safety measures are in place, and reactors can withstand another earthquake and tsunami similar to the one that hit Fukushima, but the public has remained skeptical.
The parliamentary panel casts doubt on government assurances, writing “safety of nuclear energy in Japan and the public cannot be assured unless the regulators go through an essential transformation process.”
Intellpuke: This is one of the more honest reports I've seen any government put out in a long time.
You can read this article by ABC News correspondent Akiko Fujita in context here: abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/07/japan-investigation-finds-fukushima-nuclear-disaster-man-made/