Nikkei Business, the leading Japanese weekly for economic news and analysis sent specialist reporters to uncover the causes of the disaster. Their knowledge of the industry and Japan's structural weaknesses offer insights into the disaster now classified at the same level as Chernobyl.
Print length: 21 pages.
This digital publication is a translation of the cover story (same title, originally in Japanese) featured in the April 25, 2011 issue of Nikkei Business, the weekly business magazine of Nikkei Business Publications, Inc.
The disaster at Tepco's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was not caused by a tsunami of unanticipated magnitude. Over the past four decades, the electric utility has consistently ignored experts who warned of clearly predictable risks. Tepco also engaged politicians, bureaucrats, and even academics to thwart critics of nuclear power. Now, the nation is paying the price for the company's hubris.
・Willful failure to prepare
(1) The cause was not an unanticipated tsunami: scholars warned of this event.
(2) The myth of reliable backup power: awareness of the dangers of losing power goes back 50 years.
(3) Over-reliance on manuals: practices that have eroded the skills and initiative of on-site workers.
・More lies about nuclear power
Failure to reveal the high costs of final disposal of nuclear fuel.
Interview with Eisaku Sato, former governor of Fukushima Prefecture“Fukushima Daiichi is a man-made calamity”.
・Hand-in-hand with politicians
The errors of Japan's pro-nuclear forces: a continuing cycle of accidents, cover-ups and apologies, reinforced by misplaced confidence in the safety of operations.
・Massive funds for local communities
Nuclear subsidies are addictive for the communities that accept them.
・Options for restructuring Tepco
Protecting stockholders and bondholders, redress for victims, supplying power to consumers-how can the stakeholders' needs be met?
・Reforms for electric power
Nikkei Business proposes four policies-including the separation of generation and transmission-that could ensure Japan's future
●About Nikkei Business
Nikkei Business was launched in 1969 to provide business professionals in Japan with useful, actionable information. We have consistently set out to be one step ahead of current trends, bringing readers original stories based on direct interviews and fact-finding on the corporations and people who are shaping the future. With a readership of over 250,000 business leaders and professionals, Nikkei Business is Japan's most trusted publication for economic news and management information.
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