Newly released evidence from Japanese utility company TEPCO shows that the Japanese government ordered it not to tell anyone that Fukushima reactor 3 was about to explode until right before it happened. Could better procedure have made this disaster less catastrophic?
According to TEPCO teleconference footage obtained by the Japan Times, the utility was forced to defer announcement of a looming hydrogen explosion—even after the pressure inside reactor 3 ballooned out of control. The announcement wasn't made until two hours before the explosion on March 14th. All in all, it was delayed three hours.
According to the report, the failure was a bureaucratic one: TEPCO wanted to tell people sooner but were told to keep mum by NISA, Japan's nuclear safety agency. The agency says it couldn't get in touch with the right man to get approval. (We wonder where he was hiding to avoid that phone call.) Furthermore, the videos reveal that there was some question about who should make the announcement. Seems a little silly, no? Sad. [Japan Times via ZeeTimes via Twitter]