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It's Official: The Fukushima Disaster Was Totally Avoidable

Illustration for article titled Its Official: The Fukushima Disaster Was Totally Avoidable

The operator of Fukushima—Tokyo Electric Power Company—has just confessed in a report that its post-tsunami nuclear crisis was totally avoidable. Ugh.

The company said it was aware that such a natural disaster could have grave consequences, but it kept the known risks quiet for the sake of its reputation, political position, and finances. So what they're saying is, the worst nuclear crisis in recent history was not exactly a surprise. Ironically enough, the report admits that TEPCO thought the plant would be required to shut down to make it safer. And sure enough, it was shuttered. But at that point it was too late.

Now Japan will spend decades cleaning up the fallout from the reactor— dealing with the ensuing health problems of those unlucky enough to be downrange and a sea full of fish soaked in radiation. Too bad it didn't have to happen at all. [Business Insider]

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DISCUSSION

Its becoming a huge problem in Japan that some of their ideals of honor and face-saving really have a habit of hindering crisis management. We saw this behavior in the months after the tsunami where the japanese government insisted that the damage wasn't that bad, even while rescue workers were dropping of radiation exposure. It's sort of socially mandated that you ignore glaring issues so that you don't have to face embarrassment. I remember reading in either Lost Japan or Japanland about how the powerlines crossing japan are an amazing eyesore on the countryside, but the people tend to look past them for the sake of saving face.