Fukushima offers key lesson for U.S. nuclear industry


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Focus more on the highly unlikely but worst case scenarios.

Except that the Fukushima disaster was caused by a highly likely scenario. The engineers recommended moving the generator higher up the hill in the design phase. The generator was located only 10m above sea level. There have been several tsunami higher than this in Japan, for example:

1923 - Over 10 meters 1933 - Over 25 meters 1944 - Over 10 meters 1946 - Over 5 meters 1983 - Over 10 meters 1993 - Over 30 meters 2011 - Over 40 meters

While the waves were particularly huge in the 2011 earthquake the chances of a wave over 10 meters were not "highly unlikely", since of the last 7 major tsunami all but 1 exceeded 10 meters.

This article is either misinformed or more pro-nuclear disinformation.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

On how NOT to do it?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Jeez, and here I thought what Fukushima taught Japan was NOTHING, save those that continue to suffer and those that oppose, in vain, any restarts of NPPs. I thought it was teaching us a lesson that no matter what happens and no matter how much neglect, a powerful company can still get bailed out and do what it wants.

Whatever this 'soul-searching' the person in the article talks about, ALL of the evidence that this could happen was there, and given to TEPCO several times in the form of warnings, which TEPCO quickly dismissed (only later to say, "It could never have been predicted!"). Oh, sure, they later had 'meetings' behind closed doors and forgot to take minutes, in which they claimed they had thought about the risks and that something could happen but were too late, etc.

If any true lessons had been learned from this there would no longer be a TEPCO and there would be no talk of restarting NPPs, ESPECIALLY after the government sidestepped the majority who are in opposition after saying they would never restart the NPPs without local approval.

Sorry, but nothing's been learned by anyone with the power to change things, and when the next major incident occurs, and it will, they'll all blame it on the politicians of today and say they had no way of knowing.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

July 28,2014. 12:30 P.M JST= A US science advosry report says that the Fukushima nuclear accdident offers a key lesson for the nation's nuclear industry; Focus more on the highly unlikely, worst-case scinsrios< The US nuclear industry stands a ggod chance to learn a lesson from what happened to the Fukushima nuclear accident if they are going to heed this advisory report. This is where the Japanese nuclear industry makes a sharp contrasxt to its US counterpart; What lesson have they learned from the accident? Even before they get around to geting to the bottom of the accident interms ocf whether what happen happened just because of the killer tunami or the core structure of the plant had been damaged by the quale itself--more than three years after the accident-- the indusxtry combined with bureaucracy and politics still seem to keep the iron triangle of mutual back-scratching intact, being in a recklessly headlong push for getting idled nuclear reactors back online as if nothing had happened.

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Apparently as far as nuclear power goes, the more things change, the more they remain basically the same.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I gotta say that if handled correctly, Nuclear Energy COULD BE pretty good. It's clean, and it COULD BE safe.

Only problem is that the only people that ever build them are idiotic governments and cronyists who are more concerned with bilking taxpayers than actually building a safe, effective power plant.

Bottom line is that governments (and the big bloated corporations that depend on government largess) pretty much ruin everything they touch.

So sad, so have such a HUGE potential energy source that's ONLY allowed to be built by the biggest idiots on Earth.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What irony there is in this byline. The best lesson for others affected by nuclear incidents is the media control by government, demonstrating a lack of transparency.

Which is very sad in a culture that once held courage, respect and honesty as among the highest virtues.

As there is little courage shown in leadership, no respect for all Japanese as a clear path of dishonesty is emerging for all affected by the Fukushima Daiichi incident.

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Key Lesson: Do not build nuclear power stations that use uranium based fuels.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Key Lesson: Do not build nuclear power stations. PERIOD.

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The key result of the Three Mile Island accident (besides illuminating how badly the plant was designed) was the concept of a "normal accident" - meaning that the more complex and formally documented a site is, the higher the probability of a significant accident. Such an accident in such a facility becomes the "normal" type accident expected at that facility.

Perrow identifies three conditions that make a system likely to be susceptible to Normal Accidents. These are:

The system is complex

The system is tightly coupled

The system has catastrophic potential

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It was American design and technology which was used to build the Fukushima nuclear plant which in the end the disaster revealed many design flaws, like when the Tokyo firemen were pumping water into the reactors to cool them because of a design fault on a valve they were filling the isolation condenser instead.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A read about the development of nuclear weapons and power plants in the US since post WWII is very interesting. In the West, some plants were built "out in the middle of nowhere." Then the workers came for better salaries the plants malls....more homes for descendants of early workers...more schools....more companies....more and bigger shopping malls....more land needed to house them, getting closer and closer to the plants until residential areas actually border(ed) the perameter of the plants. Some people actually live(d) within walking distances of these places often playing in nearby lakes and runoff streams playing in soil dug up to build more homes, roads, or malls, etc. Thanks JT for providing a link.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You can't blame America for this. After 3 Mile Island, there were recommendations to upgrade all nuclear plants and this was done in the US but not in Japan. Tepco never implemented the recommendations. TEPCO never ran a real disaster drill. IF they had, the workers would have know that when you add water into the system, the vents will roar with steam, not come out like a wist of mist. They would have fix the valve issue which should have been know. No power, the valve opens and most of the water the fire trucks pump into the reactor went into a holding tank and not the reactor core. A dedicated line was recommend because of this issue which was never done by TEPCO. It is like JAL never following changes maintenance recommendations after they bought the plane. TEPCO and the Japanese regulators were just incompetent. Now you have a new regulatory agency that is still a political hack.

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