Japan makes a start on sharing lessons from nuclear crisis

By Megan Rowling

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children in Fukushima Prefecture were becoming unfit and overweight as the 2011 nuclear crisis there limited the time they could play outside,

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made only passing reference to it in his opening speech at the conference.

Disgraceful. A whole generation of kids in that area is growing up with the effects of this disaster, not to mention the toll it has taken on their parents and grandparents, and all Abe gives it is "passing reference". Could that be because he is so anxious to restart the other nukes? Cannot be a realist about the consequences of nuclear disasters when we're trying to get folks to sign-off on the re-starts, now can we? He should be ashamed.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

The UN Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai was a marvelous opportunity for the Abe Shinzo administration to lead. Unfortunately, it did not play that role because it was hampered by the incompetent record of dealing with the Fukushima disaster and its sorry record of dealing with the displaced.

This was a missed opportunity, but I am happy to see non-governmental Japanese organizations trying to do what the government appears unwilling to do -- learn lessons, implement relief and mitigation policies, do thorough planning and preparation.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Scared to go in japan

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The title "Japan makes..." Makes it sound like the government in Japan is doing this when in reality it is individuals and groups. The government is doing very little as evidenced by how many people are still in temporary housing and a recent story about the heinous wastes of money that is occurring daily in the disaster zone.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Scared to go in japan So don't go.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Sharing lessons, or repeating the anti-nuclear PR talking points? The accident had nothing to do with any " myth of nuclear safety", it was caused by a refusal to acknowledge the risk of tsunamis in the Pacific Ocean and a decision to not take any protective action. Belief in the safety of nuclear technology, unfounded or not, was irrelevant. Who exactly says "I believe this technology is safe, so I'm not going to protect it"? The "safety myth" as a contributing factor in the accident is itself a myth. Now, those who say that the "myth of nuclear safety" was a factor for sure have some strong motives for making that claim, but learning "lessons" and sharing them is not one of them.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

One sad aspect of the Japanese government's sorry role in the UN conference is that Japan has a solid record of contribution to disaster relief. Just look at the Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution in Kobe, which was established in the aftermath of the Hanshin-Awaji earthquake in 1995. I visited occasionally when I lived in the Kansai, and I greatly admire the dedicated people associated with the institution.

The organization has helped organized relief and recovery operations in lots of instances and sent a team to the Tohoku.

The resources, the expertise, and the willingness is there, but it is up to the Japanese government to tap such organizations instead of going through the motions as the PM did during this conference.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If they want to restart rectors, they have learned NO lessons.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Lesson 1: Don't lie to the public and safety of nuclear power. Lesson 2: Don't build nuclear reactors by the sea. Lesson 3: Ignore help from all other countries and blindly spend money trying to fix something with "technology". Lesson 4: Make sure no one goes to jail. Lesson 5: Forget about the people affected and ignore them. Lesson 6: Insert loads of subcontracts between you and the workers and then don't actually check anything. Lesson 7: Make sure your workers are totally unskilled. Lesson 8: Make sure things don't work so you can spend more money. Lesson 9: Blame the previous PM on anything that went wrong. Lesson 10: Spend spend spend.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Kids not being able to play outside...................H'm why on earth are people still "living' in a place like that??? Should be evacuated, PERIOD!

I can see it coming there is going to be a LOT of re-built towns etc that a tiny fraction of people will return to, in effect making brand new white elephant GHOST TOWNS!!!

This is getting stupid, really stupid, the govt needs to declare areas unfit to live in & ensure all move elsewhere. Areas with potential to return to(ie NOT places where kids CANT go outside!!!) plans need to made & pronto, THEN it needs to be taken to the refugees for them to decide Yes or No, if they want to live there, based on the replies the plan goes ahead, gets modified or SCRAPPED!!

Already we have seen colossal amounts of $$$ being wasted, stolen, pilfered, piled up in banks doing nothing, its beyond ridiculous, the govt needs to get its a$$ in gear, we cant go by the rules, ownership issues need to dealt with fairly & quickly, Japan you DONT HAVE TIME to reach 100% consensus on this stuff IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN.

Decisions & plans need to made, put to votes/participation, then implemented, scaled down or scrapped, no more screwing around start making the HARD DECISIONS!

And JT please change the title!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

One, do not let the power company run anything. In fact, just fine them out of existence.

Two, get real experts and scientists not gov't paid bureaucrats to handle all aspects.

Three, forget nukes and look for earth friendly, sustainable options.

Four, remember honesty is the best policy, especially when making Olympic bids.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I think it's fantastic that individuals and individual organizations are taking the time and making the efforts to TRULY learn from what happened and take the initiative to teach others, even when it's clear that others have not. On that note, to say that "Japan makes a start..." is incredibly misleading and incorrect, since it's clear that due to the government the nation as a whole, despite these individuals, is in fact going backwards and proving that they have NOT learned and are NOT making at start in a positive direction at all. And if "proving" needs any proof, just look at the fact that not only could Abe barely address the topic when he had a PERFECT chance to be a true leader, he's insisted NPPs be restarted, on top of fault lines and with despite not meeting requirements (but with a promise to do so some time in the future!) and the damage from Fukushima being FAR worse than predicted/expected and still not being dealt with, but also having lied about said damage/dangers, and having bilked the disaster for personal and national gain. This is, in fact, another example of some stellar individuals in the nation being taken advantage of by a government who quite literally uses them to paint a pretty picture of things while, as I said, intentionally heading in the wrong direction.

Good on the people trying to help, shame on the government for failing in its job to do so, yet again.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

"Don't put generators critical for cooling the reactors in the case of, say, an epoch of tsunami, in the basement." I think that is kind of a central lesson here.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It is heartening to note that Japan is going to share lessons from nuclear crisis. This would help all countries to use nuclear energy safely and avert crisis by taking proper care and safeguards. The greatest danger is not sharing the lessons of disasters, since no one wants to expose the vulnerabilities to the outside world. Japan is doing the right thing in sharing the crisis knowledge.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Lesson #15 ...Don't let rotten men like former president completely Shimizu off the hook for dismissing critical advice from scientists which could have prevented or at least greatly reduced the human error part of this disaster.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

lesson 1, hide as much about whats happening from the public as possible, lesson 2. look as if you know what you doing even if you have NFI, refuse outside help because you think you know best. lesson 3. waste as much money as you can (mostly because of lesson 2.) in the cleanup. repeat this cycle and you all set

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Four letters:


Kids got fat because they can't play outside? And you want to stay in the area? Really?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@turbotsat, 100% on point!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Is lesson #1 the idea that letting your fuel rods melt through the reactor vessel is something to be avoided at all costs? Because I seem to remember a long time passing before people started doing something to try to alleviate the crises.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

For Japan to share lessons, they must have first learned from them, a topic of which is very much debatable.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Why am I not surprised I got a -5 rating for stating the obvious? Don't let reality mess with your fantasy world, kids. Because evil old Japanese men from the nuclear village have not learned their lessons, and they are still trying to kill you. Never let your guard down. Stay safe!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Scared to go in japan

This article describes Japan society in general, and if you've guessed after reading that the country isn't the ideal place to live unless you have loads of tax free money, you're right, try a developed Western country instead. This whole calamity would've been avoided if adequate safeguards were in place against obviously foreseeable natural disasters at that nuclear plant. You don't need a PhD. in nuclear physics to figure out that critical backup equipment installed along the coast needs to be waterproof right? Surprising this common sense was lacking in this country, which is no stranger to destructive seismic activities runs bullet trains on time without any fatality for over 40 years

0 ( +3 / -3 )

how do you learn lessons then restart the reactors? That doesn't make sense

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What lessons? Japan has not learned any lessons. They don't have a true regulatory agency in charge of the Nuclear Safety, they are political appointees. Still don't know if any power company has implemented the 1978 recommendation from 3 Mile Island. If they had, Fukushima would not be this bad. It is still ongoing. And the fact that TEPCO is still in charge is just insane. They proved they can't manage it and the government is letting and others manage it. It is also crazy that Japan 2 electrical systems.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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