JAPAN has marked the seventh anniversary of a tsunami that claimed more than 18,000 lives on the north-east coast and triggered a nuclear disaster that turned nearby communities into ghost towns. Residents along the coast gathered outdoors to remember the tragedy as sirens wailed at 2.46pm, the moment the magnitude-9.0 offshore earthquake that set off the tsunami struck on March 11 2011. The tsunami overwhelmed sea walls and washed away buildings, cars and entire neighbourhoods as it swept inland. It knocked out power at the seaside Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, causing partial meltdowns in three reactors.
The National 12th March 2018 read more »
What happens to a town that has been abandoned for seven years after a nuclear meltdown? Greenpeace took former residents and a 360-degree camera into the radiation zone north of Fukushima to mark the anniversary of the disaster. The Fukushima Daiichi plant was damaged by a tsunami triggered by a magnitude-9 earthquake on the afternoon of 11 March 2011. The tsunami killed almost 19,000 people along the north-east coast of Japan and forced more than 150,000 others living near the plant to flee radiation. Some of the evacuated neighbourhoods are still deemed too dangerous for former residents to go back.
Guardian 12th March 2018 read more »
The conclusions Japanese and U.S. institutions made about why the Fukushima facility was so vulnerable to such an accident were strikingly similar. The commission created by Japan’s National Diet concluded that its “root causes were the organizational and regulatory systems that supported faulty rationales for decisions and actions.” The U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) committee that investigated the accident similarly concluded “that regulatory agencies were not independent and were subject to regulatory capture.” According to the NAS report, regulatory capture is “the processes by which regulated entities manipulate regulators to put their interests ahead of public interests.” It found that the plant’s owner “manipulated the cozy relationship with the regulators to take the teeth out of regulations.”
The Hill 11th March 2018 read more »
Seven years after the accident, actions to control the facilities continue with the goal of dismantling the Fukushima Daiichi plant within 30 to 40 years. In addition, the decline in radioactivity and the decontamination work in the contaminated territories made it possible to lift the evacuation order in almost all areas where return was possible in the short or medium term.
IRSN 11th March 2018 read more »