domingo, abril 03, 2011

Feffer on Fukishima and Japan's culture of risk

In 2002, Tokyo Electric admitted to falsifying repair reports at its nuclear facilities for two decades. Then, in 2007, it confessed again that it continued to conceal what had been going on, including six emergency stoppages at the Dai-ichi nuclear power station in Fukushima and a seven-hour-long "critical" reaction at Unit 3, one of its six reactors.
In nuclear energy, as in economics and security issues, Japan has engaged in some seriously risky business.

In 1997 and 1999, accidents at the reprocessing plant at Tokaimura exposed dozens of workers to radiation. Two workers died after the 1999 incident. In 2004, at the Mihama nuclear plant, steam released from a broken pipe that hadn't been checked once during its 28 years of operation killed five workers. But perhaps worst of all, the Japanese government knowingly constructed structurally inadequate nuclear facilities.

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