‘Fukushima accident a man-made disaster’

A parliamentary report on Thursday said that last year's Fukushima nuclear accident was a man-made disaster caused by Japan's culture of ‘reflexive obedience’ and not just the tsunami that hit the plant.

Ingrained collusion between plant operator Tokyo Electric Power, the government and regulators, combined with a lack of any effective oversight led directly to the worst nuclear accident in a generation, the report said. ‘They effectively betrayed the nation's right to be safe from nuclear accidents. Therefore, we conclude that the accident was clearly 'man-made',’ said the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission.

‘We believe that the root causes were the organisational and regulatory systems that supported faulty rationales for decisions and actions,’ it said.

The probe is the third of its kind in Japan since the huge tsunami of March 2011 crashed into the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station.

Reactors went into meltdown, sending clouds of radiation over a wide area, forcing tens of thousands of people from their homes, some possibly forever.
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