Japan’s nuclear scandals and the Fukushima disaster

Click here to download a March 2012 briefing paper, ‘Japan’s Nuclear Scandals and the Fukushima Disaster’.

Here is a brief summary of the paper:

1. Safety breaches and cover-ups

The Japanese nuclear industry has been plagued by safety breaches, scandals, cover-ups, inadequate regulation and a myriad of other failings over a long period of time.

2. Corruption and collusion in Japan’s ‘nuclear village’

Japan’s nuclear industry is run by a clique of public- and private-sector interests that have promoted personal and corporate gain at the expense of public safety.

3. Nuclear accidents in Japan

Managerial and regulatory failures have contributed to numerous nuclear accidents in Japan.

4. Earthquake and tsunami risks

TEPCO (operator of the Fukushima plant) did not adequately protect against earthquake and tsunami risks, nor was it forced to by the government regulator.

5. Responsibility for the Fukushima disaster

Primary responsibility for the disaster lies with TEPCO. Others are culpable including Japanese government agencies and regulators, and overseas suppliers who have turned a blind eye to serious problems in Japan’s nuclear industry over a long period of time.

6. Australia’s role in the Fukushima disaster

Australia’s uranium mining industry has done nothing to try to rectify the patterns of unsafe mismanagement in Japan’s nuclear industry, or the inadequate regulation. Successive Australian governments have been equally passive.

Appendix: Spinning Fukushima

Two ABC opinion articles (March 2011 and February 2012)  on the ‘spinning’ of the Fukushima disaster by nuclear power advocates.