Wednesday, June 1, 2011

But will we learn?

The International Atomic Energy Agency has released its report on the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Whether the sea wall protecting the plant was swamped because "no one could have known" or because of allegiance to the bottom line by Tokyo Power and Electric (I'm going with the latter), the protection was sorely inadequate ... obviously.


The inspectors pointed out a key failure, already admitted by Japan, to plan for the risk of waves crashing over the sea wall and knocking out the plant's back-up generators.

Even though a major faultline lies just offshore, the sea wall at Fukushima was less than 6m (20ft) high. The height of the tsunami wave was about 14m.

"The tsunami hazard for several sites was underestimated," the UN team's three-page preliminary report said.


The thing that cracked me up was this quote:


The report also emphasised the importance of independent regulators in the nuclear industry.


Yeah, ain't happening in America, that's for sure.

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