Saturday, June 29, 2019

Glow to Tokyo 2020 ?

Japan's Fukushima nuclear meltdown hides an uncomfortable success story: Onagawa Nuclear Plant was nearer the earthquake epicenter, yet survived the shaking & tsunami to properly shutdown.

The "inescapable natural disaster" narrative excusing huge public funding is ridiculous knowing Onagawa's success.

"Onagawa was only 123 kilometers away from the epicenter—60 kilometers closer than Fukushima Daiichi—and the difference in seismic intensity at the two plants was negligible. Furthermore, the tsunami was bigger at Onagawa, reaching a height of 14.3 meters, compared with 13.1 meters at Fukushima Daiichi" [Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists - link]

Tokyo Electric Power Company, TEPCO - the nuclear operator at Fukushima, was terribly negligent and fundamentally criminal.

The Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission was succinct [Executive Summary, p.21]: "'Regulatory capture' ... allows individuals to justify their own actions, hide them when inconvenient, and leave no records in order to avoid responsibility. Across the board, the Commission found ignorance and arrogance unforgivable for anyone or any organization that deals with nuclear power. We found a disregard for global trends and a disregard for public safety."

The Commission Chair wrote [Executive Summary, p.9]:
"What this report cannot fully convey – especially to a global audience – is the mindset that supported the negligence behind this disaster. What must be admitted – very painfully – is that this was a disaster “Made in Japan.” Its fundamental causes are to be found in the ingrained conventions of Japanese culture: our reflexive obedience; our reluctance to question authority; our devotion to ‘sticking with the program’; our groupism; and our insularity."

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics will struggle with many key safety challenges. TEPCO Fukushima continues leaching radiation. There's always the threat of major earthquakes & tsunami throughout Japan. Even potential problems from volcanic eruption should not be ignored. Visitors are unlikely to notice the conceit & arrogance as described in the above report, but the dangerously insular mindset too accepting of authority is still inescapably found across Japan. Those navigating Tokyo 2020, please Beware!

Olympic Health Gamble: is Tokyo OK for 2020?