by Ken Cynar – Exec VP – G&A Institute
Since the nuclear accident at the Fukushima nuclear power facility in Japan two and a half years ago Accountability Central has been tracking carefully the response from the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power, the owner/operator of the site. Despite some very heroic efforts by individual company employees and local managers, the overall company and government response has been subpar and bordering on disastrous.
The greater concern appeared for months to be evading blame and official apologies than addressing solutions to the problem. The withholding of information from the public has at times been shocking. Caused by a huge earthquake off the coast of Japan, followed by a devastating tidal wave that destroyed coastal areas in and around the plant site, this event is being called the greatest peacetime nuclear disaster ever.
Every week there appear more and more stories about the depth and seriousness of the event and its increasing impact on the people and environment of Japan and the entire Pacific Rim and beyond. Just a few days ago it was announced that 300 tons of nuclear contaminated water used to cool the plant to avoid a complete meltdown has been escaping into the ocean …each day.!
A member of an independent committee reviewing the event recently stated that the group “…agreed on one thing: that the damage being caused by the crippled No. 1 nuclear plant is far worse than government officials cared to acknowledge. “It’s time we faced the danger,” said Takashi Hirose, a writer shocked by the under-reported radiation levels he found on recent trip into the evacuation zone. “So many terrible things are not being reported in the news.”
While the Japanese response to the Fukushima event might be rooted in cultural traditions, its impact on the nation and potentially the entire world warrants greater scrutiny.
Read last Thursday’s Time magazine story The News from Fukushima Just Gets Worse, and the Japanese Public Wants Answers . It is eye opening and a bit disturbing!