Thursday, March 8, 2012

Notes on 3.11

Inside Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown: The desperate days after the Fukushima nucleardisaster, told by those who were there, Frontline, PBS, 2/28/12

Candle Night, to memorialize 3.11, Facebook

Policy Change in a Post-Crisis Japan: An Interview with Richard J. Samuels (MIT) by National Bureau of Asian Research, March 5, 2012
...the self-defense forces have not benefitted from their new levels of public support and legitimacy. Few new equipment requests were inserted into the FY2012 budget request, and in the end, the defense budget was cut again. The SDF is not benefitting in any direct way from its performance after March 11. Likewise, neither is the alliance in any better shape than it was beforehand. In fact, there are more questions than ever about basing issues in particular. In short—and in the near term—there does not seem to have been a particularly salutary effect on either the SDF or the alliance since March 11.
Fukushima in review: A complex disaster, a disastrous response by Yoichi Funabashi and Kay Kitazawa at Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation (RJIF), a think tank created last year and funded by individuals and businesses. The conclusion of the report in English can be found on the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. It delves into the actions taken by Tepco, the utility that owns and operates the Fukushima Daiichi plant, as well as the role of the government and nuclear regulators. Summary

Why Fukushima Was Preventable by James M. Acton and Mark Hibbs Carnegie Paper, March 2012.
Had the plant’s owner, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), and Japan’s regulator, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), followed international best practices and standards, it is conceivable that they would have predicted the possibility of the plant being struck by a massive tsunami. The plant would have withstood the tsunami had its design previously been upgraded in accordance with state-of-the-art safety approaches. The methods used by TEPCO and NISA to assess the risk from tsunamis lagged behind international standards in at least three important respects.

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