The Fukushima catastrophe four years ago today was no natural disaster, writes Arnie Gundersen. Operator TEPCO and nuclear regulators were well aware of the danger of tsunamis, but put money before safety. Nuclear power remains the only energy source that can destroy a country overnight – and it’s time to ditch it!
Let’s be clear, the disaster at Fukushima Daiichi was manmade. Tokyo Electric (TEPCO) and indeed the entire nuclear industry worldwide act as if they are the victims of a natural disaster, but in fact the nuclear industry is the perpetrator of this travesty.
When the American nuclear companies, General Electric and Ebasco, built Fukushima Daiichi for TEPCO, they knew that huge tsunamis were a real risk.
Instead of designing for the worst imaginable consequences, which would make nuclear power unaffordable, the industry chose instead to save money, allowing economics to trump safety. The continuing problems at Fukushima Daiichi during the past four years stem from those skewed priorities.
Tokyo Electric, the government regulators in Japan, and the worldwide nuclear industry grossly underestimated the initial radioactive releases, underestimated the magnitude of the disaster, and underestimated the consequences of not taking action. The Japanese people will pay the price for decades to come.
Protecting people? Or protecting the nuclear industry?