TEPCO admits Japan nuclear crisis was avoidable

Featured Japan - October 15th, 2012
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In a turnabout from asserting the company’s good disaster management, Tokyo Electric Power Co. finally admitted that the Fukushima nuclear crisis, one of the world’s worst nuclear accidents, could have been easily circumvented if new measures had been carried out.

The Japan Times reports that Tepco released a statement Friday saying the utility was well aware of necessary safety improvements in the event of major natural disasters but feared the steps would raise suspicions and stir anti-nuclear sentiment.

“There was a worry that if the company were to implement a severe-accident response plan, it would spur anxiety throughout the country and in the community where the plant is sited, and lend momentum to the antinuclear movement,” a report from the utility company read.

The crisis could have been avoided if only Tepco had taken steps to “diversify the plant’s power and cooling systems by paying closer heed to international standards and recommendations”. Tepco said its employees lack practical crisis-management skills.

This comes after Tepco launched a full-scale review of the damaged nuclear plant held back by structural risks and high radiation levels. The new Nuclear Regulation Authority also plans to tighten safety measures at nuclear plants nationwide in the wake of the crisis.