News Release

Fukushima Disaster “Man-Made” — Has the Nuclear Industry Captured the Regulators?


Bloomberg BusinessWeek is reporting: “The Fukushima nuclear disaster was the result of ‘man-made’ failures before and after last year’s earthquake, according to a report from an independent parliamentary investigation.”

Gundersen is a former nuclear industry insider and now an independent consultant, chief engineer with Fairewinds Consulting. He said today: “I am not surprised by the Diet Committee’s conclusion and have been saying the same thing for almost a year. I’ve always felt uncomfortable calling it an accident — it’s a man-mad disaster, a catastrophe. This report confirms that. I applaud the Diet for being so forthright. I met with them while in Japan and they seemed to genuinely want to get to the bottom of things.

“However, beyond the shores of Japan, some people will try to misuse this report to say it can’t happen here. The fact is that it can. Here in the U.S., the industry basically forced out Gregory Jaczko as chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. And of course, the International Atomic Energy Agency was in Japan. It’s a world-wide problem: the nuclear industry has taken control of the regulators.” See Fairewinds video entitled “Nuclear Oversight Lacking Worldwide

In February 2012, under contract with Greenpeace, Fairewinds wrote a report titled “The Echo Chamber: Regulatory Capture and the Fukushima Daiichi Disaster.”

KARL GROSSMAN, kgrossman at
Professor of journalism at the State University of New York/College at Old Westbury, Grossman is author of Cover Up: What You Are Not Supposed to Know About Nuclear Power. He said today: “The Fukushima Daiichi catastrophe was a ‘man-made disaster’ directly attributable to ‘collusion between the government, the regulators and Tepco, and the lack of governance by said parties,’ concludes the 10-member Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigations Commission of the National Diet of Japan.

“This sort of collusion between supposed nuclear regulators and those they are supposed to regulate is a worldwide pattern. The nuclear foxes aren’t guarding the nuclear hen house. Regulation is a myth. That’s been the situation in Japan, the U.S. — indeed, in nations all over the globe. The International Atomic Energy Agency, set up to both promote and somehow regulate nuclear power at the same time, represents this atomic dysfunction internationally.”

Aileen Mioko Smith is executive director of Green Action, a Japanese environmental group. She has been scrutinizing Japanese government claims since the earthquake. In March 1995 she wrote “On Shaky Ground: Will Japan’s Nuke Plants Be Next?

See executive summary of the Diet report in English.