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Japan’s Fukushima nuclear incident 'man-made': Parliament

 
 
 
 
 
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This file handout picture released from Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) on March 22, 2011 shows workers spraying water to cool down the spent nuclear fuel in the fourth reactor building at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in the town of Okuma.

A Japanese parliamentary panel has found that the incident at Fukushima nuclear plant has been a “man-made disaster” and not only due to the tsunami that hit the country last year.

“It is clear that this accident was a man-made disaster,” the panel said in a report released on Thursday.

It also criticized “governments, regulatory authorities and Tokyo Electric Power” for lacking “a sense of responsibility to protect people’s lives and society.”

Last year’s atomic incident at Fukushima “could and should have been foreseen and prevented” and its catastrophic effects “mitigated by a more effective human response,” the report said.

“According to this commission’s study, on March 11, it is believed that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was in a vulnerable condition with no guarantee it could withstand earthquakes and tsunamis,” it said.

“Despite having a number of opportunities to take measures, regulatory agencies and TEPCO management deliberately postponed decisions, did not take action or took decisions that were convenient for themselves.”

On March 11, 2011, a 9-magnitude earthquake triggered a tsunami that rocked the six-reactor nuclear plant and damaged it badly.

Cooling systems of the plant’s reactors were knocked out, leading to meltdowns and the release of radioactivity.

All of Japan’s nuclear reactors have been gradually taken offline for two months for maintenance or safety checks after the tsunami.

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