All posts tagged nuclear safety

Ex-governor of Fukushima saw his concerns about nuclear plants tragically vindicated

There’s nothing like a major disaster to see how important whistleblowers are, and to expose the other half of the wrongdoers’ playbook.

The tsunami that caused the meltdown at the Fukushima I Nuclear Plant is just such a disaster. In the piece below, we can see how a former governor of the Fukushima Prefecture, Sato Eisaku, received many warnings from whistleblowers about the nuclear plant, and tried to have them addressed. As a result, he argues, he was wrongfully prosecuted for corruption and kicked from office. There is evidence to support his claims. He wrote a book in 2008 about his concerns; it is now a bestseller.

Whistleblowing in the nuclear industry has been met with reprisals in many countries, including the U.S. One former inspector, in fact, reported that the problem of backup generators not working is a fairly typical one which the industry has a history of ignoring. (In the Fukushima plant, the generators were in the basement so were vulnerable to flooding.)

Whistleblowers before an accident generally face a standard set of responses: denials that there is a problem, attacks on their credibility and a variety of other personal attacks.

After a crisis, it’s common for officials to argue that it was impossible to predict.… Read the rest