Accident like the Fukushima unlikely in a country with effective nuclear regulation: Literature review and proposed guidelines
The reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Japanese Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) have confirmed that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (NPP) survived the initial earthquake impacts, but fell victim to the following tsunami. The 14-m tsunami well exceeded the maximum safety design of 5.7 m. It damaged the pumps, cut off the external power supplies to cool the reactors and spent fuel pool, and directly contributed to the three core meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi NPP. These official reports, academic papers, and breaking news also show that five warnings of tsunamis at the Fukushima Daiichi NPP had been ignored by the nuclear operator and regulators since 2000. This article argues that not the natural disaster, but the regulatory failures contributed to the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. It explains how the cozy relationship between the government, regulators and nuclear operators, the combined role of NISA as an industry promoter and regulator, and the revolving door between bureaucrats and industries had long undermined the capacity of NISA as a watchdog for nuclear safety. It concludes that upgrading and strengthening a nuclear regulatory system is not optional but imperative to prevent the next core meltdown. Three key recommendations are offered for upgrading nuclear safety regulation.
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Engineering not elsewhere classified