"Fukushima in review: A complex disaster, a disastrous response"

Yoichi Funabashi and Kay Kitazawa are chairman of the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation, and staff director of the Foundation's Independent Investigation Commission on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident, respectively. They have published an article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) entitled "Fukushima in review: A complex disaster, a disastrous response." It's an overview of a 400 page study on the lessons to be learned from the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe, first reported by the New York Times on Feb. 27. The BAS abstract reads:

"On March 11, 2011, an earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. The emerging crisis at the plant was complex, and, to make matters worse, it was exacerbated by communication gaps between the government and the nuclear industry. An independent investigation panel, established by the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation, reviewed how the government, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), and other relevant actors responded. In this article, the panel's program director writes about their findings and how these players were thoroughly unprepared on almost every level for the cascading nuclear disaster. This lack of preparation was caused, in part, by a public myth of "absolute safety" that nuclear power proponents had nurtured over decades and was aggravated by dysfunction within and between government agencies and Tepco, particularly in regard to political leadership and crisis management. The investigation also found that the tsunami that began the nuclear disaster could and should have been anticipated and that ambiguity about the roles of public and private institutions in such a crisis was a factor in the poor response at Fukushima."

The article announces that the full report, in Japanese only, would be released at the end of Feb. However, the English translation will not be ready until sometime this summer.


"Demonic" reality of Fukushima, versus absurdity of NRC

NRC file photo of Peach Bottom 2 & 3, PennsylvaniaWhile top level Japanese government officials admit that they feared a "demonic chain reactor" of atomic reactor meltdowns not only at Fukushima Daiichi, but also at Fukushima Daini and Tokai nuclear power plants, which would have led to an evacuation of Tokyo and perhaps its permanent loss, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's SOARCA report absurdly claims that a reactor meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi identically designed Peach Bottom Units 2 and 3 in Pennsylvania, surrounded by several other nuclear power plants, would cause few to no casualties. Read more.


Davis-Besse blames Blizzard of '78 for containment cracks, but critcs charge that's merely a "snow job of convenience"

U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)The long awaited First Energy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC) "root cause analysis" on extensive cracking of the Davis-Besse concrete containment shield building was published on Feb. 28th. Astoundingly, the nuclear utility blames a severe blizzard in January 1978, and the fact that it failed to apply weatherproofing to the exterior of its containment. Asked why FENOC and its predecessors had failed to apply sealant from 1971 (when the shield building was first constructed) and 2012, FENOC spokeswoman Jennifer Young said simply it had not been required. When asked why other safety-significant concrete structures on site had been sealed, Young said their concrete exteriors appeared splotchy, so a coating was applied for cosmetic purposes.

The Toledo Blade quoted U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH, pictured left) and Don't Waste Michigan's Michael Keegan:

"Every homeowner knows you paint a house not just for decoration, but to protect it from the elements," Mr. Kucinich said, repeating his assertion that the plant should be shut down until the shield building's strength is thoroughly assessed.

And Michael Keegan, a representative of Don't Waste Michigan -- one of several anti-nuclear organizations fighting FirstEnergy's petition for a 20-year license renewal after Davis-Besse's initial operating permit expires in five years -- called the Blizzard of 1978 explanation a "snow job of convenience."

"While it may be true that the extreme weather damaged the concrete, what other assaults have occurred since that time?" he asked. "How is it that [FirstEnergy] can suggest that they'll seal it now, and the damage will be arrested? The damage goes down to the rebar and is structural." Read more.


Fukiushima anniversary message from Yvonne Margarula, Mirrar people, Australia

Excerpts from a letter from Yvonne Margarula, Mirarr Senior Traditional Owner, Australia, to UN Secretary-General Ban ki Moon, April 6th, 2011.

 "Given the long history between Japanese nuclear companies and Australian uranium miners, it is likely that the radiation problems at Fukushima are, at least in part, fuelled by uranium derived from our traditional lands. This makes us feel very sad.

I am writing to you to convey our solidarity and support with all those people across the world who see in the events at Fukushima a dire warning of the risks posed by the nuclear industry. This is an industry that we have never supported in the past and that we want no part of into the future. We all are diminished by the awful events now unfolding at Fukushima. "



Remembering Fukushima: Will you be marching against nuclear madness?

Beyond Nuclear is compiling a global calendar of events, with additional details found on our March Against Nuclear Madness Facebook page. Search our listings for an event near you. Or post yours to our Facebook page or email them to Whether you are in Brazil or Brattleboro, there is an event for you! We will be speaking at some of these events and can provide literature to those who need additional support materials.