In a harshly worded executive report that might as well describe the nuclear cabal in the United States, a Japanese parliamentary panel concluded that the on-going nuclear catastrophe at Fukushima Dai-Ichi is the combined negligence of government, regulators and the nuclear industry. In fact, the panel’s finding that “The regulator has been captured by the industry it regulates” serves a clear global warning where increasing reactor power output for greater profit, flawed designs and construction, aging reactors, human error and the steady deterioration of oversight and enforcement are converging on the next nuclear catastrophe.
The panel states, “they effectively betrayed the nation's right to be safe from nuclear accidents. Therefore, we conclude that the accident was clearly ‘manmade.’” Without question, this includes the General Electric Corporation. It was GE that manufactured and marketed the seriously flawed reactor design, the Mark I Boiling Water Reactor and its unreliable containment in the first place.
It is a profoundly unsettling but not surprising finding that the “regulators did not monitor or supervise nuclear safety... They avoided their direct responsibilities by letting operators apply regulations on a voluntary basis.” In fact, the Japanese regulators and nuclear power industry were mirroring the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission “regulations” that currently allow 22 Fukushima designed GE Mark I reactors in the US to operate with the original unreliable containment and failed experimental “hardened vent” that was voluntarily installed in 1989. One US Mark I, the Entergy FitzPatrick nuclear power plant in upstate New York, “volunteered” not to install anything on its vulnerable containment.
The collusion of government, the regulator and private industry to promote and shield the nuclear industry’s financial interest has always undermined the governance of and protection from its inherent dangers. The result in Japan is now yielding the unacceptable consequence for the public health from the risks of radiation exposure, large population displacements caused by mass evacuations without foreseeable return, the dissolution of families, the broad disruption of lives and livelihoods and the long-term contamination of vast areas of land and resources.
See Karl Grossman's article in Counterpunch which discusses the Fukushima findings in light of the US and global nuclear industry and the regulators which fall short in their missions due to "regulatory capture". Karl also published "The Nuclear Cult: Zealots of the Atom" at Counterpunch.