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Fukushima reactor meltdown was a man-made disaster, says official report

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07/06/2012 08:30 AM
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Fukushima reactor meltdown was a man-made disaster, says official report
Last year’s accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was a manmade disaster caused by poor regulation and collusion between the government, the operator and the industry’s watchdog, a report has said.

In a highly critical assessment published on Thursday, a Japanese parliamentary panel challenged claims by the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), that the triple meltdown at the plant in north-east Japan had been caused solely by a 14-metre tsunami on 11 March last year. The panel said the magnitude-9 earthquake that preceded the waves could not be ruled out as a cause of the accident.

It accused Tepco and regulators at the nuclear and industrial safety agency of failing to take adequate safety measures, despite evidence that the area was susceptible to powerful earthquakes and tsunamis.

"The Fukushima nuclear power plant accident was the result of collusion between the government, the regulators and Tepco, and the lack of governance by said parties," said the report, compiled by the Fukushima nuclear accident independent investigation commission.

"They effectively betrayed the nation’s right to be safe from nuclear accidents. Therefore, we conclude that the accident was clearly ’man-made’.

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