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Japan | Video clips explaining Fukushima nuclear power plant crisis in simple terms released

….But was it really? “No one can say for sure that the earthquake did not play a part,” the second video states. But what was clear was that the nuclear reactions were built in 1974 and Tepco believed that the risk was very low…..
 The Journalist
31 OCTOBER 2013

US Editor, Author and Artist. Founder of Culture of One World, a media project devoted to foreign affairs, cultural diplomacy and global projects in the public interest. Lecturer on American studies, censorship and repression, and new technology in the arts. AWARDS: Society of Professional Journalists Deadline Club Award, NLGJA Journalist of the Year Award for Excellence in Journalism, George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, Associated Press Media Editors Diversity Scholarship.

The disaster at Fukushima nuclear power plant was “man-made and preventable.” It was not “an act of God,” as Tepco (Tokyo Electric Power Company) originally claimed. Japanese authorities were “putting off safety measures” from 2009 to 2016, and so “the nuclear power plant was not well-guarded against accidents.”

These simple yet stunning statements were the conclusions of 18 young professionals who were engaged by the Japanese government to produce the Diet Report of NAICC (Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission). This independent panel of determined professionals, lawyers, scientists, journalists and university students took part in a unique-to-Japan project to help the general public understand what had happened in March 2011 in Fukushima.

The National Diet’s executive report also blamed “Japanese culture for the fundamental causes of the disaster.” (The National Diet or “Kokkai” is Japan’s bicameral legislature.)

To incite open discussions on the disaster’s lessons, this independent group had compiled a 592-page report in July 2012 in which they outlined their investigation of the Fukushima nuclear crisis, which continues to this day. Unfortunately, because that report was originally in Japanese, very few had read the full account. Because it was very technical, even fewer understand its full impact.

For the very first time, this NAICC panel has released six short video clips explaining the lengthy report in simple language for easy consumption by the general public. These videos have hit the Internet. Starting today, English versions have been made available on the Internet.

In the Japanese language, the project is called “Wakariyasui Project,” which means in English “Easy to Understand Project.” The subtitle is longer: “The Simplest Explanation of the National Diet of Japan Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission Report.”

The illustrated videos, produced by student volunteers, address these basic questions:

The six clips, which include titles such as “Could the damage be contained?” and “What happened inside the nuclear plant?”, explain the catastrophe with illustrations and simple words that even elementary school students can understand.

According to the second video, for example, Tepco blamed the Fukushima nuclear disaster entirely on the tsunami, whose magnitude they originally said was unexpected and an “act of God.”

But was it really? “No one can say for sure that the earthquake did not play a part,” the second video states. But what was clear was that the nuclear reactions were built in 1974 and Tepco believed that the risk was very low. Later surveys revealed that the Fukushima reactions were in fact “not safe,” the videos explain,” and that they needed $800-million worth of upgrades to boost their resistance against earthquakes.

“But nothing was done to reactors 1 to 3,” the video said, adding that the actual earthquake in March 2011 was “stronger than projections.”

By 2006, Tepco already knew that the nuclear reactors could not stand a large tsunami.

“They failed to act,” the video said. “They assumed an accident would never occur and ignored the measures. They had plenty of time to make action long before the earthquake and the tsunami. They gave priority to keeping the reactors running than safety.”

According to Satoshi Ishibashi, a representative of the Diet group and a former director of the panel’s research project management team, said besides creating the video clips, the group offers workshops and lectures on the crisis.

“We spent six months compiling the report, but the problem is the report is not attractive to the public,” Ishibashi told Japan Times. “We poured taxpayers’ money and our effort into compiling the report, and if we don’t do anything more with it, it will simply have been a waste.”

On the website, the National Diet Report says: “Fukushima nuclear power plant accident is not over. We, the committee of Diet Report, believe that it is a mission of legislators who were chosen from the citizens and every individual in the country to make an effort to reform.”

The English versions of the video clips can be viewed at

Here is the second video, entitled “Was the nuclear accident preventable?”:

November 1, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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