Probe says Fukushima nuke disaster was 'man-made'
7/5/12 11:57 AM ET (MarketWatch)Print
BOSTON -- A Japanese government probe has concluded that last year's Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster was caused by collusion between the plant's operator and government regulators which resulted in critical safety lapses, CNN reported Thursday. In its report, an independent panel of investigators said that the plant had been plagued by quality control problems before it was rocked by a powerful earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. The report noted that the operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. , or TEPCO, and regulators had failed to draw up proper contingency plans in the event of such a disaster. The investigators likewise criticized the Japanese government for its slow reaction to the crisis, and asserted the Japanese culture itself was in part to blame. "What must be admitted -- very painfully -- is that this was a disaster 'Made in Japan,'" said the report, as quoted by CNN. "Its fundamental causes are to be found in the ingrained conventions of Japanese culture: our reflexive obedience; our reluctance to question authority; our devotion to 'sticking with the program.'"