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News Link • Japan - Earthquake Tsunami Radiation

Fukushima Nuclear Disaster 'Clearly Man-Made', says Parliamentary Panel

•, staff
 A parliamentary panel investigating the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan last year have placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of plant owner TEPCO and government regulators by saying the crisis was "clearly man-made." Though the plant was crippled by an enormous tsunami generated by a powerful earthquake, the panel concluded that key warnings were ignored and preparations that could have been implemented were disregarded out of self-interest.

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

The panel, called the Diet's Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission, rejected claims by the plant's owner that the earthquake and tsunami 'could not have been foreseen' by saying: "Despite having a number of opportunities to take measures, regulatory agencies and TEPCO management deliberately postponed decisions, did not take action or took decisions that were convenient for themselves."

The report did not target individuals for blame, but rather the institutions that govern nuclear safety as a whole. "We believe that the root causes were the organisational and regulatory systems that supported faulty rationales for decisions and actions, rather than issues relating to the competency of any specific individual," said the report.

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