The nuclear disaster at Fukushima didn't have to happen
September 22, 2015
After a devastating tsunami left 18,000 people dead in 2011, Japan was about to face a potentially more significant disaster as several reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant started to melt down. More than 300,000 people were evacuated.
Since then, the Japanese government has tried to defend the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), which operated the plant, and offer reassurances that the country's nuclear reactors are secure. A study released Monday in the science journal Philosophical Transactions reaches a different conclusion, however: "The Fukushima accident was preventable, if international best practices and standards had been followed, if there had been international reviews, and had common sense prevailed in the interpretation of preexisting geological and hydrodynamic findings."