Crisis management failures create big problems
Yes, a large tsunami did strike near Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 power plant, but findings in a report from the Japanese Parliament’s independent investigation commission indicate that it was a series of entirely man-made problems that created a crisis situation.
The report is filled with juicy quotes like one stating TEPCO “manipulated its cozy relationship with regulators to take the teeth out of regulations,” and details how regulators intentionally stopped or stalled attempts at forcing TEPCO to meet safety code. It also calls out TEPCO for using the tsunami as a scapegoat, alleging that a large tsunami was an entirely predictable event whose potential impact was ignored in the interest of profits. In case that wasn’t enough, the report also blasts the Japanese government’s crisis management, stating that meddling from the Prime Minister’s Office was directly responsible for adding to the confusion surrounding the crisis.
With builders in the U.S. raising the first new nuclear plants this country has seen for over a decade, regulators and administrators would do well to take note. Cutting corners may save money in the short term, but failing to keep your operations safe will lead to people getting hurt, and when they are, you will be held responsible in the court of public opinion.
The BCM Blogging Team