Proceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the ISSS - 2011, Hull, UK, Proceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the ISSS

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Fukushima Nuclear Disaster 3.11: System Pathology of Social Organizations

Shigeo Atsuji, Norman D. Cook


The magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that struck northeast Japan on March 11, 2011, were unavoidable natural disasters, but we consider the subsequent breakdown of the Fukushima nuclear power plants to be a catastrophe created by avoidable human errors – an organizational disaster. We review the mistakes that have led up to the present nuclear crisis, and recommend several steps to avoid similar crises in the future. This speech considers the “Fukushima nuclear accident” as an organizational disaster. Furthermore, we discuss problems of the nuclear power plant system of Japan. These include issues of (i) the Fukushima nuclear station’s irrational location in a quake-prone and tsunami-prone area, (ii) the business ethics inherent to operating ageing reactors, (iv) the social responsibility required for organizational management, (v) non-rational governance of nuclear policy in extending the longevity of nuclear reactors, and (vi) the dynamics of system pathology in dealing with socio-biological hazards based on ageing technology, ambiguous management and fuzzy nuclear policy.

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