Thursday, February 23, 2012

Nuke crisis caused by Japan, not quake: Kan

Former Prime Minister Naoto Kan has admitted that Japan was woefully unprepared for last year's nuclear disaster and suggested that the crippled Fukushima No. 1 plant should not have been built so close to a tsunami-prone coastline.

In an exclusive interview, Kan acknowledged flaws in the authorities' handling of the crisis, including poor communication and coordination among nuclear regulators, Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s management and the government Kan was heading at the time.

But he said the disaster — the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986 — laid bare a host of even bigger vulnerabilities in the nuclear power industry and its regulations, ranging from inadequate safety guidelines to crisis management, all of which he said need to be overhauled.

"Before 3/11, we were totally unprepared," he said. "Not only in terms of the hardware, but our system and the organization were not prepared. That was the biggest problem." Read More