Essays on Operation Risk Failures - Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Case Study

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The paper “ Operation Risk Failures - Fukushima Nuclear Disaster” is a meaningful example of the case study on environmental studies. Fukushima Nuclear Disaster was characterized by a series of nuclear meltdowns, equipment failures, and emission of radioactive materials. According to Hasegawa, the disaster was the second most severe and largest nuclear disaster after the Chernobyl disaster which occurred in 1986. The severity of both nuclear disasters was ranked 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale. This disaster resulted in the emission of radioactive materials which caused catastrophic harm to individuals, the environment, and industries.

People living around the vicinity of the Fukushima nuclear power plant were evacuated and lost their homes. Tourism, agriculture, fishing, and other businesses within this area were significantly affected by this disaster (Osaka 2012). In addition to this, there were over 30 reported cases of severe injuries due to radiation burns. Although there were no immediate reported death cases, an empirical study conducted by Hoeve & Jacobson (2012) predicted that the amount of radiation released as a result of the disaster would eventually result in 130 cancer-related death cases.

The study showed that the magnitude of the radiation released during the disaster was lower than that released during the Chernobyl disaster (Hoeve & Jacobson 2012). The cause of this nuclear disaster has been attributed to operation failures on the part of the management of the plant. For instance, Funabashi (2012) asserts that the Fukushima nuclear disaster is a man-made calamity brought about by technological and operational failures. Similarly, the Japanese Parliament Independent Investigation Commission report which was published in July 2012 established that the nuclear disaster was profoundly a man-made disaster that could have been predicted and averted.

Moreover, the report stated that the impacts of the disaster could have been mitigated through more effective and efficient human responses. The key aim of this paper is to examine the operation risk failures that contributed to the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The finding of this paper will be based on a critical review of the provided case study and other reports on the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

References

Coombs, T., 2011, Ongoing crisis communication: Planning, Managing and Responding, SAGE, London.

Funabashi, H., 2012, “Why the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster is a man-made calamity”, International Journal of Japanese Sociology vol 21, Issue 1, pp. 65-75.

Haddow, G. & Bullock, J. & Cappola, D., 2011, Introduction to Emergency Management, Butterworth-Heinemann, Burlington, MA.

Hasegawa, K., 2012, “Facing Nuclear Risks: Lessons from the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster”, International Journal of Japenese Sociology, vol 21, issue 1, pp. 84-91.

Hoeve, J. & Jacobson, M., 2012, “Worldwide health effects of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident”, Energy & Environmental Science, Retrieved on November 23, 2012

Mahr, K. 2012, “Report: Fukushima Nuclear Disaster was Man-Made,” Time World, July 5, 2012

Magnusson, T., Prasad, A. & Storkey, I. 2010, Guidance for Operational Risk Management in Government Debt Management, Retrieved on November 23, 2012

McCurry, J., 2012, “Fukushima reactor meltdown was a man-made disaster, says official report” The Guardian July 5 2012

Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC), 2012, Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission, Retrieved on November 23, 2012

OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, 2003, Nuclear Energy Today, OECD publishing, Paris.

Osaka, E., 2012, “Corporate liability, government liability and the Fukushima nuclear disaster”, Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal vol 21, no. 3, p. 433.

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