Unsafety pp 17-41 | Cite as

The Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe: Systemic Breakdown and Pathology

  • Shigeo Atsuji
Part of the Translational Systems Sciences book series (TSS)


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 reactors to be a catastrophe created not only by nuclear-engineering systems but also by avoidable system errors. This chapter [1] provides an analysis of the organizational disaster which lies behind the systems pathology of problems at the Fukushima Daiichi (number one) Nuclear Power Plant (hereafter ‘Fukushima Daiichi Plant’) of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO): the operation of old reactors, the concealment of incident data, and the problems of supervision including the ‘nonrational’ location of the power station. Secondly, we consider the mechanism of ‘catastrophe’ [2] based on the Fukushima case. Finally, we suggest a rational proposal concerning the phaseout of nuclear power around the world. This proposal is made with a view to obtaining sustainable decision-making for our future, not simply in light of the supply-and-demand decisions around electrical power but also in consideration of the homeostasis of environmental aspects including ecosystem-based social systems and their contribution toward our sustainability. It should be noted that this chapter is not intended as a particular criticism of the electric power companies and Japanese government but rather an analysis of what went wrong in the Fukushima Daiichi Plant accident.


Safety Management Nuclear Accident Power Company Great East Japan Earthquake Fukushima Prefecture 
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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shigeo Atsuji
    • 1
  1. 1.Kansai UniversityKyotoJapan

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