Former Babcock-Hitachi engineer and member of the Japanese Parliament committee investigating TEPCO, Mitsuhiko Tanaka, details a flaw in the manufacture of the pressure vessel for Fukushima Daiichi reactor 4. This flaw was covered up despite compromising the safety of the reactor. Though not the cause of the explosion, it was one of many problems at the plant not properly investigated or adequately repaired.
Two years have passed since the Fukushima nuclear disaster began but little has changed for the people still struggling with the fallout from the triple meltdown that forced 160,000 from their homes.
The vast majority of those that have lost their homes remain stuck in limbo without proper compensation for their losses from the plant operator, TEPCO, or support to move on with their lives. Families are separated, communities are disintegrating and the level of mistrust in the government’s promises is growing.
In 1971, General Electric designed, built and delivered the first, now-exploded, Mark 1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and that design was also used for four of the other five reactors.
Whistleblower Dale Bridenbaugh, a former engineer for GE, exposed a critical flaw in the reactor design that was so bad, he recommended all Mark 1 reactors be shut down to repair them. This didn’t happen. Then, as now, profits and protection of nuclear business were put ahead of safety and theprotection of people.
As the Japanese government is allowing residents to return, environmental organisation Greenpeace continues to monitor radiation levels in the nuclear disaster stricken area of Fukushima.