What Could Have Saved Fukushima From Its Severe Accident

[+] Author and Article Information
Kenji Iino

ASME Member, SYDROSE LP, 475 N. 1st St., San Jose, CA 95112

Ritsuo Yoshioka

Japan Functional Safety Laboratory, 3-17-24, Hino-chuou, Konan-ku, Yokohama 234-0053, Japan

Masao Fuchigami

Komatsu Ltd., 2-3-6 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8414, Japan

Masayuki Nakao

Professor, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4040570 History: Received May 05, 2017; Revised June 16, 2018


The Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011 triggered huge tsunami waves that attacked Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (Fukushima-1). Units 1, 3, and 4 had hydrogen explosions. Units 1, 2, and 3 had core meltdowns and released a large amount of radioactive material. Published investigation reports did not explain how the severity of the accident could have been prevented. We formed a study group to find what preparations at Fukushima-1 could have avoided the severity of the accident. We concluded that the severity could have been avoided if the plant had prepared a set of equipment, and had exercised actions to take against such tsunami. Necessary preparation included (1) A number of DC batteries, (2) Portable underwater pumps, (3) Portable AC generators with sufficient gasoline supply, (4) High voltage AC power trucks, and (5) Drills against extended loss of all electric power and seawater pumps. The most important preparation was item (5), i.e., to study plans and carry out exercises against huge tsunami. That alone would have identified all other necessary preparations.

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