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The Questionable History Of Japan’s Power Company

— The question of whether incompetence or carelessness was a problem at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi power station in Japan got an examination on public radio’s Marketplace program this morning. What went wrong at the Japanese power plant, which has faced possible meltdowns following the earthquake, was also the subject of a blog post I wrote on Saturday.

The Marketplace piece was a Q&A (that’s what we radio folks call a host interview) with Tokyo-based reporter Rob Schmitz, who spoke about Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and its history of safety procedure violations.

Schmitz said of the power company’s safety record:

A few years ago it was forced to shut down another plant after an earthquake. At that time, TEPCO said the plant hadn't been designed to cope with such a large quake. It's also been caught falsifying nuclear safety data at least 200 times, and it's had a former president and board members step down because of those problems.

This seems to support the views of futurist/scientist David Brin, who wrote that the enormous problems, following the earthquake, were due to plant operations, not nuclear power itself.

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