Magazine / March 2012

Lessons from Fukushima

Measuring radiation in Fukushima.

Measuring radiation in Fukushima.

© Markel Redondo / Greenpeace

It has been almost 12 months since the Fukushima nuclear disaster began. Although the Great East Japan earthquake and the following tsunami triggered it, the key causes of the nuclear accident lie in the institutional failures of political influence and industry-led regulation. It was a failure of human institutions to acknowledge real reactor risks, a failure to establish and enforce appropriate nuclear safety standards and a failure to ultimately protect the public and the environment.