Satellite image showing damage at Japan's Fukushima 1 Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant. 16/03/2011 Source: DigitalGlobe

A series of startling investigative reports into the Fukushima disaster have made it clear the crisis was both human-made and could have been avoided.

The question is, will the Japanese government and the wider world take heed?

A report released earlier this week from Japan's Investigation Committee on the Accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Stations was especially scathing in its findings.

It said the operator of the Fukushima reactors, TEPCO, and Japan's nuclear watchdogs were fatally complacent.

The company "mishandled its response to the crisis and nuclear regulators failed to prepare sufficient disaster-mitigation measures as they were 'overly confident' about the safety of nuclear power".

The committee also found that safety measures which could have prevented the Fukushima disaster were never implemented because TEPCO and government agencies did not believe such a disaster could happen.

Alarmingly, 16 months after the disaster, TEPCO is showing little urgency in changing its lacklustre attitude to nuclear safety.

The report found that the company is "dragging its feet in investigations and trying to understate the true damage". So where are these people's consciences?

And although this may be called the 'final' report from this committee, we should not forget that the Fukushima disaster is far from over and a lot of information is still not available.

The situation at the reactors remains so serious the committee has asked to be allowed to continue with its work.

The lethally high levels of radiation still present in the damaged reactors have prevented committee members from conducting a full analysis. They should be given all the time they need to complete their investigation.

The committee's report is the second this month to be utterly damning of the authorities' actions at Fukushima in the days and weeks following the March 11, 2011 earthquake and resulting tsunami that left nuclear plant crippled.

Earlier this month the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission, a panel of experts appointed by the Japanese parliament, blamed "TEPCO, lax government regulatory agencies, and a Japanese culture that bows to authority" for a disaster that was "profoundly man-made" and  "could and should have been foreseen and prevented".

The government, TEPCO and the nuclear regulators all failed the Japanese people.

The findings of both these reports match closely with the Lessons from Fukushima report released by Greenpeace in February.

Written by independent experts, the report "documents how the government, regulators and the nuclear industry enabled the Fukushima Daiichi disaster and then failed to protect the people from its impacts". You can read a summary of the report here.

So the lessons from Fukushima have been found, examined and documented for the world to see. The people of Japan have learned these lessons the hard way because of dangerous complacency, fatal incompetence and an unthinking bureaucracy.

The country's government on the other hand seems to think there are no lessons to be learned and continues with business as usual.

It approved the restart of two reactors at the Ohi nuclear power plant before the findings of its own committees were released. This is despite the fact that a seismic fault runs beneath Reactor 3 at Ohi, one of the reactors restarted.

The government of Japan should abandon these reactor restarts.

These investigations were not just about documenting the disaster at Fukushima, but are crucial in helping to prevent another disaster from happening anywhere else.

Japan briefly shutdown all 50 of its still standing nuclear reactors following the Fukushima disaster, but the two restarts at the Ohi nuclear plant have prematurely ended the country's nuclear-free summer.

It didn't – and doesn't – have to be this way.

It's never too late to turn away from nuclear power and embrace safe, clean and renewable alternatives. A brighter, safer future is on the horizon.

(Image: Satellite image showing damage at Fukushima 1 Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant after an earthquake and Tsunami in Japan. Source: DigitalGlobe)