Disasters
Fukushima: Investigation Findings

Calling the Fukushima nuclear incident “a disaster made in Japan” caused by “a multitude of errors and willful negligence“, the official report of The Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission has been published and is available to read online.

The unexpected, unprecedented accident occurred on 11 March 2011.  Following the incident, the very first independent commission was charted by the Japanese government to investigate the event.  It took just six months from appointing the team to the publication of the full report detailing what happened, why it happened and summarising the learning so far.

The headline findings are very interesting because they are bound up in the cultural norms of the society in which the incident occurred.  In this case, ” our reflexive obedience; our reluctance to question authority; our devotion to ‘sticking with the program’; our groupism; and our insularity.

This reminds us of incidents such as the Challenger disaster where the culture and the norms and the peer pressures came massively into play.

The reminder to us all is that our norms – or  our culture or our very way of doing things every day – are the basis of all our activities.  In most cases we, as Business Continuity Planners, already know the issues that might cause our organisations systemic problems.  The question is, what are you going to do about it?

Of course, one of the major issues with publishing a report so soon is that none of the longer term effects or learning is captured.  We hope this report is revisited every year or two for the foreseeable future.

You can read the entire report here.

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