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View Diary: Fukushima: Restoration Roadmap Released Rov #50 (187 comments)

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  •  Great catch - outstanding reporting – a must read. (9+ / 0-)

    We could use a whole lot more of that quality of work. The details about the venting problem was what really jumped out at me as well but there is plenty more in that story more than worth the read.

    I think the robots that Japan turned away must have been the ones from Areva. They sent robotics experts as well. There is no excuse for Japan turning them away.

    Japan has advanced robotics but squat in the way of hardened robots. There was a story earlier about a robotics expert who offered to design some hardened robots. Industry told him their reactors were safe so they would not be needed.

    By Kevin Krolicki, Scott DiSavino and Taro Fuse
    Immediately after the tsunami, a French firm with nuclear expertise shipped robots for use in Fukushima, a European nuclear expert said. The robots are built to withstand high radiation.

    But Japan, arguably the country with the most advanced robotics industry, stopped them from arriving in Fukishima, saying such help could only come through government channels, said the expert who asked not to be identified so as not to appear critical of Japan in a moment of crisis.

    •  "Such help could only come through government... (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Siri, oldhippie, rja, Just Bob, Wee Mama, peraspera

      channels"...  Unfortunately, this type of bureaucratic impediment to timely crisis management was identified in a study following the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995:  

      5. Reluctance to accept aid from abroad. One of the most puzzling and frustrating discoveries was the reluctance of Japanese authorities to accept assistance from foreign countries...Third, risk-averse Japanese bureaucrats resisted allowing medicines, relief personnel, dogs to locate survivors, and so forth into the country without first subjecting them to time-consuming procedures, such as the testing of drugs to account for Japanese "uniqueness," animal quarantine measures, and government licenses. Some of these requirements were later eased, but too late to make a significant difference to the victims...

      Though following that disaster, there was criticism of the government's "rigidity" and as a professor at Tokyo University stated following the 1995 earthquake, There is no systematic flexibility.  IMHO, this is a problem that's present to some degree in most governments--red tape tying up rescue attempts.  But, I hope someday that governments actually respond proactively to "lessons learned" reviews following disasters and remove the bureaucratic roadblocks before the next disaster occurs.  

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