Japan's recent earthquake and tsunami crisis in which the Fukushima Nuclear
Plant was deeply damaged, raised a variety of issues regarding safety
throughout the rest of the world's nuclear power plants. This disaster,
along with the severe amount of casualties and unknown effects of
contamination in the population and environment, bring up several major
questions that are directly and indirectly related to human factors.
For instance, is it possible to predict all risk factors for a nuclear power
plant? If not, is it wise for humanity to use a technology when we know that
its accidental failure can have a dangerous toll on humanity and can
contaminate the environment forever? The Fukushima Nuclear Plant Disaster
illustrates that all risk factors were unevaluated, and that the plant was
not prepared to equip any human help in the event of a nuclear accident.
There are reports of cases where the emergency workers did not even have
basic necessities in such a situation, such as boots. However a silver
lining remains in the fact that this catastrophe did not occur in a third
world country, but in one of the most advanced countries in the world:
This accident, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in Gulf of Mexico, and other
reports that many active nuclear power plants have shut down and must be
closed, reveal a deeper problem. The ravenous world hunger for energy and
the push to get it as fast as possible while ignoring possible accidents
fails to consider the long term consequences. Isn't it time to invest in
renewable energy and the long term life of our planet, rather than the short
term gains of gas or power energy companies?
The Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics International NEWS - April 2007 - Number 1