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“Realistic safety debate not nuke sector, regulator forte” via the Japan Times Online

Nearly 10 years after Tokyo Electric Power Co. first assured the government the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant was safe from any tsunami, regulators were just getting around to checking out the claim. The move was too little, too late.

But even if there had been scrutiny years before the fury of the earthquake-powered wave swamped the six atomic reactors at the power plant on March 11, it is almost certain the government wouldn’t have challenged the unrealistic analysis that Tepco had submitted in 2001. A review of the nation’s approach to nuclear plant safety shows how closely intertwined relationships between government regulators and industry have allowed a culture of complacency to prevail.

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