Nuclear Experts Finger Japan’s Lax Safety Culture via The Wall Street Journal

TOKYO—As Japan’s nuclear-power industry struggles to regain public trust after the Fukushima Daiichi accident, a group of heavyweight international experts called on authorities to examine the role of a lax safety culture in the disaster.

“There is a significant lack of trust in the government and the (nuclear-power) operators today by the Japanese public,” said Richard Meserve, former chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, in a public hearing Saturday hosted by the government committee investigating the Fukushima disaster. “There has to be a foundation on which trust can be restored.”

In its interim report released in December, the committee uncovered a number of crucial operational mistakes made by plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. in the weeks after the huge earthquake and tsunami hit on March 11. But the foreign experts urged the committee to go beyond technical details to examine the industry’s broader approach to risk.

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