News & Events-Learning the lessons from Fukushima and Onagwa

Featured in Nuclear Connect, Frazer Nash's nuclear business manager, Philip Rogers, looks at the lessons that can be learnt from Fukushima and Onagawa as the UK begins construction on the new generation of nuclear power plants.

With a number of nuclear new builds, such as HinkleyPointC and Wylfa, underway in the UK, there is an increased demand for engineers in the nuclear sector. To help meet this demand engineers are having to transfer from other disciplines, perhaps with little or no experience of the nuclear sector and its safety culture.

The Tohoku earthquake in 2011 resulted in the world's worst nuclear disaster in 25 years. At Fukushima the tsunami caused reactor meltdown, yet the Onagwa nuclear power plant which was much closer to the epicentre of the earthquake, was shut down safely. And due to decisions taken many years previously, no nuclear disaster occurred.

Rogers points to the importance of embedding a strong safety culture within an organisation, an operator or specific individuals can make the difference between Fukushima and Onagawa. He follows on by detailing eight principles for adopting a strong nuclear safety culture.

"There are always going to be other contributing factors to the safe operations of a nuclear power station but having a good safety culture in place goes a long way to helping ensure that you have the right foundations to minimise risks and put an organisation in the best position possible when faced with adverse situations."


The full article can be read in April's edition of Nuclear Connect.