The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex experienced a crisis after a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami occurred in Japan in 2011. The documentary by Edge (2012) explored how the tsunami led to the nuclear meltdown. The witnesses, such as fishermen at the coast, reported that an earthquake would always be followed by a tsunami. As a result, giant waves struck the plant, flooding the reactors, destroying backup generators, and causing a meltdown. The waves were twice the height of the seawall of the plant.
While workers believed that the nuclear plant was safe and secured against natural disasters, its safety measures failed. According to Edge (2012), the company operating the plant, TEPCO, had been warned about the inadequacy of its tsunami defenses by the government in 2009. In the afterthought, the plant’s design and tsunami risk assessment methods were outdated and did not comply with the best international practices.
A nuclear meltdown is considered a severe accident and a worst-case scenario resulting in core damage and radiation leak. Therefore, Japanese officials were most concerned about the consequences of the explosion and Japan’s future. Venting the radioactive gases into the atmosphere was necessary to prevent the disaster. However, without electricity, the company could not do that, and a team of workers was assigned to open venting valves manually. They were exposed to extremely high radiation levels but managed to avert the explosion.
In response to the meltdown, the government officials ordered an evacuation of the population within two miles of the plant. As the villages around Fukushima Daiichi were evacuated, the plant administration followed the prime minister’s order to vent the radioactive gases to prevent a massiveexplosion. Later, Japan’s government expanded the evacuation zone and sent a team of soldiers to help TEPCO manage the situation and avert further disastrous consequences.