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Independent unaccountability: the IAEA's "step backward" in regulating international nuclear reactor safety in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi Disaster.


In the wake of a twenty-three foot tsunami, the leveling of towns along the northeastern coast of Japan dominated international media attention, rather than the looming nuclear crisis, which persists and may make the area uninhabitable for decades. (1) Once the world realized the severity of the nuclear accident, dozens of nations responded by reevaluating their own nuclear safety policies. (2) In June 2011, following the events at Fukushima Daiichi, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) met to draft a safety plan for nuclear power plants worldwide; however, the draft adopted in September 2011, failed to assert sufficient policy changes necessary to safeguard citizens living near nuclear power plants. (3) When national regulatory bodies and operating organizations fail to self-govern plant operations adequately, an international force must provide oversight and protect populations and the environment from exposure to deadly radiation. (4)

This Note will argue that the IAEA must mandate independent internationally-based inspections of nuclear reactors in order to prevent an incident similar to the Fukushima meltdown, because member states' governments and operating organizations continue to fail to safeguard citizens from nuclear disasters. (5) Part II of this Note describes the incident at the Fukushima Daiichi Reactor and its implications on international nuclear safety regulation. (6) Part III of this Note discusses the recent history of international regulation of nuclear safety and the failures of member-state oversight. (7) Part IV of this Note will analyze the absence of significant changes in nuclear safety regulations since the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown, the importance of international oversight because of incompetence of national governments to regulate nuclear power separately, and propose a new legally-binding regulation, The Fukushima Convention. (8) In conclusion, Part V provides necessary policy regulations for substantial prevention of another occurrence, particularly given the advanced age and poor condition of many nuclear power plants around the world. (9)


A. The Meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Reactor

1. The Tsunami and the Meltdown

At 14:46 Japan Standard Time (JST) on March 11, 2011, a rupture of a subduction zone area spanning 400 kilometers (km) in length and 200 km in width produced a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, resulting in a series of tsunami over 8 meters (m) tall crashing into the northeastern region of Japan known as Tohoku. (10) The tsunami caused severe damage to a group of nuclear power plants (plant) lining the Tohoku shores setting a chain of cataclysmic events into motion at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. (11) When the Japanese government initially granted the plant's operating license in 1971, engineers designed the flood barriers at the Fukushima Daiichi plant to withstand a 3.1 m tsunami. (12) In 2002, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) improved the barriers to withstand a 5.7 m wave; however, the plant sustained a 14 m tsunami. (13) The inundation of seawater of the entire Fukushima Daiichi plant disabled the entire seawater pump system, all six off-site power lines, and twelve of the thirteen emergency diesel generators (EDG). (14) The loss of virtually all power at the six facilities at Fukushima Daiichi caused all safety measures to fail, resulting in the rise of the core temperatures. (15)

With no safety systems and no method of cooling reactor temperatures, the fuel rods became exposed; core temperatures continued to rise, eventually reaching the melting point; and all of the fuel rods in Unit 1 and part of the fuel rods in Unit 2 and Unit 3 slumped to the bottom of the containment vessel. (16) As the fuel rods began to melt, the zirconium-based cladding tubes oxidized because of a chemical reaction between the tubes and the water vapor producing highly flammable hydrogen causing explosions at units 1, 3, and 4, which released radioactive material into the atmosphere. (17) TEPCO had shutdown Units 5 and 6 several months before the incident for maintenance, resulting in much lower heat decay temperatures at the time of power failure; coupled with the availability of an emergency diesel generator at Unit 6, the units reached cold shutdown on March 20, 2011, without needing to vent. (18)

In addition to the six reactors, Fukushima Daiichi plant houses seven spent fuel pools (SFPs), and while these fuel rods no longer provide sufficient fission, they can still cause the pools to boil the coolant and deplete water levels below the top of active fuel. (19) The explosions at Units 1, 3, and 4 exposed the SFPs, thereby allowing aerial access to the pools and use of water cannons and helicopters to ensure that the rods remained submerged. (20) While the explosions left the pools uncovered, the spent fuel rods never boiled the coolant to the point of exposing the rods. (21)

2. Pre-incident Preparations

a. Building designs, location, and strength of defense-in-depth strategy

While considering the extreme conditions within the plants and unprecedented nature of the seismic activity, the IAEA report on the meltdown concluded that the safety culture and defense-in-depth strategy lacked sufficient preparation for tsunami hazards. (22) Without adequate seawall barriers, failure occurred in structures, systems, and components in multiple plant facilities. (23) The report charges the IAEA itself and domestic regulatory organizations to incorporate the lessons learned from the incidents following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. (24)

b. Weak Preparations

Despite increasing the seawall barrier to withstand a 5.7 m tsunami in 2002, reports indicate that TEPCO knew that a devastating tsunami could strike the Fukushima Daiichi plant making even the 2002 improvements insufficient. (25) Inspections of the plant and its emergency preparedness revealed that insufficient emergency measures compounded the nuclear crisis. (26) Furthermore, investigations into the accident showed that, despite warnings, TEPCO failed to take any preventative actions against a potential tsunami immediately following the 9.0 magnitude earthquake. (27)

c. TEPCO's Liability

As the operation organization of the Fukushima Daiichi plant, TEPCO must compensate those affected by the meltdown, and reports indicate liability of approximately [yen] 4.54 trillion. (28) The Japanese government set no liability limit for the damage caused by TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi plant. (29) The government further authorized [yen] 1.01 trillion in financial support to aid TEPCO in compensating victims of the meltdown. (30)

3. Impact on Japan and the World

The nuclear fallout from the accident resulted in disastrous effects upon the Japanese populous and environment, as well as a ripple effect across the economies of Japan and other states. (31) The radiation emitted by the meltdown displaced local citizens, polluted the regional environment, and caused Japanese officials to ban food produced in the Tohoku region. (32) The meltdown not only affected the health and welfare of the citizens of Japan, but also affected the economic status of Japan in the world. (33)

a. Human Impact

In the wake of the tsunami and earthquake, the Tohoku Region of Japan lay devastated with over 28,000 people dead or missing. (34) In addition to the natural destruction to the area, many residents throughout Honshu worried about exposure to radiation leading some foreign residents to leave the country. (35) At the epicenter of the meltdown, approximately 80,000 people lived within the 20 km radius of the reactors, causing many to move to shelters. (36)

In addition to the human tragedies and risk of radiation exposure, the Fukushima Daiichi plant continued to pollute the environment throughout the Tohoku region. (37) Unsafe levels of radiation in numerous foods led Japan to inspect food for contamination throughout the food chain. (38) Furthermore, the leak in Unit 2 and its continual contamination of the Pacific Ocean concerns many residents about the damaged reactor's effect on the Japanese diet. (39) After the meltdown, radiation levels rose considerably around the world, including in the United States. (40)

b. Economic Impact

While the meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi caused extensive human and environmental harms, the ramifications of the meltdown gravely affected Japan's economy. (41) Many companies, such as automakers and electronics manufacturers, suspended production. (42) The areas around the damaged plant reported an unemployment rate ten to thirteen times higher than the region's rate of unemployment one year prior to the accident. (43) The economic disruption eventually led Moody's Investors Service to lower Japan's credit rating in August 2011. (44)

B. Japan's Nuclear Awareness and Opaque Governance

1. The Tokaimura Incident

While the Fukushima meltdown ranks as one of the worst plant accidents, another nuclear accident occurred at a uranium processing facility in Tokaimura, Japan in 1999, resulting in hospitalization of three workers and radiation exposure to several others. (45) The workers attempted to mix 16 kg of uranium with nitric acid despite the existence of a 2.4 kilograms safety limit. (46) The employees lacked certification to handle such dangerous and volatile substances and Japanese Nuclear Fuel Conversion Co. (JCO), the operating private company, instituted an operations manual in direct violation of government regulations. (47)

The company's action compounded the injuries by preparing written reports instead of notifying emergency responders, contacting city official an hour after the accident rather than appropriate responders, and failing to warn firefighters of the risk of radioactive exposure. (48) The company had no response plan and the president admitted they had not even considered the occurrence of such an accident. (49)

2. Tradition of Information Concealment

In order to prevent embarrassment and stock losses, companies and the Japanese government limit disclosure of accidents and scandals across many industries. (50) The history of nuclear energy provides numerous examples of opaque reports regarding radiation leakage. (51) The actions of oversight bodies and operating organizations following the Tokaimura and Fukushima accidents demonstrate Japan's nuclear accident default "reassure-at-all-costs" mode of minimization. (52) An independent-investigative-governmental committee illuminated the intermingling among Japan's nuclear regulatory body, Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), and the privately owned plants during a series of symposiums arranged to manipulate public opinion between 2005 and 2008. (53) While the accident at Fukushima Daiichi placed Japan and TEPCO under the nuclear microscope, corporate and governmental practices around the world mirror those in Japan. (54)

C. Prior Nuclear Accidents

Accidents have been prevalent throughout the history of modern society using nuclear energy. (55) Lax regulations coupled with profit-driven motives of operating organizations have substantially contributed to many nuclear accidents. (56) The infamous accidents at Three-Mile Island in Pennsylvania and Chernobyl in the Ukraine provide predecessor examples of corporate and governmental minimization and concealment of accidents. (57) At Chernobyl, operators forced the reactor to undergo unusual strain resulting in a massive hydrogen explosion dispersing radiation throughout the world. (58) Other minor accidents parallel the type of failed oversight or potentially negligent operational actions, such as a dangerous practice for storing spent fuel rods at the Milestone plant in Connecticut. (59)


A. National Regulation

Political theorists such as Thucydides, Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Rousseau recognized the importance of anarchy in international relations and law, particularly when sovereign states retain authority to act unencumbered by the regulations of other states and international bodies. (60) Despite being members of international organizations, like the IAEA, Member States maintain their sovereignty to regulate within their borders through agencies created to provide oversight of the relevant industry. (61) Domestic regulatory agencies fall into three main categories: independent regulatory bodies who oversee private power plants; subservient regulatory bodies who also oversee private power plants, but fall under ministries concerned with nuclear power promotion; and regulatory bodies that oversee state-run power plants. (62)

1. United States Regulation

a. History and Purpose of Regulatory Bodies

In 1946, the United States established its first nuclear regulatory body by forming the Atomic Energy Commission (USAEC), and amended it in 1956 creating a legal framework for subsequent nuclear installation regulations. (63) Concern regarding potential influence by the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) led Congress to dissolve the USAEC and establish the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC), an independent agency charged with safety and licensing, and the United States Energy Research and Development Administration (USERDA), a division of the USDOE concerning government-sponsored nuclear activities. (64) The United States has joined many of the IAEA treaties concerning plant safety, and U.S. law grants the USNRC authority to inspect and license plants. (65) The USNRC places the burden on the operating organizations to "take prompt corrective action!' where a safety problem exists but, if necessary, the USNRC will take "enforcement action." (66)

b. Modifications and Proposals since Fukushima

In response to the incident at Fukushima Daiichi, the USNRC commissioned a task force to reevaluate several policies concerning nuclear safety requirements. (67) The task force proposed that the USNRC establish a "logical, systematic, and coherent regulatory framework." (68) The task force recommended considering seismic and flood-based crises in future license applications, however, the United States faces a different set of external forces, typically high winds and large fires, requiring the task force to consider these risks as well. (69) The task force further recommended reinforced venting systems in order to prevent hydrogen explosions such as those experienced at Fukushima Daiichi. (70)

2. Japanese Regulation

Japan first established its guidelines for nuclear regulation in 1955, under the Atomic Energy Basic Act, which aimed to further peaceful nuclear research and promote nuclear safety. (71) The Atomic Energy Basic Act also created the Atomic Energy Commission (JPAEC) and the Nuclear Safety Commission (JPNSC) tasked with observing and regulating plants as well as ensuring public safety and disclosing hazards to the public. (72) Following the Tokaimura accident, Japan promulgated several new legislative acts and reorganized its nuclear regulation by moving JPAEC to the Cabinet Office and establishing NISA. (73) The existing structure of Japanese nuclear regulation places entrepreneurial goals in the same office as safety regulators. (74)

3. European Union

The individual nations of the European Union (EU) established their own domestic nuclear regulatory bodies; in 2007, however, the EU founded the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG) to ensure nuclear safety, waste management, and transparency. (75) Following ENSREG's establishment, the regulatory body created a legally binding instrument, and in 2009, ENSREG and the European Parliament approved the Nuclear Safety Directive. (76) While Member States may implement more stringent requirements, ENSREG requires that all EU Member States comply with the requirements imposed by ENSREG and the IAEA's Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS). (77) Despite EU-wide requirements, ENSREG provides mere guidance to EU Member States; in fact, many of these conventions merely provide a "framework" similar to the guidelines of the Plan, without EC-wide regulators. (78)

B. International Regulation

Current nuclear safety standards and conventions lack a cohesive international regulatory system. (79) The IAEA promulgated several conventions and treaty, such as the CNS, however, many of these rely upon implementation and regulation by national governments. (80) In addition to the IAEA, the International Nuclear Regulators Association (INRA) exists as a small independent group of regulators meeting periodically to discuss collective strategies and concerns. (81)

1. The IAEA

Following the unveiling of nuclear fission in the 1930s and 1940s, scientists began to construct plants to provide energy for peaceful purposes. (82) In 1957, the United Nations founded an international "Atoms for Peace" organization, called the International Atomic Energy Agency, and charged it with fostering the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes. (83) The IAEA strengthened its regulatory powers in 1994 with the promulgation of the Convention on Nuclear Safety, which establishes recommended nuclear safety standards for Member States but lacks systems for verification or penalties for non-compliance. (84)

2. The IAEA Draft Action Plan on Nuclear Security

In June 2011, following the incidents at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, the IAEA convened a ministerial conference to investigate methods of strengthening nuclear safety, emergency preparedness, and radiation protection worldwide. (85) The Draft Action Plan (Plan) states that its purpose is to define a policy that strengthens nuclear safety and that its success depends upon implementation by Member States. (86) The Plan focuses on twelve issues arising from the meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi and how the international community should take steps to address the problems. (87)

a. Outside Inspections, Regulatory Reforms, Operation Oversight

The Draft IAEA Action Plan "strongly encourage[s]" voluntary peer reviews of Member States' plants on a regular basis to ensure the implementation of lessons learned from Fukushima Daiichi. (88) The Plan calls for Member States to strengthen the effectiveness of their national regulatory bodies by conducting internal reviews of their policies and procedures regarding independence, adequacy of resources, and appropriateness of technical support. (89) Focusing on the first line of defense at most plants, the Draft IAEA Action Plan attempts to strengthen the effectiveness of operating organizations regarding nuclear safety by providing assistance "upon request," voluntarily hosting operational review teams, and enhancing information exchange with the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO). (90)

b. Key Elements of Reviews

The Plan sets out several key elements for reviews and safety improvements. (91) It seeks to "encourage" Member States to implement the various treaties and conventions regarding nuclear safety and work on establishing a global liability regime for nuclear damage claims. (92) Examining methods to prevent and mitigate the impact of nuclear accidents on humans and the environment, the Plan encourages Member States to use techniques and "expertise" to remove damaged nuclear fuel safely while monitoring potential radiation exposure. (93) In an effort to better notify emergency responders, residents, officials, and other organizations promptly and effectively, the Plan calls for enhanced transparency, fluid transnational information sharing, and continued reporting and awareness of the Fukushima Daiichi accident. (94)

C. Liability for Nuclear Disasters

I. IAEA Standards for Civil Liability

In an effort to create a unified liability scheme, The Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (Vienna Convention) was entered into force in 1977. (95) The Vienna Convention imposes strict liability standards on operating organizations in Member States, holding operators liable for contamination and damage caused by their plants. (96) The Vienna Convention also places a liability minimum of USD $5 million on the operator, but no upper cap. (97) Additionally, the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) established the Paris Convention on Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy (Paris Convention) in 1964, which imposes similar standards for nuclear-related liability; the United States and Japan, however, are not signatories. (98)

2. Liability Regulations in Member States

While the IAEA and NEA provide standards for nuclear liability, each Member State established domestic standards and caps. (99) The United States, a signatory to neither convention, employs a liability cap scheme in order to lessen the "detriment" to privately operated plants. (100) Japan holds operators "infinite[ly] liable" and requires an upfront deposit of [yen] 120 million--approximately USD $1.5 million--to secure the license for operation, (101) Most of the EU states are signatories to the Paris Convention, the Vienna Convention, or both, and liability caps vary state to state. (102)


By placing the responsibility on nations and corporations, the IAEA has decided not to modify its regulations significantly in response to the Fukushima incident. (103) The meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, the Tokaimura accident, and the history of nuclear power accidents throughout the world demonstrate a need for international oversight concerning plant operations. (104) Due to internal political forces and conflicting policy goals, national governments lack the ability to provide the proper oversight of plant operators. (105) Unlike many territorially limited state actions, which rightfully require preservation of territorial sovereignty, states are separately incompetent to regulate nuclear power safety. (106)

A. The Deficiencies of National Regulations

1. Lobbyists and Political Power

The incestuous relationships between regulatory bodies, legislative bodies, and lobbying groups hinder the ability of oversight bodies to hold operators affirmatively accountable without the fear of political backlash. (107) When politicians and regulators fear their own political future, they refrain from engaging in perceived risky behavior. (108) In fact, Prime Minister Kan faced significant resistance from Japan's most powerful corporate lobby following the Fukushima meltdown for his stance of limiting Japan's dependence on nuclear power. (109) In addition, the interaction between regulators and corporate goals leads to misinformation and deception. (110) An international body such as the IAEA must take action because this institutional fear and placating inhibits the ability of nations to draft and implement appropriate regulations. (111)

2. Flaws in Regulations

Many national laws and regulations fail to require adequate protections against nuclear accidents because of the interplay between the regulators and the operators' lobbyists. (112) The Tokaimura accident provides an example of such deficiency, as the employees charged with mixing uranium lacked any training and national regulation failed to require such. (113)

The regulatory procedures in the United States allowed the Yankee plant in Vermont to receive a renewed license despite the Vermont Legislature's demands for operators to shut down the aged plant. (114) The United States task force providing recommendations in light of the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown addresses many of the problems encountered and the preparations necessary for prevention at U.S. plants. (115) Despite the earnest nature of this report and notwithstanding the issues of actual promulgation of regulations mentioned above, regulators must enforce these nuclear power safety regulations in order to prevent nuclear incidents. (116)

3. Flaws in Enforcement

Despite the enactment of laws and regulations, the incidents at Tokaimura and Milestone provide examples of absentee oversight. (117) The Tokaimura accident provides a prime example of the effects of corporate disregard of regulations. (118) JCO installed appropriate means to mix uranium using a system of pipes that regulated the flow, and the regulatory commission approved the operation of the plant based upon the system; once the plant received approval, governmental oversight became nonexistent. (119) Lack of government oversight enabled the company to institute a deadly policy, in an effort to cut costs and remain competitive. (120) While the ultimate cause of the events at Tokaimura were corporate priorities of cost-efficiency, leading to deadly practices, government absenteeism tacitly allowed JCO to operate in such a dangerous manner. (121)

The United States also faces issues involving lax enforcement. (122) Despite the USNRC's knowledge of regulatory violations, the administrative body chose not to enforce the proper protocol. (123) These actions signaled to all that the USNRC lacked interest in enforcement and protection of workers on the front lines of danger Moreover, a plant fired an employee who reported a regulatory violation and the nuclear energy industry then blacklisted the employee. (124) The U.S. policy of placing the burden on operating organizations as the primary method of ensuring safety contradicts the actions of the regulators and penalties for reporting violations in the Milestone incident. (125) Despite the lessons learned from these prior disasters, criticism of regulatory-attributed costs prevail and many regulations fail to meet their goals. (126)

B. Ramifications of the Current Policies

As the history of nuclear accidents demonstrates, the ramifications of one failure to regulate or enforce a law may result in poisoning of the environment and the food chain, rendering an area permanently uninhabitable, and paralyzing an economy. (127) Accidents arise from disregard for warnings, violations of safety rules, and implementation of high-risk reactors. (128) In order to limit these accidents, the IAEA must enforce mandatory outside inspections to limit a nation or company's ability to conceal the full impact of an incident. (129)

1. Disasters of the Past

Examining the disasters of the past, the failures of regulations and cost-cutting measures have resulted in major nuclear disasters. (130) The accidents at Chernobyl and Three-Mile Island brought positive change to the international nuclear safety community. (131) Nonetheless, the problems of weak regulations and enforcement continue to plague the industry. (132)

2. Blatant Disregard: When Regulators Fail to Oversee

National regulations cannot provide sufficient protection if regulators will not enforce domestic laws, placing nations and the world at risk, and workers fear for their jobs if they notice regulatory violations. (133) The incidents at Tokaimura demonstrated the willingness of operating organizations to disregard regulations, placing workers, respondents, local citizens, and the environment at risk of exposure to deadly radiation. (134) By contrast, the Milestone incident did not result in any physical injuries, but signaled to workers that their attempts to address issues of noncompliance would cause them to become blacklisted. (135) These actions demonstrate that states are separately incompetent to enforce regulations and ensure nuclear power safety. (136)

3. Insufficient Measures

Although Tokaimura and Milestone provide examples of operator malfeasance and disregard for regulations, the disaster at Fukushima Daiichi arose from a state of unpreparedness, despite warnings. (137) TEPCO ignored warnings from a 2006 report that the seawall provided insufficient protection against a tsunami threat and TEPCO deemed the report "experimental," only amounting to a "small" possibility. (138) Notwithstanding its decision to disregard the risk, TEPCO squandered valuable time between the earthquake and tsunami because the plant lacked sufficient emergency preparedness procedures and equipment. (139) The low-altitude placement of the Fukushima EDGs that powered the coolant systems and seawater pumps compounded the deficiency of the seawall, because subterranean storage left the plant without a "dry site" for emergency operations. (140) These problems faced by Fukushima demonstrate a need for outside inspections because though the IAEA standards for plant operation require a dry site for plants susceptible to flooding, the Japanese regulatory requirements incorrectly assumed against logic and information that preserving the "dry site" only required protection from a 3.1 m tsunami. (141)

C. The Need for Stern International Oversight

Without international oversight, corporate operators will continue to take actions that endanger human lives and threaten economic stability. (142) The international community must provide an objective view on domestic law and implementation in an effort to counter the power and influence of corporate lobbyists. (143) A lack of transparency and the concealment of actual exposure levels place local residents, food sources, and habitability at risk, demonstrating that the IAEA must independently monitor the radiation exposure from plants. (144) Furthermore, most plants operate as a business and the best method of ensuring safety compliance lies in striking at the corporate heart, its bottom line, and the international community must ensure that operators' financial lives hinge on preparedness and compliance. (145) The current actions of the IAEA have failed to provide sufficient solutions. (146)

1. "A Step Backwards"

In the wake of the Fukushima meltdown, the IAEA failed to create a policy requiring member states to submit to impartial internationally organized oversight of their plants and storage facilities. (147) The language of the Plan merely requires that Member States voluntarily submit to inspections and implement the lessons learned from the Fukushima meltdown, placing the burden on national regulators to guarantee operators' adherence to safety protocols. (148) Placing the burden on Member States to comply voluntarily with regulations consistently fails to ensure reasonable levels of safety in the nuclear industry. (149) The history of nuclear power demonstrates that, without mandatory, periodic, and independent international inspections, the dependence on national regulators provides insufficient safeguards. (150) The IAEA serves as the oldest and best-established international atomic regulatory body, and this body must take the proper steps to hold its Member States accountable for the operation of plants within their borders. (151)

2. The Need for Transparency and Open Warning Systems

One of the most dangerous aspects of oversight failures manifests in the refusal of operating organizations to promptly inform the local populous and the outside world of the existence of a nuclear accident, because it exposes humans to deadly radiation. (152) At Chernobyl, officials did not evacuate populations until two weeks after the accident. (153) During the Tokaimura accident, officials spent the time immediately following the accident preparing paperwork and did not notify city officials or responders until hours later. (154) Despite several decades of experience and the passage of stricter regulations, TEPCO downplayed the severity of the situation at Fukushima Daiichi, waiting until days after the incident to increase the crisis rating to match Chernobyl's. (155) The course of nuclear reactor history strongly supports the need for mandatory international observation of plant radiation levels because national regulatory committees fall victim to nationalistic and corporate denial. (156) The IAEA Draft Action Plan only vaguely addresses guidelines for establishing transparency; going forward, however, IAEA must create defined standards, independently monitor plants, and regularly inspect plants in Member States. (157)

3. Hitting Companies Where It Counts: The Power of the Purse

Government-imposed limits on liability for nuclear damage allow companies to take short cuts which have led to nuclear accidents or exacerbated those caused by natural disasters. (158) The Tokaimura incident crippled JCO financially and Fukushima may inflict the same penalties on TEPCO because of Japan's absence of liability caps. (159) The Japanese government seems poised to bail out TEPCO, which is on the brink of bankruptcy, even though the energy company has not accepted an agreement to reform policies in return for financial assistance. (160) The IAEA should establish a binding liability scheme because the threat of catastrophic financial loss may provide the appropriate means of pressuring plants to conform to safety regulations. (161) Independent, external international regulations must hold operating organizations accountable for civil damages and dissuade national regulatory committees from limiting liability and providing corporate bailouts in order to reinforce ramifications for nuclear power safety failures. (162)

D. The Fukushima Convention: A Step Forward

The IAEA must create standards that compel member states to allow external inspections in order to limit the potential of an incident like Fukushima or Chernobyl from reoccurring. (163) The proposed IAEA treaty or convention must discard precatory language such as "strongly encourage" or "upon request," and replace it with "shall" in order to convey unambiguous regulatory mandates. (164) Rather than the voluntary proposal in the Plan, a future treaty should require specific inspection timeframes, such as biannual inspections conducted by an international delegation of experts. (165) The IAEA should also create definite guidelines for reassessing national regulatory commissions, including a reevaluation of preparedness and probabilities of likely natural disasters. (166)

This IAEA convention should also address the incestuous relationships between regulators, politicians, and corporate lobbyists. (167) The Draft Action Plan states that operating organizations provide the first, and best, line of defense against accidents; however, Tokaimura and Milestone demonstrate the inability of operators to self-regulate and report. (168) Such a convention must bar the intermingling and influence of lobbyists, such as prohibiting regulators or legislative advisors from lobbying politicians for five years after leaving such positions. (169)

This convention should also address the need for international transparency because radiation leaks affect more than the sovereign territory of one state and history indicates that operators regularly elect to conceal the true extent, or even occurrence, of an accident. (170) The IAEA must require operating organizations to allow independent monitoring of radiation levels and core temperatures at plants because local citizenry cannot rely on operators to disclose nuclear reactor damage, as seen in Fukushima, Chernobyl, and other nuclear incidents. (171) The Plan sets out to implement standardized warning systems, but lacks a finite timetable; the proposed treaty should require compliance by 2013. (172)

Finally, this future convention should establish an unlimited liability scheme for plants, such as the Japanese regulations, to strike fear in operators' corporate hearts. (173) The implication of unlimited liability should remove the possibility of corporate bailouts, such as the one that Japan provided to TEPCO in order to prevent corporate bankruptcy. (174) In the immediate term, the IAEA should push the United States and Japan to sign the Vienna Convention or Paris Convention, using the tragedy of the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown to illuminate the gravity of nuclear disasters. (175) Unfortunately, national politics demonstrate the limited memory of both nations, as each recently abandoned their denuclearization policies. (176)


In the wake of the tragedy along the northeastern coast of Japan, the world needs to work together to ensure that political gains and capital earnings do not come at the cost of human lives. The triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Plant provides a harsh reminder that shortcuts and limited oversight will eventually result in disaster. History demonstrates that when a state is incompetent to regulate the ramifications of its actions beyond its borders, an outside system must ensure compliance. At this moment, the nuclear power states should join in agreement to allow independent audits and transparent reports to prevent the regulatory shortfalls of Tokaimura, Milestone, Chernobyl, and Fukushima from occurring again. The language of this convention should provide precise legally-binding requirements. While one may view this international mandate as potentially applicable to other disaster prevention treaties, nuclear accidents constitute unique dangers that threaten habitability of the Earth. In December 2012, the IAEA will hold a ministerial conference on nuclear safety in Fukushima, Japan, and at that time, the representatives of the Member States should discard the precatory language of the IAEA Draft Action Plan, determine precise regulatory goals, and create an in dependent international regulatory body to oversee all plants worldwide under the proposed Fukushima Convention.

(1.) See Lucy Birmingham, Japan Rocked by Magnitude 8.9 Quake, Tsunami, TIME, Mar. 11, 2011,,8599,2058391,00.html (describing destruction of Miyagi and tsunami wave in Fukushima prefecture); Howard Chua-Eoan, How to Stop a Nuclear Meltdown, TIME, Mar. 12, 2011, http://www.,8599,2058615,00.html (illustrating "double whammy" of 8.9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami); 'Radiation' land is uninhabitable, SUNDAY HERALD (Glasgow, U.K.), Aug. 28, 2011 (reporting areas around Fukushima Daiichi Plant will be uninhabitable for decades).

(2.) See e.g., Events in Japan Reignite Debate in U.S., PUR UTILITY REG. NEWS, 4015 PUR Util. Reg. News 3, Apr. 8, 2011 (detailing resurgence of American hostility to nuclear power); Thousands protest against Germany's nuclear plants, BBC, Mar. 12, 2011, (reporting over 60,000 people turned out to protest in Germany concerning nuclear risks).

(3.) See IAEA Dir. Gen., Draft IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, GOV/2011/ 59-GC(55)/14 (Sept. 5, 2011) [hereinafter DRAFT ACTION PLAN] (setting forth IAEA's policy following Fukushima incident); Fredrik Dahl, UPDATE 3--IAEA states adopt nuclear safety action plan, REUTERS, Sept. 13, 2011, http://www.reuters. com/article/2011/09/13/nuclear-safety-iaea-idUSL5E7KD11Y20110913 (reporting many member states believe Plan constitutes "step backward").

(4.) See U.N. faults Japan for Weak Crisis Prep, KYODO, Sept. 16, 2011, http:// (reporting U.N. officials determined Japan's self-assessment of reactors inadequate); Dahl, supra note 3 (discussing need for mandatory outside inspections).

(5.) See infra Part V (stating failed national oversight and corporate safety policies provide inadequate protection against nuclear disasters).

(6.) See infra Part II (describing events of Fukushima Daiichi Reactor disaster and IAEA's Action Plan for future safety regulations).

(7.) See infra Part III (surveying recent nuclear incidents and how limited oversight and transparency led to their occurrence).

(8.) See infra Part IV (assessing need for mandatory international inspections and lack of change in policy despite Fukushima); see also JAMES MADISON, THE PAVERS OV JAMES MADISON 1221 (Henry D. Gilpin ed. 1840) (presenting resolution that Congress should act where "States are separately incompetent").

(9.) See infra Part V (concluding without stronger measures from IAEA, risk of Fukushima-like incidents stands unchanged).

(10.) See Int'l Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA], The Great East Japan Earthquake Expert Mission: IAEA International Fact Finding Expert Mission of the Fukushima Daiichi NPP Accident Following the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami 19 (June 16, 2011) [hereinafter Expert Mission] available at MTCD/Meetings/PDFplus/2011/cn200/documentation/cn200 Final-Fukushima-Mission_Report.pdf (describing seismic activity resulting in March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami). The magnitude 9.0 earthquake occurred at 38.1N and 142.9E, approximately 130 km south-southeast off the coast of the Ojika Peninsula. Id. The earthquake created large tsunamis reaching heights of 8.5 m in Miyako, 9.3 m in Soma, and 38.9 m in Aneyoshi, the maximum height of the tsunami. Id.

(11.) See Expert Mission, supra note 10 at 19-20, 23 fig.1.1 (describing layout of reactors, their capacity, and their location from epicenter). The northern-most reactor, Higashi Dori, lies near the northern tip of Honshu, the main island of Japan, Onagawa Plant, approximately 53 km east of Sendai, Fukushima Daiichi Plant and Fukushima Daini Plant, approximately 220 km northeast of Tokyo, and Tokai Daini Plant, approximately 115 km northeast of Tokyo. Id. at 23 fig.1.1. While Ongawa Plant's location places it closest to the epicenter, the plant successfully reached cold shutdown after the tsunami. Id. at 22 tbl.1.2.

(12.) See Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters, Report of the Japanese Government to the IAEA Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety--The Accident at TEPCO's Fukushima Nuclear Power Stations 5 (2011)[hereinafter Report by Japan to IAEA], available at (comparing barrier constricted at Fukushima Daiichi with height of post-tsunami water levels). The nuclear regulatory agency relied on the assumption that protection from 3.1 m tsunamis would sufficiently protect the power plant from inundation. Id.

(13.) See Expert Mission, supra note 10 at 78 (discussing insufficiency of TEPCO's modifications). The Japan Society of Civil Engineers reassessed the plant's risk of damage from tsunamis and proposed that TEPCO raise the barriers to withstand a maximum water level height of 5.7 m water level. Id. at 75.

(14.) Id. at 31 (detailing loss of EDGs); Report by Japan to IAEA, supra note 12 at 5 (describing submersion of seawater pumps and EDGs by seawater). The tsunami exceeded design basis at all facilities resulting

in submersion of seawater pump facilities used to cool auxiliary systems and EDGs used to provide auxiliary power to the facilities. Id. Report by Japan to IAEA, supra note 12 at 5; Expert Mission, supra note 10, at 29. Only one air-cooled EDG at Unit 6, located above the tsunami water level, continued to function and provided power to Unit 5's critical systems. Expert Mission, supra note 13, at 35.

(15.) See Expert Mission, supra note 10, at 30 & 35 (chronicling impact of loss of power on nuclear reactor cores at Fukushima Daiichi) All AC power, 125 volt (V) direct current (DC) batteries at Units 1 and 2 and EDGs failed to provide power to all safety and non-safety systems, instrumentation and other control systems due to submersion. Id. at 30. Unit 3 retained some lighting and controls until its DC batteries lost their charge. Id. Units 5 and 6's location provides better protection from tsunami, due to their higher elevation and distance from Units 1-4. Id. at 35. While Unit 5 lost all of its EDGs because of flooding, one air-cooled EDG at Unit 6 remained functional because the water level did not exceed the height of its air intake louvers, Id. By March 12, 2011, emergency crewmembers successfully provided AC power to Unit 5 from the functional EDG at Unit 6, allowing emergency systems to inject coolant into Unit 5's core and on March 20, 2011, the core reached cold shutdown levels. Id.

(16.) See Expert Mission, supra note 10, at 34-35 (chronicling damage to nuclear reactor cores at Units 1-3). Due to the loss of instruments during the incident, TEPCO relied upon a simulation of the damage to the core based upon the Modular Accident Analysis Programme (MAAP) code; therefore, these figures are estimations of core behavior. Id. at 34. Once core coolant levels dropped below the TAF, the exposed fuel rods became damaged. Id. at 34. Approximately fifteen hours after the power failure the fuel slumped to the bottom of Unit l's vessel. Id. at 34. Based on available information and seawater injection rates, the coolant levels remained above TAF as long as the reactor core isolation cooling (RCIC) system remained functional; however once the RCIC failed reactor coolant levels fell below bottom of active fuel (BAF) levels and core temperatures rapidly increased resulting in slumping of reactor fuel. Id. The available information for Unit 3 indicates that reactor water levels remained at 3 m below TAF allowing the core to reach melting point. Id. at 34-35. The crews discovered a pool of melted fuel at the bottom of Unit 3; however, the pool was smaller than the one discovered at Unit 1. Id. at 35.

(17.) See Report by Japan to IAEA, supra note 12, at 8-9 (describing process of hydrogen creation and build-up resulting in subsequent explosions); see also Expert Mission, supra note 10, at 32-33 (chronicling sequence leading to explosions at Units 1, 3 and 4). As operators attempted to relieve core pressure by venting the steam created in the heated reactor core, the oxidization of the cladding produced hydrogen that escaped to the outer containment unit. Expert Mission, supra note 10, at 32; Report by Japan to IAEA, supra note 12, at 9. The explosions severely damaged these buildings and "a lot of radiation material were discharged to the atmosphere." Report by Japan to IAEA, supra note 12, at 9. Additionally, an explosion occurred in Unit 2 presumably near the suppression chamber. Id.

(18.) See Expert Mission, supra note 10, at 35 (discussing state of Units 5 and 6 prior to and following power and safety systems failure). TEPCO had shut down Unit 5 in January 2011 and Unit 6 in August 2010. Id. Despite lower heat decay temperatures at the time of total system failure, operators needed to cool the cores of Units 5 and 6 to prevent overheating of the inactive fuel rods stored in the generators. Id. Operators successfully provided AC power to the important components of Unit 5 on March 12, 2011 and used the make-up water condensate (MUWC) system to inject coolant while discharging steam through safety release valves (SRV) to the suppression pool. Id. By March 19, 2011, crewmembers established an alternate cooling path using the residual heat removal (RHR) system powered by the Unit 6 EDG. Id. The core reached cold shutdown levels on March 20, 2011. Id.

(19.) See Expert Mission, supra note 10, at 36 (describing location and nature of SFPs at Fukushima Daiichi Plant). Due to the much cooler decay temperatures of the spent fuel rods, operators did not need to take immediate action in supplementing the coolant levels of the SFPs. Id.

(20.) See Expert Mission, supra note 10, at 36 (discussing measures to prevent spent fuel rod exposure). Water levels and debris prevented access to the SFPs for the first few days after the tsunamis. Id. While the hydrogen explosions released dangerous radiation, the destruction of the roofs of Units 1, 3, and 4 allowed emergency personnel to spray water from cannons and drop water from helicopters into the pools. Id. Due to the lack of instrumentation, responders could not verify the degree of success. Id. Remote imaging showed extensive explosion debris in the Unit 3 SPF and some debris in the Unit 4 SPF. Id. The AC power from the functioning EDG at Unit 6 provided forced cooling at the Unit 5 and 6 SFPs. Id.

(21.) See Expert Mission, supra note 10, at 36 (noting coolant water levels remained above TAF heights).

(22.) See Expert Mission, supra note 10, at 44-45 (concluding TEPCO and regulatory requirements lacked sufficient preparation for tsunamis). Despite acknowledging the risk of tsunamis, TEPCO anticipated a maximum height of only 5.7 m after a reassessment in 2002, while the actual wave on March 11, 2011 reached a height over 14 m. Id. Due to the insufficient height of the seawall barrier, Fukushima Daiichi lacked a "dry site" for operations and protection from "hydrodynamic forces and dynamic impact of large debris with high energy." Expert Mission, supra note 10, at 45.

(23.) See Expert Mission, supra note 10, at 45 (concluding Fukushima Daiichi lacked adequate provisions to cope with multi-plant failure).

(24.) See Expert Mission, supra note 10, at 46 (concluding national governments and IAEA regulations incorporate findings based upon Fukushima).

(25.) See Tepco ignored higher probability of tsunami, THE JAVAN TIMES, Oct. 20, 2011 (reporting TEPCO knew barriers' insufficiency and failed to implement countermeasures); see also IAEA: Japan underestimated tsunami, NATION (THAILAND), June 2, 2011 (reporting IAEA's findings show TEPCO underestimated tsunami risk). Engineers reported a ten percent chance of a tsunami over 5.7 m hitting Fukushima Daiichi within fifty years to TEPCO in 2006. Tepco ignored higher probability of tsunami, supra note 25. The modification in assessment arose from analysis based on the Probabilistic Safety Assessment method. Id. TEPCO reviewed the report but only disseminated the information to a limited section of employees and not all relevant departments according to a TEPCO expert. Id. TEPCO, in a post-Fukushima draft report, characterized the 2006 report as a "small enough" probability based on "experimental analysis." Id.

(26.) See Justin McCurry, Fukushima Plant Owners Criticized by Nuclear Inspectors, THE GUARDIAN, June 1, 2011, available at jun/01/fukushima-plant-criticised-nuclear-inspectors (discussing findings from IAEA inspection of Fukushima Daiichi's emergency preparedness level).

(27.) See Eisuke Sasaki, TEPCO Procrastinated Even After Tsunami Threat Shown, THE ASAHI SHIMBUN, Nov. 9, 2011, available at 0311disaster/analysis/AJ2011110915073 (reporting on TEPCO's inaction to prevent flood based destruction despite tsunami warnings).

(28.) See Chico Harlan, As Compensation Payouts Begin, Tepco Pays the Price for Its Nuclear Disaster, WASHINGTON POST, Oct. 9, 2011, (reporting on TEPCO's anticipated compensation payouts to affected residents); TEPCO Gets 559 Billion Yen in Financial Aid to Pay Compensation, THE MAINICHI DAILY NEWS, NOV. 15, 2011, available at, (reporting on compensation estimates for Fukushima Daiichi nuclear damage).

(29.) See Taiga Uranaka, Japan Says No limits to Tepco Liability from Nuclear Disaster, REUTERS, May 2, 2011, available at 02/us-japan-tepco-idUSTRE7412PK20110502 (reporting Japanese government will provide no liability protection to TEPCO).

(30.) See F900 Billion OK'd as Initial Tepco Compensation Fund, THE JAPAN TIMES, Nov. 5, 2011, available at (reporting on governmental approval of compensation fund support); Edano to Tepco: 'Turn over new leaf or we'll Cut You Off, THE JAPAN TIMES, Feb. 11, 2012, available at (reporting demands by trade minister for TEPCO to change policy or lose support and face bankruptcy); Tepco to Get Additional [yen] 689.4 Billion: Edano, Feb. 13, 2012, available at http://www. (reporting trade minister buckled to pressure to prevent energy provider from going bankrupt).

(31.) See Catherine Butler, Karen A. Parkhill & Nicholas F. Pidgeon, Nuclear Power After Japan: The Social Dimensions, ENV'T: ScI. AND POL'Y FOR SUSTAINABLE DEV., Nov.-Dec. 2011, at 3, 4-5 (providing overview on impact of Fukushima accident on Japan and the world).

(32.) See "Radiation' Land is Uninhabitable, supra note 1 (describing displacing effects on Fukushima residents); Debra Black, Dogged by Fear and Uncertainty: Damage from Tsunami Still Unclear as Radiation Continues to Spill Out, TORONTO STAR, Sept. 23, 2011, available at 2011 WLNR 19177633 (discussing impact of meltdown on environment).

(33.) See Larry Elliott, Fukushima Factor Adds Pressure to Economic Fallout from Japan's Crisis, Mar. 15, 2011, available at 15/fukushima-factor-economic-fallout-japan (discussing nuclear accident's impact on Japanese economy).

(34.) See 'Radiation' Land is Uninhabitable, supra note 1 (reporting displacement of residents within uninhabitable zone).

(35.) See Lucy Birmingham, Situation Grim in Japan's Devastated Northeast, TIME, Mar. 13, 2011, available at,8599,2058641,00.html (describing state of Tohoku and reaction by some foreign residents to leave Japan); Bill Powell, Third Blast at Crippled Nuke Plant Sparks Meltdown Fears; 140,000 Ordered to Stay Indoors, TIME, Mar. 15, 2011, available at world/0,8599,2058898,00.html (reporting fears of resident due to threat of radiation exposure).

(36.) 'Radiation' Land is Uninhabitable, supra note 1.

(37.) See Andy Coghlan, Fukushima Plant's Owner in Hot Water, NEW SCIENTIST, Apr. 9, 2011, at 10 (reporting TEPCO's failure to find and plug leaks from reactor to prevent contamination of Pacific Ocean); 'Radiation' Land is Uninhabitable, supra note 1 (reporting land around Fukushima Daiichi may be uninhabitable for decades).

(38.) See Mizuho Aoki, Effects of Contaminated Soil on Food Chain Sparks Fears, THE JAPAN TIMES, Sept. 11, 2011, available at nn20110911a3.html (reporting on presence of radiation in grains, vegetables, and meats).

(39.) See Black, supra note 32 (reporting on unplugged leak from Fukushima Daiichi reactor and impact on the Pacific); see also Nigoki no Kakunouyoukinai wo Hatsusatsuei Fukushima Daiichi Banpatsu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], DOUSHIN UEBU: HOKKAIDOU SHINBUN [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Jan. 19, 2012, (providing first photos and report concerning leak at Unit 2). The endoscope captured photos of the damage, measured the temperature of the containment unit and water levels inside the reactor. Nigoki no Kakunouyoukinai wo Hatsusatsuei Fukushima Daiichi Banpatsu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], supra. The probe confirmed that the containment unit has reached normalcy at about 44.7, but could not confirm water levels. Id. The containment unit suffered extensive damage and TEPCO intends to investigate Units 1 and 3 as well. Id.

(40.) See Japanese Nuclear Emergency: EPA's Radiation Monitoring, UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, updated Sept. 11, 2012) (reporting radiation levels in United States attributed to crisis at Fukushima Daiichi); Brit Liggett, Activists Claim 14,000 US Deaths Linked to Radiation Leaks at Damaged Fukushima Nuclear Reactor in Japan, INHABITAT (Dec. 19, 2011), available at in-japan/(critiquing attribution of U.S. deaths to meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi).

(41.) See Shinichi Saoshiro & Izumi Nakagawa, Japan's Nuclear Crisis Continues to Hit Economy, REUTERS, Apr. 14, 2011, available at print?aid=INIndia-56320520110414 (reporting on impact of nuclear accident on Japan); Rie Ishiguro & Shinji Kitamura, Japan Quake's Economic Impact Worse than First Feared, REUTERS, Apr. 12, 2011, available at print?aid=USTRE73B00320110412 (reporting on tsunami and earthquake's impact on Japanese economy).

(42.) See Saoshiro, supra note 41 (reporting numerous disruptions in supply chains due to insufficient power caused by crippled Fukushima Daiichi). Due to the power shortages caused by the damage to the Fukushima Daiichi Plant, major manufactures such as, Sony Corp and Toyota Motor Corp, suspended production domestically and abroad in countries like the United States. Id.

(43.) See Over 144,000 Jobs Lost in 3 Crisis-hit Prefectures Since March Quake, JAVAN ECONOMIC NEWSWIRE, Aug. 9, 2011 (reporting unemployment rates since tsunami and nuclear accident).

(44.) See Hiroko Tabuchi, Moody's Cuts Japan's Rating One Notch, Citing Its Giant Debt, THE NEW YORK TIMES, Aug. 23, 2011 (reporting Japan's damaged economic state and continuing nuclear uncertainty led to credit rate reduction).

(45.) See Barbara Goss Levi, What Happened in Tokaimura, PHYSICS TODAY, Dec. 1999 at 52; Megan Brynhildsen, Problems in the Nuclear Age: The 1999 Nuclear Accident in Japan, 11 COLO. J. INT'L. ENVTL. L. & POL'Y 241,241-42 (1999)(introducing events of 1999 accident in Tokaimura); see also Bruce B. Auster, A Terrifying Blue Flash, U.S. NEWS & WORLD REP., Oct. 11, 1999, at 44 (reporting events at Tokaimura processing plant). When three employees at the uranium processing facility in Tokaimura mixed thirty-five pounds of liquid uranium with nitric acid, the uranium underwent a chain reaction in a flash of blue light. Levi, supra, at 52; Brynhildsen, supra, at 241. Subsequent examination of several workers indicated exposure to radiation, and emergency personnel hospitalized the three workers who mixed the uranium. Brynhildsen, supra at 241-42.

(46.) See Brynhildsen, supra note 45, at 241 (comparing safety limits with amount of uranium mixed at time of chain reaction); Levi, supra note 45, at 52.

(47.) See Brynhildsen, supra note 45, at 242-45 (describing absence of worker training and experience and violation of government requirements by operating organization); see also Ibaraki, Tokaimura Officials Inspect JCO, JAPAN ECON. NEW. SWIRE PLUS, Nov. 7, 1999 (noting accident caused by "cutting corners"); Checks Deficient for Facilities in Operation, THE ASAHI SHIMBUN, Mar. 4, 2003, available at 2003 WLNR 9041285 (noting lack of government oversight following initial plant licensing). Government inspectors typically do not inspect non-power producing plants once the plant passes the initial inspection. Id. At the time of the accident, the workers had never performed the fuel-mixing procedure. Brynhildsen, supra note 45, at 242-43. The plant employees had little knowledge of uranium's volatility and how large quantities of the substance magnified this risk. Id. at 243. Regardless of appropriate training, JCO's policy manual instructed employees to use ten-liter stainless steel buckets to transfer the liquid uranium and nitric acid because this process only took thirty minutes rather than three hours under the regulatory procedure. Id. at 243. The JCO initially put the government procedure in place when it received its licensing; however, the company decided to shortcut the policy in order to remain competitive. Id. at 243-44.

(48.) See Brynhildsen, supra note 45, at 244, 246 (describing JCO's actions following accident causing greater exposure and significant delays). Following the reaction, alarm bells rang throughout the facility; however, the emergency system failed to indicate the location of the accident. Id. at 244. Workers subsequently responded by completing regulatory documents prior to alerting any medical or rescue personnel. Id. An hour after the reaction took place company employees finally notified city officials, but not emergency services. Id. Due to the insufficient notification to first responders, the firefighters failed to arrive with the appropriate protective gear exposing them to radioactive material. Id.; JCO Critical Accident Still Shakes Tokaimura After 5 Yrs., JAPAN ENERGY SCAN, Sept. 17, 2004, available at 2004 WLNR 22366171 (reporting on after effects of Tokaimura accident). A criminal trial found six employees guilty of illegally instructing others to pour too much uranium. Id. JCO paid [yen] 14.86 billion to victims and their families. Id.

(49.) See Brynhildsen, supra note 45, at 244 (noting admission by JCO officials that they failed to prepare for such an accident).

(50.) See e.g., Kana Inagaki, ALVA: Wrong Button Sends Airplane Upside Down, WALL ST. J., Sept. 29, 2011 (reporting ANA concealed mid-air incident for approximately one month before admitting to occurrence).

(51.) See Ronald M. Frye, Jr., The Current "Nuclear Renaissance" in the United States, its Underlying Reasons, and its Potential Pitfalls, 29 ENERGY L. J. 279, 378 (2008) (providing examples of initial cover-up of radiation exposure).

(52.) See Coghlan, supra note 37, at 10 (stating TEPCO downplayed severity of Fukushima accident); Charles Perrow, Fukushima and the Inevitability of Accidents, BULLETIN OF THE ATOMIC SCIENTISTS, NOV. 2011, at 44, 45-47 (describing incidents of accident or risk concealment by operating organization). Robert Alvarez of the Institute for Policy Studies, a Washington D.C. research group, proposed claims that TEPCO could have been more candid. See Coghlan, supra note 37, at 10. Yukiya Amano, the director general of the IAEA, stated that operating organization and Member States must improve arrangements for putting international experts in touch with one another as soon as possible during a crisis. Id. (describing comments made by Amano as swipe at TEPCO).

(53.) See Mitsuro Obe, Japan Nuclear Agency Adds to Mistrust, WALL ST. J., Oct. 1, 2011 (reporting independent advisory panel confirms government regulatory body colluded with power companies to manipulate public opinion); Closeness of Gov't, Utilities Seen Behind Manipulated Symposiums, JAPAN ECONOMIC NEWSWIRE, Sept. 30, 2011 [hereinafter Closeness of Gov't & Utilities](reporting on inappropriate influence in state-sponsored events to steer public opinion in favor of nuclear power); Fake Questions on N-energy / Report Finds 7 Cases of Events Staged to Promote Nuclear Power, DAILY YOMIURI, Oct. 2, 2011[hereinafter Fake Questions on N-energy](reporting seven confirmed incidents of Japanese nuclear regulators arranging pro-nuclear questions during government forums). An independent investigation committee from the Economy, Trade, and Industry Ministry confirmed that NISA arranged for pro-nuclear energy questions during government-organized symposiums. Fake Questions on N-energy, supra note 53. NISA planted employees from Tohoku Electric Power Co., Kyushu Electric Power Co., Shikoku Electric Power Co., and Chubu Electric Power Co. at respective explanatory meetings. Id. At the Hokkaido based forum, Hokkaido Electric Power Co. provided a list of twelve employees who would ask the pro-nuclear questions. Id.

(54.) See DANIEL C.K. CHOW & THOMAS J. SCHOENBAUM, INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS: PROBLEMS, CASES, AND MATERIALS 7-9 (2d. 2010) (discussing opportunities for manipulation in international business practices involving countries with an underdeveloped legal system).

(55.) See Gar Smith, Don't Mini-mize the Dangers of Nuclear Power, EARTH ISLAND JOURNAL, Summer 2011, at 15 (providing overview of major nuclear events throughout history of atomic power). See generally Perrow, supra note 52 (discussing various nuclear accidents and warnings of potential accidents).

(56.) See Perrow, supra note 52, at 44-45 (summarizing dangers of nuclear power when coupled with business motives and regulatory failure); Ryan Grim, Nuclear Power Play: Ambition, Betrayal and the 'Ugly Underbelly' of Energy Regulation, HUFFINGTON POST (last updated Dec. 30, 2011),available at http://www.huffingtonpost. comk/2011/12/29/nuclear-power-gregory-jaczko-nuclear-regulatory-commission_n_1160711.html (discussing political intermingling between regulators, lobbying firms, and Congressional committees).

(57.) See Simon Shuster, Fire at Fourth Reactor: Is Worse Yet to Come in the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster?, TIME, Mar. 15, 2011, available at time/world/article/0,8599,2059232,00.html (reviewing cover-ups following prior nuclear accidents); Perrow, supra note 52, at 50 (summarizing delays in information disclosure after Chemobyl accident). Soviet Union officials refused to admit any accident occurred at the Chemobyl plant despite detection of atmospheric radiation by Swedish scientists. Id. at 50. Additionally, officials did not evacuate the towns around Chernobyl for two days. Id. In direct comparison to Chemobyl, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency initially classified the Fukushima accident as a Level 4 event; however, by April 12, 2011, the accident reached the same classification as Chernobyl as a Level 7 accident. Shuster, supra note 57; see e.g., Fukushima Accident Raised to Same Level as Chernobyl, THE ASAHI SHIMBUN, Apr. 12, 2011 (reporting NISA raising Fukushima Daiichi accident to Level 7).

(58.) See CHARLES D. FERGUSON, NUCLEAR ENERGY: WHAT EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW 140, 147-153 (2011) (discussing reactor issues and ramifications of accidents at Chernobyl and Three-Mile Island). The reactor at Chernobyl, a high-power channel reactor (RBMK), had design flaws, which allowed the reaction to become uncontrolled. Id. at 140. When the reactor's nuclear reaction went out of control, steam and hydrogen built up eventually causing two massive explosions. Id. at 149-151. The explosions destroyed the defensive barriers of the facility exposing the fuel rods releasing radiation into the air. Id. at 151. The EU has banned the use of these reactors and even made shutting down RBMK reactors a condition of Lithuania's entrance into the EU. Id. at 141. The Three-Mile Island Plant incident resulted from the reactor boiling dry and building up steam. Id. at 147. With the build-up of steam, a relief valve opened releasing radiation into the vicinity. Id. at 147-148.

(59.) See Perrow, supra note 52, at 46 (describing incident involving violation of spent fuel rod storage regulation). The Milestone Plant in Connecticut terminated and blacklisted a worker who reported regulatory violations by plant officials. Id. United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials eventually admitted that they knew about the forbidden practices, yet chose not to enforce them. Id.

(60.) See BRIAN C, SCHMIDT, THE POLITICAL DISCOURSE OF ANARCHY: A DISCIPLINARY HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 40 (1998) (providing historical perspective on international relations theory). The concept of anarchy in the international world permeates nearly all aspects of international relations theory. Id. In fact, scholars Barry Buzan and Richard Little use the term "anarchophilia" to describe the presumption toward anarchy. Id. This presumption creates the framework for various subcategories of international relations, including international organizations. Id.

(61.) See IAEA, The IAEA Mission Statement, html (last visited Nov. 21, 2011) (providing overview of IAEA mission).

(62.) See Perrow, supra note 52, at 45 (comparing systems of regulatory bodies in Japan, United States, and Europe).

(63.) See UNITED STATES NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA FIFTH NATIONAL REPORT FOR THE CONVENTION ON NUCLEAR SAFETY, 55-60, NUREG-1650 Rev. 3,(2010) [hereinafter USNRC FIFTH REPORT] (summarizing establishment of NRC and legal framework of nuclear regulation); see also Atomic Energy Act of 1946, Pub. L. No. 79-585, 60 Stat. 755 (1946) (prior to 1954 amendment) (establishing Atomic Energy Commission); Atomic Energy Act of 1954, Pub. L. No. 83-703, 68 Stat. 919 (1954) (amending creation of Atomic Energy Commission).

(64.) See USNRC FIFTH REPORT, supra note 63, at 55 (discussing establishment of USNRC and USERDA); Perrow, supra note 52, at 45 (describing creation of independent regulatory body).

(65.) See USNRC FIFTH REPORT, supra note 63, at 55-56 & 58 (listing IAEA nuclear safety agreements ratified by the United States and describing Plant inspection and licensing process); see also Dave Gram, Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant Trial Wraps Up, HUFFINOTON POST, Sep. 14, 2011, 15/vermont-yankee-nuclear-plant-trial_n_964398.html (reporting on trial concerning extension of Plant license); John Curran, Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant Owner Entergy Sues State to Stay Open, HUFFINCTON POST, Apr. 18, 2011, nuclear-sues-state-n-850437.html (reporting on Plant owner petitioning court to uphold USNRC license despite rejection by state senate).

(66.) See USNRC FIFTH REPORT, supra note 63, at 58 (placing burden on operating organizations to ensure plant safety).

(67.) See CHARLES MILLER ET AL., USNRC, RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ENHANCING REACTOR SAFETY IN THE 21ST CENTURY" THE NEAR-TERM TASK FORCE REVIEW OF INSIGHTS FROM THE FUKUSHIMA DAIICHI ACCIDENT 69-70, (2011) [hereinafter USNRC TASK FORCE REPORT] (summarizing recommendations by task force and reviewing USNRC regulations in light of Fukushima Daiichi).

(68.) Id.

(69.) Id. at 37, 69 (recommending consideration of seismic and flood risks alongside other natural disasters).

(70.) Id. at 69 (recommending methods of mitigating explosions at boiling-water reactor (BWR)).


(72.) Id. at 28-29 (discussing Japan's nuclear regulatory bodies). In 1957, The Act on the Regulation of Nuclear Source Material, Nuclear Fuel Material and Reactors established safety regulations for the various aspects of nuclear power generation. Id. at 28. A series of Ministerial Ordinances further regulated nuclear plants, as well as technical and safety standards. Id. at 29.

(73.) Id. at 5, 30 & 56 (describing modifications to Japanese nuclear regulation after Tokaimura).

(74.) See Perrow, supra note 52, at 45 (describing Japan's regulatory body as subservient to ministry concerned with promoting nuclear power). See also Norimitsu Onishi & Martin Fackler, Utility Reform Eluding Japan After Nuclear Plant Disaster, N.Y. TIMES, NOV. 17, 2011, available at after-fukushima-fighting-the-power-of-tepco.html (noting influence of nuclear power lobbies on politics); Ryosuke Hanada, New PM? All Change, No Change Say Voters, WALL ST. J., Aug. 30, 2011, 2:28 PM JST, 30/new-pm-all-change-no-change-say-voters/ (reporting on Japan's recent history of Prime Minister being revolving-door office); Editorial, Noda should ditch denuclearization policy, DAILY YOMIURI, Sept. 8, 2011, available at (pushing for Kan's successor, Noda, to drop denuclearization policy). Japan's most powerful corporate lobby, a supporter of TEPCO, worked successfully to remove Prime Minister Kan who led initiatives to end nuclear power in Japan after the March 11 earthquake. Onishi, supra. The current prime minister, Noda, embraced nuclear power and TEPCO. See Onishi, supra. According to Japanese nuclear regulatory experts, TEPCO lies at the center of the collusion between the government's nuclear power promulgation and the interests of private operators. Id. An opinion piece by The Daily Yomiuri's editorial board pushed for the recently installed Prime Minister to drop Kan's policy of denuclearization. Noda should ditch denuclearization policy, supra. The article rests primarily o n the practicalities of nuclear power in relation to Japan's limited resources and efficiency of the energy source. Id. The article called for a "cool-headed approach" recognizing Kansai's nearly twenty percent reduction in power supply, if the nation followed Kan's plan. Id.


(76.) See id. at 7-8 (describing process for establishing legally binding EU instrument).

(77.) See id. at 8 (listing principles imposed upon EU Member States by ENSREG).

(78.) See TREVOR FINDLAY, NUCLEAR ENERGY, SECURITY AND GLOBAL GOVERNANCE: TAMING THE ATOMIC PHOENIX 114-15 (2011) (providing history of and commentary on EU nuclear regulation). The language in the ENSREG convention closely mirrors the language of the IAEA Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS). Id. at 115. The only key difference lies in the requirement that national governments "self-assess[]" national regulatory schemes every ten years. Id.

(79.) See id. at 104-05, 114-16 (describing absence of international nuclear regulatory body).

(80.) See generally IAEA, Convention on Nuclear Safety, IAEA Doc. INFCIRC/ 449 (July 5, 1994) (demonstrating international convention regarding nuclear safety).

(81.) See FINDLAY, supra note 78, at 116 (stating limited applicability of INRA). Findlay argues that due to INRA's limited inclusion of only eight of the thirty-one nuclear powers, "[a] universal international nuclear regulators organization is clearly needed." Id.

(82.) See FERGUSON, supra note 58 at 7-11, 19-22 (discussing discovery of nuclear energy and origins of use as power source).

(83.) See IAEA, The "Atoms for Peace" Agency, about-iaea.html (last visited Oct. 16, 2012) (providing overview of IAEA's foundation); see also IAEA, The Statute of the IAEA, html (last visited Oct. 16, 2012) (providing current form of IAEA statute).

(84.) See IAEA, Convention on Nuclear Safety, supra note 80 (providing guidelines for nuclear safety standards in Member States); FINDLAY, supra note 78, at 104 (discussing absence of actual regulatory procedures in CNS); see also Igor Khripunov & Duyeon Kim, Fukushima Should NEVER Happen Again, THE CITIZEN (SCHOOL OF PUBLIC & INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS: UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA), Spring 2012, at 6-7 (discussing need for transparency in safety reporting).

(85.) See Draft Action Plan, supra note 3, at 1 (laying out purpose of Draft IAEA Action Plan). The Plan highlights the fact that nuclear accidents implicate numerous trans-border issues for both humans and the environment. Id.

(86.) See Draft Action Plan, supra note 3, at 2 (introducing goals and measuring stick for success of plan).

(87.) See Draft Action Plan, supra note 3, at 2 (listing twelve main actions considered in Draft IAEA Action Plan). The IAEA laid out twelve main action as follows:
   [S]afety assessments in light of the accident at TEPCO's Fukushima
   Daiichi Nuclear Power Station; IAEA peer reviews; emergency
   preparedness and response; national regulatory bodies; operating
   organizations; IAEA Safety Standards; international framework;
   Member States planning to embark on a nuclear power programme;
   capacity building; protection of people and the environment from
   ionizing radiation; communication and information dissemination;
   and research and development.

Id. This Note focuses on issues relating to IAEA peer reviews, national regulatory bodies and operating organizations in consideration of international legal framework, information dissemination, and protection of humans and the environment. Id.; see infra Part III.B.2 (discussing IAEA's evaluation of peer reviews, national regulatory bodies, operating organizations).

(88.) See Draft Action Plan, supra note 3, at 3 (noting strategy for strengthening IAEA peer reviews). The action plan lays out the Secretariat's intent to assess plant effectiveness, operational safety, design safety, and emergency preparedness and response. Id. The IAEA seeks to enhance transparency by providing information regarding time, location, and findings of peer reviews to the public. Id. The action plan "strongly encourage[s]" IAEA Member States to allow voluntary IAEA peer reviews and follow-up reviews on a "regular basis." Id. The IAEA Secretariat concludes by reserving the ability to assess this plan for its effectiveness. Id.

(89.) See Draft Action Plan, supra note 3, at 3-4 (detailing suggested regulation). The Plan calls for Member States to conduct "prompt" national reviews of their regulatory bodies focusing on independence, adequacy of human and financial resources, and ability to provide appropriate technical and scientific support. Id. at 3. The Secretariat further proposes to "enhance" the Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) by creating a more comprehensive assessment of national regulations against IAEA standards. Id. Each Member State should host regular, voluntary IRRS missions to assess national regulatory framework with follow-up missions taking place every three years. Id. at 3-4.

(90.) See Draft Action Plan, supra note 3, at 4 (implementing measures to improve effectiveness of safety policies by plant operating organizations). The Draft IAEA Action Plan offers assistance "upon request" to operating organizations in Member States. Id. at 4. The Plan further suggests that operating organization voluntarily host Operational Safety Review Teams within the next three years, focusing on older plants first. Id. The Secretariat finally intends to enhance information exchange between WANO and the IAEA by amending the Memorandum of Understanding in safety and engineering enhancements. Id.

(91.) See Draft Action Plan, supra note 3, at 4-6 (listing cross-organization actions). The Plan addresses issues relating specifically to departmentalized groups discussed above such as national regulatory bodies and operational organizations. Id. at 2-4. The Plan also addresses comprehensive nuclear power operations issues such as legal frameworks, capacity building, environmental protection, communications, research, and Member States intending to embark on nuclear power programs. Id. at 4-6.

(92.) See Draft Action Plan, supra note 3, at 4 (discussing modifications to prior legal frameworks). The plan calls for member states to enhance effective implementation of several Conventions or treaties including: The Convention on Nuclear Safety, The Joint Convention on Safety of Spent Fuel Management and the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management, The Convention on the Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident, and The Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency. Id. The Plan encourages States to consider proposed amendments to the Convention on Nuclear Safety and the Convention on the Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident. Id. The action plan further suggests that Member States work towards establishing a global nuclear liability regime addressing concerns of all States due to the trans-border implication of nuclear damage. Id. The IAEA International Expert Group on Nuclear Liability (INLEX) intends to recommend actions for creating a global nuclear liability regime. Id.

(93.) See Draft Action Plan, supra note 3, at 5 (discussing ways to minimize human and environmental exposure to ionizing radiation following nuclear emergencies). The IAEA Secretariat, along with Member States and other relevant stakeholders, should utilize available technology and expertise to monitor, decontaminate, and remediate effects of a nuclear accident on and off nuclear sites. Id. The parties should also consider improvements to such techniques by advancing knowledge and strengthening capabilities in the areas. Id. The Plan also encourages Member States and/or operating organizations to remove damaged nuclear fuel effectively. Id.

(94.) See Draft Action Plan, supra note 3, at 5-6 (discussing necessity for effective transparency concerning future nuclear accidents and current state of Fukushima Daiichi reactors). Member States should work in conjunction with the IAEA Secretariat to strengthen domestic emergency notification systems and bolster effective information sharing among operators, regulators, and international organizations. Id. at 56. Additionally, the Plan calls upon the Secretariat to collect and transparently disseminate all pertinent information useful to prevent the reoccurrence of accidents like TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Plant. Id. at 6.

(95.) See generally IAEA, Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage, IAEA Doc INCIRC/500 (Mar. 20, 1996) [hereinafter Vienna Convention] (providing most recent version of convention).

(96.) See id. at 3-4 (describing standards for liability for nuclear damage); see also IAEA, Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage, Reg. No. 1277 (Mar. 29, 2011) [hereinafter Vienna Convention Signatories] (listing signatories of Vienna Convention). Neither the United States nor Japan is a signatory of the Vienna Convention. Vienna Convention Signatories, at 1-2. But see JOSEPH W. GLANNON, EXAMPLES & EXPLANATIONS: THE LAW OF TORTS 118-20 (4th ed. 2010) (describing "reasonable person's" calculation process). Professor Glannon argues the reasonable person will make calculated risks even if strict liability applies; the absence of a breach element will not incentivize the reasonable person's actions to ensure safety. ID. at 127-34. Large companies factor risk into their economic calculations and will merely pass the expense of the liability damages to customers. Id. at 134. When the liabilities balance properly, "the choice of the strict liability rule over a negligence rule does not affect the rational economic actor's level of precautions." Id.

(97.) See Vienna Convention, supra note 96, at 6 (discussing liability minimum for nuclear liability).

(98.) See generally Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), Paris Convention on Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy (July 29, 1960, amended Nov. 16, 1982) (providing additional example of international nuclear liability standard).

(99.) See Vienna Convention, supra note 96, at 3-5 (stating liabilities of Installation State).

(100.) See USNRC FIRTH REPORT, supra note 63, at 97 (describing liability cap system for plant operators).

(101.) See JAPANESE FIRTH REPORT, supra note 71, at 31 (describing liability system for nuclear damage in Japan).

(102.) See ENEF, EU Legal Study on Nuclear Liability: Brief Summary, TREN/ CC/01-2005, at 2, (Apr. 21, 2010), available at roadmap/2010 04_21/chraetzke_eu_legal_study_on nuclear_liability.pdf (summarizing state of EU nuclear liability policies).

(103.) See supra note 3 and accompanying text (providing text of IAEA Draft Action Plan and critique of its effectiveness).

(104.) See supra Part II.A.1-2 (describing impact of tsunami and earthquake on Fukushima Daiichi plant); supra Part II.B.1 (discussing Tokaimura accident and impact of lax government oversight regarding nuclear energy); see also Onishi & Fackler, supra note 74 and accompanying text (reporting pressure from nuclear power lobbyists to remove Prime Minster Kan).

(105.) See supra note 53 and accompanying text (discussing practices by Japanese regulatory officials to influence public and political opinion); supra note 56 (providing overview of "poisoning" U.S. regulators and Congressional oversight committees by intermingling with K-street lobbyists).

(106.) See supra note 57 and accompanying text (examining European exposure to radiation from Chernobyl accident despite vast distance); supra notes 32-40 (discussing contamination of Japanese soil, Pacific Ocean, and American air and water); Madison, supra note 8 (referencing Constitutional Convention's resolution that Congress should act where "individual states are separately incompetent").

(107.) See supra note 74 (reporting pressure from nuclear power lobbies to remove Kan after his push for limiting nuclear reliance); supra note 56 (providing evidence of lobby influence in U.S. regulations).

(108.) See supra note 65 (discussing decision by regulators to keep Yankee plant open despite rejection by Vermont legislature); supra note 56 (illuminating interplay between regulators and lobbyists).

(109.) See supra note 74 (reporting lobbyists' support for Tepco instrumental in removing Kan). The politics of nuclear lobbies and national media sources calling for Noda to abandon any attempts to curtain any attempts to limit nuclear power's predominance as an ill-advised decision. Id. This political fervor presents the inability for national political leaders to stand their own ground and defy media and industry. Id. Japan's parliamentarian government and recent history of a "revolving door" position places any prime minister on edge, as a whimsical parliament may call for removal at any point. Id.

(110.) See supra notes 52-53 (reporting Japanese regulators planted individuals in town hall meetings to ask pro-nuclear energy questions); supra note 57 (reporting on common practice of regulators becoming lobbyists and Congressional advisors).

(111.) See supra notes 56, 74 (discussing impact of politics on nuclear regulation); supra Part III.B.1 (discussing structure of IAEA and its ability to provide independent oversight).

(112.) See supra note 66 (explaining how U.S. nuclear regulatory policy places burden on operators to ensure plant safety); supra notes 73-74 (noting Japanese nuclear regulatory structure and subservience of its regulatory body to ministry promoting nuclear power); supra notes 75-77 (discussing regional implementation of regulations in EU).

(113.) See supra note 47 (reporting Japanese regulations lacked requirements of proper training).

(114.) See supra note 65 (reporting on success of Yankee plant's operating organization in keeping plant open by filing suit).

(115.) See supra notes 67-70 (reviewing recommendations based upon problems at Fukushima Daiichi).

(116.) See supra note 47 (demonstrating mere promulgation of regulations insufficient for enforcement).

(117.) See supra notes 48, 59 (discussing Tokaimura and Milestone nuclear accidents).

(118.) See supra note Part II.B.1 (discussing how disregard of regulations led to uncontrolled nuclear reaction in Tokaimura).

(119.) See supra note 47 (discussing absence of regular government inspections).

(120.) See supra note 47 (reporting that JCO could not create illegal policy if subject to regular inspections); supra note 45 (observing culture of disregard for safety procedures by government regulatory organizations). Plants must submit to regular inspections, but at the time of the accident, officials did not inspect plants like Tokaimura, allowing them to create and institute dangerous policies like the one that resulted in the death of two workers. Supra note 47. The Japanese government "tacit[ly]" accepted the Japanese nuclear industry's disregard of safety measures by not inspecting such plants following initial operation. Brynhildsen, supra note 44, at 245.

(121.) See supra note 47 (noting lax government regulations led to illegal practices and compounded injuries). JCO informed local government that the mixing process could not pose any threat to the community; therefore, it need not prepare for radiation-based injuries. See Brynhildsen, supra note 48. The government relied on these corporate statements to its detriment. Id. at 246. Compounding the problem, a facility such as the one in Tokaimura only needs to install one air pump system to remove radioactive particles in the air, unlike plants that must use multiple systems. Id. JCO sacrificed safety for cost-efficiency, as evidenced by reports indicating JCO's decision to install one pump appeared to be cost-driven. Id.

(122.) See supra note 59 (discussing absent enforcement by USNRC).

(123.) See supra note 59 (noting admission by regulators that they knew of dangerous violations but chose not to address them).

(124.) See supra note 59 (discussing blacklisting and termination of whistleblowing employee).

(125.) Compare supra note 66 (noting U.S. regulators policy of relying on operators to meet safety standards), with supra note 59 (demonstrating USNRC's absenteeism and nuclear power industry's punitive actions toward employee for reporting).

(126.) See supra note 23 (discussing lack of sufficient safety measures at Fukushima Daiichi).

(127.) See supra notes 34-40 (discussing environmental impact of Fukushima Daiichi); supra notes 41-43 (reporting on Fukushima's impact on Japanese economy).

(128.) See supra notes 25-27 and accompanying text (discussing TEPCO's disregard of tsunami threat); supra notes 45-49 and accompanying text (noting JCO's violation of safety standards); supra notes 57-59 and accompanying text (discussing safety violations at Milestone and dangers of Chernobyl-type reactors).

(129.) See supra notes 50-53 and accompanying text (introducing lack of transparency when companies and national governments self-regulate); supra notes 79-81 and accompanying text (discussing absence of an international regulatory standard).

(130.) See supra notes 55-56 and accompanying text (providing an overview of prior nuclear disasters).

(131.) See supra notes 57-58 (noting international disapproval of RBMKs and accidents at Chernobyl and Three-Mile Island).

(132.) See supra note 59 (noting United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission's refusal to correct forbidden practices and enforce regulations).

(133.) See supra notes 46-47 (noting violations of regulations which led to chain reaction at Tokaimura); see also supra note 59 (demonstrating retaliation against employees for questioning operators' practices).

(134.) Compare supra Part II.A.3 (discussing damage caused by Fukushima Daiichi) and supra note 57-58 (discussing damage caused by Chernobyl), with supra note 45 (discussing deaths resulting from Tokaimura chain reaction).

(135.) See supra note 46-47 (noting violations of regulations which led to chain reaction at Tokaimura); supra notes 59 (demonstrating retaliations against employees for questioning operators' practices).

(136.) See supra note 8 (discussing incompetence of states to address certain issues).

(137.) See supra notes 22-27 (discussing TEPCO's insufficient preparations for known probability of tsunami greater than protective seawall could withstand).

(138.) See supra note 25 (reporting on TEPCO's awareness of potential for larger tsunami waves and dismissal of that risk).

(139.) See supra notes 25-27 (reporting TEPCO's lack of preparedness and inaction to prevent destruction caused by flooding).

(140.) See supra notes 14 & 22 and accompanying text (discussing submersion of EDGs and noting lack of dry site for emergency operations).

(141.) See supra note 12 (noting Japanese regulators originally approved Fukushima Daiichi's operation with only 3.1 m seawall).

(142.) See supra Part II.A.3 (discussing impact of Fukushima Daiichi on people, environment, and economy).

(143.) See supra Part IV.A (discussing effects of lobbies and reelection on creation and enforcement of national regulations).

(144.) See supra Part II.A.3 (noting exposure to radiation from Fukushima); supra note 57 (reporting concealment of explosions and leaks at Chernobyl).

(145.) See supra note 95-102 (providing an overview of liability standards for nuclear accidents); see also supra 57 (noting economic impact of regulation on plant operation).

(146.) See supra Part III.B (discussing details of IAEA Draft Action Plan).

(147.) See supra note 88 and accompanying text (discussing vagaries of IAEA's Action Plan and inability to actually enforce requirements upon Member States).

(148.) See supra note 89 and accompanying text (detailing recommendations to Member States to strengthen effectiveness of national bodies).

(149.) See supra notes 25, 27 (discussing policies implemented by TEPCO which led to increased damage or delayed response); supra note 47 (discussing JCO's implementation of policies in direct violation of national regulations); supra note 47 and accompanying text (noting precatory language of IAEA Action Plan).

(150.) See supra notes 12-13 (noting actions by TEPCO to improve sea wall); supra note 25 (discussing insufficiency of sea wall at Fukushima Daiichi); supra notes 119120 (noting JCO's disregard for regulations and absence of any follow-up reviews).

(151.) See supra notes 79-82 (discussing history of IAEA and role in international community).

(152.) See supra Part II.B (discussing opaqueness of exposure disclosure).

(153.) See supra note 56 (noting reluctance by Soviets to admit anything occurred at Chemobyl).

(154.) See supra note 48 (noting JCO's actions following chain reaction at Tokaimura).

(155.) See supra note 52 (noting TEPCO's minimization of Fukushima Daiichi crisis).

(156.) See supra notes 47-53 and accompanying text (discussing history of concealment and denial).

(157.) See supra note 93 (discussing transparency suggestions proffered by Draft Action Plan).

(158.) See supra notes 57-58 (discussing Chernobyl and Three-Mile Island's effect on nuclear costs and power plant proliferation); supra note 48 (noting criminal consequences for JCO supervisors and eventual discontinuation of uranium processing by company); supra notes 26-30 (discussing TEPCO's liability for Fukushima Daiichi meltdown); supra notes 95-102 (providing overview of liability schemes).

(159.) See supra note 48 (noting payouts by JCO to victims); supra notes 28-30 (noting payouts by TEPCO and anticipated liability for Fukushima Daiichi meltdown).

(160.) See supra note 30 (reporting on trade minister's ambiguous position on strict compliance as precondition for additional funding).

(161.) See supra note 100 and accompanying text (noting U.S. regulations utilize liability caps to protect operators from fear of unlimited liability); supra note 97 and accompanying text (examining Vienna Convention's absence of upper cap); supra note 101 (noting Japan's unlimited liability for nuclear accidents); supra note 91 and accompanying text (discussing international liability scheme).

(162.) See supra note 30 (reporting bailout funds for TEPCO); supra note 91 (discussing United States' reluctance to impose unlimited liabilities on operators).

(163.) See supra note 87 and accompanying text (reviewing Fukushima incident and goals of Draft Action Plan).

(164.) See supra notes 88, 90 (noting precatory language of Draft Action Plan).

(165.) See supra note 90 and accompanying text (noting voluntary nature of Draft Action Plan).

(166.) See supra note 89 and accompanying text (examining ambiguity of regulatory reforms).

(167.) See supra Part II.B (discussing issues related to political influence).

(168.) See supra notes 47, 57 (discussing absence of plant self-regulation); supra note 66 (claiming operators are first line of defense).

(169.) See supra note 56 (discussing influence of lobbies on politicians and regulators).

(170.) See supra note Parts II.B, II.C (discussing concealment of nuclear accidents).

(171.) See supra note 94 and accompanying text (discussing Draft Action Plan's request for prompt notification of emergency services in crisis situations).

(172.) See supra note 93 (noting Draft Action Plan's recommendation for monitoring system).

(173.) See supra note 101 (discussing stringent liability scheme in Japan).

(174.) See supra note 101 (discussing Japanese liability scheme); supra note 30 (discussing compensation fund's backing through government assets).

(175.) See supra notes 95-98 (discussing Vienna and Paris Conventions).

(176.) See supra note 74 (discussing removal of Kan in relation to anti-nuclear policies).
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Title Annotation:International Atomic Energy Agency
Author:Long, James Gardner, III
Publication:Suffolk Transnational Law Review
Date:Jan 1, 2013
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