It's research time! Over the next two years, the Nuclear Regulation Authority is going to make public around 900,000 pages of documents concerning the Fukushima nuclear crisis. The plans to digitize the material, much of it previously unreleased, will mean that independent researchers, academics, the media and the general public will have access to important information about the truth of the 3/11 nuclear catastrophe.

The project will make accessible documents from all ministries and agencies connected with the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, but it will not include material from the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco). Those documents should also be made accessible since they contain critical information about the disaster that cannot be found elsewhere. Considering that Tepco owes its continued existance as a private company to the fact that it was bailed out with taxpayer money, it should not try to hide facts about the disaster from the public. If it does not voluntarily release the information, the government should pursue all available means to force it to do so.

The documents in the NRA's computer system will be searchable by keywords online and available to anyone. This access is what a democratic society demands. The public has a right to know this information and how the ministries and agencies made decisions based on that information. They can decide then what failures and mistakes happened. Without knowing the facts, the public essentially remains in the dark about the most serious crisis in Japan in decades.