The transcripts of the interviews of 19 people who dealt with the March 2011 triple meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, including the late Masao Yoshida, then chief of the plant, may offer little new information about the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl but still provide important lessons that must be learned for management of future crises.
Last week’s release of the transcripts had been closely watched, especially due to conflicting reports by some members of the media over the interview of Yoshida, who led the desperate efforts to contain the situation at the crippled plant after the 3/11 tsunami destroyed the emergency generators needed to operate the reactors’ cooling system, and an apology by the Asahi Shimbun after the release stating that its earlier report — which alleged that many of the workers at the No. 1 plant had defied Yoshida’s orders and fled to the Fukushima No. 2 plant at the height of the crisis — was erroneous.