Get your fax right: Bungling officials spark Japan nuclear scare

Officials at Tokyo Electric Power Company's  Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant sparked a scare by ticking the wrong box on a fax
Officials at Tokyo Electric Power Company's Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant sparked a scare by ticking the wrong box on a fax form

Bungling Japanese officials sparked a nuclear scare after a violent, late-night earthquake by ticking the wrong box on a fax form—inadvertently alerting authorities to a potential accident.

Employees of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), operator of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa in Niigata—where the 6.4-magnitude quake struck—faxed a message to seeking to allay any fears of damage.

But TEPCO workers accidentally ticked the wrong box on the form, mistakenly indicating there was an abnormality at the plant rather than there was no problem.

One official filled out the form, and it was checked by a colleague before being sent.

Many Japanese government departments and companies still rely on fax machines for communication.

TEPCO's Tokyo headquarters noticed the mistake, and a correction was published 17 minutes after the original release, the firm's Tokyo-based spokesman told AFP.

Kashiwazaki city mayor Masahiro Sakurai saw the incorrectly filled-out form and immediately directed staff to check what was happening.

The mayor hit out at TEPCO, which also operated the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant—site of the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl—when an earthquake and tsunami struck in 2011.

"When a real is happening, not a drill, this is a massive error," Sakurai told local reporters, according to the Mainichi Shimbun daily.

"It is extremely poor on their part to make errors in the most important and basic information at a time of crisis," he said, according to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.

TEPCO apologised and vowed not to make the same mistake.

The late-night quake prompted a tsunami advisory, but only small ripples of 10 centimetres (three inches) were recorded.

The government said up to 26 people were injured—two seriously, although not life-threatening.


Explore further

Fukushima operator gets first safety approval since 2011 disaster

© 2019 AFP

Citation: Get your fax right: Bungling officials spark Japan nuclear scare (2019, June 19) retrieved 24 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-bungling-japan-nuclear.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
12 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Jun 19, 2019
...Fukushima nuclear plant—site of the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl—when an earthquake and tsunami struck in 2011.
There is no correlation between earthquakes and nuclear fatalities.
Fukushima: zero deaths from radiation exposure; the Tsunami is that was the real killer together with fearmongers and sensationalist mass media that induced more deaths(suicides, abortions, heart-attacks) than radiation itself.

Much more people have died yearly installing/cleaning up solar panels/wind turbines than in all civilian nuclear industry in sixty years.
Rooftop solar installations in 2012: 440 deaths;
Chernobyl: <60 deaths(most not related to radiation).
https://en.wikipe...talities
https://static.ff...489d501a
https://pbs.twimg...6Gz3.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...XKgO.jpg

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more