In This Section
To develop an effective response to the events at Fukushima Daiichi, the U.S. nuclear industry recognized that it needed to start with a clear understanding of exactly what happened after the plant was battered by a massive earthquake and tsunami. The widely respected Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, whose mission is to promote the highest levels of safety throughout the U.S. nuclear energy industry, compiled a detailed timeline of events during the first four days after the natural disaster occurred at Fukushima Daiichi. INPO has been cited by many, including the White House commission that investigated the BP oil spill, as a model for raising safety standards in other industries.
Over several months, INPO worked closely with Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant’s operator, to develop the timeline and compiled information from multiple independent sources, including the Japanese government, the International Atomic Energy Agency and several Japanese nuclear and safety organizations. The chronology includes a minute-by-minute review of crucial activities, starting from the moment a massive earthquake occurred off the eastern coast of Japan. The timeline tracks the heroic efforts of TEPCO workers to maintain normal operations in the midst of severe earthquake damage, flooding and a total power blackout.
Following the release of the INPO timeline in November 2011, The New York Times said INPO’s work provides the “basis for American nuclear operators and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to learn lessons from the disaster.” The U.S. nuclear industry will refer to this crucial tool as it continues to develop and execute its strategic response plan.
“The U.S. nuclear energy industry is committed to learning from Japan’s experience and applying relevant lessons to make U.S. nuclear energy facilities even safer. We are sharing this report with the widest possible audience because it is important that we all work from the same set of facts in determining the appropriate response.”
— Tony Pietrangelo
Chief Nuclear Officer
Nuclear Energy Institute