Solving a Core Problem: Achieving a Nuclear Industry Safety Culture Post-Fukushima

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19:30 (Door open at 19:00)
  • Chuck Casto (former Regional Administrator for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and licensed plant operator)
Mita Hall, Temple University, Japan Campus
Kyle Cleveland (ICAS Associate Director)
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Since 3.11, nuclear energy in Japan has continued to face challenges. With ongoing difficulties in decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, and reactor restarts delayed by public opposition and a newly conceived regulatory structure that has brought scrutiny to Japan’s nuclear industry as never before, the future of nuclear energy in Japan remains uncertain.

To address these issues and discuss the implications of the Fukushima disaster for the nuclear industry, this event will feature Dr. Charles “Chuck” Casto, who led the integrated US Government and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) efforts in Japan during the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011. Working directly with U.S. Ambassador Roos, and coordinating with the NRC’s Emergency Operations Center in the U.S., he represented the United States Government to the Japanese Prime Minister’s Cabinet.

In the aftermath of the Japan nuclear disaster, having participated in the scrutiny of his own government’s actions during the Japan crisis in “lessons-learned” reports and intra-agency initiatives to incorporate these lessons into the NRC’s procedures and industry protocols, Dr. Casto has considerable experience in dealing with the complexities of nuclear energy policy.

In this lecture, Dr. Casto will discuss his experiences working crisis management in coordination with the Japanese government and Daiichi staff during the dramatic early days of the Fukushima disaster, and offer his insight into how a culture of safety may be developed in Japan that incorporates community concerns, recognizes the contributions that nuclear power may provide to Japan’s energy needs and understands the necessity of a rigorous regulatory structure with proper governmental oversight.



Chuck Casto

former Regional Administrator for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and licensed plant operator

Dr. Charles A. Casto was the lead nuclear representative for the U.S. government during the most dire phase of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, serving 11 months in Japan, in consultation with TEPCO and the Japanese government on technical aspects of the Daichi plant under crisis conditions.

As a former NRC licensed plant operator at the Brown’s Ferry nuclear power plant (a Mark I design BWR similar in design to those at the Fukushima Daiichi plant), and the NRC’s sole Deputy Regional Administrator for Nuclear Power Plant construction inspection at the time of the accident, he was uniquely positioned to offer his insight to the workings of the Fukushima reactors at this time, and worked closely in coordination with the U.S. Nuclear Regulator Commission, the U.S. State Department, the Japanese government and other institutional stakeholders.

For his service in Japan on behalf of the U.S. government, Dr. Casto received the Presidential Distinguished Award (2012) from President Obama; he also previously received the Meritorious Rank Award (2009) from President George W. Bush. Subsequent to his experience in Japan, Casto was named NRC Regional Administrator, Region III, overseeing 23 reactors in eight states as one of the senior administrators for the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Upon his retirement in 2013, he completed a Doctorate in Business Administration from Kennesaw State University (Georgia), the title of which is “Crisis Management: A Qualitative Study of Extreme Event Leadership.”
Dr. Casto Leadership in the Extreme