The events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant resonate in ongoing debates about the viability of nuclear energy in Japan post-3.11. Now that a newly conceived nuclear regulatory structure has been instituted, the prospective restarts of the idle reactors has become a central issue for the future of Japan’s energy policy, and remains an ongoing concern for the Japanese public.
This event brings together Kiyoshi Kurokawa, the director of the definitive independent investigative report of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Chuck Casto, who was the lead representative for the U.S. Government’s response to the crisis, and Takafumi Anegawa, who is Chief Nuclear Officer of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and Secretary-General of TEPCO’s Nuclear Reform Special Task Force, to discuss how Japan might establish a functional nuclear regulatory structure that can properly oversee the reactor restarts and align with international norms on safety, transparency and accountability.
This panel will consider issues such as:
- How can a proper nuclear regulatory process be established in Japan?
- With consideration to the evolving understanding of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, what are the “right” lessons to learn and apply to Japan’s crisis management procedures related to nuclear power?
- Given the nature of Japan’s political structure, how can the “Nuclear Regulation Authority” maintain proper oversight of the reactors and appease public concerns about the safety of nuclear energy?
- What is the future of nuclear energy in Japan? What reforms should be made to the nuclear industry in Japan after 3.11, and are the changes to date sufficient to address the multitude of issues that remain as Japan negotiates a difficult compromise between government agendas, economic interests, public preference and safety.
Drawing on their experience, access to decision making processes during the early days of the disaster, and their participation in hundreds of hours of official investigative processes, these experts offer a unique insider, cross-cultural perspective on these important issues.
Chairman of the Health and Global Policy Institute, Fellow of the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, and Director of the National Diet of Japan Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission
Dr. Kiyoshi Kurokawa, M.D. is chairman of the Health and Global Policy Institute, fellow of the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, professor emeritus of the University of Tokyo, and former president of the Science Council of Japan. As director of the official independent commission investigation of the Fukushima nuclear accident, Dr. Kurokawa oversaw 1167 interviews with primary sources involved in the disaster, conducted with nuclear industry insiders, plant workers, and government officials, and solicited feedback from the public through town meetings, social media and public hearings.
Professor Kurokawa is Member of President Council of the University of Tokyo; Professor Emeritus of the University of Tokyo; Senior Scientist of the Earth Institute, Columbia University; Governor of Japan Chapter of American College of Physicians; and Chairman of Health Policy Institute, Japan.
Dr. Kurokawa is a recipient of the Order of Purple from the Government of Japan for Excellence in Academic Achievements in 1999. In 2012 he was named one of the top 100 Global Thinkers by Time Magazine. He has served on many ministerial committees in Japan including Science Advisor for the Ministry of Education, Sciences and Culture; Member and Chair of several Special Committee of the Ministry of Health and Welfare; and Member of the National Health Policy Council of the Ministry of Health and Welfare. He was Professor of Medicine at Departments of Medicine UCLA School of Medicine (1979-84), University of Tokyo Faculty of Medicine (1989-96), Dean of Tokai University School of Medicine (1996-02), and Research Center of Advanced Science and Technology of the University of Tokyo (2003-06).
Chief Nuclear Officer of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and Secretary-General of TEPCO’s Nuclear Reform Special Task Force
Takafumi Anegawa is Chief Nuclear Officer of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and Secretary-General of TEPCO’s Nuclear Reform Special Task Force. The taskforce was established in 2012 in order to reform TEPCO’s safety culture, safety measures, disaster prevention measures, risk/crisis control protocols, information disclosure, and risk communication methods.
After receiving his Master of Engineering from the University of Tokyo, Mr. Anegawa joined the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, working in Core & Fuel Management, and then the Construction Department. In 1991 he was dispatched to General Electric USA, where he was involved in the design of the simplified nuclear reactor. After returning from GE, he worked for TEPCO’s Business Development Department in charge of e-mobility. In 2004 he became Head of E-mobility, TEPCO Research & Development Center, and in 2011 he became General Manager of the Nuclear Asset Management Department, before taking on his current role.
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