Monday, July 23, 2012

Lessons for us from Tepco Fukushima Plant

Note the parallels between Tepco fiasco at the Fukushima's nuclear plant and compare them to our Orchard Rd floods and MRT breakdowns

"The fundamental problem lies in the fact that utilities, including TEPCO, and the government have failed to see the danger as reality as they were bound by a myth of nuclear safety and the notion that severe accidents do not happen at nuclear plants in our country," said the 450-page report.
The study, completed by a government-appointed panel including scholars, journalists, lawyers and engineers, also said Fukushima staff were poorly trained to deal with the crisis after the plant's reactors went into meltdown last year.

We had a less serious problem but it is the same sort of complacency. The Japanese had more time to hibernate and made it far worse. We were careless for a shorter time before we hit problems.

Keeping Singapore running in a tip top state is very tiring and nearly always unappreciated and taken for granted. It is human nature and therefore inevitable that we let our guard down. It is like your eyes appear to stay open but the mind has switched off and gone to sleep.

Everyone wants to work on something visible so that they can be recognized and rewarded. This was especially true when I was living in Dubai for a while. Anything that is not seen is neglected. So the unsexy bits eventually find a way to haunt you. They become embarrassingly visible.

Helps a lot that our tendency to cover up or gloss over isn't as strong as the Japanese.

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