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Includes the name: Ryūshō Kadota

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Kanonisk navn
Kadota, Ryūshō
Juridisk navn
Kadowaki, Mamoru
Andre navne
門田 隆将
Aki, Kochi, Japan
Faculty of Law, Chūō University
Shūkan Shinchō



I rarely give a book 5 stars, but On The Brink: The Inside Story of Fukushima Daiichi is definitely worthy of that rating. Fukushima Daiichi (FDI) was the nuclear power plant in Japan, damaged by an earthquake in March 2011, and functionally destroyed by the subsequent tsunami. My upfront disclaimer is that I worked in the nuclear power industry for nearly twenty years as an Information Technology specialist at a large design/build engineering firm and became intimately familiar with the processes and data involved in the design and construction of a nuclear plant.

The catastrophic subject matter makes for a compelling read equal to that of many fictional thrillers. The author presents both facts and opinions in a clearly organized way – a major accomplishment when dealing with a technical subject. The translation was also exceptional. I think this book should be required reading for anyone in the nuclear power industry.

As I read the book, I saw obvious problems – the interference from the government, the reluctance of the power company's executives to be fully transparent in their communications, and the principles of engineering economics. In the nuclear industry, safety is key. Systems are designed to be fail-safe and to have backups. When design decisions are made, they are based on conservative estimates of statistical probability of occurrence. Unfortunately, the impact of a tsunami was severely underestimated, leading to the disastrous results at FDI.

I have to admire the operations teams. As you would expect from their culture, they willingly accepted the responsibility that was thrust upon them and responded to the best of their ability, saving Japan from a worst-case scenario. As I read about their efforts, I kept stopping to think about what could have been done with today's technology to help them.

In summary, I felt this book described the emergency response quite well. Regardless of your opinion on nuclear power, I think you will find this book compelling.
… (mere)
7 stem
LoisB | 10 andre anmeldelser | Dec 29, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is an almost minute by minute account of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident; although reference is made--must be made to the earthquake and tsunami which damaged the power plant and complicated all efforts to cope with the crisis. Aimed at the general Japanese reader, there are some references which will mean little or nothing to American readers, but these are few and do not detract at all from the drama of the book or its clear account of what happened and how it happened. A dramatic story, well told, and carefully documented.… (mere)
nmele | 10 andre anmeldelser | Dec 13, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is an engrossing story about the near disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that had hit Japan. There are many engineering details, but the book is mainly about the human stories, describing how a number of people took tremendous risks to keep the situation under control and prevent a Chernobyl-like tragedy. I was impressed by the courage and loyalty of those working in the nuclear facility and appalled by the stories of political interference. The translation was a little bit awkward in places but done well for the most part. I would have liked to see more analysis of the circumstances leading to the disaster. There is a small amount of analysis at the very end, but this book is primarily about the extraordinary actions of the people caught in incredibly challenging circumstances.… (mere)
mathgirl40 | 10 andre anmeldelser | Dec 2, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
In reading this book, I was hoping for a glimpse into the human moments surrounding the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant. I had concerns that it might be too focused on the technical aspects of what happened rather than the human ones.

Thankfully, there was no need to worry. While the technical aspects are an important part of both the story and the book, they are explained thoroughly and used to enhance understanding of the human drama, not detract from it.

Mr. Kadota has a story-teller's eye for the details that can pull a reader into a harrowing situation. I can easily see myself recommending this to people who read 102 Minutes, Is Paris Buring?, And the Band Played On, or other great books that examine difficult moments in history from the perspective of the everyday people caught up in them.… (mere)
willoughby | 10 andre anmeldelser | Nov 21, 2014 |


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Associated Authors

Simon Varnam Translator
Akira Tokuhiro Technical Advisor