Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Crises
Labaudiniere, Margaux Salome. “Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Crises”. BA, Boston College, 2012. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/2616.
This paper will study three particular accidents in the nuclear industry: Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and the Fukushima Daiichi plant. These crises will be evaluated through a crisis management framework, using two main accident theories: Normal Accident Theory, and High Reliability Theory. The examination of the crises and the organizations involved will show that no matter how reliable the complex systems are, accidents are inevitable in the nuclear industry. High reliability theory expresses an ideal for complex organizations. While following the theory’s suggestions can limit some problems from occurring, acting as a mindful and reliable organization cannot prevent all disasters. The three cases presented in this paper will show that Normal Accident Theory must be accepted by the nuclear industry. Thus, governments and nuclear power plant operators must be prepared with crisis management plans in order to successfully handle emergency situations and limit damages. The first part of this paper will introduce Normal Accident Theory and High Reliability Theory. Then, after a brief overview of the basics of nuclear power, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima Daiichi will be examined in the theoretical framework, including a discussion of each event’s crisis management techniques.