The Associated Press now has a copy of the tsunami plan for
the TEPCO Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex.
It's two pages long and ten years
old. (The AP calls it one page, but it's a double-size page.)
There's some discussion of whether
two pages was enough. From a project management perspective,1 that's
the wrong discussion.
Two pages is plenty of room to
catalog and categorize tsunami risks, especially with cross-references to
external data. Even throw in the inevitable boilerplate on a report of this
type, and there would have been room to cover the key risks.
The project-management problems are
The first is a human failure that
happens regularly. We all miss black-swan risks. The other two are, to my way
of thinking, much heftier contributors to the big problem. Both were easily
avoidable with good project management practices. Had they done either, the
failure ten years ago to account for a really big wave wouldn't have had the
impact it did.
I'll take up each of these three
points in separate articles over the coming days.
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1To be clear, I do not read Japanese, and I cannot find
online a full translation of the report. Also, while I have considerable expertise
and experience in project management, I'm not the go-to guy by any means on
nuclear power plants.