1. JAPAN

    Panel: Fukushima Plant Wasn’t Ready

    FILE - This Nov. 12, 2011 photo shows a view of the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Japan. The tsunami-devastated nuclear power plant has reached a stable state of "cold shutdown" and is no longer leaking substantial amounts of radiation, Japan's prime minister announced Friday, Dec. 16, 2011, marking a milestone nine months after the March 11 tsunami sent three reactors at the plant into meltdowns in the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder, Pool, File)

    David Guttenfelder, Pool / AP Photo

    Fukushima operators and regulators were unprepared for last spring's tsunami and its immediate impact on the Japanese nuclear plant, says a new report. The Japanese government commissioned a study by an independent panel, which found that neither Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) nor regulators acted in anticipation of a severe natural disaster—like the tsunami—or went beyond the limit of required safety measures to ensure the stability of the reactor in a disaster situation. Still, they note, the Japanese nuclear regulatory body did not require Tepco to take the appropriate precautionary measures. In contrast to Tepco's own report on the situation, which says it could never have been prepared for the magnitude of storm that hit, the independent panel says there were delays in announcing what happened to the public, managers were ill-prepared on how to deal with emergencies, and there was a lack of communication between the workers and the government.

    Read it at BBC News