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U.S. scientists prep for nuclear disaster, learn from Japan

U.S. scientists are in a three-day meeting with Japanese nuclear officials to ensure that America's power plants to not suffer the same fate as Fukushima.
U.S. scientists are in a three-day meeting with Japanese nuclear officials to ensure that America's power plants to not suffer the same fate as Fukushima.

Thorough risk assessments are necessary for any business, but they are especially crucial when a company's actions could have a mass effect on individuals' lives. Business continuity planning needs to account for a number of outcomes, including worse case scenarios.

A nuclear accident at Japan's Fukushima plant last year – following a massive earthquake and tsunami – has led top American scientists to begin preparing for a similar disaster on U.S. soil. The officials met in Tokyo this week to work toward improving the safety of American atomic power reactors.

According to The Associated Press, the three-day meeting started on Monday and the 22-member committee of the National Academy of Sciences conducted hearings from experts who led Japanese investigations, as well as regulators and officials from the Tokyo Electric Power Company – which runs the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.

Norman Neureiter headed the committee, and explained to the AP that the tsunami-induced disaster and the ensuing impact have caused widespread concerns about nuclear power and its safety.

"Because after a thing like this in Japan and a damage and human losses and continuing radiation and all of these things, people will have more and more questions about nuclear energy," Neureiter told the source. "So, to draw the conclusion from this investigation hopefully useful lessons which can be applied to elsewhere to make sure nothing like this happens again."

On Tuesday, Toyoshi Fuketa, a Nuclear Regulation Authority commissioner, said that he knows it's necessary to study ways to improve safety culture, but his organization is too busy setting up new safety and radiological protection standards and other framework.

Not only will a business impact analysis account for dealing with the aftermath of negative situations, but it will also ensure employees are properly trained in the best preparation methods. Business continuity will only occur when workers at all levels understand their individual roles and how they can affect the company.