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Interview with Akira Tokuhiro, Nuclear Engineer: Fukushima and the Mass Media08/06/11 11:17

“Only the mass media can put the kind of pressure on TEPCO and the Japanese government to bring about major change. This will cost at least 10 billion dollars if not 20-30 billion to clean up. It will take at least 10 years if not 20 and roughly 10,000 people working on the cleanup. The nuclear business is global. This needs an international effort to clean up Fukushima.” 
— Nuclear Engineer Akira Tokuhiro
In an email today, Japanese born, U.S.-educated nuclear engineering professor Tokuhiro wrote the following. I want to bring up a sensitive point to many who are (may be) identified below.

There is a difference amongst the following: nuclear physicist, nuclear engineer, nuclear reactor operator, nuclear non-proliferation specialist. During the current crisis, all these ‘experts’ have been in the media. The ranking of ‘experts’ who REALLY know how the reactor accident took place is as follows.

1) Nuclear reactor operator (he/she is really the forensic surgeon, the auto mechanic who can build and drive the car)
2) Nuclear engineer (he/she is the forensic and internal/external medicine practitioner; the automobile design and analysis engineer)

As for the other two, they only understand the principles. It is as if they know the principles of driving a car but have never driven the car nor designed a car nor repaired a car. Would you ask a podiatrist about a medical heart condition? Would you ask a medical ethicist? I think you get my point. It takes all kinds of people to run the global nuclear industry. However, who do you trust in terms of knowledge?

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