Analysis by IRSN of the Fukushima Daiichi accident of March 2011

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IRSN

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On March 11, 2011, the earthquake that occurred off the eastern coast of the Island of Honshu in Japan and the ensuing tsunami devastated the Japanese territory in the Tohoku region, causing widespread destruction of local infrastructures and untold suffering for the local population.

The natural catastrophe also caused major damage to the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant, which led to a core meltdown in three nuclear reactors and loss of cooling for several fuel storage pools. Large amounts of radioactive materials were released into the environment. The accident was rated Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale.

Beginning on March 11th, IRSN took action to analyze the ongoing crisis and the probable radiological consequences of the nuclear accident, in order to provide the President of France, the French authorities and competent agencies, the Nuclear Safety Authority, elected officials and the French Ambassador to Japan with up-to-date information during the critical phases of the accident.

IRSN has also performed an extensive analysis of the supplementary safety reviews recently conducted on French nuclear facilities in order to draw the initial conclusions concerning the accident.

A more in-depth analysis of the events that took place is still necessary however, to obtain more precise operational feedback about the events. This film has been made to help viewers better understand the events that took place at Fukushima. In its current version, the film focuses entirely on the events that resulted in a core meltdown in three of the reactors at Fukushima. The management of the cooling systems for the fuel storage pools, the impact of the accident on plant employees, on the local population and on the environment, are not covered in the film.

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