Tokaimura (Japan's Sep. 30, 1999) Nuclear Accident:
Its Causes, Health & Environmental Effects

Freshman Seminar:  Technology & Environment
Professor Najmedin Meshkati
Fall 1999
University of Southern California

Technology & Environment Freshman Seminar Students (Fall 1999) in front of Doheny Memorial Library on USC Campus.


    The entire project was a class research conducted by 15 freshman students attending the University of Southern California.  The research was completed under the guidance of Dr. Najmedin Meshkati who is teaching a Freshman Seminar Class entitled Technology and the Environment for the Fall of 1999.

    The project examines the causes and the health and environmental effects of the Tokaimura (Japan, September 30, 1999) nuclear accident.  The entire report was based on the published reliable, public domain sources pertaining to the subject.  In the following sections, the students reviewed the causes of the accident and its potential health and environmental impacts due to the radiation released, based on experience from the Chernobyl accident and other events which also released radiation to the environment.  At the end of each section, the list of sources which includes published information and web-based sources will be provided.  In addition, the Appendix of this web page will also provide the links of available photos and other Tokaimura information pages regarding the accident.

    It should be noted that the document was entirely based on the pool of information available from the time of the accident through December 3, 1999.  The readers of this project are cautioned for the need to recognize that our research and the entire document was based on public domain information, and does not include specific agency reports which may have been released or could be released after the posting of the text of our study.  This research project will be periodically updated, as new information about the incident is released.

    The analyses of the probable causes and the role of the safety culture have been presented in Dr. Meshkati's article in the Los Angeles Times (Oct., 1, 1999) which is posted on this web page.

    For further analysis of this accident please refer to Dr. Meshkati and Mr. Deato's article which was published on the occasion of this accident first anniversary in the Japan Times (Oct., 2, 2000) Japan's English daily newspaper. For unedited version of this article please click here.

For a discussion of the present state of nuclear safety in Japan and recent problems of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), please click here for Dr. Meshkati's latest article on the Tokaimura's third anniversary (September 30, 2002).

This web page on Tokaimura accident has been cited and linked to by the United Nation's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) International Nuclear Information System (INIS) Web Services, please click here to go to the INIS's web site.

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Acknowledgment:  I would like to acknowledge all my freshman students' effort for this project,
    especially Mr. Joseph Deato and Mr. Justin Evans and Mr. Kidra Shadroo for developing the web page.


This page was last updated:  Thursday, October 3, 2002