Yoshida's Dilemma

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Yoshida’s Dilemma tells the inside story of the Fukushima nuclear disaster triggered by the earthquake and tsunami that struck northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011. It conveys the initial drama and sheer mayhem that ensued at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant after it was rendered powerless by the natural disasters. It continues with the heroic efforts of onsite workers, skillfully marshaled by their rebellious leader Masao Yoshida, who made several decisions—including ignoring direct orders from superiors and the government—that altered the course of events. The book also looks at the oft-criticized attempts to respond to the triple disasters by then-Prime Minister Naoto Kanas well as the culture of cover-ups by the nuclear facility operator that was routinely rubber-stamped by the nation's regulators.
On a broader scale, Yoshida’s Dilemma examines some of the cultural, historical, and political issues that had a major influence on the nuclear accident, such as the so-called nuclear power village that helped create an almost willful, unquestioning acceptance of nuclear power, even among the media. It is a fascinating story, at times chilling and at times inspiring, with valuable lessons for the earth’s energy future.


Rob Gilhhooly is a photojournalist and former staff writer with the Japan Times, and has reported on the Fukushima disaster for the New York TimesTime magazine, the Times of London, the UK Telegraph, and New Scientist magazine.