What Have We Learned?
Abstract:The effect of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011 on the Fukushima Daiichi reactor presents a lesson for quality professionals. A failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) conducted based on information brought to light in 2008 might have given early indication of the dangers faced. A properly conducted FMEA would have addressed even unlikely possibilities such as the 9.0 earthquake, larger than any Japan had ever experienced. Risk management, supply chain management and communication could all have reduced the negative impact of the reactor failure on the surrounding area. While quality professionals can help in the case of disasters such as the Fukushima Daiichi failure, providing tools and methods for risk quantification and mitigation, the ultimate responsibility for managing quality and risk lies with top …