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Disaster Leadership Ludwig Boltzmann Symposia

Groupthink can kill – Fukushima Accident Investigation Chairman Kiyoshi Kurokawa

Kiyoshi Kurokawa: Quo vadis Japan? – uncertain times

(Academic Fellow of GRIPS and former Chairman of Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission by National Diet of Japan)

Keynote presented at the 6th Ludwig Boltzmann Symposium on February 20, 2014 at the Embassy of Austria in Tokyo.

Professor Kurokawa set the stage by describing the uncertain times, risks and unpredictabilities in which we live – while at the same time internet connects us all, all while the world’s population increased from about 1 billion people in 1750 to about 9 billion people today.

Major global risks in terms of impact and likelihood are (General Annual Conference 2013 of the World Economic Forum):

  • severe income disparity
  • chronic fiscal imbalances
  • rising greenhouse gas emissions
  • cyber attacks
  • water supply crisis
  • management of population aging
  • corruption

Top trends for 2014, ranked by global significance (World Economic Forum, Outlook on global agenda 2014):

  • rising social tensions in Middle East and North Africa
  • widening income disparity
  • persistent structural unemployment
  • intensifying cyber threats
  • diminishing confidence in economic policies
  • lack of values in leadership
  • the expanding middle class in Asia

This changing world needs a change of paradigm:

  • resilience instead of strength
  • risk instead of safety

Many recent “Black Swan events” bring home that:

  • accident happens
  • machine breaks
  • to err is human

Fukushima Nuclear Accident Investigation Commission NAIIC of the Japanese Parliament:

Professor Kiyoshi Kurokawa chaired the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC) by the National Diet of Japan, which was active from December 8, 2011 to July 5, 2012. While Parliamentary commissions to investigate accidents, problems and disasters are quite frequent in most Western democracies, this was the first time ever in the history of Constitutional Democratic Japan, that a Parliamentary investigation commission was constituted.

Examples of Parliamentary commissions in other western democracies are:

  • Three Mile Island, USA 1979
  • Space Shuttle Challenger, USA 1986
  • 9.11 Terrorist Attack, USA 2001 and many many many more in USA
  • Oslo’s shooting incident, Norway 2011
  • Mad Cow Disease, UK 1997-, and several Parliamentary commissions every year in UK

The records of the Parliamentary Commission for the Fukushima Disaster can be viewed here.

Fukushima Nuclear Accident Investigation Commission of the Japanese Parliament NAIIC key results: Fukushima nuclear disaster was caused by “regulatory capture”

The key result of the Parliamentary Commission is, that the Fukushima nuclear disaster was caused by “regulatory capture”, a phenomenon for which there are many examples all over the world and which is not specific to Japan. Regulatory capture was studied by Goerge J Stigler, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1982 for “for his seminal studies of industrial structures, functioning of markets and causes and effects of public regulation”.

Since the full report of the Independent Parliamentary Commission NAIIC is long and complex to read, few people are likely to read the full reports and watch the videos of all sessions.

Therefore short summary videos the key results of the Independent Parliamentary Commission NAIIC were prepared both in Japanese and in English.

The simplest explanation of The National Diet of Japan Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission NAIIC Report (English):

1. What is the NAIIC?

2. Was the nuclear accident preventable?

3. What happened inside the nuclear plant?

4. What should have been done after the accident?

5. Could the damage be contained?

6. What are the issues with nuclear energy?

わかりやすいプロジェクト 国会事故調編

1。国会事故調ってなに?

2。事故は防げなかったの?

3。原発の中でなにが起こっていたの?

4。事故の後対応をどうしたらよかったの?

5。被害を小さくとどめられなかったの?

6。原発をめぐる社会の仕組みの課題ってなに?

“Groupthink can kill”

We need leaders to be accountable, and we need to understand that “Groupthink” can lead to disasters.

We need the obligation to dissent instead of compliance.

The Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC) was like a hole body CT scan of the Governance of Japan.

Richard Feynman when charing the Space Shuttle Accident investigation wrote in 1986: “for a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.

For his work chairing the Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC) Professor Kurokawa was selected as one of “100 Top Global Thinkers 2012” by Foreign Policy “for daring to tell a complacent country that groupthink can kill”.

Professor Kurokawa was awarded the AAAS Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award “for his courage in challenging some of the most ingrained conventions of Japanese governance and society.

“Japan is clearly living in denial, water keeps building up inside the plant, and debris keeps piling up outside of it. This is all just one big shell game aimed at pushing off the problem until the future”, New York Times, quotation of the day, September 4, 2013 Professor Kiyoshi Kurokawa

Professor Kiyoshi Kurokawa
Professor Kiyoshi Kurokawa
Professor Kiyoshi Kurokawa
Professor Kiyoshi Kurokawa

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Ludwig Boltzmann Symposia

Energy – 5th Ludwig Boltzmann Symposium, Tokyo, Feb 20, 2013

Energy

5th Ludwig Boltzmann Symposium – speakers: Robert Geller, Gerhard Fasol, Kiyoshi Kurokawa, Shuji Nakamura

Wednesday, 20th February 2013, Embassy of Austria, Tokyo

  • 14:00 Welcome by Dr. Bernhard Zimburg, Ambassador of Austria to Japan
  • 14:10 Gerhard Fasol, "today’s agenda"
  • 14:20 – 14:40 Robert Geller
    Professor of Geophysics University of Tokyo, seismologist. First ever tenured non-Japanese faculty member at the University of Tokyo
    "A seismologist looks at nuclear power plant safety issues"
  • 14:40 – 15:20 Gerhard Fasol
    Physicist. CEO of Eurotechnology Japan KK, served as Assoc Professor at Tokyo University and Lecturer at Cambridge University and Manager of Hitachi Cambridge R&D lab
    "Ludwig Boltzmann – the disrespectful revolutionary"
  • 15:40 – 16:20 Kiyoshi Kurokawa
    Academic Fellow of GRIPS and former Chairman of Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission by National Diet of Japan
    "Creativity, Crazy Ones and Power of Pull"
  • 16:40 – 17:20 Shuji Nakamura
    Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara. Inventor of GaN LEDs and lasers, which are the basis for the global LED lighting revolution.
    "The global lighting revolution and the changes I want for Japan"
  • 17:20 – 17:30 Gerhard Fasol "Summary"
  • Followed by reception (private, invitation only)

Registration: latest 10 February 2013 (by invitation only)

Further information:

Peter Storer, Minister for Cultural Affairs, Embassy of Austria

Summary

Robert Geller: "A seismologist looks at nuclear power plant safety issues"

Robert Geller gave an overview of large scale earthquakes and tsunamis in different regions of earth, and in history, and explained that large "Tohoku-2011" scale earth quakes and tsunamis do have a finite probability of striking Japan, and need to be taken in to account in the construction of structures such as nuclear power plants. Robert Geller in particular explained and emphasized the risks on the northern coast of Japan, facing the Sea of Japan.

Gerhard Fasol: "Ludwig Boltzmann – the disrespectful revolutionary"

Gerhard Fasol reviewed Ludwig Boltzmann’s life and work, and particular Boltzmann’s efforts to promote open discussion and to destroy dogmatic views, most importantly the rejection of atoms by Oswald’s school of "energetics" and Mach. Ludwig Boltzmann’s work is fundamental in many areas of today’s physics, technology, IT, energy and in many other fields. As a demonstration of Ludwig Boltzmann’s work linking the macrosopic face of Entropy with the statistical properties of atoms and molecules, Gerhard Fasol explained today’s state of development of electrical power production from the entry of mixing of water with different concentrations of salts, from salinity gradients. "Osmotic powerplants", which are directly based on Boltzmann’s work on the Entropy of mixing, have the potential to be developed into a very important contribution to our future renewable energy mix, although much research still remains to be done, especially in the area of semipermeable membranes.

Kiyoshi Kurokawa: "Creativity, Crazy Ones and Power of Pull – Uncertain Times: Changing Principles"

Kiyoshi Kurokawa laid out the rapid and dramatic changes we are currently facing in our world: the development of the global information revolution, revolutions towards democracy in the arab world, the Sept-11 terror attacks, and the triple disaster in Tohoku in March 2011. As short summary of the information revolution, linked with other major developments of global impact:

web 1.0: 1991-2000 – end of cold war, world wide web, globalization and financial crises: 1990, 1992, 1997

web 2.0: 2001-2010 – 9.11, digital age, wireless, touch panel, growth of emerging economies, BRICs, global financial crisis 2007, and President Barak Obama

web 3.0: 2011- – Arab Spring, and March-11 Tohoku disaster

Paradigm shift of The Principles (Joi Ito, MIT Media Lab, and Kiyoshi Kurokawa, GRIPS):

The principles 1:
RESILIENCE instead of strength
RISK instead of safety
SYTEMS instead of objects

The principles 2:
COMPASSES instead of maps
PULL instead of push
PRACTICE instead of theory

The principles 3:
DISOBEDIENCE instead of compliance
CROWDS instead of experts
LEARNING instead of education

For his work as former Chairman of Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission by National Diet of Japan, Kiyoshi Kurokawa was recently awarded the "Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award" by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Kiyoshi Kurokawa paid particular attention for the deliberations and fact finding by the Independent Investigation Commission was open and transparent, and published globally in Japanese and in English in many different forms. The report itself can be downloaded here: http://warp.da.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/3856371/naiic.go.jp/index.html

Kiyoshi Kurokawa emphasised the contribution of "Regulatory Capture" to the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Important work on "Regulatory Capture" was done by US economist George Stigler, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1982. Kiyoshi Kurokawa emphasized that Regulatory Capture is not specific to Japan, there are many examples throughout the world.

Shuji Nakamura: "The global lighting revolution and the changes I want for Japan"

Shuji Nakamura briefly outlined his inventions of a long series of GaN based devices, GaN LEDs and lasers, which are the basis for the global lighting revolution, and for bluray storage technology. Shuji Nakamura gave us a passionate personal view of his work as a researcher, how he created and experienced the breakthroughs, and some consequences on his personal life. Shuji Nakamura explained how he was accused in a US court by his former employer, and how as a consequence in order to defend himself and his family, he saw himself forced to countersue his former employer in Japanese courts. Shuji Nakamura compared his situation as a researcher in Japan, and now in Santa Barbara, and made some suggestions for change for the position of researchers.

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Japan's energy sector Ludwig Boltzmann Symposia

4th Ludwig Boltzmann Symposium Tokyo (Feb 20, 2012, Embassy of Austria)

Energy

4th Ludwig Boltzmann Symposium on Energy in Tokyo. Speakers: Tatsuo Masuda, Kiyoshi Kurokawa, Hideaki Watanabe, Robert Geller, Gerhard Fasol, Jonathan Dorfan

  • on Monday, 20th February 2012
  • 14:00 Welcome by Thomas Loidl, Chargé d’affaires ad interim of the Austrian Embassy
  • 14:10 Gerhard Fasol: today’s agenda”
  • 14:20 – 14:40 Tatsuo Masuda
    Professor at Nagoya University of Commerce and Business, served as Director of Oil Markets and Emergency Preparedness of IEA
    “New energy architecture for Japan”
  • 14:40 – 15:20 Kiyoshi Kurokawa (schedule permitting)
    Chairman of Japan’s Parliamentary Commission on the Fukushima Disaster, served as Special Cabinet Advisor on Science, Technology and Innovation
    “Fukushima crisis fueling the third opening of Japan”
  • 15:50 – 16:10 Hideaki Watanabe
    Corporate Vice-President, Nissan Motor Company, in charge of Electric Vehicles and Zero Emission Business
    “The new energy management supported by Electric Vehicles”
  • 16:10 – 16:30 Robert Geller
    Professor of Geophysics University of Tokyo, seismologist. First ever tenured non-Japanese faculty member at the University of Tokyo
    “Understanding earthquakes: let’s put the physics back into geophysics!”
  • 16:50 – 17:30 Gerhard Fasol
    Physicist. CEO of Eurotechnology Japan KK, served as Assoc Professor at Tokyo University and Lecturer at Cambridge University and Manager of Hitachi Cambridge R&D lab
    “Ludwig Boltzmann and the laws governing energy”
  • 17:30 – 17:50 Jonathan M Dorfan
    Particle physicist
    President, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University, OIST. Served as Director of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center
    “New Solutions for Energy – OIST’s R&am;D Program”
  • Followed by reception (private, invitation only)

Registration: latest 15 February 2011
Further information:

Peter Storer, Minister for Cultural Affairs, Embassy of Austria

Summary

Tatsuo Masuda: “New energy architecture for Japan”

Tatsuo Masuda described how Japan’s energy strategy and policy was until recently determined more or less behind closed doors by a group of about 100 insiders, of which Tatsuo Masuda has been one. This situation could continue as long as nothing went wrong.

Atomic energy was introduced to Japan via the USA, and instead of growing nuclear technology over an extended period of time within Japan, policians decided on a very short time schedule, which made it impossible to develop nuclear technology within Japan, and left purchase of ready-made nuclear power-plants and adoption of nuclear power technology from the USA as the only option.

Tatsuo Masuda predicts the “democratization” of electrical power generation in Japan. While at present almost all electrical power in Japan is produced by regional monopoly companies, in the future a development is likely, where many organizations, corporations, and private citizens will take part, or even may take over the main task or producing electrical energy in Japan.

Hideaki Watanabe: “The new energy management supported by Electric Vehicles”

Hideki Watanabe explained Nissan’s Leaf electrical vehicle program, and the associated energy technologies and businesses. During the coffee break, participants studied a Lead car, and an animated discussion took place about advantages and disadvantages of electrical cars, and in particular the Lead with respect to cold weather performance and other extreme conditions

Mr Watanabe explained that the Leaf electric car is the center of an energy management system, where the battery of Leaf electric car is an integral part of the energy management of the owner’s household.

Robert Geller: “Understanding earthquakes: let’s put the physics back into geophysics!”

Robert Geller calls for an return to the principles of physics in understanding earth quakes and in preparing for future disasters, instead of following positions based on political or funding priorities.

Robert Geller for a long time has been arguing for the view, that the timing, location and strength of earthquakes cannot be predicted due to fundamental principles of physics, and the nature of the earth. Robert demonstrated his arguments by bending a pencil in front of us (see photos below). While the stress distribution and other details can be calculated with precision, it is not possible to predict the time and the way the pencil breaks with accuracy. Robert argues that in a similar way, earth quakes can also not be predicted, because earth quakes are essentially in the mathematical sense chaotic phenomena.

Robert explained how a group of earth scientists years ago promised that they could predict earth quakes with the purpose of obtaining politically motivated funding for their research. They were successful in obtaining continuous research funding with the explicit purpose of developing methods to predict earthquakes. Once this funding started flowing for many years now, it is very difficult for scientists obtaining this funding to put the possibility of earthquake prediction in question.

Robert also discussed official earth quake risk maps, and explained that many of the strongest earth quakes occur in areas which are officially designated as low risk areas.

Robert called for a reassessment of earth quake policies and preparations for future disasters, using the most up-to-date results of earth-science, and to review outdated positions, and abandon those positions, which have been shown to be invalid using established methods of physics.

Gerhard Fasol: “Ludwig Boltzmann and the laws governing energy”

Gerhard Fasol reviewed Ludwig Boltzmann’s life and work, and particular his life-long work on the fundamental laws of physics governing energy.

Jonathan M Dorfan: “New Solutions for Energy – OIST’s R&D Program”

Jonathan Dorfan introduced OIST, The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, which has just recently been accredited as a Graduate University by the Japanese Ministry of Education, and introduced several research programs in the field of energy generation.

Jonathan explained the history of OIST, and OIST’s pioneering position as an English speaking international Graduate University in Japan. In particular, OIST has no Departments which would create barriers between research groups, instead the emphasis is on cross-disciplinary cooperation supported by the latest instrumentats and research tools. According to Jonathan, OIST succeeds in attracting most outstanding staff and students – surprisingly current market conditions seem to make it easier to attract outstanding research staff than students – the market for attracting outstanding students seems to be more competitive than for research staff. OIST offers scholarships for students, many or all of which are graduates from top ranking undergraduate schools.

Photos

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Ludwig Boltzmann Symposia science

our future: hot, flat, and crowded… celebrating Ludwig Boltzmann’s 165th birthday

First Ludwig Boltzmann Forum Tokyo on February 20th, 2009

Speakers: Hisashi Kobayashi, Gerhard Fasol, Kazu Ishikawa, Kiyoshi Kurokawa

Ludwig Boltzmann was one of the most important physicists and philosophers: it is almost impossible for any engineer, chemist or physicist to do a day’s work without using Boltzmann’s tools and results every day. Ludwig Boltzmann is Gerhard Fasol‘s and Eurotechnology Japan KK’s founder’s great grandfather – and his excellence is our company’s guiding light.

Ludwig Boltzmann was born 165 years ago on February 20, 1844, and last Friday, February 20, 2009 we celebrated the first event of the Ludwig Boltzmann Forum by inviting several of Japan’s science and technology leaders with kind cooperation and hospitality by the Ambassador of Austria and the Austrian Embassy:

First speaker was Professor Hisashi Kobayashi, Founder of the IBM Tokyo Laboratory, former Dean of Engineering of Princeton University. He showed how Entropy and noise in communications is linked to Boltzmann’s generalized Entropy and the H-Theorem. Coming from Princeton, Hisashi also showed us elegantly how strongly Einstein’s work is linked to Boltzmann’s.

Professor Kiyoshi Kurokawa, former Dean of Medicine of Tokai University, former President of Japan’s Science Council and Advisor to two Japanese Prime Ministers and now Professor at Japan’s new Political Science University, gave an intense and passionate speech about which changes are necessary to live in our future which will be hot (as in global warming), flat (as in global communications and internet) and crowded (due do population growth). Kiyoshi also made a passionate appeal to Japanese organisations (including the S&T leaders participating at our Symposium) to change, open up and compete globally.

Kazu Ishikawa of Exa Japan gave a fantastic demonstration how Boltzmann’s equations are used to simulate airflow for the construction of cars, airplanes, jet engines … Boltzmann’s equations replace the macroscopic Navier-Stokes equations as numerical wind tunnels. Boltzmann’s equations are particularly needed for the simulation of transients.

Finally, Gerhard Fasol, Ludwig Boltzmann’s Great-Grandson, gave two talks: one talk about Ludwig Boltzmann’s scientific achievements, his search for understanding the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics with mechanics, the effects of collisions and the generalization to non-equilibrium – leading the H-Theorem, and the generalization of Entropy and Boltzmann’s philosophical work. The second talk introduced the human side of Ludwig Boltzmann: his life and his passions.

Photo: Hisashi Kobayashi shows why Boltzmann’s work is important for telecommunications, and how Einstein’s work is linked to Boltzmann’s. Her Excellency, the Austrian Ambassador follows closely:

Hisashi Kobayashi at the Ludwig Boltzmann Symposium - the Ambassador of Austria listens
Hisashi Kobayashi at the Ludwig Boltzmann Symposium – the Ambassador of Austria listens

Photo: Hot, flat and crowded. In a passionate speech, former science and tech advisor of two Japanese Prime-Ministers, Kiyoshi Kurokawa talks about the future, and how to be prepared to compete:

Kiyoshi Kurokawa
Kiyoshi Kurokawa: Hot, flat and crowded

Photo: The Austrian Ambassador invited the participants of the Ludwig Boltzmann Symposium to the Austrian Residence:

Reception by the Ambassador of Austria
Reception by the Ambassador of Austria

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