Data, Event, and Accident: Terms for Framing the Nuclear Disaster in Japan

I noticed today on the main English NHK website that the NHK offers a daily dose of Fukushima Daiichi ‘data’ here. This ‘data’ is provided by Tokyo Electric Power Co. TEPCO, and the data, at least the parts in English, are divorced from any reference to what precipitated the necessity of this data. This made me curious about what other groups were collecting data and how was that data being framed in reference to the earthquake and tsunami that occurred in Japan.

The Japan Atomic Engery Agency (JAEA) posts daily reports on “Situation and response of JAEA to the earthquake in northeastern Japan” here. Their reference is to earthquake in the title, but the reports specifically call what is going on at Fukushima an ‘accident.’

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is also keeping a log of what they call an ‘accident’ here.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission posted a review of what they call an ‘event’ here.

There is something between the data, accident, and event that needs further study. Have you come across other sources of data on the nuclear disaster? How are other non-media sources framing what is going on in Japan following the 9.0 magnitude earthquake?

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Jason W. Ellis

I am an Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology. Also, I direct the B.S. in Professional and Technical Writing Program and coordinate the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, which holds more than 600 linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and research publications.