On December 4, 2018, Radius releases Station Blackout, by Charles A. Casto. This is no ordinary book but one about a catastrophe unprecedented in human history that took place March 11, 2011 in Fukushima, Japan. What makes this unimaginable tragedy so singular and extraordinary is how natural forces and human decisions colluded to bring death and destruction to Japan. The Great East Japan Earthquake (a magnitude 9.0 earthquake centered off the coast of Japan) spawned a 45-foot-high tsunami propelling the Pacific Ocean to inundate the region of Fukushima, where three reactors of a nuclear power plant were perched right on the waterfront. The tsunami flooded the reactors, knocking out power within the plant, causing a chain reaction that led to the meltdown of three nuclear reactor cores, and resulting in an unimaginable nuclear disaster.
Station Blackout is the first and only account by someone who was on the ground and involved in the official response to this unprecedented life-changing catastrophe. Other accounts by Japanese and English-speaking authors are second-hand at best and too technical for most people. Chuck Casto shares what happened in real time from his perspective as the person in charge of the U.S. team at the request of the Japanese government to provide technical expertise and help develop a response to the disaster. He boils down all the technical jargon and complex problems into language the average person can understand. Station Blackout is world-changing for three reasons. First, this is the handbook to avoid a repeat of the same catastrophe. Second, in the unthinkable scenario that such a thing does in fact happen again, everyone will know who to call and how to respond to minimize the loss of life and contamination of air, water, and land in the disaster zone. Third, the crisis leadership advice it contains applies to disasters of all sorts, not just those of the unprecedented Fukushima variety.
Thankfully, catastrophes like what happened in Fukushima are extremely rare. The world owes a debt of gratitude to Chuck Casto leading the response to the Fukushima disaster. Now, everyone can read his story and learn from his wisdom and insights. Click here to purchase a copy and read Chuck Casto’s Station Blackout.