A GSB alum at Fukushima
Last week I attended a presentation by one of our Japanese alums, Kenji Tateiwa '04, who was in the thick of the Fukushima nuclear accidents in March 2011. Kenji shared with an audience of Stanford alumni his experience as a nuclear engineer and manager at Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which owns and operates the nuclear power stations that were severely damaged by the tsunami. This was a rare opportunity to hear the facts from someone on the inside, including information that is not well-known to the public. It was both harrowing and moving to hear Kenji quote from the workers on-site who were dealing with the crisis in darkness with only flashlights and who believed they may never see their families again. Kenji began his presentation by sharing part of his "What matters most to you" essay from his application to Stanford 10 years ago. It was inspiring to hear the aspirations he expressed in his essay about his "dream of establishing a perfect energy world -- one sustainable from an energy point of view and protective of mother nature". And, now, to see what a critical role he is playing in strengthening the U.S.-Japan relationship so that the lessons learned from the Fukushima accident can enhance nuclear safety worldwide. Kenji said that the GSB mantra of "Change lives, change organizations, change the world" guides him in this important work.