Friday, June 19, 2015

TEPCO recognizes need for tsunami measures in 2008

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) was aware of the need to take anti-tsunami measures for Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in 2008, proving the nuclear disaster was a clearly man-made disaster, lawyers for plaintiffs in an ongoing damages suit said Thursday.

Yuichi Kaido, one of the lawyers, said during a hearing at the Tokyo District Court that an internal document from 2008 showed that the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant "had clearly recognized as of that year that measures against tsunami were inevitable, contradicting the company's explanations so far," Japan's Kyodo News reported.

TEPCO has claimed in the lawsuit that it was not able to predict the massive tsunami after a magnitude 9.0 Tohoku earthquake in 2011.

However, according to the report, TEPCO projected in June 2008 that after an earthquake the plant would be hit by 15.7-meter-high tsunami waves.

The internal document said measures against tsunami hazards were "inevitable as we cannot help but expect bigger tsunami than currently projected," but the utility did not take specific measures against tsunami later on.

"TEPCO apparently tried to avoid spending massive amounts of money on boosting the plant's preparedness against disasters," lawyers said, adding this is another piece of evidence supporting the world's worst radiation-leaking disaster since the 1986 Chernobyl accident was a "clearly man-made disaster."

The Fukushima plant, located in northeastern Japan, lost nearly all of its power sources and consequently the ability to cool its reactors after it was hit by the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. Three of the plant's six nuclear reactors suffered a meltdown.

  Xinhua - china.org.cn
19/6/15
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