TEPCO admits to having ignored more warnings of Fukushima Daiichi tsunami risk

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Tokyo Electric Power Company admitted to JiJi Press reporters on Tuesday that it was aware a tsunami could cause a total blackout 5 years before last March’s disaster, but did not act on the knowledge.  TEPCO has been determined to have ignored at least one other warning years later of a possible 10-meter tsunami.

TEPCO said a public-private study panel that was attended by power companies, including TEPCO, and others, which concluded in 2006, 2 years after the Indian Ocean tsunami, that Fukushima Daiichi’s backup generators could fail if a 14-meter tsunami hit the plant.

The meeting was held as part of an unofficial seminar that the safety agency initiated in January 2006 in the wake of the December 2004 massive earthquake and tsunami off Sumatra, Indonesia, as well as a major leak of water at a U.S. nuclear plant.

At the meeting, power failure risks were discussed on the assumption of nuclear plants being hit by tsunami waves one meter higher than ground level.

The panel, which included the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency and other power utilities, “hinted at the possibility of seawater entering buildings through doors and other openings.”

Following the assessment, TEPCO waterproofed seawater pumps used to cool reactors as suggested by the agency, but failed to act on any upgrades to prevent water from entering buildings.

“The result might have been different,” if the company, known as TEPCO, had taken adequate measures against the risk, said an official at the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

Source: JiJi Press

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