Tepco knew in 2006 of Fukushima tsunami threat

The Nuclear and Industrial Security Agency and Tokyo Electrical Power Co. had been mindful at least by 2006 that the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant was at threat of having its power knocked out by enormous tsunami, NISA officials mentioned Tuesday.

According to the officials, the awareness was shared at a study session attended by a number of utilities that was held in response to the 2004 Sumatra quake and tsunami in Indonesia.

A paper compiled in August 2006 indicated the participants acknowledged that “there is a chance that power gear could lose their functions if 14-meter tsunami hit the Fukushima plant, with seawater flowing inside the (reactor) turbine buildings.”

The agency, nonetheless, did not confirm no matter whether the utilities disseminated this details internally, the officials said.

Countermeasures against massive tsunami were not taken and the plant on the coast of Fukushima Prefecture lost most of its power sources and hence the capacity to keep its reactors and spent fuel pools cooled after enormous tsunami overwhelmed the complex minutes after the March 11, 2011, Great East Japan Earthquake.

Tepco Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, who was the utility’s president in 2006, testified Monday just before a Diet plan-appointed panel investigating the crisis that he had not been presented the tsunami-threat data.

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