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Researcher warned 2 yrs ago of massive tsunami striking nuke plant Kyodo News

A researcher said Saturday he had warned two years ago about the possible risk of a massive tsunami hitting a nuclear power plant in Japan, but Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant crippled by the March 11 earthquake and ensuing tsunami, had brushed off the warning.

According to the researcher, Yukinobu Okamura, and the records of a government council where he made the warning, TEPCO asserted that there was flexibility in the quake resistance design of its plants and expressed reluctance to raise the assumption of possible quake damage citing a lack of sufficient information.

''There should be ample flexibility in the safety of a nuclear power plant,'' said Okamura, head of the Active Fault and Earthquake Research Center at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. ''It is odd to have an attitude of not taking into consideration indeterminate aspects.''

Okamura had warned in 2009 of massive tsunami based on his study since around 2004 of the traces of a major tsunami believed to have swept away about a thousand people in the year 869 after a magnitude 8.3 quake off northeastern Japan.

He had found in his research that tsunami from the ancient quake had hit a wide range of the coastal regions of northeastern Japan, at least as far north as Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture and as far south as the town of Namie in Fukushima Prefecture -- close to the Fukushima Daiichi plant -- penetrating as much as 3 to 4 kilometers inland.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 03:38:20 PM EST


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