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Tsunami Caught Japan's Nuclear Industry Off Guard - NYTimes.com
After an advisory group issued nonbinding recommendations in 2002, Tokyo Electric Power Company, the plant owner and Japan's biggest utility, raised its maximum projected tsunami at Fukushima Daiichi to between 17.7 and 18.7 feet -- considerably higher than the 13-foot-high bluff. Yet the company appeared to respond only by raising the level of an electric pump near the coast by 8 inches, presumably to protect it from high water, regulators said.

Hm!? The Areva presentation quoted upthread speaks of 7 m high retaining walls designed to protect against 6.5 m tsunamis. That's no contradiction with the 5.7 m maximum expected tsunami above, but it is with the 4 m high bluffs, unless someone confused those with the retaining walls, or the Areva guy got erroneous information.

Regarding the article's main point, that earthquake and tsunami risk assessment was based on the largest even in the historical record rather than probability assessment, I note that the same is true for many European plants.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 04:56:10 AM EST
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