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Why absence of TEPCO officers mattered  Daily Yomiuri Online

From the evening of March 11, the Prime Minister's Office and other authorities had asked TEPCO repeatedly to vent the reactor, but the operation did not take place until 10:17 a.m. after Shimizu had arrived at the main office. The decision to inject seawater to cool the reactor cores was another big call, but did not begin until past 8 p.m. on March 12 after Katsumata returned to Japan.

Venting a reactor heightens the risk of radioactive contamination. This decision could place enormous social responsibility on the company and also make it liable for substantial damages. And injecting water into a reactor core essentially destroys it. One reactor costs about 100 billion yen to replace.

A company's shareholders generally are informed before such major actions are taken, and they are not the type of orders that can easily be conveyed over a mobile phone from the Kansai region or China.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 13th, 2011 at 12:10:10 AM EST

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