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NUCLEAR CRISIS: HOW IT HAPPENED / Government, TEPCO brushed off warnings from all sides : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

Three months have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake triggered a nuclear crisis that shows little sign of ending anytime soon.

This is the fourth installment in a series that examines what caused the unprecedented crisis, which has dealt a fatal blow to the myth of the safety of nuclear power plants in this country.

"The lands of Mutsunokuni were severely jolted. The sea covered dozens, hundreds of blocks of land. About 1,000 people drowned."

This is a description of the massive Jogan Earthquake and tsunami that hit the Tohoku region about 1,150 years ago. It is contained in "Nihon Sandai Jitsuroku" (The official history of three reigns of Japan), which was compiled during the early Heian Period (794-1192).

Mutsunokuni is the name of the region that covered most of the present-day prefectures in the Tohoku region.

It is now clear the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. did not learn from history.

Since 1990, Tohoku Electric Power Co., Tohoku University and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology have researched the traces left by the Jogan Earthquake. Their studies have shown that the ancient tsunami was on the same scale as that caused by the March 11 earthquake.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 03:08:47 PM EST

One report said if a breakwater that extended up to 13 meters above sea level was hit by a 15-meter-high tsunami, all power sources would be knocked out--including outside electricity and emergency power generators. In such a situation, the report said, cooling functions would be lost and the reactor's core would be 100 percent damaged--a meltdown, in other words.

The breakwater at the Fukushima No. 1 plant was about 5.5 meters high, less than half the assumed height in the JNES report.

TEPCO assumed the tsunami hitting the plant would be 5.4 meters to 5.7 meters high. But the wave that struck on March 11 was 14 meters to 15 meters high.

Another report by the organization released last year predicted that if all power sources were lost due to an earthquake, fuel rods will begin melting after only 100 minutes. This report said a reactor's containment vessel would be damaged after about seven hours and a large amount of radioactive material would be released into the air.

According to an analysis by the government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, damage to the core of the Fukushima plant's No. 1 reactor started about two hours after the tsunami and its pressure vessel was damaged in about four hours--very close to what JNES had predicted.



"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 04:01:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ARgeezer quoted a report about the 869 tsunami and its dismissal by TEPCO in March already.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jun 12th, 2011 at 10:05:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is always good to see another report on that subject.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jun 12th, 2011 at 01:12:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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