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Japan:TEPCO issues interim report on Fukushima accident

Friday, December 2, 2011

Laaska news  Dec. 2, 2011

The Tokyo Electric Power Company has released an interim report on its in-house probe into the nuclear disaster at the firm’s Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

But the report issued on Friday fails to clarify how or why a huge amount of radioactive materials leaked outside the facility.

Based on data and interviews of more than 250 workers since June, the report describes how the giant tsunami on March 11th knocked out almost all of the plant’s power sources and all of its fail-safe mechanisms. The report also details how meltdowns occurred at some of the plant’s reactors after the accident.

The report says the firm had worked with the government and obtained its endorsement in taking measures to guard the plant from severe accidents before March 11th.

The report also defends as reasonable the utility’s effort to contain the damage from the accident.

The report says that the plant lost all of its safety mechanisms because the tsunami was much larger than expected, that workers could not keep up with developments, and that core meltdowns occurred.

The report calls for thorough steps to protect the cooling and power systems of power plants from tsunamis and for installation of an emergency power source in a safe place.

The report calls on the utility to ensure that it has ways to cool reactors in case of further accidents.
The report does not contain an in-depth examination of the utility’s failure to immediately submit to the government the firm’s 2008 estimate that a tsunami higher than 10 meters could hit the plant. The utility has said it did not submit the estimate immediately because it was based on a groundless hypothesis. The firm eventually submitted the estimate only 4 days before the March 11th disaster.

Much remains unknown about how workers tried to cool the plant’s Number 1 reactor — where a meltdown occurred — or why the Number 2 reactor ended up releasing a large amount of radioactive materials.


Laaska News.