March Tsunami, Rather Than the Quake, Crippled Fukushima Nuclear Reactors

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The larger-than expected Tsunami was the direct cause of the nuclear crisis at Fukushima Daiichi power plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co., or TEPCO, reported.

Japanese local media quoted TEPCO officials as saying on Friday that key facilities at the plant did not lose their functions as a direct result of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake, but the flooding caused by the 13-meter-high tsunami led to a ''simultaneous loss of multiple safety functions.''

''We had prepared for accidents at a certain level and had documented procedures, but in this case the situation developed into one that deviated from our accident-response assumptions,'' Kyodo quoted one TEPCO official as saying.

TEPCO's report say the prolonged loss of backup power sources and functions to cool the reactors resulted in the meltdown of the nuclear fuel in the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors, leading to the massive release of radioactive substances into the environment.

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