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HOME  > Past issues  > 2011 March 23 - 29  > TEPCO ignored warnings of a massive tsunami
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2011 March 23 - 29 [NUCLEAR CRISIS]

TEPCO ignored warnings of a massive tsunami

March 29, 2011
A researcher warned two years ago of the possible risk of a massive tsunami hitting northern Japan following an earthquake, but nuclear power plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) ignored the warning.

The researcher is Okumura Yukinobu, who heads the Active Fault and Earthquake Research Center at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).

In June 2009 in a meeting at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to discuss a re-evaluation of earthquake standards for nuclear power plants, Okumura cited the case of a major tsunami that struck in 869 A.D. in the aftermath of a magnitude 8.3 quake off northeastern Japan and pointed out that a similar tsunami could strike the region, where the Fukushima No.1 Nuclear Power Plant is located.

Warning that the tsunami could be incredibly huge, going way beyond TEPCO’s calculations, Okumura requested at the meeting that the electric power company reconsider its safety measures for the Fukushima plant.

TEPCO, however, responded by saying that the year 869 earthquake should be recognized as a historical research subject but is not relevant to what it should study to design a quake-resistant plant.
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