28 May '11, 6am

Regulators trusted that reactors at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant were safe from tsunamis based on a single-page memo

TOKYO - JAPANESE nuclear regulators trusted that the reactors at Fukushima Daiichi were safe from the worst waves an earthquake could muster based on a single-page memo from the plant operator nearly a decade ago. In the Dec 19, 2001 document - one double-sized page obtained by The Associated Press under Japan's public records law - Tokyo Electric Power Co rules out the possibility of a tsunami large enough to knock the plant offline and gives scant details to justify this conclusion, which proved to be wildly optimistic. Regulators at the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, or Nisa, had asked plant operators for assessments of their earthquake and tsunami preparedness. They didn't mind the brevity of Tepco's response, and apparently made no moves to verify its calculations or ask for supporting documents. 'This is all we saw,' said Mr Masaru Kobayashi, who now heads Nis...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Asia/Story/STISt...

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