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Japan: Tepco failed to act on risk assessment of tsunami

Date: 20 Oct 2011

Fukushima explosion

Tokyo Electric Power Co. was told five years ago that there was a 10 percent chance of a major tsunami event, but failed to act on the information.

The assessment was undertaken using a new methodology which considerably increased the likelihood of a major tsunami hitting the Fukushima plant. An un-named nuclear expert at the company told the Japan Times that Tepco did not take countermeasures because it did not want to worry local residents, and feared consequences for other electric power companies.

Although the risks of a tsunami strike were put at 10 percent, the probability of a tsunami of more than 10 meters that could cause a possible nuclear meltdown were put at less than 1 percent.

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