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Tuesday
Apr052011

Japanese govt. was aware of risk of reactor core meltdowns before March 11 quake and tsunami

Kyodo News has reported that nearly a year before the March 11 earthquake of 9.0 on the Richter scale, and consequent 45 foot tall tsunami that engulfed the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Nobuaki Terasaka, the director of the Japanese government’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), admitted that ‘‘It is logically possible for a reactor core to melt down if all outer electricity sources were lost, leading the plant’s cooling functions to be lost for many hours.’’ He was responding to a question from Japanese Communist Party legislator Hidekatsu Yoshii on May 26, 2010 in the Japan House of Representatives. Terasaka assured, however, that operators of Japan's atomic reactors ‘‘have ensured safety’’ by equipping the plants with multiple backup electricity sources. But the earthquake destroyed the electricity grid and the tsunami the emergency diesel generators, leaving only 8 hours of backup battery power, which was depleted on the first day of this still unfolding and worsening, nearlly month-old radioactive catastrophe.