20 Juin 2012
June 20, 2012
June 20 , 2012
TEPCO releases final report on Fukushima disaster
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has released the final report of its internal investigation into the crisis following the March 11 disaster last year.
The company admits it failed to adequately prepare for the nuclear emergency, but it also criticizes the government for adding to the unnecessary confusion of the accident.
The report released on Wednesday is based on interviews with about 600 TEPCO employees, on-site inspections, and analysis of other data.
It says the meltdowns at 3 of the plant's 4 reactors were directly caused by a loss of almost all cooling equipment due to a tsunami that was much larger than TEPCO had expected.
The report admits that the company's management of the emergency cooling system, which had been criticized by a government panel, was inadequate. But the company defends itself by pointing to the intense difficulty of responding to the crisis.
The report also blames the government for directly and indirectly interfering with TEPCO's emergency response efforts. It says government officials disregarded what was actually happening on the ground, causing unnecessary confusion.
TEPCO says one lesson it has taken from the accident is the need for an emergency response system that takes into account a nuclear reactor that has lost all its functions. The proposal includes measures to improve the chain of command, information flow and efforts to prevent meltdowns.
But an NHK reporter says TEPCO still doesn't know the extent of radioactivity that has been released since the start of the crisis, or how much damage the reactors suffered from the earthquake independent of the tsunami.