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TEPCO dismissed important scientific evidence in planning nuclear plant's defense

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It took me about ten minutes with Google the other day to determine that TEPCO's tsunami preparation was woefully inadequate.

Given the mountains of evidence that was plainly in front of their faces, one must assume that they had an ulterior motive for ignoring the obvious and that was surely cost reduction. They were simply willing to put the whole nation (and more) at risk in order to save a little money.

This is clearly criminal and it's a shame Japan doesn't deal with such things the way the Chinese do. In China, the company president would be punished with a bullet to his head and then his family would be billed for the cost of the bullet.

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good call moondog.

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The govt should take over TEPCO. Not only TEPCO other power plants also.

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Scary thought for the people in Kansai, if TEPCO is this bad the KanDenko must be worse. They're famous for being even more scroogelike with expenses than TEPCO is.

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Moondog has it correct. They were presented a number of times with the latest seismological information (a science now far more advanced than the average person realizes),informed of the high level of risk, but refused to make the necessary changes. Didn't want to spend the trivial amount of money involved to move the generators and eliminate the risk, because the plants were not going to be in operation much longer. Pure criminal stupidity.

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Been saying this stuff from day one. My 20/20 hindsight is no match for the data anyone building a nuke plant in Japan had or should have had, and no match for the steps they should have taken. There is simply no excuse. Every idiot knows Japan is prone to earthquake and tsunami and Japan has had massive ones in the past and will have more. At the very least, the back-up generators should have been in a water-tight chamber, no just sitting there with walls of a certain height. Same with the electrical grid from generator to plant which was also flooded and gave them trouble.

The decision makers should be spending years in jail for this.

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TEPCO “absolutely should have known better,” said Dr Costas Synolakis, a leading American expert on tsunami modeling and an engineering professor at the University of Southern California. “Common sense,” he said, should have produced a larger predicted maximum water level at the plant.

Mr Synolakis obviously does not, or maybe has not lived in Japan. For if he had, or did, he'd know that "common sense" to the Japanese if far different from that of the West, often with dangerous consequences.

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hmmm nothing new... we have saying that since about a little bit more than 2 weeks now...

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And just why are we not building to wthstand the meteor strike? If such amazing disasters do happen in the future, do you want to be part of the problem. Or part of the solution.

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Too late now. Why didn't all of you expert geniuses say something before this?

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Too late now. Why didn't all of you expert geniuses say something before this?

This. I can predict with 100% success rate in hindsight, too. Clearly none of these international authorities thought enough of the danger to raise the alarm and perhaps prevent this from happening.

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And just why are we not building to wthstand the meteor strike? If such amazing disasters do happen in the future, do you want to be part of the problem. Or part of the solution.

Yeah, well, what if aliens come and flood the planet with asparagus soup? Are they going to build everything from now on in case of that happening? Will we all have to live wearing scuba gear and have smelly urine?

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RobertNTerry: And just why are we not building to wthstand the meteor strike? If such amazing disasters do happen in the future, do you want to be part of the problem. Or part of the solution.

If your region is regularly hit by meteorites, maybe you should, no?

tepid: Too late now. Why didn't all of you expert geniuses say something before this?

People have asked ChubuDen to close Hamaoka for years. Petitions after petitions because it is located on a fault and real close to the sea as Fukushima is/was. Search a little bit. You'll see that "geniuses" are on it since a while. Until Fukushima accident, ChubuDen was as reassuring as Tepco until they decided to add extra-safety, "just in case".

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Experts have been warning for this since the day these reactors were built. And these are not the only reactors in Japan that are not built to withstand these kinds of disasters.

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Tepid wrote:

Why didn't all of you expert geniuses say something before this?

I've been predicting this for years, actually. Of course, the Japanese media, government and the nuclear industry steadfastly ignored the advice and warnings from experts both foreign and domestic so there's no reason to think they should have paid any attention to me.

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Yeah, well, what if aliens come and flood the planet with asparagus soup? Are they going to build everything from now on in case of that happening?

Risk management for nuclear industry is supposed to be very conservative and include the maximum level of protection against unlikely events. The worst thing is, such tsunami was not even unlikely as it has already happened in the past. Another point is that risk assessment in most developed countries is now based on predictive statistics while for Japan nuclear industry they only used past evidence and not statistical models. In addition, TEPCO dismissed some past evidence and used not that conservative parameters for evaluating the risk.

Therefore, it is clear TEPCO bears some responsibility in what it happening right now.

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It is up to the populace to force the Gov and corporations to be responsible. When citizens do not protest and seek answers/change --> you will see more disasters like this in the future and of course the populace suffers the most while Gov looks the other way. This "event" is really the people's own fault.

Gov must keep the populace indebted/enslaved (war/taxes/taking advantage of natural events)

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The govt should take over TEPCO. Not only TEPCO other power plants also.

No, TEPCO should be regulated. Maybe not the best example, but in the US the NRC does the environmental studies to determine whether or not a plant location is feasible, right? I believe this also includes geological surveying to determine the plant specifications. All of this is regulated by certain standards. If the gov isn't properly doing their job in regulating TEPCO now, why would they magically begin doing a better job after TEPCO becomes owned by the government. I would expect things to get even more corrupt under government control.

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The regulatory bodies in Japan are under direct government control and they have unhealthy relationships with the private institutions they are supposed to regulate.

The most important thing to do IMO would be to cut any links between the regulatory bodies and the government, and insure their members are not linked with private companies (TEPCO, etc...). Therefore the government should create truly independent institutions.

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let's just have the UN or a international body controlled, that is the one way i can see it will work, don't leave it to the Japanese.

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Piglet I agree with all you say, but you seem to be using a common sense argument, and there is no room for common sense with this situation, Government is as productive as the national birth rate, sure to drop further now. And TEPCO well they did say sorry, so the story is over. Let's all get back to normal and worry about AKB48, they are so cute and now they glow in the dark. Do not have to use so much lighting at their shows they really care about power saving. We should all dance dance dance the grey clouds away...it is traditional after all.

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Well, we don't know exactly for how long Japan has been controlled by foreign powers, but we are seeing evidence that these foreign powers are the problem, including the earthquake itself. But don't let me stop you from however slowly getting to this conclusion yourself, there are many many more hurdles, and more noise from those who have no clue. This is for those who do.

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Sorry, but anybody who pulls out the meteor line, the hindsight line, or the why didn't the experts do anything line, has zero understanding of the situation.

What happened on March 11th was a natural, cyclical event. TEPCO was warned repeatedly by those experts that there was a high risk that it would happen again soon. The senile old codgers decided "hey this plant has only a few years left, so let's save the money and not do anything" when any kind of risk assessment or cost-benefit analysis would have screamed let's do this YESTERDAY!!!. The result is they have destroyed the reactors, destroyed the livelihoods of thousands of people, and maybe in the long-run destroyed the Japanese economy and financial system. How anybody can defend that level of stupidity is beyond me.

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Yeah, calling BS too on hindsight. It's plain obvious that a 9.0 earthquake would hit Asia, because it always has. This isn't even the biggest earthquake in recorded history, let alone even close to the biggest one that's hit Japan. Use some damn common sense please.

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I've seen escape capsules and boats on oil platforms that had engines that could survive (as part of/inside the vessel) being submerged tens of meters for several minutes. A similar type encapsulated generator (and control room?) should be able to survive a tsunami of just about any height that can be realistically expected. Sure wish I had patented this earlier...

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just fantasy here.........how about a floating nuclear reactor platform off shore ? we have nuclear sub, nuclear aircraft carriers , so a nuclear reactor doesn't really has to be land bound.................

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"Bushidō is in a reckless neglect toward death." ..."reckless bravery".

Is this ancient principle a cultural flaw today ?? Not on its own, but part of a reckless drive ??

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"Too late now. Why didn't all of you expert geniuses say something before this?"

As others have said, lots of people have said it. Including average Joe gaijin like me who would never live near Fukushima. But whenever I said anything Japanese would say, "Nothing to worry about, they built those things with the best of Japanese engineering so that it they can withstand anything".

Well, now we know they were wrong. It's kind of simple. Yes, now we have the benefit of hindsight. BUt that should lead people to think about what else people have been wrong about regarding cities and earthquakes/tsunamis.

For what it's worth, the average Japanese always told me that Kobe was a great place because they don't have earthquake like Tokyo and other places. And while I'm at it, Japanese also said that their expressways etc were stronger than American so they wouldn't fall over like in the US. And of course there was the other idea that in case of calamity the govt would quickly get food and water to people.

The really sad thing is that now that there are even some uninformed people bragging about Japanese construction because we mostly survived a 9 earthquake......

So, there is a lesson in all of this, and you don't really need to look so hard to find it.

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