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TEPCO knew of tsunami threat: nuclear agency

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“We must say that NISA’s handling of the matter as a safety regulator was not adequate. It was extremely problematic,” he said.

Ah, the good ol' blame game. Look, guys. There's more than enough blame to go around! You don't need to generously dole it out to everyone else. Feel free to keep some for yourself!!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I find it difficult to believe some of the things in this report. For instance "Moriyama said TEPCO officials used a piece of paper to explain their findings but did not submit any documents". Whenever I have meetings with people from companies they always have computer presentations and give me either a hard or soft copy of the document. We are expected to believe that TEPCO officials "used a piece of paper" in the meeting, but no copies or other records are available? Were the calculations done by hand on the back of an envelope?

I would suggest that both TEPCO and NISA knew of the risk of a huge tsunami long before March 11 and decided to ignore it. This nonsense about a "piece of paper" being presented on March 7 is a pack of lies intended to make it appear that they were going to address the problem but the tsunami occurred before they could get around to it. Perhaps Moriyama can tell us the names of the TEPCO officials who were present and they could be asked about this? Or will the "journalists" just let this nonsense go unchallenged?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This report from NISA and the comment from the government about has the stink of a smokescreen: They want us to think that TEPCO reported the danger 4 days before the tsunami so, bad luck, there was no time to prepare.

NONSENSE!

And "studies of a tsunami that occurred in the year 869??" That's ridiculous! Apparently they only considered historical tsunami that actually hit that exact spot over a thousand years ago while ignoring the three tsunami that hit nearby costal areas during the 70 years prior to construction of the plant (1896, 1933 and 1960). This makes them appear to be idiots. But they probably aren't so what does that make them...???

The tsunami in 1896 was higher than the 2011 tsunami and killed 27,000 people so TEPCO and the government must have been aware of it when the plant was first build. Why they choose to ignore it would be speculation but the fact that they did ignore it makes them criminally liable.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This is it. Put TEPCO upper management in PRISON or put them on site to do the manual labor of cleaning up at Fukushima Daiichi. All of them!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Scrote,

here is my guess, the paper discussed above was BLANK, if you push the long ends inwards the paper buckles up into what cud be said to be a wave, then they compare its height to the nearby hello kitty pencil case & there you have it!

Folks, EVERYONE involved has known for decades a very REAL danger existed & did squat, but we all know that, but none of those cupable have to pay a damned thing.

And today the tepco biker chick checks my meter & even though we have lights aircon & hotwater use(I have an electically heated tank) I received the highest monthly bill EVER & friends in Tokyo tell me they are getting hammered on their bills.

Criminals all round us & WE have to &^%$%^&^*^$# pay!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

THIS JUST IN: TEPCO was completely incompetent, corrupt, unprepared, inept, and retarded from the get go!!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is it. Put TEPCO upper management in PRISON or put them on site to do the manual labor of cleaning up at Fukushima Daiichi. All of them!

+1

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I agree, confiscate all assets of any NISA / tepco upper management since 1970, and put them all in a prison built on the Fukushima Daiichi grounds

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This story is extraordinarily interesting, but I have to admit that there's one story in particular I have been looking for that I haven't seen yet. If any JT readers can point it out the story to me (if it even exists) I would love to hear about it. The title is, "Justice Ministry opens investigation into possible criminal negligence by TEPCO." Until I see that story, though, the drip-drip-drip of these other revelations is just water torture ...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If you look at the data for the1896 tsunami @ 38.2 meters (125 ft) & the 1933 tsunami @ 28.7 metres (94 ft) in that same exact region, and then to have TEPCO really say that they had no idea that a large tsunami was possible, sounds like a lot of bull to me. They knew the whole time that a large tsunami was possible and very likely. They just kept their fingers crossed.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

**Hazard existed for Fukishima and several other nuclear plants, Which other nuclear plants? Are the others now protected?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"He said it was not clear how long TEPCO had known of the possibility before notifying the agency."

Ummm.. how about the fact that they had been warned by scientists for the past decade and a half? Clearly the agency (is this the new one or the old one?) has it's head so far up its backside it only sees what it chooses to ingest.

Scrote: 'For instance "Moriyama said TEPCO officials used a piece of paper to explain their findings but did not submit any documents".'

Yes, Scrote, they used a piece of A4, ruled paper, and drew stick men and a rudimentary map of the plant, with squiggly marks representing a wave. It only says they 'used a piece of paper'. Nowhere does it say they used documents.

Anyway, the fact that TEPCO knew about the threat is ancient news. Them trying to make excuses such as warning the agency is just malarky to cover their tracks. If they knew about the threat, why didn't they immediately shut the plant down in order to make it safe? Nah! Common sense is for the birds!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

You may quote me on this, as I am often out standing in my field. Please write it on a napkin for future reference. The extent of the "findings" in the past and for the future are:

Most tsunamis are under 8 meters. Some tsunamis are a lot bigger. Building a nuclear plant on top of a zone that has, or will have, large earthquakes is not so bright. Building a nuclear plant next to the water on top of a zone that has, or will have, large earthquakes is even less bright. For numbers 3 and 4, this is because: a. Most earthquakes are weaker than magnitude 8. b. Some earthquakes are stronger than magnitude 8. Stuff happens. Plan for it.
2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Scta: Apologist rhetoric don't wash here, we pulled the plug on that approach along time ago.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@sctaber56

Sometimes sh*t happens and there's not much that can be done to prepare for it

Don't play the Blame Game - that's really not the most productive or proactive way to go. Wake up to the new day and do your best to move on and to move forward.

Basically I agree we should be as positive as possible, but this wasn't a case of 'nothing can be done about it' - the article states that TEPCO and NISA recognized the possibility, recognized the need to prepare for it, but actually did nothing. And yes, we should all move on and move forward, but to really do that (and not just think smiley, happy thoughts) people have no choice but to rely on the government to ensure food safety and effective crisis management, and everyone relies on power companies to operate safely and honestly. The government and these agencies are actually preventing the people from doing what you suggest. That's the reality.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@JapanGal

My electric bill last month was 1800 yen. How did I do it? I unplug everything all day long.

If that's the case then it sounds like you were overcharged by about 1800 yen!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Below a small compilation from Wikipedia of historic Japanese Tsunamis. But the Intelligentsia at TEPCO and NISA found out just days before the earthquake that there was a risk of BIG tsunamis in the region?

To me the below list indicates that it is pure crazy to operate Nuclear reactors anywhere near the coast line in Japan.

Height, Wikipedia chapter number, date , location, comment

?m 1.7 684 AD: Hakuho, Japan "huge"

?m 1.8 869 AD: Sendai, Japan Reached 4km inland

?m 1.9 887 AD: Ninna Nankai, Japan

7m+ 2.1 1293: Kamakura, Japan

?m 2.3 1361: Shohei Nankai, Japan 1,700 houses washed away

?m 2.4 1498: Meio Nankai, Japan The building around great Buddha of Kamakura (located at an altitude of 7m) was swept away by the tsunami

8-10m 2.6 1605: Keicho Nankaido, Japan

?m 2.8 1698: Seikaido-Nankaido, Japan

10-20m 3.2 1707: Hoei, Japan

?m 3.3 1741: W. Hokkaido, Japan 1,467 people were killed on Hokkaido and another 8 in Aomori Prefecture.[24]

30-85m 3.5 1771: Yaeyama Islands, Okinawa, Japan

100m 3.6 1792: Mount Unzen, Nagasaki Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan

8.4m (16.5 local) 4.2 1854: Nankai, Tokai, and Kyushu Japan 15000 homes swept away,80,000-100,000 dead

minor 4.3 1855: Edo, Japan Big earth quake, tsunami minor?

38.2m 4.7 1896: Meiji Sanriku, Japan killed approximately 27,000

12m 5.2 1923: Kanto, Japan

10m+ 5.5 1944: Tonankai, Japan

5-6m 5.6 1946: Nankaido, Japan 2100 homes destroyed

6m 6.5 1964: Niigata, Japan

10m+ 6.10 1983: Sea of Japan

31m 6.11 1993: Okushiri, Hokkaido, Japan

minor 7.5 2007: Niigata, Japan EQ caused a fire and minor radioactive water leak at nuclear power plant.

10-30m 7.8 2011: Pacific coast of Japan

2 ( +2 / -0 )

now that this is international news we hear about it. and whats with the 2006 revised standards but they were not even looked at and THEN the tsunami hit the fukushima plant in march. just how many years went by???????? its not like the revision came last year or even the year before but 2006?????? this is just so wrong.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Moriyama said TEPCO officials used a piece of paper to explain their findings but did not submit any documents.

I actually doubt that this meeting ever took place, or if it did I doubt they discussed tsunamis at all.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Moondog- Tohoku Electric Power Company knew about the previous tsunami and built a wall big enough to protect their plant north of Fukushima Daiichi. Tepco was truly criminal.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Come on TEPCO and NISA, show us the minutes of the meeting. Oh right, there aren't any.

Agency officials said Wednesday they recommended that Tokyo Electric Power Co take measures to prepare for a bigger tsunami but did not give specific instructions.

Right, recommending measures without specific instructions? Aren't you meant to be in charge? What kind of Agency are you? Ah yes, the Nuclear Incompetent Safety Agency (to be fair, in this case it would have been too late anyway - but you guys have been practicing tardiness for decades).

NISA had planned to review TEPCO's estimates but no concrete action was taken either time

Well if NISA was so lethargic that they couldn't be bothered with this safety issue then we shouldn't be surprised TEPCO isn't bothered either.

Monkey see, monkey do.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The cores of three of the plant’s six reactors melted within a few days.

Wow they are actually admitting that now, we went months without that information saying it has not melted.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sadly, people will rant about "TEPCO execs should be jailed, fined, etc.", but nothing will happen. Hey, we got a celebrity-yakuza scandal and a super-strong yen damagaing business to divert our attention already.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In 2006, the government revised earthquake and tsunami safety standards and had all nuclear plant operators re-examine their resistance levels, but the March tsunami hit before any steps were taken at the Fukushima plant.

Sums Japan in the last two decades and this crisis up perfectly. The potential problem was known as far back as 2006 -- five years -- but nothing got done.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

We knew this 5 and a half months ago. TEPCO were given the evidence of the Mega-Tsunami that had hit the coast before they built.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@ Moondog

The tsunami in 1896 was higher than the 2011 tsunami and killed 27,000 people so TEPCO and the government must have been aware of it when the plant was first build.

I totally agree, and, as the Tokai earthquake is even more regular and easy to predict, it makes you wonder which bright spark located the Hamaoka plant right on top of the expected Tokai epicentre?

Maybe the Japanese equivalent of Helen Keller was given a map and a pin and told to choose the sites for Japan's nuclear plants - in which case I suppose we should be grateful that we didn't end up with one in the still-active crater of Mount Fuji.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

My electric bill last month was ¥1800. 3LDK How did I do it? I un-plug everything all day long. Even the air conditioners on 4 walls. That is how you pay back the idiots at TEPCO. Do not use electric.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

sctaber56: "Don't play the Blame Game"

You're right -- we're ALL to blame for TEPCO's negligence -- especially those farmers now in shelters because they were forced to evacuate from around the plant after TEPCO finally admitted radiation was spewing from the melted down cores in some reactors (a fact which they tried to cover up).

We shouldn't be pointing the finger at the people at fault, we should be writing haiku that exalt them and sing the praises of their efforts, and we should GLADLY pay the highest electricity bills ever, for it was mother nature that ignored the warnings and built that plant in an area known to have at least TWO tsunami bigger than the one five months ago. TEPCO should be getting the Emperor's people's award and perhaps a Nobel Prize for Science and Medicine... I mean, after all, they are carrying out one of the largest experiments on the effects of radiation on humans in history, with the help of the government.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

presto

No one could have predicted, nor prepared for a tsunami of the magnitude discussed here.

100% incorrect, they knew the chances and history had shwon even larger tsunamis in this area, they choose to ignore the information and move forward. They were negligent and absent in responsiblity.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The main thing they didn't figure is: When other types of power plants go kerpluie, you have to rebuild the plant. When nuke plants go kerpluie, you have to rebuild the country.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

sigh why am I not surprised ...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They knew it but ignored because that's the only choice they were able to make. Imagine these idiots throw up their hands and say in English: ''We are the basket case. It can't be helped.''

Or you may hear them whining something in Japanese. (like what? Ma--, sho-ga-nai-na---)

You can translate it in any way you want.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

...used a piece of paper to describe their findings....

I'm guessing it was a paper napkin with a pencil sketch....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Even a normal people can see how bad they run Nuclear Power in Fukushima and Japan

They did not care about safety

They only think firstly Money, Money and Money

And how to kill a lots of Japanese peoples is thier thinking several time ...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Plus One

Be careful, they use this sign now in Japan too. Funny wise, for same purpose of this post >> http://www.ntv.co.jp/24h/contents/bangumi2011.html#naiyou-t-shirt ;)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry: "... point out the story ..."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hang 'em all. They are the true criminals of Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

let the blame game begin, this way they both can say neither was at fault as both tried to avoid the situation....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@JapanGal: Be sure that your amperage your house runs on is the absolute minimum too, the flat rate changes from 20 to 40, 40 to 60 etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wake up to the new day and do your best to move on and to move forward.

scta -- thank you for expressing the shoganai/gambatte sentiment perfectly. Except the "blame game" that you so easily dismiss is what is desperately needed in this case, and is the only way Japan will learn anything from this disaster and "move forward" stronger and smarter. Until specific fault is found, and responsibility taken, a better system cannot be developed and this un-ending pattern of incompetence, greed and mistakes that endanger the lives of the citizens will continue. You may not agree, but sometimes confrontation and laying blame squarely on the shoulders of those responsible is beneficial. Sweeping things under the carpet to protect the Wa got Japan into this mess in the first place. Being "resolute" is great. But making heads roll in a public manner can be equally as effective in solving problems. Or should Japan send the message to the next generation of the heads of these ministries that they bear no responsibility to the folks who pay their salaries?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

SOMEbody will be blame, and will have to not only bow many times very deeply while paying a fine, but also write a lot of apology letters. Writing the letters will be very troublesome.

What worries me is not that, but the fact that the Hamaoka plant, built on the site of the predicted future Tokai quake, is still going to be running, even though its 100 billion yen new wall will provide some protection. The logic presented is that the wall will be 18 feet tall, and the tsunami will not be that high in the event of a 9.0 magnitude quake. The problem, never discussed, is what happens if the wall collapses during a 9.0 quake. It is just taken for granted that the wall can't collapse. I wonder what reassurances are being given about this right this second.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@JapanGal.

Congrats on the savings guess you unplugged just about everything except the Fridge. 1.800yen is still fairly high usage for just evenings and weekends in that case, unless you heat your water by electricity and use IH for cooking.

Only living in a 2K ap and we also dropped down to 20Amp and it made a big difference. As I work from home I need the router, fridge,PC's(yeah multiples) on 24/7, plus the TV for the quieter times. We are still below 3.500yen/month here.

As for the Quake/Tsunami topic, how much to cater for those is a profit/management decision. Same way we can ensure our survival in cars by adding right now non-standard safety-measures but the prices will go up. Few cars are designed to be safe in case of a roll-over, etc as those got a low probability of happening (statistically of course). How long did it take to get car-seats redone to protect people in case of rear-ends.

20/20 hindsight will show all the flaws that were done in favour of production costs vs selling price. I don't see it any different here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As stated many times - A few people need to be charged with negligence and locked up for long periods of time to make the point that responsible actions are required by those in powerful positions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So we learn from these losses and move forward. Don't dwell on the mistakes

sctaber56,

the above wud be fine IF it happened, BUT we see countless examples of J-govt, Japan Inc & the beaurocracy NEVER learning a damned thing & never take responsibility, we are way way beyond learning from mistakes in Japan its just mistakes after more & more mistakes, virtually no learning in this country!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Yes, Scrote, they used a piece of A4, ruled paper, and drew stick men and a rudimentary map of the plant, with squiggly marks representing a wave".

Wrong! Was a bar napkin and drew stick men and a rudimentary map of the plant, with squiggly marks representing a wave that was smudged when they sat their whiskey glass down.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

how convenient, TEPCO told us they knew there could be a big tsunami but only 4 days before and with no evidence of having had the conversation. if it wasn't obvious that NISA was in cahoots with TEPCO it now should be.

the problem is since they are in cahoots, nobody will be charged, nobody will go to jail, there will be no help from the administrative / legislative side of the government. the only way to get justice would be for everyone affected to SUE TEPCO and hope the courts are not as corrupt as the rest of government.

TEPCO should be responsible for the cost of scraping up all their radioactive contamination and buying all contaminated produce. they should buy all the land in the areas where people are not entitled to return to their homes, they should compensate all the people for their lost livelihoods and businesses, they should pay for the emotional distress inflicted on parents with small children who worry if their children will get cancer.

and if they can't they should be put into bankruptcy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

OK, we all knew about this and the one page fax. Let's move on now. WHAT ABOUT A LL THE OTHER REACTORS?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

TEPCO knew about this for a long time. This article belongs in the crime section.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If they'd built the plant a few more kilometers inland there would have been no tsunami threat.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Beggers belief, Id like to say more to the powers that be, but, if I print what I think I guess the Moderator will be a little bit annoyed

0 ( +0 / -0 )

well one thing that is relieving about this talk is that if Tokai does decide to go off, and all the effects that are predicted are somewhat close, I wont have to pay taxes to relocate everybody in Tokyo; cause they knew it was coming and decided that napkin predictability was in and figured hanging in such locations was economically to their benefit in the long run.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hi all, can anyone point me to any evidence that a wave actually hit the plant? I believe they had a lot of high tech cameras on site and was wondering if any had caught the incident.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@nigelboy Much appreciated - I wonder if they is any with the meta data intact. Usually when a picture is taken with a digital camera exif data is included. This help to prove the validity of a image. With all those photoshop guru rascals about. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exchangeable_image_file_format

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This story is so broken its sad and insulting that tepco is giving such weak excuses.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

small correction: The comment

The building around great Buddha of Kamakura (located at an altitude of 7m) was swept away by the tsunami

Was supposed to belong to the "7m+ 2.1 1293: Kamakura, Japan" Earth quake and not "?m 2.4 1498: Meio Nankai, "

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've never read this anywhere else - I assume it would be easy enough to check up on (if you read Japanese well) due to the amount of names & dates listed:

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/fukushima-smoking-gun-emerges-founding-engineer-says-reactor-4-has-always-been-time-bomb-exp

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

No one could have predicted, nor prepared for a tsunami of the magnitude discussed here.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Bottom line: Sometimes sh*t happens and there's not much that can be done to prepare for it. Mother Nature is the mightiest force on the planet. Like everyone, I deeply feel that the 3.11 losses were and will always be the most devastating, not only for those directly involved, but for the nation and world together, on many, many levels. So we learn from these losses and move forward. Don't dwell on the mistakes - we all make them. Don't play the Blame Game - that's really not the most productive or proactive way to go. Wake up to the new day and do your best to move on and to move forward.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

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