Lest anyone doubt who is responsible for the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan just discarded the uncritical routine and said plant owner TEPCO’s low standards “invited the current situation.” — PZS

Los Angeles Times:

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan for the first time criticized the TEPCO, which owns the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, for inadequate preparations for a tsunami at the facility. The sea wall at the plant was designed to withstand an 18-foot wave, while the actual tsunami that struck after the magnitude 9 Tohoku earthquake was estimated to be more than 40 feet high.

“It’s undeniable their assumptions about tsunamis were greatly mistaken,” Kan said Tuesday of Tokyo Electric Power Co. in an address to the Japanese parliament. “The fact that their standards were too low invited the current situation.”

Kan also criticized the company for placing the backup diesel generators, which were to provide power to the emergency cooling system, in the basements of reactor buildings, where they were swamped by seawater and disabled.

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