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Japan Nuclear Crisis: IAEA Report Finds Country Underestimated Tsunami Risk For Nuclear Plants via Huffington Post

By Kevin Krolicki

TOKYO, June 1 (Reuters) – Japan underestimated the risk of tsunamis and needs to closely monitor public and workers’ health after the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, a team of international safety inspectors said in a preliminary review of the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

The report, from an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team led by Britain’s top nuclear safety official Mike Weightman, highlighted some of the well-documented weaknesses that contributed to the crisis at Fukushima when the plant, 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo, was hit by a massive earthquake and then a tsunami in quick succession on March 11.

Those start with a failure to plan for a tsunami that would overrun the 5.7-metre (19 ft) break wall at Fukushima and knock out back-up electric generators to four reactors, despite multiple forecasts from a government agency and operator Tokyo Electric Power Co’s own scientists that such a risk was looming.

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