`Japan foresaw possible meltdown after quake hit plant`

Japanese government was aware of the possibility of a nuclear meltdown on the very day the complex was hit by the magnitude 9.0 earthquake.

Updated: Mar 09, 2012, 18:52 PM IST

Tokyo: The Japanese government was aware of
the possibility of a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear
power plant on the very day the complex was hit by the
magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami last March,
according to newly unveiled documents.

A summary of the meetings of the government`s nuclear
emergency headquarters show that the possibility of a meltdown
was pointed out by an unidentified attendee at the first
meeting convened soon after the plant was hit by the killer
quake on March 11, 2011, the Kyodo news agency reported.

The summary was unveiled just before the first anniversary
of the natural disasters, which devastated the country`s
northeastern coast and triggered the world`s worst nuclear
crisis since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

Three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant
suffered meltdowns.

Under fire for failing to create minutes of the meetings,
the government has created the summary from memos written by
officials of the nuclear safety agency and other government
organisations who were attending the meetings.

The document showed that a participant said, "There is a
need to move emergency diesel generators to cool (the
reactors), but they are not moving because of tsunami. The
only thing that is moving is cooling (equipment) that can be
operated by batteries. This will last for eight hours."

"If the temperature of the reactor rises after eight
hours, there is a possibility that a meltdown will occur," the
summary quoted the person as saying.

PTI