Members of the government disaster panel are expressing doubts about TEPCO’s claim that the tsunami was the sole cause of the Fukushima disaster. Reports of pipe damage and plant readings hint that the reactors may have suffered extensive earthquake damage even though the shaking at unit 1 was within quake standards. Many reports of workers said they witnessed damage to cooling pipes at unit 1.
Panel members state that TEPCO’s claim that the tsunami is the culprit is an attempt to give the nuclear industry an excuse that would help them avoid more scrutiny. Both the plants themselves and the current seismic standards come into question if the quake was the major factor in the disaster. This seemingly minor distinction between tsunami and quake could mean the end of the nuclear industry in Japan.
Members also mentioned that neither theory is qualified enough currently to be adopted as a true cause. Extensive investigation is required including inspection of unit 1 in order to find the true cause of the disaster. Currently government investigators have not been allowed into the plant by TEPCO. A combination of high radiation and dangerous conditions make extended entry into the buildings difficult. Reactor restarts are heavily dependent on this distinction in the accident cause, yet a true clear answer is far from being solved.
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