TEPCO has admitted in a roundabout fashion that they gave the “all ok” for Fukushima Daiichi before they were able to go inspect the facilities. According to Asahi Shimbun workers were evacuated to higher ground after the quake as a precaution due to the tsunami warning. This would have meant no one could check any equipment or facilities below the hill. This would include portions of most of the safety systems and the reactor buildings themselves.
The tsunami warning went on for hours. This meant workers would have stayed out of the lower areas for this unsafe period of time. Contaminated water transfer was shut down over this time because they would be unable to check the system for leaks. Keeping workers evacuated was the prudent thing to do.
“After the Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning at 6:02 a.m., the company ordered workers in lower areas of the plant to evacuate to higher ground. They have been unable to check for possible leaks around the reactor buildings and the turbine buildings near the sea. “It is a bit inappropriate that we’ve been unable to do so,” Masuda said. “That’s why we suspended the transfer facility. We think that no water will leak now.”
TEPCO gave an “everything is safe” type statement soon after the quake but this statement was obviously premature. They may have been able to visually confirm nothing large and significant happened such as a vent tower collapsing or larger building damage but they were unable to go in to inspect to actually confirm nothing was damaged.
In reality, these inspections to check for damage in more detail and to check every system now in place at the plant could easily take an entire day. People have long questioned TEPCO’s prompt claims of no damage after earthquakes at the disaster site. The complication of adding tsunami warnings to the issue has shown that these declarations are premature and not being done after inspections have confirmed no damage.
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