Fukushima plant operator admits late meltdown announcement
The operator of Japan’s tsunami-stricken nuclear plant says its staff failed to report a reactor meltdown immediately as was required by internal guidelines.
Yukako Handa, a TEPCO spokesperson which operated Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), said people should have been informed of the meltdown within days of the devastating tsunami that hit the plant in 2011.
Under the company’s regulations, a reactor must be declared “in meltdown” if 5 percent or more of its fuel rods are determined to be “damaged.”
Damage to one of the reactor cores surpassed 50 percent within three days of the tsunami and the company was aware of that early on. However, TEPCO did not report a meltdown for about two months.
Handa said a meltdown would have been announced if the guidelines had been properly followed.