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Following a major earthquake, a metre tsunami disabled the power supply and cooling of three Fukushima Daiichi reactors, causing a nuclear accident on
Table of contents

The first wave, measuring 60 cm, or about 2 feet, arrived in Onahama port in Iwaki City in Fukushima Prefecture at a.

Japan’s Triple Disaster: Governance and the Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Crises

Jake Emen, an American staying in a 16th-floor hotel room in Tokyo, almost miles away, told NBC News that his room began "rumbling" about 6 a. Map showing local ground acceleration as quake propagated. More than 18, people were killed by a tsunami that was created after a magnitude-9 earthquake hit northeastern Japan on March 11, The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station suffered meltdowns in three of its six reactors, leaving a huge area of land unusable for decades.

The main government spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, said in a televised briefing that there was no imminent danger to the cooling system for spent fuel. But he said the No. He is based in Los Angeles.

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Eight years after triple nuclear meltdown, Fukushima No. 1's water woes show no signs of ebbing

The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings. Alex Johnson. Arata Yamamoto. The original disaster sparked panics in China and on the United States West Coast, where radioactive isotopes have been detected in the California wine crop. More Videos Japan marks anniversary of nuclear disaster The worst nuclear disaster in Japan's history started with a wave. After a 9.

Struggling With Japan’s Nuclear Waste, Six Years After Disaster

By the time it reached the Japanese east coast, waves from the tsunami measured up to 40 meters feet in height, sweeping away vehicles, causing buildings to collapse, and severing roads and highways. Within 50 minutes of the first quake, the wave crested a meter 33 feet sea wall intended to protect the Fukushima nuclear plant from just such an event.


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Water began pouring into the plant, inundating the basement, where emergency power generators were soon flooded, knocking vital cooling systems offline and causing reactor fuel rods to begin to melt down and leak deadly radiation into the surrounding area. Sixteen hours into the disaster, the fuel rods in one reactor had almost completely melted, with the other two close behind, but it would be another 88 days until the government admitted that a meltdown had taken place, the worst nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl explosion.

Tens of thousands of local residents were evacuated, with some never able to return to their homes.

Meltdown: What Really Happened at Fukushima?

Parts of the area around Fukushima became ghost towns, visited only by Tepco officials, safety inspectors and tourists seeking a dark thrill. Japan: Fukushima's ghost towns 5 years after disaster Tepco's liability has been a key point of contention since the meltdown.

The firm has firmly maintained that the disaster was just that, a catastrophic event that could not have been planned for. The Tohoku earthquake was the fourth largest in world history , the largest ever to strike Japan, and Tepco's position is that it simply could not have been expected to guard against such a disaster. But evacuees -- some of whom may never be able to return to their homes -- have argued this lets plant officials off the hook. Certainly, Tepco's response in aftermath the disaster has provided plenty of ammunition for critics, such as the delay in announcing a meltdown was taking place, Tepco's own admitted downplaying of safety concerns, and multiple leaks of contaminated water during the cleanup process.

In , a Japanese government report found that measures taken by Tepco and the Japanese nuclear regulator to prepare for disasters were "insufficient" and response to the crisis "inadequate.

Japan's 9.0 Earthquake & Tsunami March 11, 2011: Fukushima Power Plant Nuclear Meltdown