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Fukushima I nuclear accidents
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The Fukushima I nuclear accidents occurred in Japan during the March 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami. A significant amount of radioactive material was released into the atmosphere and a large number of residents were evacuated from surrounding areas.
"There is talk of an apocalypse and I think the word is particularly well chosen... Practically everything is out of control. I cannot exclude the worst in the hours and days to come." - ,” European Energy Commissioner, Guenther Oettinger, speaking to EU ministers.
Workers at the plant voluntarily exposed themselves to potentially fatal radiation levels, one of them saying "We are not afraid to die."
Several factors contributed to the Fukushima I nuclear accidents:
- Poor location close to the sea and very close to sea level. This made certain Japanese plants unprepared for a catastrophic earthquake plus tsunami (in an area where such catastrophes are known to be possible).
- Lack of preparedness of pumps - some pumps had been inoperable for years[verification needed]
- An unexpectedly large earthquake and tsunami - or to be more accurate, an inadequate safety margin.
Notes and references
- Wikipedia:Fukushima I nuclear accidents
- Wikipedia:Nuclear power in Japan
- Wikipedia:Tokaimura nuclear accident, Japan's worst civilian nuclear radiation accident at the time it occurred on 30 September 1999.
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