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IAEA Says Japan Underestimated Tsunami Hazard For Nuclear Plants

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan
A team of experts representing the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency says Japanese authorities underestimated the tsunami hazard for Japan's nuclear plants before the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that led to the worst nuclear disaster since the Chornobyl disaster 25 years ago.

The finding is included in an investigative report on the disaster that was given to Japan's government by the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today.

The summary of the report says that the potential for disaster because of a tsunami was "underestimated" at several Japanese sites, including the Fukushima Daiichi plant, where cooling systems failed after the earthquake and tsunami, leading to releases of radiation.

Nuclear safety experts from France, Russia, China, and the United States contributed to the report, which is due to be formally presented to an international meeting in Vienna on June 20-24.

compiled from agency reports