Oct. 13 - A new internal report from power company Tepco has found the 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant could have been avoided. Andrew Raven reports.
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"This is bad. This is bad."
That's what operators at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant said after the facility was hammered by an earthquake and tsunami last year.
Three of the plant's reactors would soon suffer a meltdown - triggering the biggest nuclear disaster in Japanese history.
Now the company that owned the plant - Tepco - says all that could have been prevented.
A new internal report reveals the company didn't do enough to protect the plant from tsunami threats and that it botched efforts to prevent the meltdown.
It marked a stunning reversal by Tepco, which for months had said the disaster was unavoidable.
Dale Klein, former head America's nuclear watchdog, oversaw the report.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER HEAD OF U.S. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION AND CHAIRMAN OF TEPCO'S INTERNAL NUCLEAR REFORM PANEL, DALE KLEIN, SAYING:
"The first stage is denial, the second stage is probably blame others. I think it just took a while for it to really soak in that they understand they blew it."
The meltdown forced 150,000 people to flee the area - and left Tepco with so much debt, it had to be nationalized.
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