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TEPCO tardy on N-plant emergency
Prime Minister Naoto Kan's blood must have run cold around 10 p.m. on March 11, the day of the Great East Japan Earthquake, when he received the first report on the terrible situation at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
The report from the Nuclear and Industry Safety Agency of the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry predicted reactor cores at the nuclear power plant--where power and all functions to cool the reactors were lost in the quake and tsunami--would be exposed to air, and that extreme heat generated by fuel rods would damage their encasing tubes later that night.
Fuel rods would melt down, and the following morning the pressure inside the reactors' containment vessels would reach the maximum allowed for by the facilities' designers, the report predicted.
Kan and everyone at the Prime Minister's …