NPR logo WikiLeaks: Japan Warned Over Safety Of Nuclear Plants


WikiLeaks: Japan Warned Over Safety Of Nuclear Plants

Britain's The Telegraph has obtained new leaked cables from WikiLeaks that reveal the International Atomic Agency warned Japan in 2008 that their nuclear plants were ill-prepared to handle a major earthquake.

They told Japan that their plants were "out of date" and would cause "serious problems" if faced with a strong earthquake.

The Telegraph reports:

The Japanese government pledged to upgrade safety at all of its nuclear plants, but will now face inevitable questions over whether it did enough.

While it responded to the warnings by building an emergency response centre at the Fukushima plant, it was only designed to withstand magnitude 7.0 tremors. Friday's devastating earthquake was a magnitude 9.0 shock.

The news is likely to put further pressure on Japan's Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, who has been criticised for "dithering" over the country's response to the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.