Japan Admits Response Fell Short

'In hindsight, we could have moved a little quicker,' says spokesman
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2011 3:26 PM CDT
Tokyo Electric Power Co. Managing Director Akio Komori, left, cries as he leaves a press conference in Fukushima Friday.   (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
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(Newser) – As Japan continues its struggle to get the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant under control, a government spokesman acknowledged that the initial response to the earthquake and tsunami was lacking, reports AP. "In hindsight, we could have moved a little quicker in assessing the situation and coordinating all that information and provided it faster," said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano, blaming the "unprecedented scale" of the disaster.

In the meantime:

  • Japan raised the rating of the nuclear emergency from 4 to 5 on the international scale, on par with Three Mile Island, notes the Wall Street Journal. The highest level is 7 (Chernobyl).
  • Workers trying to get an emergency power line operating to restart the plant's cooling pumps have been forced to retreat repeatedly because of high radiation levels, reports the Los Angeles Times. Worse, it's possible the pumps have been damaged so badly that restoring power won't revive them.

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