TEPCO asked for 'smaller tsunami' in simulation

TEPCO asked for 'smaller tsunami' in simulation

An employee at a group company of the operator of the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant says he was asked to decrease his estimate of a projected tsunami. This was 3 years before the 2011 disaster that caused the severe nuclear accident.

He testified as a witness on Wednesday before the Tokyo District Court in the trial of 3 former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO. The defendants are accused of professional negligence resulting in deaths in connection with the nuclear accident.

In 2008, the witness was in charge of estimating the height of a tsunami assumed to hit the plant.

In his testimony, he said he estimated that tsunami as high as 15.7 meters could hit the plant in a report submitted to TEPCO.

However, he said, a TEPCO official in charge asked him to lessen the height of tsunami by altering calculation conditions and the movement of tsunami.

The witness testified that he answered that he could not alter the calculation conditions as they are used by experts at conferences.

He made the statement while answering a question by a designated lawyer who is serving as a prosecutor.

The presiding judge asked him to be more specific about his conversation with TEPCO, but he replied that he had no memory of it.