Japan must determine whether Tokyo Electric Power Co. waited too long to begin pumping seawater into stricken reactors at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant in the hours after the country’s March 11 earthquake, the leader of a United Nations investigative panel said.
The International Atomic Energy Agency chose not to assess the timing of Tepco’s decision to inject water to cool reactors. An independent Japanese commission will have to decide whether correct procedures were followed, he said.
Tepco Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata in March denied criticism that Tepco executives hesitated before flooding the plant following a Wall Street Journal report that the company delayed the move because it would render the reactors unsalvageable. Masao Yoshida, the plant manager, later disobeyed an order from headquarters to stop injecting seawater into Reactor No. 1, the New York Times reported.
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