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NEWS RELEASE · 28th December 2011
BBC
A lack of preparedness for a disaster and failures in the response to it exacerbated the effects of the nuclear accident at Japan's Fukushima plant in March, a new report says.

The government-commissioned study said plant operators and regulators had failed to adequately anticipate a huge tsunami and its likely impact.

The interim findings were issued by an independent panel set up in May.

More than 20,000 people were killed when an earthquake and tsunami struck.

Tens of thousands had to be evacuated as radiation leaked into the atmosphere, sea and food chain.

The six-reactor Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was badly damaged by the earthquake and tsunami, with blasts occurring at four reactors after the cooling systems went offline.

Last week, the authorities declared the plant had been stabilised, but said it would take decades to dismantle it completely.

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