A cold shutdown, requiring a stable electricity supply and heat sinks, saved two of Fukushima’s six nuclear reactors after the earthquake and tsunami. But three of the others suffered meltdown and explosion. Basing safety measures on probability was shown to be the wrong policy – because even the most unlikely events can happen, with disastrous consequences explains Professor Dr Stefan Lippert in the third part of our five-part-series on Fukushima.

THE JAPANESE government and the country’s ‘nuclear village’ continue to claim that the magnitude of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami was a natural disaster far beyond anything anyone could have imagined or planned for.

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Dr. Stefan Lippert
As the molten fuel made its way through the pressure vessel and the molten ‘lava’ melted the bottom of the containment vessel, huge amounts of fission gasses and particles were released into the environment
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