Overview of the history of tsunami evaluation at Fukushima Daiichi NPS
Makoto TAKAOTokyo Electric Power Company, Inc.The tsunami caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake (GEGJ) on March 11, 2011, struck the Pacific coast of Hokkaido, Tohoku and Kanto regions. This giant earthquake and tsunamitriggered heavy losses in the north-eastern region of Honshu Island. It was thought that theruptured area extended widely from the region off the coast from Iwate to Ibaraki prefectures.Before the GEJE, in Japan, the earthquake and tsunami had been evaluated for the individualregions such as the offing of the Miyagi prefecture, the offing of the south Sanriku along thetrench and the offing of Fukushima prefecture. An occurrence of the simultaneous movementof all these regions exceeded previous assumptions. The followings are the history of thetsunami evaluation at Fukushima Daiichi NPS.At the point of construction of Fukushima Daiichi NPS in 1960s, the design tsunami wasequivalent to the maximum tidal level ever recorded on the shores of Fukushima Prefecture.Specifically, this would be the tsunami that followed the Chilean earthquake which wasapproximately 3m high at Onahama Port. This standard was written into the application forthe establishment permits that were submitted to the government and subsequently approved.In February 2002, the Japan Society of Civil Engineers (JSCE) published a guideline based onthe ongoing technological progress. In this guideline, standard fault models are defined basedon the proposed historical tsunami source models. The design tsunami takes uncertainties intoconsideration by carrying out parametric studies using standard fault models in a deterministicway. The results were assumed to be more conservative. Based on this guideline, TEPCO re-evaluated the tsunami height of approximately 6m and has voluntarily implemented measureswhile reporting them to the government. The JSCE method has been the standard fordomestic nuclear power plants up to the time of the accident and is also used for assessingtsunamis at nuclear power plants all around Japan to report to the government including theones located along the Pacific coastline. The JSCE method is cited in the IAEA SafetyStandards “Meteorological and Hydrological Hazards in Site Evaluation for NuclearInstallations ”.Although TEPCO believed that nuclear power plant safeguards had been secured per thestandard set down by the JSCE, much consideration was given to applying the latestknowledge and research to the power plant design and operations. In addition, close attentionwas paid to the latest research trends dealing with earthquakes and tsunamis for the purpose of conducting in-house investigations.The Headquarters of Earthquake Research Promotion (HERP) published a statement that"there is a possibility that M8 earthquake could occur anywhere along the trench off the coastfrom Sanriku to Bousou" in July 2002. TEPCO has studied for probabilistic tsunami hazardanalysis since 2002. While reviewing the seismic safety evaluation in 2008, TEPCOconducted a trial calculation utilizing the source model of the Meiji Sanriku-oki Earthquakealong the trench off Fukushima. However, the validity of this source model had not beendiscussed. The statement of the HERP assuming that an earthquake might occur anywherealong the trench off of Fukushima was not covered in the Central Disaster ManagementCouncil’s tsunami evaluation or in the tsunami evaluation for disaster prevention done at eachmunicipality.