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Only luck and real courage at 14 nuclear reactors on Japan's Pacific coast overcame the technical failures of nuclear power and prevented the nation from being destroyed by radiation.The untold story of March 11, 2011, is how close Japan came to three more spent fuel pool fires at Fukushima Daiichi and four meltdowns at Fukushima Daini. A tsunami struck the west coast of Japan at Fukushima Daiichi just 45 minutes after the earthquake and plant shutdown, damaging all six nuclear reactors at the site and destroying shoreline emergency cooling water pumps.The tsunami also wrecked cooling pumps at eight other reactors located at Fukushima Daini, Onagawa and Tokai.Of the 24 diesel generators that failed, only nine failures were due to flooding (eight at Fukushima Daiichi and one at Fukushima Daini).Fortunately, the tsunami-generating earthquake struck during a normal workday, when almost 1,000 people were working at Fukushima Daiichi and thousands more were working at Fukushima Daini.
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