Japan: Not enough safeguards to protect nuke plant

Japan’s government admitted Tuesday that its safeguards were insufficient to protect a nuclear plant against the earthquake and tsunami that crippled the facility and caused it to spew radiation, and it vowed to overhaul safety standards.

The struggle to contain radiation at the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex has unfolded with near-constant missteps — the latest including two workers drenched with radioactive water despite wearing supposedly waterproof suits.

The March 11 tsunami that slammed into Japan’s northeast, wiping out towns and killing thousands of people, knocked out power and backup systems at the coastal nuclear power plant.

More than 11,000 bodies have been recovered, but officials say the final death toll is expected to exceed 18,000. Hundreds of thousands of people remain homeless, their homes and livelihoods destroyed. Damage could amount to $310 billion — the most expensive natural disaster on record.

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