For some time following the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami earlier this year I wondered how the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant could have possibly sustained tsunami damage enough to knock out its generators used for for pumping water used to cool its nuclear fuel rods. This particularly intrigued me given the fact the facility had a protective tsunami wall. It wasn't until I saw this series of photographs below that my question was thoroughly answered leaving me thoroughly impressed at what the tsunami did and thoroughly intrigued at the naivete of the designers of the wall. As one can plainly see the tsunami completely overwhelmed the tsunami wall not only over topping it but also knocking it completely down as one can vividly see happening in photo #3. Hopefully what can be learned from this is to build tsunami walls not as thin vertical steal reinforced concrete structures but as much thicker structures with the configuration of a levee wall.
Photos courtesy of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)