Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Thursday defended its decision to withhold the results of its 2008 calculations that predicted tsunami higher than 10 meters could strike the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, saying it saw no point at the time in publicizing a projection based on a multitude of assumptions.

Tepco spokesman Junichi Matsumoto said the calculation was made on an “unreasonable” assumption of a massive quake that had never occurred off Fukushima striking, adding it was difficult before March 11 to comprehend the potential danger.

via Fukushima rice tests show no contamination | The Japan Times Online.

This is a little odd. I would understand it if they said, “While we always knew that there was always the possibility of a quake and tsunami of a size beyond our predictions, nevertheless, we had to draw a line somewhere as to probability; we had to weigh costs versus probability, and we made our choice – the chances of a massive tsunami higher than 10 metres were so slim (in our estimation) that preparing for such an eventuality would not be worth the costs. We now see that we were wrong about the slim chances, but a decision had to be made and we made it.”

But that’s not what they’re saying, at least according to this Kyodo article.  They’re saying ” it was difficult before March 11 to comprehend the potential danger.” In other words, they seem to be saying, “we didn’t have enough data!” This suggests a startling lack of a) imagination, and b) of how economic decisions are made.

And it’s an odd sort of defensive statement to make.