Nuclear Safety Official Warned Earthquakes a 'Serious Problem': WikiLeaks

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That proposal, as described in a 2010 document from the Japan Atomic Energy Agency obtained by ABC News, is a highly technical how-to on nuclear facility safety -- from the safe operation of nuclear facilities in crisis, to the protection of the actual nuclear materials and guards against proliferation.

CLICK HERE to read a PDF version of "Nuclear Data in Safety and Security" from the JAEA.

Even with the 3 S's system, Japan appeared overwhelmed by the March 11 quake, according to Tony Pietrangelo, a spokesman for lobbying group Nuclear Energy Institute.

"Clearly what happened in Japan is well beyond what [the nuclear plants] were designed for," he said.

CLICK HERE to read about nuclear emergency disaster concerns in the U.S.

ABC News' David Kerley and Cindy E. Rodriguez contributed to this report.

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