“Trust Us, We are from World Nuclear and we are here to save the world with Nuclear Truth…”

“[6:30 p.m. ET, 8:30 a.m. Tokyo] There is currently no evidence of a nuclear meltdown at one of Fukushima Daiichi’s nuclear power reactors in northern Japan, Japan’s ambassador to the United States said.

“There was a concern about this reactor. We have confirmed that there was a blowup but it was not a blowup of reactor nor container. It was a blowup of the outer building so there was no leakage of the radioactive material,” Ichiro Fujisaki told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

“We are now trying to cope with the situation by putting salt water into the reactor,” he said. “There are some other issues with other reactors as well, which need also injection of water or taking out vapor because of increasing pressure into the container and we are now working on it.”

When asked if there may be a nuclear meltdown, Fujisaki said, “we do not see any evidence of that at this time.”

Engineers have been unable to get close enough to the core to know what’s going on, an official with Japan’s nuclear and industrial safety agency told CNN Sunday. He based his conclusion on the fact that they measured radioactive cesium and radioactive iodine in the air Saturday night.” http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/12/japan-earthquake-live-blog-death-toll-rises-amid-widespread-destruction/ 12 March 2011.

“Although the situation in Fukushima appears to have stabilized, conflicting reports about the reactor meltdowns and radiation contamination raise questions about what really happened, and what happens next.” “”Technically, cold shutdown occurs when water submerging and cooling the nuclear fuel rods inside the reactor pressure vessels stops boiling. This should prevent the rods from restarting nuclear reactions. In September, the Japanese government reported that the water had fallen below 100 degrees Celsius.

However, it couldn’t declare a full cold shutdown because the fuel rods have ‘melted down’ into the bottom of the pressure vessels. In fact, the molten material may have burned through the pressure vessels and into outer containment vessels, the plant operating company TEPCO has admitted.

At first, TEPCO and the government denied there was a meltdown, rating the accident a four on the international scale of nuclear accidents. But by May they were forced to backtrack and Fukushima was upgraded to a maximum seven ‘major accident’ like Chernobyl.

To what extent ‘meltdown’ has become a much more serious ‘melt through’ nobody knows for certain. The worst fear is that it could accumulate, reheat and start reacting again.

Consequently, the government has redefined cold shutdown to mean (a) keeping the temperature of the bottom of the pressure vessels below 100 degrees Celsius and (b) keeping the radiation leakage from the three reactors under 1 millisievert per year— the government’s maximum dose for the public.”

http://knowledge.allianz.com/energy/security/?1635/nuclear-disaster-fukushima-meltdown-six-months-after

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 0:02 “Top Japanese cabinet ministers were warned of possible nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima hours after the tsunami hit last March, government papers have revealed, despite repeatedly denying the risk in public.
A summary of a government meeting held about four hours after a giant earthquake sent huge waves crashing into the atomic power station showed that one unidentified participant had cautioned of the risk of a meltdown

“If the temperature of the reactor cores rises after eight hours, there is a possibility that a meltdown will occur,” the person said, according to the summary released on Friday.
The revelation will add to the impression among the Japanese public that their political masters were less than transparent in their handling of the crisis.
Fukushima Daiichi, 220 kilometres (140 miles) northeast of Tokyo, spewed radiation after its cooling systems were knocked out…Edano, now the minister of economy, trade and industry, told reporters late Friday after the records of the meetings were released: “I humbly accept criticism that I could not tell you of the possibility of meltdown.”

Tens of thousands were made homeless by the nuclear crisis. Some tracts of land in a 20-kilometre (12-mile) exclusion zone are expected to be uninhabitable for decades because of radiation levels.

According to a summary of another meeting held on March 12, the then national strategy minister, Koichiro Gemba, was quoted saying: “There is a possibility of a meltdown. Is it OK with the evacuation zone set at 10 kilometres? Is there no need to reconsider?” http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2012/03/japan-cabinet-was-warned-of-fukushima-meltdown-1883351.html

The government and plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) maintained for months there had been no meltdown at Fukushima, despite repeated warnings from independent experts.
Tokyo was seen as being quick to silence dissent on the issue, with a spokesman for the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency being replaced after telling a news conference the day after the disaster that meltdown was a possibility.
Only in mid-May did the government and TEPCO admit that three of the six reactors suffered meltdowns.

Last month, an independent probe revealed the government had made contingency plans to evacuate Tokyo, based on a worst case scenario that envisaged a chain of exploding reactors. The scenario was never made public.
The government said in December that the troubled reactors had reached “a state of cold shutdown”.

Threat from meltdown only minor: Ziggy Switkowski
Date
March 14, 2011

The impact of any meltdown in Japanese nuclear reactors damaged by the recent earthquake will be small compared to the devastation caused by the quake itself and the subsequent tsunami, Australia’s best-known nuclear power expert says.

Ziggy Switkowski, who was chairman of the the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) until a few months ago, says a significant build-up of radiation is unlikely.
“The contribution, if any, to this [disaster] from the nuclear fleet, I expect even under worst case scenarios is going to be small,” he told Fairfax Radio Network today.

“The Japanese reactors are probably as good as you can find around the world, but this magnitude 9 earthquake may well have tested the limits of their design.”

The risk of an uncontrolled loss of containment of the core, releasing large amounts of radiation, was very, very small, and the radiation would probably not spread very far, he said.

http://www.smh.com.au/environment/threat-from-meltdown-only-minor-ziggy-switkowski-20110314-1btch.html

“Scientific Reports” published a report which cites and discusses Prof Yamamoto’s Pu findings here: http://www.nature.com/srep/2012/120308/srep00304/full/srep00304.html

Quote: (Abstract) (Full paper pdf download at site)

Isotopic evidence of plutonium release into the environment from the Fukushima DNPP accident

Jian Zheng, Keiko Tagami, Yoshito Watanabe, Shigeo Uchida, Tatsuo Aono, Nobuyoshi Ishii, Satoshi Yoshida, Yoshihisa Kubota, Shoichi Fuma & Sadao Ihara
AffiliationsContributionsCorresponding author
Scientific Reports 2, Article number: 304 doi:10.1038/srep00304
Received 12 January 2012 Accepted 17 February 2012 Published 08 March 2012

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (DNPP) accident caused massive releases of radioactivity into the environment. The released highly volatile fission products, such as 129mTe, 131I, 134Cs, 136Cs and 137Cs were found to be widely distributed in Fukushima and its adjacent prefectures in eastern Japan. However, the release of non-volatile actinides, in particular, Pu isotopes remains uncertain almost one year after the accident. Here we report the isotopic evidence for the release of Pu into the atmosphere and deposition on the ground in northwest and south of the Fukushima DNPP in the 20–30 km zones. The high activity ratio of 241Pu/239+240Pu (> 100) from the Fukushima DNPP accident highlights the need for long-term 241Pu dose assessment, and the ingrowth of 241Am. The results are important for the estimation of reactor damage and have significant implication in the strategy of decontamination. end quote.
Fukushima plant “great risk”: Head of nuclear accident probe panel
July 7, 2012
July 6, 2012
Kyodo News

The head of a Diet-appointed panel to investigate the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster said Friday that the crippled plant in northeastern Japan remains in a dangerous situation because of its fragile structure.

“Fukushima remains at a very high risk, not only because of the spent fuel issues, but also because of its fragile structure,” Kiyoshi Kurokawa, also professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo, told a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, noting that another huge earthquake like the one last year may occur off the coast of northeastern Japan again.

The panel compiled a report Thursday that the Fukushima complex was “incapable of withstanding the earthquake and tsunami” that hit the plant on March 11, 2011. It also noted there is a possibility that the quake damaged safety equipment before the tsunami ravaged the plant and inundated power-supplying facilities needed to keep the nuclear reactors cool.

source: http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2012/07/168067.html

1 August 2012 Last updated at 11:57 GMT
Fukushima plant operator Tepco suffers massive loss

Tepco has struggled to recover from the biggest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl
Continue reading the main story
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Japan to probe Tepco ‘cover-up’
How Tepco glossed over Fukushima facts
Viewpoint: Fukushima’s damning indictment
Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco), the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant, has posted a massive quarterly loss as it struggles to recover from last year’s nuclear crisis.

The group made a loss of 288.4bn yen ($3.68bn; £2.35bn) in the first three months of 2012, compared with a 572bn-yen loss in the same period last year.

The losses are due to higher fuel costs and compensation payments to those affected by the Fukushima disaster.

It was the worst since Chernobyl.

The group is now relying on fossil fuels to supply power to Tokyo.

It has boosted power generation from its fossil fuel plants, as well as importing costly fuels such as oil and gas, to make up for a nuclear power shortfall when all of Japan’s nuclear reactors were shut down last year.

The company said fuel costs had surged since the disaster, rising nearly 54% from a year earlier.

A deadly tsunami triggered by a giant earthquake knocked down the Fukushima Daiichi plant last March in a catastrophe that claimed tens of thousands of victims.

The power station suffered a series of meltdowns and explosions, contaminating vast swathes of land with radiation and forcing thousands of people to abandon their homes.

The embattled group has put aside an estimated 161bn yen for compensation payments related to the disaster.

‘Nothing is sacred’
Tepco said revenue was up 15.6% in the April-June period from a year earlier to 1.3trn yen as it raised electricity prices to offset losses, said the company. Japan’s fiscal year begins in April.

“We will continue to do whatever we can to reduce costs. We are reviewing everything, and nothing is sacred,” said Tepco president Naomi Hirose.

The utility was, in effect, nationalised on Tuesday after the government took a 50.11% stake in the group in exchange for a 1trn yen capital injection.

Tepco forecast a worse-than-expected net loss of 160bn yen for the year ending next March.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19076033

The Mainichi Daily News, Japan

Quote

Fukushima to expand forest areas for radiation decontamination

The Ministry of the Environment accepted a request on Aug. 29 from Fukushima Prefecture to expand forest areas for radiation decontamination from the nuclear plant disaster, ministry officials said.

Currently, forest decontamination is limited to areas around 20 meters from where people live, and places where people gather, like camping sites or mushroom-raising facilities. Fukushima Prefecture, which is hit hard by the nuclear disaster and has 70 percent of its area covered by forests, requested an expansion of decontamination areas.

At a meeting of experts on Aug. 29, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment Satoshi Takayama said, “We will decontaminate the forests. We will steadily add to the government guidelines (for decontamination).” He indicated that based on studies and research, the areas of decontamination will be expanded.

The results of experiments by the prefecture in lowering radioactive material levels by forest thinning were also reported at the meeting. After removing 30 percent of the trees in a 50-meter radius area of cedar forest, radiation levels were found to have dropped 23.5 percent in the central area, while only declining by 2.5 percent near the border with the non-decontaminated area.

However, Fukushima Prefecture Vice Gov. Masao Uchibori, who submitted a request to the Ministry of the Environment to push forward with forest decontamination, says, “Even if we decontaminate an area, after a week, two weeks, or a month, the radiation levels return. We think it is because of radioactive material coming from the mountains.”

The national government will study factors including radioactive material movement and buildup in forests, the leaking and spreading of radioactive material from forests to other areas, and the effects on radiation levels from tree-thinning. The Fukushima Prefectural Government, meanwhile, will this fall examine the decontamination effects of tree-thinning over a 10-hectare area.

August 30, 2012(Mainichi Japan)

end quote
http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20120830p2a00m0na003000c.html

The Death of a Farm in Iitate – One year later.
Even by the heart wrenching standards of the March 11 disaster, Hiroshi Sano and his neighbours can count themselves among the unluckiest of survivors. For an entire month, no one told the people of Iitate – a village which lies about 20 km outside of the exclusion zone around the Fukushima nuclear plant – that they were in a so-called “hot spot”. (Paul’s note: Greenpeace picked up the hot spot early, but their urgent report was ignored then contested by the Japanese government).

Radiation levels in Iitate were – and still – are as high as many areas within the zone, so by the time they were eventually told to leave they’d been dangerously exposed. For Sano, 40, who has the weather beaten face and steady gait of farmers the world over, the fallout from Fukushima has robbed him of a property that’s been in his family for eight generations. The stress has stripped 14 kg from his frame.

We meet him at the Senbonmatsu tourist ranch, 140km south, where he’s moved with his family to try to build a new life. He’s found work as a farmhand, which he says he’s grateful for because jobs are in short supply, but it’s clearly an emasculating experience for someone who ran his own beef cattle breeding and rice farming venture.

Sano’s wife, Terumi, says she’s lonely here and finds herself in tears whenever tsunami stories come on the television. Their children …(aged 10 and 9) are coping better, but Terumi says the 9 year old is having second thoughts about becoming a farmer when he grows up. “He wanted to do what his father did, but now he’s lost hope in that. He’s never seen his father working just as a farmhand before.”

Sano says the farming families from Iitate fled to all corners of Japan when the order to evacuate came through. “Nowadays we struggle to stay in contact with each other – each of us is trying hard to get used to a new environment”, he says. “I remember a stream of evacuees coming from the direction of the disaster. I never imagined that I myself would have to evacuate.”

Sano says Iitate’s residents were becoming more fearful even before the evacuation order, as bulletins from from the International Atomic Energy Agency and rumors (Paul: facts) suppressed by JGov, who with held its SPEEDI data which showed the evacuees were led into the path of the radionuclide cloud which traversed Iitate and the mountains ) on the Internet suggested the town had been showered with wind bourn fallout (Which the Chief British scientist falsely claimed would stay within 500 metres of the Fukushima plant, and which consisted of many more reactor products than the cesium and iodine the nuclear authorities claimed.) . He took his family to Tokyo about a week after the the quake, as explosions rocked the nuclear plant, but still hoped he could return to Iitate when the situation improved. Eventually the family wound up in temporary housing and Sano sold his cattle as the crisis deepened.

Amid the confusion, Meat and Livestock Australia’s Japan Manager, Melanie Brock, arranged for Sano and other farmers to visit Australia and tell their story. Subsequent donations of fodder from Australian farmers allowed some nearby farms to survive but Iitate itself is simply too contaminated,

To drive through Iitate now is to drive through a ghost town: It’s empty, save for a few cats. Houses and farms are deserted, and radiation readings remain close to the evacuation threshold (Paul : which is set far too high – we are not talking about transient CT scans here, but scatterings of radio-chemicals) . The government says it will take 30 years for places such as Iitate to be decontaminated. “I’ve explained to my children we can’t go back”, Sano says.

He would dearly love to re-establish a farm of his own, but with inadequate compensation he’s at the bottom of a financial hole that will keep him working as a farmhand at Senbonumatsu for some time yet. (Source: Taken from “Piece by Piece, One Year after Japan’s devastating Tsunami, how much has changed attempting to rebuild their lives?” by Rick Wallace, “The Weekend Australian Magazine”, March 10-11, 2012, pp 22. )

“The Japanese reactors are probably as good as you can find around the world, but this magnitude 9 earthquake may well have tested the limits of their design.”

The risk of an uncontrolled loss of containment of the core, releasing large amounts of radiation, was very, very small, and the radiation would probably not spread very far, he said.

http://www.smh.com.au/environment/threat-from-meltdown-only-minor-ziggy-switkowski-20110314-1btch.html

Fukushima plant directors resign with golden parachutes
http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2012/s3534291.htm

MARK COLVIN: Directors and auditors at TEPCO – the Japanese operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant – have used the company’s annual general meeting today to resign. In theory, they’re doing so to take responsibility for last year’s disaster. But the ABC can confirm that nearly half of those who resigned will take up lucrative posts with other TEPCO group companies.

Some of the executives are also facing the biggest lawsuit in Japanese history – a $67 billion compensation claim from shareholders for what they describe as unforgivable negligence.

ABC Australia : Fukushima radiation kills fishing industry
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-06-25/fukushima-radiation-kills-fishing-industry/4091320

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20110615a2.html#.T_0CsnDrkfo

The Japan Times
Wednesday, June 15, 2011

City plans fall distribution to address parents’ fears
34,000 children in Fukushima to get dosimeters
Kyodo

FUKUSHIMA — Amid growing concerns over exposure to radiation, the Fukushima Municipal Government said Tuesday it will give dosimeters to all children attending preschools as well as elementary and junior high schools in the city.

The city said it will hand out the gauges for three months from September to about 34,000 children as part of its efforts to ensure their health.

City officials will collect data once a month and examine the results in cooperation with medical institutions.

It will also distribute the gauges to parents with children less than 3 years old at the request of the parents.

The move comes after a similar decision by the city of Date, Fukushima Prefecture, which has radiation hot spots where exposure could exceed the 20-millisievert limit during the course of a year.

Another town adopting this kind of measure is Kawamata, part of which sits in the government’s no-go zone near the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

The plant has been crippled since it was damaged by the March 11 quake and tsunami, triggering the country’s worst nuclear accident.

The dosimeter outlay is another step taken by local governments at the urging of worried parents.

The central government basically remains noncommittal about the school radiation issue, except for changing numbers in the radiation levels for schoolchildren.

On May 27, the education ministry said it will strive to limit radiation exposure of students to 1 millisievert or less a year while they are at school.

The move came after a barrage of criticism from parents in Fukushima Prefecture, who fear radiation leaking from the nuclear plant could increase their children’s chances of developing leukemia or other types of cancer.

But the new limit is only a “best effort” target, and an earlier — and binding — radiation limit is still intact.

In April, the ministry set a limit of 3.8 microsieverts per hour for playground use at schools in the prefecture.

Together with estimated exposure from outside of school grounds, total annual exposure could grow to 20 millisieverts.

Many schools in Fukushima Prefecture have already acted on their own and banned students from using their school grounds over fears of radiation exposure.

Numerous schools are also attempting to scrape away contaminated soil.
Posted June 25, 2012 15:16:00

Fishermen in the Fukushima area, the site of the greatest single radiation contamination of the ocean in history, fear their industry is ruined. While boats still go to sea, their catches are being withheld from sale and instead the fish is sent for analysis. And it’s not just Japanese fishermen recording radioactive hauls. Contamination is turning up thousands of kilometres away in fish caught on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.
Mark Willacy

children
So what is the rate of pay for a 7 year old radiation worker?
“Thank you Mr. J Gov”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/02/parents-revolt-radiation-levels

When Hormesis rules supreme:
Fukushima parents dish the dirt in protest over radiation levels

Furious Fukushima parents dump school playground earth that may have radiation levels well above the old safety level

Jonathan Watts in Tokyo
guardian.co.uk, Monday 2 May 2011 16.43 BST

Parents in Fukushima are angry over rule changes which mean that school children can be exposed to 20 times more radiation than was previously permissible. Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters

“Radiation response a meltdown in reason : Pam Sykes,
Posted on: July 14th, 2011 by Marketing and Communications, Flinders University of South Australia
http://blogs.flinders.edu.au/flinders-news/2011/07/14/radiation-response-a-meltdown-in-reason/

““We need radiation in our environment, just as we need vitamins and minerals. ” Sykes.

“There was an increase in thyroid tumours but we’re not sure how much that related to the fact that everyone was screened for thyroid tumours, which wouldn’t normally happen.” Sykes.

Professor Sykes’ research, which involves doses of radiation that are up to three orders of magnitude lower than those used by other investigators, has been funded by the US Department of Energy Low Dose Radiation Research Program for almost 10 years.” “100 milliSieverts of radiation – that’s five times the dose I’m allowed as a radiation worker.” Sykes. http://blogs.flinders.edu.au/flinders-news/2011/07/14/radiation-response-a-meltdown-in-reason/ Funding body: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Energy http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-alvarez/mit-radiation-study_b_1623899.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false#sb=679403,b=facebook

“100 milliSieverts of radiation – that’s five times the dose I’m allowed as a radiation worker.” the pay and conditions the radiation chose as an adult. What choice do the school kids have?

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-12/fukushima-children-exposed-to-radiation/4126628

Fukushima kids cop ‘lifetime’ radiation dose
By North Asia correspondent Mark Willacy

Updated July 12, 2012 14:42:02

A Japanese study has found some children who live near the Fukushima nuclear plant have received “lifetime” doses of radiation to their thyroid glands.

A team from Japan’s Institute of Radiological Sciences used government data to measure the internal radiation exposure of more than 1,000 Fukushima children.

The Fukushima nuclear power plant emitted radiation after being crippled by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Despite the government announcing more than half of the children had zero exposure, the independent study found that on average they did receive thyroid gland doses of internal radiation.

Several children were judged to have received an equivalent lifetime dose to the thyroid.

But the government says it does not plan to notify the parents out of fear of creating anxiety.

First posted July 12, 2012 14:28:58

end quote.

14 November 2011 “Tokyo schools check for Fukushima fallout”
September 14, 2012
http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2011/s3363735.htm

TONY EASTLEY: With nuclear fallout fears from the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns spreading, local councils in Tokyo have begun checking schools and parks for radioactive contamination.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has also announced spot checks of fresh and processed foods.

The ABC’s North Asia correspondent Mark Willacy went along to one school in his Tokyo neighbourhood to report on the search for radioactive hot spots.

(Sound of Japanese children playing)

MARK WILLACY: In the playground of the Meguro Honcho Nursery School it’s a celebration of dirt. The kids roll in it, scoop it into buckets – one even samples a mouthful of it.

But there are fears something could be lurking in the dirt here and that’s radioactive caesium spewed out by the oozing Fukushima reactors.

As the kids play, a few metres away in a corner of the yard the principal Michiko Ikeda is hovering over a Geiger counter and writing down readings.

(Michiko Ikeda speaking Japanese)

“There is no solution here,” says principal Ikeda. “We cannot say this is absolutely safe. Parents are worried about radiation, our staff too. By taking these radiation measurements, we want to show that we care for the children,” she says.

Hovering over principal Ikeda as she wields her Geiger counter is Hiroshi Sato, from the local Meguro council.

(Hiroshi Sato speaking Japanese)

“Recently it because clear that radiation came further south than we thought, all the way to Tokyo,” he tells me. “So we are now checking dozens of schools in the Meguro area,” he says.

(Sound of Japanese protesters)

“Women, protect our children” chant these protesters and the vast majority of these demonstrators are women. Surrounded by police they march through Tokyo, right past the headquarters of TEPCO, the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant.

These demonstrations are becoming more common in Tokyo as is the sight of people wielding Geiger counters.

Back at the Meguro Honcho Nursery School the playground has been given the all clear but principal Michiko Ikeda says the search for radioactive hot spots will go on.

(Michiko Ikeda speaking Japanese)

“I still worry when it rains,” she tells me. “I worry about it a lot. After it rains we wash all the outside equipment and toys and we clean out the drains to reduce the radiation level,” she says.

(Sound of Japanese children playing)

But here in the playground the kids are oblivious to all this – all they want to do is to continue to delight in the dirt.

This is Mark Willacy at the Meguro Honcho Nursery School in Tokyo for AM. Australian Broadcasting Commission.

end quote.

Nuclear Industries response to the rigors of Democracy and demands for openness:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.com.au/2011/09/tepcos-extreme-blackout.html
blackout

“When a Diet committee looking into the incident asked Tepco to submit a copy of the manual, most pages of the documents so submitted were “blacked out,” as the company alleged they contained trade secrets which it did not want to go into the public domain.

Totally dissatisfied, the committee issued another order to Tepco to submit the whole manual in its original form, to which the company complied on Oct. 24. This led journalist Tanaka to come to the conclusion that the utility was not telling the truth.” http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/eo20111213a1.html

TEPCO ordered to defer reporting looming explosion

Last Updated: Thursday, August 16, 2012, 17:10

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120816a4.html

The Japan Times online

Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012

NISA told Tepco to delay reporting looming explosion
Jiji
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency ordered Tepco in March 2011 to delay announcing that the pressure level in one of the Fukushima No. 1 plant’s wrecked reactors was spiking to critical levels, teleconference footage released by the utility shows.

Images of Tokyo Electric Power Co. teleconferences during the initial stages of the nuclear crisis, as well as other materials and information, confirm that Tepco was forced to defer an announcement after pressure inside the reactor 3 containment vessel suddenly spiked to alarming levels around 6 a.m. March 14.

Masao Yoshida, then manager of the crippled plant, instructed workers to temporarily evacuate the reactor building, fearing a hydrogen explosion was about to rip it apart, and Tepco began preparing to announce the development to the press.

However, the utility was instructed to withhold the information by NISA, which is under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The agency then made an announcement shortly after 9 a.m. March 14 — just two hours before a hydrogen explosion destroyed the upper part of the structure housing reactor 3.

The reactor 1 building had suffered a similar blast two days earlier. Both reactors, along with reactor 2, subsequently experienced catastrophic meltdowns.

Before the explosion occurred at reactor 3, a Tepco public relations team based at the Fukushima No. 1 plant prepared a press statement about the surging pressure level.

The footage, however, shows that in a conversation with the utility’s headquarters in Tokyo, one member of the team said, “We’ve been stopped by the government and are being made to wait before issuing any announcement to the press.”

“NISA officials are blocking any release of information on the matter,” a person who appears to be a head office employee says in the video images. “The agency’s officials are saying that (Tepco) should not be the entity to announce this either.”

Another voice on the recordings can be heard stating that NISA had refused to give Tepco permission to announce the pressure surge, saying, “We’ve been strongly requested, instructed not to announce this.”

NISA has said it kept Tepco’s announcement on hold because officials were unable to get in touch with its chief to obtain the necessary permission.

end quote.

Who’s in charge here?

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T120528003609.htm

Daily Yomiuri Online

The Yomiuri Shimbun

In his testimony to the Diet committee investigating the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, Economy Trade and Industry minister Yukio Edano highlighted his distrust of TEPCO and the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

Edano was chief cabinet secretary when the crisis at the plant began last year after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

TEPCO has claimed that after the onset of the crisis on March 11, it proposed to the government that it withdraw only some of its workers from the crippled plant. However, Edano told the committee that then TEPCO President Masataka Shimizu had hinted at “withdrawing all workers” over the phone.

In response, Edano said: “If [TEPCO] does such a thing, we won’t be able to get [the plant] under control. If the situation gets worse, we won’t be able to stop [the crisis].”

Shimizu then stammered, Edano told the committee.

Edano said, “I believe [Shimizu’s remarks at the time] meant the company did not intend to leave some workers” at the plant.

He also said he spoke directly with Masao Yoshida, then chief of the plant, over the phone and asked him if there were any more options to deal with the crisis.

Yoshida told him: “There are still things we can do. We’ll do our best,” according to Edano.

After speaking with government officials over the phone, Shimizu visited the Prime Minister’s Office and said TEPCO had no intention of withdrawing every worker from the plant.

Edano argued that Shimizu gave up withdrawing all workers because the idea was rejected by the Prime Minister’s Office.

“I thought the company wouldn’t carry out the full withdrawal if we told the president to come and see us himself [at the Prime Minister’s Office],” Edano told the committee.

Edano said he backed a government order to TEPCO to vent steam containing radioactive substances, as the firm had hesitated to take action. The order was issued by then industry minister Banri Kaieda based on the Nuclear Reactor Regulation Law.

“We asked TEPCO why it couldn’t conduct the venting, but its response got us nowhere,” Edano said. “We believed we could help it overcome hesitation by giving it a legally binding order, so we told Mr. Kaieda [the order] was inevitable.”

Asked about then Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s visit to the Fukushima plant a day after the crisis broke out, Edano said, “We called NISA and TEPCO officials to come to the Prime Minister’s Office for explanations, but the situation remained unclear. Information from TEPCO kept changing. So we came to the conclusion that someone in a position higher than the senior vice minister of the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry needed to visit the plant.”

Edano said Kan’s visit was intended to improve the situation, which was marred by insufficient information.

However, Edano said he did not support the visit. He said he told Kan: “You won’t be able to escape from the emotional backlash if your visit disrupts work [at the plant]. So I hardly recommend [that you visit].”

But Kan was insistent to visit the plant. Asked about the prime minister’s action, Edano said: “[The visit] had negative effects, but it also had positive results. It was a decision made by the prime minister.”

(May. 29, 2012)

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One Response to ““Trust Us, We are from World Nuclear and we are here to save the world with Nuclear Truth…””

  1. CaptD Says:

    I guess we all are now part of Nuclear History, since we have been following this Nuclear Debacle What a Nuclear Waste!

    Time has shown that the Nuclear tells false truths time after time!

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