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Few were prepared for nuclear crisis

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Japan takes disaster preparedness seriously

It's largely a facade. When common fire trucks are used to tame an out of control nuclear crisis, clearly the level of preparedness is severely lacking. Where are the robots, lead-shieled vehicles, and other hi-tech equipment that other developed countries take for granted?

The Kobe quake and Tokaimura have already proved that Japan needs to drastically improve its emergency response measures.

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"Where are the robots,..."

Good question. I saw on Bloomberg news that the US company iRobot was donating four robots to Japan. They look like mini tractors(and can climb almost vertically), come equipped with cameras and have arms for doing manual operations. Now if you've followed Japan Today for the last few years there have been many photos of robots, some useful but quite a few for what seemed like frivolous purposes. Maybe now priorities will change.

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Maybe now priorities will change

That's what people said after the gruesome deaths at Tokaimura.....

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"Government and utility officials conceded they did not have the resources, nor did they think it was necessary..."

Not have the resources?? I certainly hope they aren't referring to money, as I'm pretty sure TEPCO must make a hefty profit every year. People? If they can do it for every other sort of disaster, certainly they could do it for this. No, methinks it falls on the later half of what I've quoted: they didn't think it was necessary (for the wrong reasons).

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Japan really seems more incompetent than I had EVER imagined!

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Japan should realize it got off lightly this time and see this disaster as a huge warning. With nuclear reactors on the Tokai fault line and predictions of a huge quake to hit Tokyo 27,000 dead might seem small in the future.

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I think this country needs to have at least 50,000 temporary shelters on hand, in storage , ready to roll for any disaster. Small, collapsible, reusable structures that are lightweight and mobile.

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How about all that tea you can buy in a PET bottle...is that water imported from the mountains of Switzerland? No. It comes from the local tap water and is just simply filtered. Is it free of radiation? No.

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It's not the public who were unprepared. It was TEPCO. There seemed to be no procedures to deal with the reactor explosion, and the SDF was quoted as saying it wasn't trained to deal with nuclear problems because that was not its mission.

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Well, to be fair, this is a bigger quake than was ever expected to hit; though I don't know how they calculated the figures. I wonder if it was just a guess figure that slipped into common acceptance?

It's certainly pretty shameful that more wasn't done sooner for the plants though. They should have been working at 100% disaster management from day one, not trying to manage things by themselves however they could. With this sort of thing, you call in the cavalry, foreign and otherwise.

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Japan takes disaster preparedness seriously

True, but the leadership & planning is a disgrace. Everything is hindered in red tape and long drawn out meetings.

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Nessie: "It's not the public who were unprepared. It was TEPCO."

True, but then the public was not prepared DUE to TEPCO, as well. TEPCO hands off all the responsibility to subcontractors while it simply collects money. Hence, when disaster strikes they themselves really don't know what to do or what's going on.

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Didn't have the resources to educate people!? Yeah, right! Didn't care while they were raking in billions, more like it. Oh, well. They can all bow and say gomennasai now.

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www.msnbc.msn.com-id-21134540-vp-42230272#40131333

change - to /

lesson learned............. Japan should develope robots that are " functional " rather than " entertaining". note the Chinese rescue robot vs the Japanese actress robots.

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It's not the public who were unprepared. It was TEPCO.

When everyone outside of the area affected by the earthquake and tsunami should be thinking of those there, we have to think about radiation, causing idiots to buy all the water they can get, and about the loss of power.

All thanks to TEPCO's complacency and stupidity. Building a power plant right on the coastline of a place prone to tsunami, having the safety systems electric-powered and no real back up.

And now

I see on the news online that they plan to charge people extra for the electricity in May!

Even though they have caused so many problems and made people spend more money (having to travel on different train routes that aren't on their teiki etc...), caused food shortages and panic buying, they now say that we'll have to pay more??????

I hope they get heavily fined and sued by a LOT of people.

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Winds are currently blowing onshore onto Fukushima, with some gusts pushing southward. Perhaps we will see another radiation spike these days.

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I live in Kyoto. That's 35 miles from the Takahama nuclear reactors. What should I do in the event of an emergency there? Pray?

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How dare they say don't have the resource for safefy measures? So I can sell contaminated food if I don't have the money to clean them? makes no sense.

But in a sense, its not tepco's fault, the government which regulates tepco should have imposed better guidelines and requirements, probably peanuts to a company like tepco to distribute pamphlets and run drills once a year.

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Unfortunately in Fukushima, the public took actions based on the perceived danger and not on the actual danger presented because many people didn't know what to do due to a lack of preparation. The response of the public does not need to be based on an actual release of radioactivity, but on what would be considered the danger of release by a member of the public. Wheather or not the population will follow the directives of the local and government officials or act on their own is remains to be seen. This presents great difficulty in the evaluation of the emergency plans when they require evacuation of only a few areas and shelter of others as we have seen. How can you effectively anticipate or practice the independent action of the population? What controls you willl need, and the health effects on personnel providing those controls should always be determined. A effective evaluation method that incorporates recent changes in population flow and configuration in the emergency plan areas should be studied. But in a nucleur event sometimes their is no warning therefore no real pre-planning can be performed by the population for the evacuation. It could be ordered at any time. In addition, it can create panic, wheather or not radiation is released. Where the evaucation plan calls for people to remain in their homes (sheltered), how is this to be controlled? What we learned from incidents like Fukushima is that the public's perception regarding nuclear events is important. Wheather or not radiation is released, the public will most likely act on what they believe the danger to be, not on what the actual danger is. Although some people, probably many in Fukushima felt lost. There was poor vertical and horozintal communication. It was obvious that the entire emergency network from the top management to the first responders is risking abject failure by underestimating the panic that could ensue from a nuclear accident or event. Misinformation transmission has already been seen and the economic impact of this accident has been felt througout the region. If radioactive material is released, property values become worthless due to contamination, some will eventually want to return, but that would depend on the contamination and cleanup events that are conducted by all the local and government agencies. Widespread defaults can occur from homeowners to local businesses, furthur degrading the local economy.

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