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Gov't feared nuclear crisis would engulf Tokyo, report shows

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nothing new hear.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Parts of Tokyo have high readings of radioactivity. In fact,Shinjuku is a reported hotspot. There is a steady buildup of radiation at waterworks in waste to the extent that it has to be classed as radioactive. There aren't any waste repositories in Japan for this waste! Tokyo has become a major incinerator for waste debris from the Tohoku area-it becomes landfill in Tokyo bay And we should not forget: Yokohama has also been in the news with high radiation. Cars in Nagoya found to be radioactive. Children in Fukushima passing Cesium in their urine etc. Nuclear waste and fallout is dangerous for many many years...... There is no containment for the nuclear fuel which has fissioned out of control and is still active.

Parts of the Fukushima nuclear plant are off limits due to high radioactive emissions. There is a consensus that parts of,if not all Tokyo should be evacuated. To what extent Tokyo and the whole of Japan wil be impacted is an unknown.

8 ( +11 / -4 )

What was the logic behind his thinking that there would have been a chain reaction of nuclear plants blowing up? Glad Edano was not in charge if he was being driven by demonic thoughts.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Govt feared? Govt Still Fears....Govt will always fear....only that Kan Naoto is portrayed as a Hero for the year 2011.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I agree, SimondB. I don't understanf this chain reaction effect. In his mind are the plants supposed to be connected in series somehow so that if one goes, they all go? I Do hope they are educating these ministers a bit before they are let loose to make important decisions.....it's not enough to sleep thru years of high school and then wear your best uniform to graduation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So the foreign media were right, and the "flyjin" concerns were well-founded. And the Tepco, Japan Inc. apologists who slammed them were wrong. Some expression of contrition would now be appreciated.

19 ( +23 / -5 )

It's good that they are doing these postmortems now. Hopefully we can learn from this - not just in the nuclear industry but for general crisis management.

Kan, could have done things better it seems but that doesn't bother me. In a case like this, nobody could have done everything perfectly. But the big thing he got right - not allowing Shimizu to run. So he got the most important decision right, and just for that he deserves praise and thanks.

I said it at the time and I'll say it now again. It's okay not to evaluate his leadership, but the way the Japanese politicians were attacking (read both the opposition and Ozawa/Hatoyama) and demanding resignation was totally disgraceful and should go down in history as one of the most shameful things.

Can't blame Kan for trying to micro-manage - what else do you do when the President of the Company running the plant wants to just run away, and you know he's been covering up stuff for years.

Anybody here want to be PM with companies like Tepco to deal with?

11 ( +12 / -1 )

So the foreign media were right, and the "flyjin" concerns were well-founded.

I think you're reading the report wrong. For a start, there were Osaka flyjin. ANd they aren't saying that tokyo would have been vaporized or anything like that.

Some foreign media DID exaggerate.

" and a voluntary evacuation zone will spread to 250 kilometers and beyond”.

Read that again. It's not saying that if you didn't run to the plane, you would have faced death in Tokyo.

We all knew that in a WORST case scenario, people in Tokyo would either evacuate, or stay indoors for a short period of time. Opting to leave Tokyo under those circumstances is nothing to be ashamed of, but there was nothing wrong with staying either.

It was the way in which a MINORITY of people left that was unfortunate.

I personally know a Japanese girl who had to continue with lessons for gaijin kids on the afternoon of 3/11 when she just wanted to go home, but she looked after their kids. A week later they were gone without a phone call, email -nothing. Just gone.

But if the so called flyjin were so right in leaving, what about the current worst case scenario. In a worst case scenario Tokyo will be hit by a 7 or more earthquake, and so will Fukushima, so if you are really worried you wouldn't be here still.

I'm staying, and I hope I have the chance to say thanks to Kan one day.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

"Plans were drawn up for the mass withdrawal from the capital"

And move everyone to where?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

There is a BBC Documentary called Inside the Meltdown on ex skf about the earthquake and tsunami

http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Here we go again. "The flyjin were right!" "NO! They over-reacted!" "NO! The ones who are staying are the stupid ones!" "No! They were rational about it all!" "Tokyo should have been evacuated!" "No it shouldnt".....

Why cant we all just respect that we all left or stayed for our own individual reasons and circumstances and the situation is even now still constantly fluid and under review? Why cant we unite against the common enemy here (which it appears was TEPCO) and stop beating each other up for a change?

5 ( +14 / -8 )

@Nicky Spot on again. Thumbs up.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

SimondB asks;

What was the logic behind his thinking that there would have been a chain reaction of nuclear plants blowing up?

I think the logic behind it would be that if one reactor blew and contaminated the entire area to levels where no further work could be done on the remaining reactors, then it would just be a matter of time before they would also go into melt down.

I don't see any problems with the government making a contingency plan based on a worst case scenario. In fact I think that was one of the things they did right. Let's all just be glad it did not come to that, it very well could have.

@Nicky, Well said!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

>Why cant we unite against the common enemy here (which it appears was TEPCO) and stop beating each other up for a change?

One side did the beating up. The other side had more important things to worry about -- like the safety of their families and/or employees.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Its not a matter of whether those who left were wrong, or those who stayed were wrong. What was wrong was that the media and powers that be did not give that information to people in Tokyo, so they could make a fully informed decision. It was wrong that those who were concerned were ridiculed and their sanity questioned. It is now very wrong that the media is changing their tune, and instead of calling people panic mongers, they are saying "actually it was a very real possibility and Fukushima is still not stable". Very very wrong indeed. I wont hold my breath for an apology.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Nicky. Totally agree! It was a surreal situation that none of us expected to be in.

I think Kan did the best he could.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

orange,

powers that be did not give that information to people in Tokyo

The powers-that-be did not even give the information to international nuclear experts, either. In fact, this same article, on another website not in Japan, started with how angry the US government was about not getting any accurate information. The US, if I recall, set a 80km no-go zone based on what little info the Japanese government was giving out and banned travel to Japan for a time.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So while Edano was seeing this 'demonic' outcome for Tokyo he was telling us all that it is not harmful and everything is okay? Thank god for a change their simple, "Let's hope for the best and do nothing" worked out. As for Shimizu and TEPCO wanting to bail, why on earth is this man not in prison yet?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why is this article so brief? It was in depth on the news yesterday.

And yes, there are hot spots all over the place. I record them.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

kurisupisu

Parts of Tokyo have high readings of radioactivity.

Always has. Hong Kong is way worse. Get a perspective.

There is a consensus that parts of,if not all Tokyo should be evacuated.

No there isn't.

-4 ( +8 / -11 )

kurisupisu - Lots of big claims in your post. So where is your evidence? Where are your facts? And can you verify anything you posted here?

Alarmist statements are not helpful to anyone. If there are facts, produce them. If not, stop trying to freak people out. It helps nothing!

1 ( +7 / -4 )

I'm still fearful all you Tokyo people will be evacuated. That many people living in one area has "bad" written all over it for more reasons than a nuclear meltdown.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

What I post has appeared in the news and if anyone here is so inclined may also discover if a little time is taken to follow up anything that I post.

I have followed the situation in depth since the start as have some other posters on this forum eg Zichi and others.

Although I am not near the areas directly contaminated and that includes Tokyo,

I have seen firsthand the bungling illogical response to the nuclear disaster since I live in Japan and have done for over 20 years

Allow me to follow up some of my previous comments,it is a fact that Tokyo has already been engulfed by a nuclear crisis-the problem is that it is not apparent at present.

After the 11th of March 2011 the government feared that people would start to leave Tokyo in an unruly mass and would cause chaos. For this reason true facts about the situation were not released. In fact,the people here and in the rest of the world were blatantly misled as to what happened and is still happening.

For example hot spots in Yokohama have not been explained.(google hot spots in Yokohama) Yokohama is situated south of Tokyo but we are being told that Tokyo has not been contaminated.Even though Shinjuku has had some of the highest radioactivity ever measured outside of the nuclear complex there is no policy to evacuate Shinjuku or other even parts of Tokyo

From Wikipedia

" It rained in Tokyo from 21 March morning[28] to 24.[29] The rain brought radioactive fallout there. In Shinjuku, on the research by Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Public Health, 83900 Bq/m2 of I-131, 6310 Bq/m2 of Cs-134, and 6350 Bq/m2 of Cs-137 were detected for these four days in total as radioactive fallout"

Measurements shortly taken at the time of the disaster, not from any official sources in Japan but from the US military,,,,,,

U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Alan Thompson reported 1,500 MICROSIEVERTS Per Hour South Of Tokyo On March 20, 2011

So, it is a sad fact that Tokyo has been blanketed by fallout from the nuclear disaster from Fukushima.

What effect will become apparent in the future is anyone's guess as no urban areas with Tokyo's population has ever been subjected to such high levels of radioactivity.

If people become alarmed by this news then it might be because the self preservation instinct is kicking in

Better than some other alternatives?

6 ( +10 / -5 )

[TEPCO], which refused to co-operate with the study, was ordered to keep men on site by then Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

Experts concluded that if the premier had not stuck to his guns, Fukushima would have spiraled further out of control, with catastrophic consequences.

A BIG THANK YOU to Naoto Kan.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

"Plans were drawn up for the mass withdrawal from the capital"

And move everyone to where? .....................................

Hawaii ?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

kurisupisu

Inadequate!!! Where are real links to real evidence? Let me break it down for you.

You claim that Shinjuku is a hot spot: Prove it! Measurements (recent ones!!!) by reliable sources. When were they taken? Where? Was it one spot? Many locations in Shinjuku? Prove it and show your links.

Tokyo incineration: Where is your evidence that the materials being burned in Tokyo are in fact radioactive? Again where is the evidence? I want you to produce numbers, sources and links.

You claim that there is a "concensus" that Tokyo should be evacuated. Concensus amongst whom? Show who agrees with this. What evidence do they base that opinion upon? When was the concensus reached? And again by whom? Show your links. Prove it!

Bottom line, your second post refers to a few early 2011 notes. Where is your early 2012 evidence? Show me the links, show me the numbers show me the proof.

But I think you have none of these answers. More alarmist nonsense.

-6 ( +5 / -10 )

"Plans were drawn up for the mass withdrawal from the capital"

Serrano - "And move everyone to where?"

Tokyo Disneyland. :-)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Those in Kan’s office spent a lot of time trying to understand the minutiae of the situation, which meant they tried to intervene in the day-to-day detail in a way that was not helpful.

Welcome to Japan.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I rarely post here...mainly read (with great enjoyment I must say). But I feel I must say that the actions carried out by former PM Kan of preventing TEPCO from fully evacuating Fukushima Daiichi during those first few days may have been one of the most important yes/no decisions any post war PM in Japan has had to make. What if he had caved, felt sympathetic and allowed them to evacuate? I assume that the 3 or 4 reactors would have gone into a more intense, out of control, and non-monitored meltdown. I also understand Kan drove directly to the TEPCO offices with no advance notice (doubt he really needs it) and told the TEPCO CEO that under no circumstances were they to evacuate. His reasons why they could not evacuate may be questioned (ie. "If you evacuate, TEPCO will be demolished/broken up") when I would have thought something more along the lines of, "most of Kanto may need to be evacuated if the Fukushima Daiichi reactors go into full blown, out of control meltdowns". Anyhow, glad he did what he did.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

tkoind2

Well put.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Nothing to see here, move along.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

It was (and still is) very complicated situation. Catastrophic not the less... Mistakes were inevitable but some important decisions were also made. The paralel with Chernobil is real but the big difference is Gorbachev could order soldiers, miners, whoever from all corners of then USSR. They just didn't have a choice (or are sent to Siberia). Japan is democracy and dealing with private company was big challenge for the government. They couldn't and still are not doing everything right. They only way to know the outcome from the announcement of the "worst case scenario" to the public on a early stage will never be understood. It could be the largest social experiment in the history of world. Now the realities are diferent and we have to move on.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nuclear winter? Government not only fearful ones. Plenty of normal people were scared and many still not back in Tokyo. Radiation is a frequent topic of conversation on my dinner/drinks circuit.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm one of the fence-sitters on this.

I think we all need to watch developments closely, but my own reading of this special report suggests that there would have been nothing gained by panic-driven chaos in Tokyo.

All of us were worried, certainly, as was that bureaucrat with the "demonic scenario in [his] head." But the nuclear meltdown never happened to that extent, perhaps thanks to PM Kan.

What could have been far worse: an H.G. Wells "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast-style panic.

As far as continuing radioactivity in western Japan goes, tkoind2, this looks pretty authoritative to me, posted just 13 days ago:

http://thewatchers.adorraeli.com/2012/02/16/radiation-monitors-spike-in-western-japan-to-one-of-highest-in-months/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It still can. I am not buying this "cold shutdown" malarkey.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Here's another reason to wear facemasks this pollen season.

http://thewatchers.adorraeli.com/2012/02/10/cesium-pollen-started-attacking-tokyo/

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@tapetptape

I also understand Kan drove directly to the TEPCO offices with no advance notice (doubt he really needs it) and told the TEPCO CEO that under no circumstances were they to evacuate. His reasons why they could not evacuate may be questioned (ie. "If you evacuate, TEPCO will be demolished/broken up") when I would have thought something more along the lines of, "most of Kanto may need to be evacuated if the Fukushima Daiichi reactors go into full blown, out of control meltdowns". Anyhow, glad he did what he did.

Maybe that happened as part of the discussion, but the main thrust was this:

The then TEPCO president, Masataka Shimizu, wanted to pull everyone out. Kan stormed into their headquarters and told him bluntly:

"There is no retreat when Japan's existence is on the line." He then added, "Prepare to meet your fate."

Yukio Edano later recollected, "There are various evaluations on the Kan government but at that moment I thought, 'It's good that this man is prime minister,'"

Damn right on that one, Edano, and shame on Shimizu.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Hunter. This page is interesting that you posted. But there are very few numbers there. It is easy to say that the radiation level will rise, but from what level to what level? And are the levels before and after significant with regards to health?

The problem I see is that there are a lot of claimed facts without tangible numbers to support them.

Will radiation rise in April? The site claims that it will. Ok, then what is the projection? From X to Y? And does the increase warrant concern over health?

I am not happy about having to worry about radiation either. But I am equally not happy to be worried needlessly if that is the case. I want real, solid, supported by science facts. If there is a real risk, I want to know the details. And if there is no significant concern, I don't want to be wasting braincells worrying about it.

Is that so much to ask for?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

A new documentary by the BBC, "Inside the Meltdown". A good watch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwBELPtVUCA

TEPCO have denied it wanted to abandon the its nuclear power plant. When it realised the serious situation with the reactors it wanted to withdraw some of its workforce who would be exposed to very high levels of radiation. It wanted to keep workers over 60 years.

Immediately following the beginning of the disaster, the workers trying to get into the reactor buildings to vent the steam building up from the fuel meltdowns were being exposed to 50-100 MILLIsieverts/hr and could only stay a few minutes trying to locate the venting value.

The firemen who were rushed from Tokyo to pump sea water onto the rector fuel pools received radiation more than 100 microsieverts/hr.

The "Fukushima 50" exposed themselves to very dangerous levels of radiation, and were prepared to be a "suicide squad" to try and save the country.

The workers were being exposed to gamma radiation. The fuel in No1 reactors had a meltdown and the fuel was so hot it burnt its way out of the pressure reactor vessel and onto the concrete base of the containment vessel. The same happened with reactors 2&3.

TEPCO have stated, that the decommissioning will take more than 40 years. Areas next to the rector buildings remain too hot to be approached by workers.

The workers at the plant fear most is another powerful earthquake.

According to this released report, the government withheld info about the full dangers of the nuclear disaster. It didn't use the Speedi radiation reading system because it thought it was unreliable and sent evacuee's into the direction of the highest concentration of radiation being released from the power plant. Had it followed the Speedi results, people could have been evacuated away from the radiation. One group spent the night at a center thinking they were safe but actually were in the highest level of radiation. The group included pregnant women.

In the hours following the start of the nuclear disaster, a strain in the Japanese American relationship developed because the Japanese government weren't giving the Americans the full facts of the disaster, especially on the reactor meltdowns. The Americans had the idea that meltdowns had began and had its own plan to evacuate 60,000 Americans if the worse case scenario started to unfold. The British had a similar plan too.

Recently released American documents shows something of the strain with the Japanese government and what it thought was happening at the power plant.

The worse case scenario would have been the actual nuclear reactors exploding and releasing massive amounts of radiation even greater than Chernobyl. Also the spent fuel pools completely drying up and starting to burn.This was also the fear of the Japanese government, so I suppose the plan to evacuate Tokyo, something like 35 million people.

But had the worse case scenario occurred, I doubt the government would have been able to evacuate the people before a very large number received very high levels of radiation.

The worse case scenario was avoided because of the efforts of the plant workers, the Tokyo firemen, the copter pilots of the Self Defense Force who dropped water on the reactors after the explosions, and a special team of SDF who were sent to the power plant. All these people risked their own lives to try and save the country.

Had the worse case scenario happened a very large area of the country including Tokyo would have been off limits for many decades.

TEPCO and the government feared a "Devil's Chain Reaction".

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Tue. Feb.28, foreign journalists and reporters, including the BBC, were allowed to visit the power plant.

Contaminated highly radioactive waste water continues to leak from the reactors at the rate of 10,000 tons per month. The plant has 120,000 tons of waste water and current storage for 165,000 tons which TEPCO will increase to 220,000 tons. TEPCO have stated it will take more than 6 years to plug those waste water leaks. At that rate there will be eventually about 850,000 tons of waste water. TEPCO have also stated it won't try to remove the melted fuels for 25 years.

Even if TEPCO goes ahead to cover the sea bed inside the sea walls with a mixture of clay and cement to contain the leaked radiation, it might have to repeat the operation if there are further leaks after the completion.

The new plant manager, Takeshi Takahashi said the power plants remains in a fragile state. The radiation at No1 reactor has dropped allowing some workers to carry out tasks there. But outside of No3 reactor the radiation remains very high at 1.5 MILLIsieverts/hr. Last year at the same location, the level was 10 SIEVERTS/hr. Exposure to more than 1,000 millisieverts or 1 sievert can cause severe radiation sickness.

In some areas of the plant, workers can only stay for a few minutes.

From the BBC News reports, what I did notice was on No4 reactor. There were a gang of workers working on the building. Much of the building debris has been removed and the workers are preparing to remove the 1300 fuel assemblies from the spent fuel pool. No word from TEPCO when that will actually start. The fuel would have to be removed to the common fuel pool which is also full, and the overhead crane was busted by the earthquake. The fuel from the common pool would be put into dry casks and moved to a storage on the docks, but that too is full.

I can't see TEPCO trying to remove the fuel assemblies from the No4 pool within the next two years. Its in a fragile state and could collapse if the plant was struck by another powerful quake.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Hunter,

that page links to Fukushima-Diary, where an update says:

"From the research of Forestry Agency in last December, pollen from Namiemachi contains 253,000 Bq/Kg of cesium."

So we're talking about pollen in the evacuated zone, and also - it being Fukushima-Diary, we have to be careful as to the accuracy of the statements made.

Reference: http://fukushima-diary.com/2012/01/cesium-pollen-will-increase-the-radiation-level-up-to-the-last-april-level/

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Back on topic please.

Give up nuclear power and shutdown all the reactors NOW! It i quite obvious there is no way they could evacuate Tokyo. Note that this article only address Tokyo-to's 13 million residents. It does not address the other 20 million living in surrounding prefectures. Just give it up you fools before this worst case scenario becomes worst case fact!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

As I understand, a nuclear power plant can not have a nuclear explosion as in nuclear bomb. There can be a hydrogen explosion but that is not nuclear. It can of course melt down as we all know. Check-- jimstonefreelance.com

1 ( +1 / -0 )

VicMOsaka,

but a nuclear reactor can have both hydrogen and steam explosions. There were hydrogen explosions in reactors 1-3, and a steam explosion in No3. Steam explosions are very powerful.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Immediately following the beginning of the disaster, the workers trying to get into the reactor buildings to vent the steam building up from the fuel meltdowns were being exposed to 50-100 MILLIsieverts/hr and could only stay a few minutes trying to locate the venting value. The firemen who were rushed from Tokyo to pump sea water onto the rector fuel pools received radiation more than 100 microsieverts/hr.

Aside from making it sound more scary, is there any reason for the change in units? Always concerns me when people do this as it looks like they want to make the numbers bigger so that a certain impression is given...

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

yildiray,

not trying anything to make anything more scary than what it was. I don't do that if you have followed my comments on the nuclear disaster .

The millisievert exposure was the level inside No1 reactor building when the workers were trying to find the venting valve to try and open it to prevent the explosion. The meltdown of the fuel core had already began and the rad level was rapidly rising.

The firmen wer located outside of the reactor buildings between the rear of the buildings towards the sea. They stayed for about one hour to set up pumping sea water into the spent pools before fleeing in a waiting mini bus. They were exposed to microsieverts.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Zichi - You are correct! A nuclear power plant cannot explode like an atom bomb. However, it can explode with a huge amount of force when the cooling stops, as happened in Fukushima although, the Fukushima incident was only minor compared to what could have happened. Japan was actually very lucky, but a year later they are still dithering around with their fingers up their bums doing nothing about shutting down these catastrophes waiting to happen. What is it gonna take for these fools to do something about it? They have stated that most of the reactors in the country are offline, but 'offline' does not mean shut down! They are still running and if (when) there is another large quake their greatest fears can and probably will become reality!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

" A worst-case scenario sketched out by the Japanese government foresaw the end of Tokyo in a chain of nuclear explosions "

That just speaks to the stupidity of the Tokyo government. There never was any danger of "nuclear explosions", as even anti-nuclear activists who know the topic will admit. The worst-case scenario would have been more destruction of the facilties up there plux southeastern winds blowing radioactive particles towards and Tokyo. That is bad enough, I don´t know why they need to babble about "nuclear explosions", only discrediting themselves in the process.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I don't know who to trust anymore. Government and TEPCO are full of crap. International expertes are denied access and silenced. Independant reporters are full of crap. They have some data, but they also say stuff like "nuclear explosion in reactor 1" What?? Idiotos.

I used to follow this guy, but stopped. He is a nutter http://fukushima-diary.com/

In any case, situation isn't good, thats for sure. unfortunately how bad it is, we'll never know. I get my veggies from the south now. that's the best i can do. But if there is a job offer from elsewhere, I am outta here.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Disillusioned:

" They are still running and if (when) there is another large quake their greatest fears can and probably will become reality! "

Well, I would assume that by now they have double and triple checked the cooling system for the used fuel and made sure that the multiple snafus from Fukushima (flooded diesel generators, no access for trucked in additional generators, wrong sockets to connect additional generators (you really have to wrap your head around that one) etc etc do not happen again.

If they had been able to maintain cooling for the fuel, none of this would have happened, and Fukushima would be a non-issue.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The country came so close to destroying itself in a nuclear disaster, had the worse case scenario unfolded with the reactors being ripped apart with hydrogen and steam explosions, the resulting disaster would have been greater than Chernobyl.

I have seen first hand what steam explosions can do from my time working in a metal smelting works.

The day was only saved by the brave TEPCO workers who remained at the plant, the Tokyo firemen and the SDF.

The earthquake and tsunami damaged four nuclear plants, including the second plant in Fukushima. The plant manager there stated he feared it came very close to having its own nuclear meltdown.

We also know from various investigations and evidence presented to the Diet, how unsafe some of these nuclear plants are and the the mass failure of the various atomic safety agencies to check on what was happening in them.

Recently, even the head of the Nuclear Safety Commission, admitted to the Diet all the failings from the top down. He also stated that the reactor stress tests would not ensure the safety of the atomic plants.

At least two nuclear power plants have failed the stress tests, including the TEPCO nuclear plant in Niigata.

Can the country really risk another nuclear disaster by restarting even a single reactor?

The worse case scenario would have contaminated most of East Japan to high radiation levels and exposed more than 50 million people, and wiped Tokyo off the map.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Nuclear power plants have only been around 50 years, and it's time to shut 'em all down, one by one.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Worries, worries, worries... Start using re-usable and safe energy. With the plan of the government to give aid to IMF for Europe economy, use this money, is it 50 Billion dollars, as the first step to build equipments and machines for re-usable energy.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What was the logic behind his thinking that there would have been a chain reaction of nuclear plants blowing up? Glad Edano was not in charge if he was being driven by demonic thoughts.

He's human too. In the face of a disaster that huge, it's not inconceivable that even a politician could panic. Sheesh...even when they plan for the most drastic scenario they get criticized. It was a plan 'in case' , you notice it was not carried out.

So the foreign media were right, and the "flyjin" concerns were well-founded.

Here we go again. I find it pretty unbelievable even a year later that people in Japan were willing to believe foreign media with pictures of mushroom clouds, comparisons to Chernobyl (250 MILLION tetra release as opposed to Japan's 770,000 tetra) and tales of starving people....you do realize that there is nothing backing up the claims in the post you are relying on for vindication?

Again (I just did this a couple weeks ago) a comparison of both accidents-

http://blogs.nature.com/news/files/2012/02/Fukushima-Chernobyl-large.jpg

Look at this and tell me again, why haven't areas of Austria, Hungary , and other European countries not been evacuated 'for hundreds of years' as the experts on this board recommend for Tokyo and environs? Where is the alarm for Europe? Where is the outcry?

A little perspective and checking into live radiation readings put up the independent bloggers all over Japan would be an idea don't you think?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

http://radiationnetwork.com/Japan.htm

http://radiationnetwork.com/

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Himajin, thanks for a voice of reason. Too many people freak out too quickly. Panic serves not one valid purpose.

It is good to know that our worries were justified and our suspicions potentially well founded. But equally good to know that those of us who kept our heads, did so rightly.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in America, it took steps to improve both security and safety standards at its nuclear power plants. On at least two occasions it passed that info to the Japanese government and pressed it to improve both security and safety at its own plants, but decided to ignore the advice.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

WilliB - You are correct, but let's not forget that TEPCO was warned of the danger and alterations were recommended in 2001, which they ignored and paid the price

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The BigPicture:

" Nuclear power plants have only been around 50 years, and it's time to shut 'em all down, one by one. "

In reality, about 350 new ones are planned or in the building stage all around the world. And more coming. And there is nothing you can do about it. Only in the devloped West is there politically correct pressure to shut them down... meanwhile the developing world is going full throttle on building more, and with much less emphasis on safety an none of the clamour for dreams about windmills and wave contraptions.

So what do you want? Developing world full of unsafe nuke plants, while the West goes back to pre-industrial age voluntarily?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@kurisupusu

You said you looked at this in detail, but missed the fact that the radiation first came to Tokyo on March 15/16 when it doubled the backgound levels - these numbers are available publicly,and have been since March. They rose again on March 20 with precipitation, and levels remained above normal for several months. Only a few alarmists have taken these and other random facts and perpetuate the tale of terror- it really is time to move on.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

An independent panel investigating the Fukushima nuclear accident says the Japanese government ignored the advice of the US authorities and failed to refer to US nuclear safety guidelines.

Independent investigators interviewed about 300 people, including Japanese and US government officials. They released their report on Tuesday.

The report says that after 9-11, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission - or NRC - established guidelines for restoring nuclear reactors disabled by a terrorist attack.

The report says the US commission explained the guidelines to Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency on at least two occasions. The NRC also asked Japan to improve the anti-terrorism measures at its nuclear facilities.

But the report says the agency did not adopt the recommended safety procedures.

The report quotes an NRC official as saying the agency showed no interest in counter-terrorism measures.

Independent investigators say that if the guidelines had been followed, the damage at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant would have been less severe.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/20120229_02.html

Moderator: All you are doing is copying and pasting again. Please stop doing this.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The sad thing is, the Japanese government still may still re-start the other NPPs ... and maybe even continue the construction of the ones that haven't been finished.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Long time reader, first time writer, but I'd like to try and help those in the affected areas where their lives have been turned inside out since the earthquake and tsunami. I watched Zichi's link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwBELPtVUCA (and I might add, I love your posts and find them informative and intellectual) I couldn't help but find myself saddened from what everyone has experience further up north. (I'm in Odawara, btw). I would love to try and get myself involved with anything regarding the people's well being. If anyone has any useful information they can pass on, it would be much appreciated. Ganbarre everyone!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

WilliB:

It's already happening ...Germany and other countries have decided to abandon nuclear power. And others, like Mexico, have stopped plans to build the hideous things. Just think, someday (but not in your lifetime) we might be able to go outside and breathe, and camp, and frolic.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

WilliB - "while the West goes back to pre-industrial age voluntarily?"

Don't be absurd. It is not and never has been a question of choosing either a nuclear world or a pre-industrial age world. There are options and there are solutions.

With regard to the third world, sadly I think we are creating a great deal of danger there that will haunt us in the future. But the picture is not entirely black. The west can and should lead the charge on making changes in how power is used. Develop technologies for greater efficiencies in transmition of power and in retaining produced power. Continue work to find greater efficiencies in products and in consumption. These are already making considerable progress. Then look at the wide array of options out there that can and will replace nuclear power as they are brought into production.

Then sell it all on to the developing world while providing the means to nations to decommission and close their nuclear plants.

This is the solution. Not some silly black and white decision.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

mophead,

thank you. There are many NPO's helping out with the victims and survivors of the disasters. They are varied from helping out with food supplies to helping children who lost one or both parents. You could try a Google, there was a list on here but I don't remember the post title?

Here's one which I think is doing great stuff, Second Harvest.

http://www.2hj.org/index.php/eng_home

4 ( +4 / -0 )

tokind2:

" Don't be absurd. It is not and never has been a question of choosing either a nuclear world or a pre-industrial age world. There are options and there are solutions. "

I hope there are and I agree we should look for them, but the windmills and solar panels that the fuzzy-wooly dreamers like to talk about are not it.

Like it or not, the only realistic options to supply a modern society with energy are at the moment still fossil and nuclear, and that is it.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The BigPicture:

" It's already happening ...Germany and other countries have decided to abandon nuclear power. "

Not so fast. While Germany has decided to phase out their power plants, they do not have a realistic plan for their replacement yet. Most like, the replacement will come from.... drum roll.... nuclear power plants in France and Poland, both of which are currently planning new plants close to the German border in anticipation of future demand.

Meanwhile, Germany has just cut down on its huge government subsidies for solar panels... which were fine as a token subsidie for a few exhibition project, but are simply too expensive to support on a large scale. As windmill power increases, it faces the same prospect.

You are deluding yourself if you think Germany is an example for an available "alternative energy" system.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@gyouza and tkoind2

First I would like you to address the nature of radiation particularly Cesium 134, 137 etc

@gyouza

Radioactive contamination doesn't move on -it stays in the environment for a l-o-n-g time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cesium_137

@tkoind2

Understanding the nature of radioactive emissions will perhaps allow you to answer one of your own questions.

Secondly, make sure that you are familiar with the Japanese government's own permissible limits on radiation.This a benchmark for everyone from babies to seniors. As we all are damaged by radiation at different rates then this alone should be of concern to you.

How much radiation does it take to be fatal or dangerous,cause cancer? I don't think that any radiation is beneficial - remember what radiation is ok? If you don't know that then go to wikipedia.

That will answer another of your own questions.

Here is a link to contamination in Tokyo

http://laaska.wordpress.com/2011/10/13/japanhigh-radiation-levels-found-in-tokyo-related-news/

http://thewatchers.adorraeli.com/2012/02/16/radiation-monitors-spike-in-western-japan-to-one-of-highest-in-months/

Setagaya and Shinjuku are both mentioned as having high levels.

And the consensus that I mentioned in my previous post on the plan to evacuate Tokyo?

That is apparent and already in full swing- maybe someone else can answer that one for me?

(hint: the ordinary Japanese is not included)

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I would have loved to see an evacuation. Because Haneda and Narita would have been closed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@JapanGal

It is not possible to evacuate the population of Tokyo and surrounding areas since there are not enough places for all these people to go -maybe outside Japan but in Japan no!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I know

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

not trying anything to make anything more scary than what it was. I don't do that if you have followed my comments on the nuclear disaster .

Oh no, your posts are generally the most well informed - I didn't mean it in that way. But, as a fellow engineer, surely you should be aware of how changing the units, especially in a way which makes numbers appear larger, can give very different impressions. Your post read:

The firemen who were rushed from Tokyo to pump sea water onto the rector fuel pools received radiation more than 100 microsieverts/hr.

That wording makes it sound like a massive dosage when, in actual fact, 100microsieverts/hr is only 0.1millisieverts/hr which, while not good, is not a particularly worrying amount - it is only 20% of the international limit for those assisting in a nuclear disaster.

But, as I see I got a load of -ve votes for even questioning it, I guess people do not want to think in such logical terms...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Flyjin my ass, it's called common sense people. I had my 2 infant children and wife out of Tokyo within 48 hours of the earthquake once radiation increase 10 fold on the 13th March. Watched things unfold from the Hilton Cairns over the next 7 weeks. Whilst I didn't expect them to grow horns and antlers overnight, I have the resources and the authority within my company to do such. People who didn't do such, didn't have the money or power to do it. Now we are in Singapore. My family relies on me for leadership and to protect them period.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The mayors of Kobe, Osaka and Kyoto cities have made requests to Kansai electric company to stop using nuclear energy and seek renewables. 50% of Kansai power is generated from nuclear energy.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Himajin

No one in Japan has their geiger counters hooked up transmit their readings on radiation network. It would be great if they did.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@kurisupusu (again) Its getting boring now btw

How much radiation does it take to be fatal or dangerous,cause cancer? I don't think that any radiation is beneficial - remember what radiation is ok? If you don't know that then go to wikipedia.

I have had three CT scans, that have given me more radiation that I will ever get from Fukushima living in Tokyo. These contaminations I received were to save my life (or at least improve it). You don't understand that, you don't want to understand that, you just want to be angry. Could you please explain why?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Flyjin my ass, it's called common sense people. I had my 2 infant children and wife out of Tokyo within 48 hours of the earthquake once radiation increase 10 fold on the 13th March. Watched things unfold from the Hilton Cairns over the next 7 weeks. Whilst I didn't expect them to grow horns and antlers overnight, I have the resources and the authority within my company to do such. People who didn't do such, didn't have the money or power to do it. Now we are in Singapore. My family relies on me for leadership and to protect them period.

You received a dose of radiation higher than staying in Tokyo by flying to Cairns and Singapore - well done! The other side of this is that your ex-Tokyo colleagues really respect you. Well done again! Leadership at its height!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

fyi @ luckylangers

I had my 2 infant children and wife out of Tokyo within 48 hours of the earthquake once radiation increase 10 fold on the 13th March.

It increased twofold on March 15. Wasted trip?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Anybody see the latest photos of reactor 3? Is the SFP okay?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I could have sent my family to any place in the US for free, plus paid stipends. But I did not think it was the right thing to do. I think a lot of people evacuated out of fear and over anxiety. Maybe they had a reason for it because of lack of concrete information, or even misinformation and rumors. People kept asking me if I was going to evacuate or if I was going to evacuate my family. My reply: "I go when I glow". In other words, it had to really get that bad for me to even think about possible evacuation.

I followed Max Ehrmann's advice in his 1920's poem: "Desiderata" "Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness".

And if another disaster strikes again, I will still stay and adjust to the new conditions and if possible to help those in need.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Untrack,

Since shortly after the start of the nuclear disaster there have been sites recording the radiation levels and mapping the results. The one I have followed is; http://blog.safecast.org/

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The Fukushima power plant isn't currently releasing any significant levels of radiation. There will continue to be events, minor and major for many years when the radiation will spike again, has happened in January when an event caused a spike of 50 million bacquerels.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

safecast data on the radiation readings map says it from august to december 2011. Along with the reading. If I am reading it correctly

0 ( +0 / -0 )

radiation network is realtime readings from geiger counters hooked up to the network. the webpage is refreshed every 60 seconds. to give up to the minute readings

0 ( +0 / -0 )

zichi:

" The mayors of Kobe, Osaka and Kyoto cities have made requests to Kansai electric company to stop using nuclear energy and seek renewables "

What what is "renewables" supposed to mean? Windmills? To replace serious power plants? In that case, the mayors of Kobe, Osaka and Kyoto are an embarrassement.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

...Japanese people are supposed to be educated. I mean they go to school then go to cram school! I guess they lose all common sense after they leave school? Or is it only book smarts and not street smarts/common sense???

Evacuating the whole city? To where? And what basis is this whole "worst case scenario of chain reaction explosions"????

Oh wait oh nos it's like the Aztec calendar says, END OF THE WORLD! Well at least for Japan... Come on Japan...be realistic....and stop playing the victim and being an effin hypochondriac!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Untrack, The Safecast rad map needs people to post their readings. I did find some around the power plant from this year.

Actually, this year I've been using an app on my IPad.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Untrack,

Anybody see the latest photos of reactor 3? Is the SFP okay?

I watched the video of the reactors, which is also posted on the Fukushima Diary. From this video, the No3 spent fuel pool can be seen but it was badly damaged by last years hydrogen and steam explosions. There are some fuel rods in the debris. According to a TEPCO spokesman, the radiation level in front of the reactor building is still above 1500 microsieverts/hr.

The post on the Fukushima Diary states it in a different way than what was reported in the video.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Untrack,

This is a photo from TEPCO, taken in January. You can clearly see the spent fuel pool.

http://www.tepco.co.jp/tepconews/pressroom/110311/images/120120_05.jpg

3 ( +3 / -0 )

WilliB: (and anyone else that doesn't think change will happen) ...true, solar isn't as strong as atomic, but that doesn't change the facts I laid out. At all.

One more fact, we don't need any nuclear plants, anywhere, ever. (it's fact). Man has been on this planet millions of years, and in the last fifty years, made the mistake of developing this horrid technology (the word technology is too modern for it, actually) ..anyway, nuclear power is big in your life time, but hasn't even been in the lifetimes of thousands of generations before you. Tonight, you can turn on your lamp to read by. Or, use a lantern, or candle. Or read by the light of the moon. Or, decide to read the book tomorrow by the sun's light. The huge looser problem with nuclear is, it's not the only source for turning that lamp on. Far from it. And there are clean ways. Bottom line, there is zero argument for nuclear plants. Zero. There is no argument, because the argument is over in three seconds. As soon as anyone realizes the complete foolishness of using something so dangerous as atomic power, (any kid can type in "Chernobyl", "Fukushima", "Three Mile Island", "Hanford" ...etc, etc, etc, etc) .. and know what that the technology is no good. Actually far worse than no good because it trashes the earth and makes people ill. So, it's time to move ahead to much much better ways to "turn your lamp on", if you even think you actually "need" to turn on that lamp (which man has only had for a hundred and some years as an option and convenience, not as a necessity.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

People who didn't do such, didn't have the money or power to do it.

An interesting assumption. You could give your point of view without insulting others. MIL is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's...if something were to happen we won't be abandoning her, so I guess my ass is grass....but it doesn't mean we have no money or 'power'.

You don't need much power to buy an 86,000 yen economy plane ticket.

The ridicule for the flyjin was for their leaving their companies in the lurch, and just reacting and thinking for themselves and leaving their co-workers behind with not so much as a 'fare thee well' in a lot of cases.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

One more fact, we don't need any nuclear plants, anywhere, ever. (it's fact).

Nuclear power was supposed to reduce oil consumption. When they were conceived of and built, there weren't a lot of alternatives on the table. If all the nuke plants shut down across the globe and then crude goes up to $200 a barrel we're going back to the stone age. Let's hope the research in other fuel sources bears fruit...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Utrack, did you happen to click on the map of the US?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

zichiFeb. 29, 2012 - 11:48PM JST

The Fukushima power plant isn't currently releasing any significant levels of radiation. There will continue to be events, minor and major for many years when the radiation will spike again, has happened in January when an event caused a spike of 50 million bacquerels.

I thought the spike was 10 million bequerels? The radiation rising from 60 million to 70 million because of workers disturbing dust?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

zichiFeb. 29, 2012 - 05:04PM JST

Here's one which I think is doing great stuff, Second Harvest.

http://www.2hj.org/index.php/eng_home

Just to second Zichi - Second Harvest Japan are great folks, and do sterling work.

Moderator: Back on topic please.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@gyouza

It seems that you feel like ranting may prove a point?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@gyouza

Sorry I don't understand the connection with your CT scans and the danger from fall out and the article ?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@gyouza

Sorry I don't understand the connection with your CT scans and the danger from fall out and the article ?

@kurisupisu

Hmmm, that certainly seems to be the case! Nevertheless, apology accepted.

You said:

How much radiation does it take to be fatal or dangerous,cause cancer? I don't think that any radiation is beneficial

I merely pointed out that raidiation is actually used in medicine to help people. In my case it was just to define what was wrong (nothng else could pinpint my issue), and in many cases, radiation is used to KILL cancer and save peoples lives. So, your premise that ANY radiation not being beneficial is not correct.

Our bodies have amazing abilities to revover from sickness and ailments, and some radiation is tolerable, and it would appear that the limits set as low as reasonably possible as opposed to the practice applied to every other contaminent and cancer causing substance which is as low as reasonably safe. There is a huge difference between these, but changing peoples perceptions of radiation to allow changes in laws is probably not possilble now due to fear mongering.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Bottom line, there is zero argument for nuclear plants. Zero. There is no argument, because the argument is over in three seconds. As soon as anyone realizes the complete foolishness of using something so dangerous as atomic power, (any kid can type in "Chernobyl", "Fukushima", "Three Mile Island", "Hanford" ...etc, etc, etc, etc) .. and know what that the technology is no good. Actually far worse than no good because it trashes the earth and makes people ill.

@TheBigPicture so what you are saying is that the 100,000+ strong field of nuclear engineers are wrong and all that power production made over the last 50 years or so is just an economic ruse? ummm OK... So you are all enlightened and the rest of us are just sheeple? Just because you don't understand the technology and it potentials despite its risks does not mean that is has ZERO advantages... Or for that matter anything you think is a statement of fact seeing how you can't even get simple basic science right: Man i.e. homo sapiens, has not been on this planet for millions of years... homo sapiens have existed for only 200,000 years and in the form we consider modern humans only 50,000 years. Empirical data actually makes facts and unfortunately they don't support your claim of ZERO argument... Lack of green house gas emissions, perhaps?

How about you leave the science aspect of the political discussion for the adults in the room. Saying there is no argument for the use of nuclear power ... in a country that lacks the necessary sources of fuel for VIABLE alternative sources power generation (not the small scale individual power generation that comes from so called 'Green' power of solar and wind) is more than ridiculous it is actually childish...

3 cheers to Kan for being an unusual Japanese politician and actually making a hard decision. I may have to revise my opinion of him (that's what intelligent people do when their premises have been shown to be in fact false)

0 ( +2 / -2 )

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