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Video shows delay in using seawater to cool meltdown reactor

28 Comments
By Risa Maeda

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© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2012.

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28 Comments
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Culpiable, criminal, corporate indifference to the greater good. Greed and nuclear energy do not mix.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

“We think using seawater in a hasty way would be wasteful because materials will be corroded,” an unidentified company official at TEPCO headquarters in Tokyo is heard telling then plant manager Masao Yoshida two days after the quake.

This is why private corporations can not handle nuclear plants.

And they blame it all on Kan, and the Japanese population eats it up. Unbelievable.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

In other words, they should have followed IAEA procedures and allow the plant to to be in charge. Not sure why they would ever assume unit 2 would be useful if 1 and 3 were gone, as it's a BWR and not PWR. Perhaps they are simply putting words in the company's mouth, or maybe it just makes it clear there was tampering with the plant for no reason. But it could also be that they hoped to use the core cooling sytems rather than face massive problems with continued cooling. The government and hopefully IAEA will be able to tell based on the tapes, and then adjust recommendations based on that.

The plant, run by TEPCO, was struck by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11 last year, crippling cooling systems and triggering fuel rod meltdowns and radiation leaks that led to mass evacuations and widespread contamination.

Cooling systems actually worked just fine, it's the power to run those systems that wasn't working. Later on they were made useless by the seawater though.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

God YongYang, you're boring.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

And they blame it all on Kan, and the Japanese population eats it up. Unbelievable.

Well, they don't really.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

One of the four inquiries found that Fukushima was a preventable disaster resulting from “collusion” between the government, regulators and TEPCO. The inquiries also underline the lack of preparation by TEPCO for dealing with a station blackout as occurred at Fukushima.

Can anybody tell me why this fact is being ignored and why nobody is on their way to prison? Have a smoke on a Tokyo street and get a 2,000yen fine. But, you can lay waste to an entire prefecture and get pity and government subsidies. Doesn't seem quite right, does it?

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Findings? Who found what? It is common knowledge Tepco waited because they knew seawater would destroy their power plant.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

"The video, one of dozens of fraught vignettes of officials and plant workers grappling with the nuclear disaster, flies in the face of TEPCO assertions that executives didn’t delay in using seawater."

Wow, only one year and a half to show what everyone already knew. Just enough time for the powers that be at the time to collect their golden parachutes and run, I guess.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Disillusioned: "Can anybody tell me why this fact is being ignored and why nobody is on their way to prison?"

It's Japan. The people responsible are more likely to become Prime Minister than see a prison cell for their crimes.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Why is TEPCO even still in business? Why are not the board of directors serving time, as much time as it takes to clean up the nuclear disaster?

6 ( +11 / -5 )

I don't really have words to express my disgust at those responsible for the lies and deception, both leading up to this man-made disaster and the cover-ups and diversions tactics after yet not a single person has faced any charges... its totally incomprehensible how this could be the case as evidence of the severity of both the Man-made disaster and misinformation given to the public continues to be, almost predictably, revealed.

How Tepco or anyone else, seemingly Tepco apologists whose motivation is highly suspicious, can continue this charade is beyond anything I can comprehend. Take some responsibility and act slightly human.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Cooling systems actually worked just fine

Please back up this statement. So far as I am aware none has been able yet - and for long - to investigate it due to extremely high radiation in the NPP.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Cooling systems actually worked just fine

Please back up this statement. So far as I am aware none has been able yet - and for long - to investigate it due to extremely high radiation in the NPP.

I would suggest additionally to Open Minded's comment it is pretty obvious that if the cooling systems didn't work for any reason, including power if that is what they require to run, means that they are not fine.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Just release the video to youtube.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Open MindedAug. 15, 2012 - 06:52PM JST

Please back up this statement.

I can only repeat what was told by a professor of nuclear engineering at Hokudai during a special open seminar. He is a nuclear practicallist and was very neutral about the subject during the lecture. He insisted that the systems were fine until battery backup ran out and there was no other power.

"Later on they were made useless by the seawater though." is a bit that I added knowing the affects of corrosion in high pressure systems.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Basroil: how did he backed up his statement, apart from being insistent?

Because by no mean being neutral-toned makes a nuclear specialist more credible.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well, they don't really.

No, they do. Kan is really unpopular in Japan and he's their favorite scapegoat.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

No, they do. Kan is really unpopular in Japan and he's their favorite scapegoat.

Put that down to me not expressing it clearly. I meant that the Japanese are not swallowing TEPCO's story. There is a massive amount of scepticism about anything and everything that TEPCO says.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Oh, well of course not. They still blame Kan though.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Open MindedAug. 15, 2012 - 11:02PM JST

how did he backed up his statement, apart from being insistent?

Detailed electrical systems diagrams, the fact battery backup held and the problems began after the batteries went out. Then of course calculations on decay heat removal and more experience on the subject than you will ever have. They guy was an environmental engineer graduate that went on to nuclear engineering for doctorate and then 30 years of experience in the field and teaching. I think he is a far better source than your thinly veiled personal attacks are helpful to the conversation.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Since it was producing heat, wonder if the power plant side could of produced enough power to run the pumps?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Geezzzzzz..... TEPCO still think of their machines will be corroded if they used seawater and damn business instead of the environment and people's lives if meltdown occur. What kind of Japanese thinking was that. All I can see here is pure GREED by TEPCO and not the life and environment of mankind. Someone should be held responsible and punish here. But until now after a year and 4 months no one has been punished.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

zichi AUG. 15, 2012 - 04:12PM JST Why is TEPCO even still in business? Why are not the board of directors serving time, as much time as it takes to clean up the nuclear disaster?

One of the lessons learned at Hanford is it will take many years to sort out the best resolve of the issues arising at Fukushima, and the problems will not go away in time. I'm curious about civil options for dealing with Tepco - if it is possible to bring suit regarding a public nuisance cause and then expand charges with the discovery process. There will clearly be an attempt to delay, but the sooner things get rolling the better.

Thoughts?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

One of the things I haven't seen talked about is the role of Japan's dual power system. Because half the county runs on 50hz and the other half 60hz they have a fundamentally weak power grid. A lot of the disaster could have been avoided if they had more back up power sources to run the cooling pumps.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

motytrahAug. 16, 2012 - 03:25AM JST

One of the things I haven't seen talked about is the role of Japan's dual power system. Because half the county runs on 50hz and the other half 60hz they have a fundamentally weak power grid. A lot of the disaster could have been avoided if they had more back up power sources to run the cooling pumps.

50/60 had nothing to do with the lack of backup, the fact that the generators were in the basement (more or less) did. The remaining plants which had similar layouts now have "temporary" fixes for that, with plans to bring the remaining systems to higher ground. Units 5/6 at Fukushima, as well as any more modern plant have backup generation on higher ground already.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

....Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) hesitated before using corrosive seawater to cool the No. 2 reactor at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant because it hoped it could be used again, Correct me if I'm wrong but I am almost certain mant JT readers suspected this a month after the meltdown. Perhaps the media should start reading some of our comments.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Basroil,

So from what your saying about these more modern plants and the insufficient power backup design and backup unit locations at Fukushima Dai-Ichi at least was always, and at the time of the natural disaster which sparked a man-made disaster, not really up to the standards that are currently expected and additionally that very issue, the location of the backup units which had been identified as a major risk previously, was a very large part of the cause of this continuing and terrible man made accident.

Finally I agree with you (more or less)....

I put it to you, that ensuring continual power supply in even the most extreme event for the power plants single most important function, the cooling of the nuclear fuel and nuclear waste, is totally and absolutely the responsibility of the operator, if there is a failure in their system that means their system has failed whether the system appears to be complete or not, if it does not work for any reason they have been under prepared put us all at risk and they, along with the others that allowed the friendly nuclear village to exist, are totally and absolutely responsible.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The s.o.b.(s) who decided this probably has/have more money than most of us ever will...but it doesn't mean that a group of protestors can't be in his face 7 days/week making his life heck.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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