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Japan declined U.S. offer to station nuclear experts in Kan's office: Edano

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I knew this from the beginning. Yep. This is true. These scientists were ready to leave (many are here in this town). No surprise here.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

A “frustrated” U.S. wanted to place nuclear experts in the prime minister’s office in Tokyo after the Fukushima disaster last year but Japan refused citing sovereignty fears

Sovereignty fears!!! What a joke, more likely they didnt want them there as they would not be able to continue with their lies and playing down this emergency any more.

The Americans were visibly being frustrated, and I was frustrated, too, as arrangements to share any information (on the unfolding nuclear crisis) were not going very well,” Edano said.

The US was frustrated by the lack of information, that is the lack of truthful information coming out of Japan. Especially from Mr No Immediate Health Concerns...... This guy is a joke and frankly after everything that has come out about this it is hard to believe a word he says.

12 ( +18 / -6 )

Cletus... you said it right! They can't lie and downplay the situation if somebody else is in there. How stupid do these people think the Japanese citizens are. Maybe pretty stupid.. But when you come from a country where we use common sense on a daily basis, Those lame excuses and lies they be tellin is for somebody who was literally born yesterday. Idiots.. Why would you down play or lie to people about RADIATION. When people find out what's really going on about "RADIATION" how do you think they would react versus knowing the truth from the beginning so they could take steps to prtect themselves and take precautions. They think backwards over here I swear.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Cletus... you said it right! They can't lie and downplay the situation if somebody else is in there.

Absoluetly. If American experts had been in there, and knew the truth -- that the situation was out-of-control and there was no real crisis managemnet structure in place -- they might have well advised American ex-pats to get the hell out. And that would have set off a crisis situation for the J-government. "Sovereignty" my butt.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

“But from the viewpoint of Japan’s sovereignty, I declined to accept the offer,”

Well then, that just made the whole mess 100% Japan's fault, now didn't it? A helping hand was spat upon by the Japanese. Feeding your own people to the wolves just to avoid culpapility.

So, was is that much better to lose your children's future than your own face?

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Folks lets be real, the US would have turned down a similar offer from Japan is the tables were turned.

-11 ( +11 / -22 )

That's that old "Oyagi" pride talking. There comes a time when you must remove the old bark from the tree.

Pretty messed up nation if you ask me.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

this was just plain stupid on the part of the japanese government.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

It's good to know JT readers are so well informed, wow, amazing sources you guys must have. I wouldn't consider hearsay a source, but...

Japan should not have to take help from any specific nation in this; it's a domestic issue. However, Japan - or any other nation with NPPs - should be forced to have international teams of inspectors periodically overseeing NPPs. Maybe it would've avoided part of the mess.

-18 ( +5 / -23 )

Japan should not have to take help from any specific nation in this; it's a domestic issue.

And they didn't. Seems a bit foolish now.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

why former pm Kan who refused it might be the purpose that wanted to be a legend of the man who stopped nuclear disaster and saved his citizens. in the end, he became a most famous PM in japanese histories though, it was a discredit perspective.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Debucho, Vesperto. You are assuming that Japan had experts making decisions for the benefit of Japanese people. It didn't.

Japan had amakudari leading the NISA, which is equal to nothing. According to their own guidelines, he was supposed to send experts to the site. He didn't. He didn't even bother to attend the crisis meetings with the prime minister. He could have not been a bigger failure.

Any foreign expert would have been beneficial to the Japanese people. Also, there is no such thing as a domestic nuclear accident.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

I wish the US would still take over now. I don't believe that #4 is safe, I don't trust the Japanese government and industry to make it safe or clean up the mess. If the water drains out of #4 the entire northern hemisphere will suffer. The safety is an issue everywhere and the world cannot trust Japan. It will cost at least $500 billion dollars to clean up the mess, as it is, and I don't truxt the Japanese government to do it properly.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The experts from the U.S. would have disturbed and upset the "wa"...

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Considering most of the fallout has been and is heading east out to the US then wouldn't that be commonsense?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

To accept foreign help would be to admit the government's ineptitude at crisis management. The trouble is, we've already seen numerous examples of that before 3.11. Nor do the proactive measures adopted by the government -- like emergency hotlines, etc. -- have much effect, since the people manning them are clueless. It would seem the term "Chinese fire drill" is being applied to the wrong country.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

U.S. nuclear experts stationed in the Prime Minister office? The japanese White House? Foreigners ruling from the Prime Minister office with direct orders from Washington? Isn't that called an annexation?

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

@gaijinTechie

Any foreign expert would have been beneficial to the Japanese people. Also, there is no such thing as a domestic nuclear accident.

The more reasons for the existence of an external, international body that would often inspect NPPs throughout the world. People with technical skills and enough power to say: "this is insecure, fix it now or we'll close it". Does IAEA have this role? Or only when they think Iran may be building nukes?

Domestic largely depends on the scale, but so far both major incidents have spanned other countries.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Yep, T.I.J (This IS Japan) what else did anyone expect.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Ah I understand now, better to save face and die irradiated, then accept help and save the nation.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Easy to blame everybody and everything AFTER the fact. Kathrina anybody?

0 ( +6 / -6 )

It would not have changed the outcome of the nuclear disaster and had it happened in America instead and the Japanese offered their nuclear engineers, America too, would have declined the offer.

What makes America believe that their nuclear engineers are any better than the Japanese ones?

The scenario for a nuclear disaster had already been set many decades ago when TEPCO accept an American design for the Fukushima plant. A design which was flawed in so many ways and didn't take into account the country experienced powerful earthquakes and tsunami.

The design by General Electric of America, which to this day have accepted no responsibility in the making of the nuclear disaster. The design of the plant put emergency generators below sea level and included building a system of spent fuel pools 100 feet above ground level. But it don't stop there. Basically, the design of the reactors was an unsafe one, and even scientists working for General Electric questioned it and some resigned over it. 

I believe that America was more concerned with limiting damage to its own reputation and that of General Electric.

The country already had the best person at the plant who was Masao Yoshida, the plant manager who retired last year for health reasons. He knew that plant inside and out and was willing to make the right decisions, even if it meant disobeying orders from TEPCO and the government, which he did when he started pumping sea water into the reactors and refused the order to stop. His actions prevented a worse nuclear disaster from happening.

The seawater prevented the nuclear cores from exploding.

In addition to Masao Yoshida, lets not forget the brave actions of the so called "Fukushima 50" which probably prevented a worse disaster from happening and were willing to give their lives to do so.

They were quickly joined by hundreds of workers from all over the country who rushed to the plant to join them, like the brave Tokyo firemen. By Mar.18, there were 580 emergency workers at the site. By Mar.28, there were more than 1,000 emergency workers including firemen and Self Defense Forces, power cable engineers trying to restore power lines.

I just don't see how the addition of the 6 American nuclear engineers would have changed anything. The Americans send the commissioner of the NCR and a team to Tokyo, but judging from the cables released between them and the White House, the Americans were more concerned about damage control to their own nuclear industry.

The Kan government can't be held responsible for the nuclear disaster which had only been in office for less than 2 years when it happened. Also, it was dealing with three mega disasters, not just one and I doubt the Americans could have done any better in a similar situation. We only have to remember Katrina, and the more recent BP oil disaster in the Gulf.

I believe PM Kan was forced out of office because following the nuclear disaster he took a very strong anti nuclear stance.

The nuclear disaster happened because of a flawed reactor design, and a head-in-the-sands attitude to nuclear safety by decades of LDP governments, the atomic safety agencies like the NSC, the power companies and the nuclear industry. And even the IAEA.

Nuclear atomic power plants the world over are built with safety based on probabilities and not on possibilities.

What happened at the Fukushima plant happened in the first 100 hours following the earthquake and tsunami.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

@Vesperto,

The more reasons for the existence of an external, international body that would often inspect NPPs throughout the world.

It called the IAEA or the International Atomic Energy Agency which has shown iself from this nuclear disaster to be on the side of "International Big Nuke".

3 ( +6 / -3 )

On the day of the 3/11 disasters, there was at least one General Electric engineer working at the Fukushima plant. He ran, fled the scene and got on the first plane out.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The more reasons for the existence of an external, international body that would often inspect NPPs throughout the world.

It called the IAEA or the International Atomic Energy Agency which has shown iself from this nuclear disaster to be on the side of "International Big Nuke".

Yeah... i was afraid of that. :-( Gotta find a way to better scrutinize the whole process.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

People can base their opinions on emotional knee jerk reactions but the truth must be based on facts so that very important lessons can be learnt from the nuclear disaster leading to an improvement of nuclear safety the world over and eventually to the point of all countries realising that the myth of nuclear energy being safe, clean and cheap is busted!

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Just by reading this article, I got frustrated!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This nuclear disaster requires an international effort to resolve. Japan is committing financial and economic suicide but not involving other nations. If Fukushima gets any worse, the ramifications would be catastrophic on the global scale. Seriously, this is a planetary emergency.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Though I do not believe that Kan was forced out of the office because of his strong antinuclear stance, I 100% percent agree with Zichi on the other points. A cool and logical analysis of the situation in just a few words. It is reassuring to see that there are readers who have been and keep being reasonable. Though I do not doubt at all that the Americans have excellent nuclear experts, it is still amazing to hear that so many people believe that the US experts exclusively could save the world from the on-going accident. We live in the real world. Not in a movie, where the military/experts, etc. of a certain country save the world from any evil and in any given situation.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Im3ngs

do you think international big nuke or any other country would be willing to pay a single cent of the likely costs of 20 to 30 trillion yen?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I seem to recall certain government figures, as well as posters on JT, declaring that no help was refused while others insisted it was (one of the reasons, along with poor dissemination of information, why Obama was ready to pull out US nationals from Japan.

No surprises here.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Zichi, how many of that type GE reactor are operational in the world today?

I agree with you that some American engineers in the Prime Minister's office wouldn't have been much use. Anything they said would be ignored if it upset the "wa" (and let's face it, ANYTHING the Americans said at that time would upset the "wa".)

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Nuclear energy may not be clean and safe, but its the CLEANEST and SAFEST energy we have. Green energy is a massive scam costing the tax payer millions and delivering almost nothing. The sooner Nuclear Fusion is economically viable the better. Id rather live near a Nuclear plant under the infantessimal risk than next to a coal station churning out carcinogens and radiation constantly.

-8 ( +3 / -10 )

Hind site is always 20/20.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Don't blame the US for asking - lots of Americans in Japan, massive economic stakes and potential fallout affecting many nations. Can't blame Japan for declining either. Just my 2 cents about GE: While much of the original plant infrastructure is GE design & manufacture – how can one assume that GE decided on exactly where to build to the plant in the first place? And how do you assume that the owner and operator of the plant (TEPCO) is not responsible for the design and placement of numerous protective and safety features in the FORTY years since the plant was built? Just wondering…

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Zichi, thank you so much especially for your first post! Couldn't have been said better - exactly my opinion! Everybody should read it carefully at least twice!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Tepco didn't even know how to manually vent their own reactor...... and then the gov't didn't know what was going on so people where still in the town so venting got delayed even more..... #1 has a explosion and then TEPCO finally says they need help, but the GSDF gets there too late and #3 explodes. After that TEPCO says its going to leave the site... Kan gets some of them to stay( the Fukushima 50) but the reactors are left unmanned.......... after Japan declined they did get the American team to come later after they saw that the situation was out of hand.

Frontline " Inside Japan's Nuclear Meltdown" http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/japans-nuclear-meltdown/?autoplay (you can watch it here)

1 ( +3 / -3 )

Regardless, they are all lunatics.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Well, Japan used USA technology to design its nuclear plants, which have not changed for 40 odd years. USA offered help, which Japan turns down giving sovereignty concerns. Which sovereignty when Japan used USA technologies? Now Japan wants to again buy modern fighter jets from USA. If these fighter jets go caput, will Japan still refuse technical help citing sovereignty concerns? And all the posts seem to suggest that even if it meant all Japanese being gassed to death, japan would not accept help to some foreign engineering gadget gone out of control! There is no sovereignty to guard when you decide to use a technology you know little about and cannot control when it goes out of control. The only right thing done was to refuse them to be in a government office, otherwise they could pitch camp close to the site and help to control their Golem! Don't be deceived...the Edano's of this world just did not want to be exposed because they knew when the americans come in, they will tell the truth about the situation at the nuke sites, which the Edanos did not want as they continued lying to the public!

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Zichi, that long post of your was great, and good of you to remind people of the Fukushima 50 etc.

But, in times of a crisis like that, I wouldn't have turned down the offer of help from top nuclear experts. They needn't have let them take over and run everything. Would it be that strange to have another expert and ask "What do you think?" at certain times. Kan could still have been Captain Kirk, but another Spock or two wouldn't take up that much room surely.(weird analogy I know)

Japan has a history of refusing help - to it's own detriment.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I think it was a language issue that made the decision. American scientists, if they do not live here, they would not speak Japanese. And we all know the situation with most Japanese not speaking a lick of English.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

ultradork,

it was correct for America to offer to send its nuclear engineers, and France offered to do the same too. There was strong international concern for what was happening at the Fukushima plant.

The reasons for the nuclear disaster involves a very long chain of various companies, atomic safety agencies, governments over five decades.

The reactor design was flawed. LDP governments were bed fellows of the nuke industry which in turn made large political donations. The atomic safety agencies lacked the necessary standards and the commitment to ensure the highest levels of safety at all the nuclear power plants. Not enough inspections by independent groups. Lack of a real backbone by the IAEA.

But at the end of the day, I believe that TEPCO are 100% responsible for the nuclear disaster. Every company which own and operates a dangerous plant has a duty to the country, the people and its shareholders to ensure that its being run to the highest safety standards, even beyond what is required by law. Its companies like TEPCO which should have been setting the standards.

TEPCO has a history of putting profit before safety. It was warned in 2006 and 2008 that the sea wall was too low in the event of a major tsunami but took no action. It was also warned about the backup power supply systems but again took no action. TEPCO even lacked a proper emergency manual.

Basically, everyone involved in the Japanese nuclear industry believed a nuclear disaster could never happen here.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Japan has a history of refusing help - to it's own detriment.

Speaking about Japan’s sovereignty, If I recall another disaster "Kobe Earthquake", I believe Japan also rejected US offer too.. So Japan rejected US help TWICE. Are they just too proud?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Maurice Derrick BatieMay. But when you come from a country where we use common sense on a daily basis, Those lame excuses and lies they be tellin is for somebody who was literally born yesterday. Idiots.

Even If I agree with the content, the form does not look right. I mean, seriously ? U.S ? How ironical, just replace few words in your statement by "mass destruction weapons", "fear", "war", etc.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

yasukuni,

But, in times of a crisis like that, I wouldn't have turned down the offer of help from top nuclear experts. They needn't have let them take over and run everything. Would it be that strange to have another expert and ask "What do you think?" at certain times.

The meltdowns all happened in the first 48 hours after the time of the earthquake and tsunami. The explosions followed and the disaster was made within the first 100 hours. The American nuclear engineers would have to fly in, once the President had made the decision. They would have to get up to speed on the plant laid out and how it operated and how much damaged was caused by the earthquake and tsunami. Japanese experts would have to take time out to explain what was happening and there might have been a language problem too.

The American experts would give their advice to the Japanese ones. In turn they would pass on the advice to the prime minister who in turn might have to discuss it with the head of the NSC before deciding whether or not to pass it on to TEPCO, which in turn would have to think about it before passing it on to the plant manager at Fukushima.

The only person who knew what was really happening was the plant manager, Masao Yoshida who took the right decisions to flood the reactors with sea water. One of the complaints Yoshida had was that he had to keep taking time out from dealing with the emergency because PM Kan kept phoning him to demand to know what was happening.

The actions by Masao Yoshida prevent No1-3 reactors from exploding. Had that happened it would have been Chernobyl times ten with the evacuation of Tokyo.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

So Japan rejected US help TWICE. Are they just too proud?

Just imagine US offering help to Russia by stationing US experts at the Kremlin or Russia offering help to UK by stationing russian experts at 10 Downing Street, or chinese experts at the french Elysee Palace.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

tokyobakayaro

Just imagine US offering help to Russia by stationing US experts at the Kremlin or Russia offering help to UK by stationing russian experts at 10 Downing Street, or chinese experts at the french Elysee Palace.

Slight difference here, Japan and the US are allies and friends. Whereas US and Russia do not have a relationship like Japan US.....

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Slight difference here, Japan and the US are allies and friends.

I am sorry, I am not a native english speaker however I do not remember that partnership, alliance and friendship were synonyms for submission, overseas American territory and american juridiction.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

tokyobakayaro

I am sorry, I am not a native english speaker however I do not remember that partnership, alliance and friendship were synonyms for submission, overseas American territory and american juridiction.

Just like its not synonyms for lying, hiding the facts, and downplaying the seriousness.

The US was merely offering to help a close friend and ally, l guess though if Japan accepted this help then the real truth would be known and their campaign of downplaying and accusing all others of distorting facts would have come out into the public domain a lot sooner.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

In other words, Edano was saying that his pride and that of the Japanese government was more important to save and preserve than the Japanese people themselves. It's a wonder that there hasn't been a bloody coup yet.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Japan has a sad history of ignoring offers of help in times of disaster and crisis. The US offer of help during Fukushima was well intentioned and neighborly, a kind of extended "Operation Tomodachi". Japan seemed eager enough to take the supplies and goods from others, but not their expertise and help.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Tyler Vandenberg

Tepco didn't even know how to manually vent their own reactor......

The earthquake damaged the plant and the tsunami destroyed it. Everything on ground level including the inside of the reactor building was a tangled mess. The plant manager, Masao Yoshida knew how to vent the reactors and operators tried to do that but couldn't locate it. The radiation levels was already dangerously high.

There was a lack of Tyvek suits and full face masks.

TEPCO says its going to leave the site... Kan gets some of them to stay( the Fukushima 50) but the reactors are left unmanned..........

I think it was Masao Yoshida who decided to sent home all the workers not needed for the emergency. On a normal day there would been 3,000 to 5,000 workers at the site. He asked for volunteers to stay from the older workers but some of the younger ones stayed too. They were the Fukushima 50 who were joined by hundreds of emergency workers from all over Japan.

The plant was never left unmanned. I think Masao Yoshida didn't even go home for many weeks?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@japangirl

I think it was a language issue that made the decision. American scientists, if they do not live here, they would not speak Japanese. And we all know the situation with most Japanese not speaking a lick of English.

Honestly, if that was the case (which NO ONE believes) that would be a seriously sorry a** of an excuse.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

While I think the US offer somewhat sincere I think there was another reason.

That was to try keep the rest of the world from freaking out, the last thing BIG BIZ wanted to happen was to have REAL BIG demo's to have NPPs shut in other countries, I mean Germans got pretty stressed out but if that spread to the US or France etc can you imagine, that was the last thing the US govt wanted to happen

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ Zinchi

in the morning on Day 5, TEPCO evacuated all but a skeleton crew led by plant manager Yoshida. The remaining men were to become known as the Fukushima 50. they were locked down in the central control room.

“MURAKAMI ” A TEPCO plant woker and part of the Fukushima 50:[through interpreter] The radiation level was ridiculously high. We just didn’t know what to do. The reactors were unmanned. Unmanned.

A team of American nuclear specialists, who’d just arrived in Japan, were fearful that TEPCO and the government had run out of ideas.

CHUCK CASTO, Nuclear Regulatory Commission:We were given numbers, very low numbers of people who were on the site, and we knew that that wasn’t sufficient to do what needed to be done at that time.

NARRATOR:That day, frustrated at the lack of information the prime minister was giving them, the Americans decided to fly a surveillance drone over the plant. The data they got was disturbing.

A third hydrogen explosion had exposed pools of discarded radioactive fuel to the atmosphere. These spent fuel rods were still highly radioactive. If the pools boiled dry, they could catch fire, and the contamination could be even worse than from a reactor meltdown.

The Helos dropped water on Day 7 and the Tokyo firefighters got there on Day 8.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Zichi... this is the first time I've seen a detailed discussion of what Yoshida was doing... the guy deserves a medal or something.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Zichi, I think you may be misguided on some of your targeting of the GE designed reactors. From what I recall, the reactors in general were not overly damaged from the quake itself (please correct me with evidence if I'm mistaken). What caused the nuclear disaster was the location of back-up generators in an area where they were affected by the tidal wave that hit the plant. I believe the structures surrounding the reactors were in decent shape until the events caused by lack of cooling. Granted, the overall design is old and flawed but with proper cooling should there have been any different operation than that just days before 3/11? I thought it was universally agreed that the knocking out of back up power was the main issue. How many other nuclear reactors in the region experienced catastrophic disaster that were not directly located in the path of the tsunami?

And let's be quite honest. The US was not offering to send their experts to Tokyo to heroically save the day. They wanted people on the ground who would provide accurate information direct to Washington. Because one would have to be a complete fool to continue to "trust" the DPJ government.

Like the previous US President famously said, "Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice.... errrr....."

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Thunderbird2,

The country and the people owe him more than deep gratitude.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

ElJeffEnJapon,

Zichi, I think you may be misguided on some of your targeting of the GE designed reactors. From what I recall, the reactors in general were not overly damaged from the quake itself (please correct me with evidence if I'm mistaken). What caused the nuclear disaster was the location of back-up generators in an area where they were affected by the tidal wave that hit the plant.

The "reactors" means everything. GE designed and built the No1 reactor ans associated plant, turbine hall, backup systems. Japan didn't have the experience. Later, Toshiba and Hitachi worked with GE on the other reactors. Basically, GE designed the plant more for dealing with tornado's than earthquakes.

And let's be quite honest. The US was not offering to send their experts to Tokyo to heroically save the day. They wanted people on the ground who would provide accurate information direct to Washington. Because one would have to be a complete fool to continue to "trust" the DPJ government.

I agree with you on that point.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The plant manager, Masao Yoshida knew how to vent the reactors and operators tried to do that but couldn't locate it

Once the found where the Vents open vaule was on the blueprints (they had never trained on how to open the Vents with out Electricity) they where able to open the Vents via jumpers (17 min in High radioactive areas) on Day 2 at 2pm. The Vents need to be open to let hydrogen out and allow water to be pumped in............. Venting is the first step in controlling a meltdown those crews that did 17min jumps to get the vents open saved Japan from a catastrophic explosion

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Everyone is criticising TEPCO (quite rightly so) but I think everyone is forgetting those who fought to stop the meltdowns from becoming worse. I never really knew about Yoshida... though I did know about the Fukushima 50. Hats off to these brave people.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Tyler Vandenberg,

I totally agree with your last comment. Lack of operator safety training which will never be like the real event but it was another leak link in the system and the venting valve was a design flaw.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Zichi, is there evidence that the actual earthquake caused the nuclear disaster? From my understanding, the tsunami crippled the back up generators which allowed for the overheating. Would there have been a crisis if the generators were safe and operated as intended? Now if GE designed the underground location as a result of protection from tornadoes I think there may be an argument for your point of view. But just as easily one can come back and say that Tepco had 40 years to re-locate those generators to a safe location. Did they not increase the sea wall in that same time frame? If there is any information that points otherwise I would love to be directed to it. I'm just thinking out loud here.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@tyler: With the total lack of electrical power, both instrumentation and control were gone. Vents that should have been opened electrically had to be manually opened. The first team were unable to open the vents in the time allocated, and a second team had to go in.

There was no instrumentation to confirm that the vent opened, and a decrease in pressure that they thought was the vent opening was in fact caused by something else, the vent had not been opened.

A total station blackout (no power at all) was not something that TEPCO or any of the Japanese utilities had imagined, and certainly had not trained for.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

ElJeffeEnJapon

Zichi, is there evidence that the actual earthquake caused the nuclear disaster?

Well I think that's a point which will be debated and argued about for many decades to come. Really depends on how you want to consider it? Are the events of the mega earthquake and mega tsunami two separate events or one event? My point of view is that the mega earthquake created the tsunami. Had there been no earthquake there would have been no tsunami.

There are others who would argue that tsunami's can be caused without earthquakes but that wasn't the case on 3/11. Japan experiences 20% of the world's most powerful earthquakes and more than 50% of tsunami's are generated in the Pacific.

The likes of TEPCO stated that the plant was damaged by the tsunami and not by the earthquake. Certainly, the actual reactors appeared to have withstood the earthquake, which at that location, and on the Japanese scale, I think was seven point something?

But a radiation alarm sounded just after the earthquake, 1.5 km from the plant and before the tsunami struck about 40 minutes later. Something happened.

The earthquake also knocked out the 6 incoming 600,000 volt mains supply and destroyed the mains water supply which would have been used to provide cooling water for the reactors. The reactors need a power supply, and a heat sink, water, to cool the reactors once they went into shut down from the earthquake.

Now if GE designed the underground location as a result of protection from tornadoes I think there may be an argument for your point of view. But just as easily one can come back and say that Tepco had 40 years to re-locate those generators to a safe location.

I agree with you. TEPCO had decades to upgrade the safety of the plant but had a history of putting profit before safety. I don't think it needed to move the emergency generators, just make them water proof, which it did with the seawater pumps located on the docks.

Did they not increase the sea wall in that same time frame? If there is any information that points otherwise I would love to be directed to it. I'm just thinking out loud here.

TEPCO were warned in 2006 and 2008, that the sea wall was too low.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@zichi - didn't on-site workers write that the pipes to the Reactor Pressure Vessel fractured during the initial quake, meaning that cooling water may not have been able to go into the RPVs? These were the same pipes that had been welded using heavy lifting equipment such as tractors to pull and bend them into the right configuration, due to poor design/ manufacturing, and were already stressed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan should not have to take help from any specific nation in this; it's a domestic issue.

This is not a domestic issue when we as a world share the same waters. All the way in California the radiation levels increased and had to be monitored in the waters and the foods coming from the ocean that feed us. When you are a nation at peace you help each other in times of trouble. When 9-11 happened to us no aid was turn away due to pride. When it comes to your people pride takes backstage and survival of your masses should be the most important thing. What good is pride is the Japanese race die out within the next hundred years due to low life expectancy and infertility because of radiation poisoning?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

wanderlust

@zichi - didn't on-site workers write that the pipes to the Reactor Pressure Vessel fractured during the initial quake, meaning that cooling water may not have been able to go into the RPVs? These were the same pipes that had been welded using heavy lifting equipment such as tractors to pull and bend them into the right configuration, due to poor design/ manufacturing, and were already stressed

Yes I read the media reports last year but the recent investigation and report by Dr Kenichi Ohmae seems to disprove that event?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

*

Even If I agree with the content, the form does not look right. I mean, seriously ? U.S ? How ironical, just replace few words in your statement by "mass destruction weapons", "fear", "war", etc.*

Yes, the US did do alot of damage to Japan. But get your history right. We didn't start that war, we just won it at the cost of many loss lives for both nations. They hit Pearl Habor and we hit back. This is why we are now allies and why we have a military base stationed their now in times of need to help our allies. Both us as a country have moments in our history we aren't proud of. That was then and this is now. If we are here for Japan they need to use us. I think the officials was not only trying to cover up how bad it was, I also think they feared our help would have obligated them to give us what we want as far as the US military land deal that was on the table during that time. However, our President Obama assured them that would not be used as a bargaining chip. There was no underhanded motives for our offer of help except for ":full disclosure" of the situation. That is what they had a problem with.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A “frustrated” U.S. wanted to place nuclear experts in the prime minister’s office in Tokyo after the Fukushima disaster last year but Japan refused citing sovereignty fears, a minister said Sunday.

He should have accepted citing "the potential for millions to be killed" fears.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Unfortunately, so-called "nuclear experts" can't do much when it comes to a nuclear accident, as proven by the mess left from previous accidents. And the dangers remain for thousands of years. What a waste.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There's no need for U.S. scientists, Japanese scientists are extremely smart.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

But get your history right.

There's a large body of people who believe the 1st nuclear bomb was unnecessary since Japan was about to surrender anyway. We'll never know, will we? It was definitely a way for the US to test the bomb and to warn Russia.

Let's not mention the 2nd nuclear bomb.

Go ahead and downgrade and delete the comment, huray for free speech.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

This post is about the nuclear disaster, and the American offer to send 6 nuclear engineers to help out. Nothing to do with anything which happened during the war.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

“But from the viewpoint of Japan’s sovereignty, I declined to accept the offer,” Edano said. Putting nationalism before national well-being in a crisis such as this is despicable. (We saw this in the wake of the 1995 Awaji-Hanshin earthquake.) But I doubt that "sovereignty" was first on Edano's mind. At that time the government was downplaying the gravity of the disaster and hiding facts from the public. The American experts were likely to blow the government's cover.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

yep Japan basically said, thankyou America but no thankyou we can handle this crisis just fine by ourselves, the rest is history!?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

IamGaijinMay. 29, 2012 - 04:24AM JST

no need for U.S. scientists, Japanese scientists are extremely smart.

Yes, Japanese scientists are extremely smart, then what is happening now?

No, Japan did not have enough resources to fight with.

"Give us the tools, and we will finish the job" CHURCHILL QUOTE

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That is not help. That is rudeness.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Real problem of Japan in other. Japan agreed to accept the help of nuclear experts from Russia to share a bitter experience of a solution of the problem of Chernobyl. However Japan showed impoliteness since in a pointed manner long didn't start up them. If the Government of Japan wanted to repeat all mistakes of Chernobyl, why agreed to accept the help of experts from Russia?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Real problem of Japan in other. Japan agreed to accept the help of nuclear experts from Russia to share a bitter experience of a solution of the problem of Chernobyl. However Japan showed impoliteness since in a pointed manner long didn't start up them. If the Government of Japan wanted to repeat all mistakes of Chernobyl, why agreed to accept the help of experts from Russia?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

During great disaster, sovereignty should not be the issue. Solution to the disaster and the ill effects are the priorities. Those people who decline for fear in soverignty than fear of a nuke meltdown should be name and exposed to the public so people will not elect them for office.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@bajhista65Jun. 04, 2012 - 02:51AM JST

You are respecting of political marauding from USA to Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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