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Fukushima question continues to dog Tokyo Olympic bid

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I will be very surprised if Tokyo wins 2020 now. But it is Japans own fault for lying about and keeping international help out of Fukushima if they lose it again.

22 ( +24 / -2 )

So why didn't Abe give Fukushima the urgency it deserves and move to get things cleaned up?

He could have done it by now and earned the respect of his people, especially those in Tohoku and become internationally famous.

But he didn't.

He's had plenty of time to do it.

18 ( +20 / -2 )

"Tokyo and Fukushima are almost 250 kilometers apart. We are quite remote from Fukushima.” Sounds very very close if Fukushima gets out of control.

“The radiation level is absolutely safe. The 35 million people living in Tokyo are living in normal conditions. There is no problem.” Absolutely safe ! Are you sure about that Tsunekazu Takeda ????

9 ( +13 / -4 )

All potential host countries get quizzed about social or political shortcomings, and the results are not always what we expect. Who is to say what sways the decisions of the IOC...?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Absolutely safe ! Are you sure about that Tsunekazu Takeda ????

That's what you get when you send an unqualified people there. They should send there someone from Todai to answer the question in such a scientific jargon way that no other journalist would dare to ask a question ;)

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Living in the Kanto area is safe for now! And it is true that some cities in the world, like Munich, or London have about the same levels of radiation as Tokyo has now. But and it is a big but, Tepco will start to remove the spent fuel rods from reactor 4 in November. Normally this is done with the help of computers, etc. But in Fukushima they have to do it manual. And if something goes very wrong, like a fuel rod falls down during that process, it could trigger an explosion and the power of that explosion would be 14000 times bigger than the Hiroshima bomb. And then 250km away from it, does not matter much anymore.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Drop the Olympics UNTIL you fix this mess, multi-tasking with nuclear material is a bad idea. Celebrate success in 2024.

12 ( +14 / -3 )

"Tokyo and Fukushima are almost 250 kilometers apart. We are quite remote from Fukushima.”

Yeah, also how insulting to the people of Fukushima too. Nope, Japan (gov't) deserves the international criticism for acting too slow & complacent AND for not being completely transparent and up-front with the people of Japan & the international community. It would be nice if Japan gets the Olympics for 2020 but I think unlikely at this point.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Maybe they should just embrace the issue. They could hang a little nucleus in the middle of the Olympic rings, and I imagine they could design some interesting tours...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Tokyo is ONE of THREE candidates for the Olympics! Fukushima or no, the IOC is the one to choose which one!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

This must really annoy the envoys. The usual fake assurances and BS that works in Japan doesn't work the same magic outside Japan. I still think Tokyo will get the bid though. I think it's already a done-deal somewhere and somehow...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

a fuel rod falls down during that process, it could trigger an explosion and the power of that explosion would be 14000 times bigger than the Hiroshima bomb.

The situation is more than bad enough without resorting to gross overstatements. None of this stuff is fission bomb criticality capable. And 14000 times bigger than 'little boy' is somewhere north of 160MEGA tons, which is more than 3X the tsar bomb. I'm not sure it is even possible to build a fission bomb with that kind of yield.

7 ( +7 / -1 )

Lies, lies, and more lies.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

How long will they keep up the "everything is under control" facade

9 ( +9 / -0 )

The situation is more than bad enough without resorting to gross overstatements.

"Containing radiation equivalent to 14,000 times the amount released in the atomic bomb attack on Hirosihima 68 years ago, more than 1,300 used fuel rod assemblies packed tightly together need to be removed from a building that is vulnerable to collapse, should another large earthquake hit the area." http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/13/fukushima-nuclear-plant-cleanup_n_3752046.html

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

And 14000 times bigger than 'little boy' is somewhere north of 160MEGA tons, which is more than 3X the tsar bomb. I'm not sure it is even possible to build a fission bomb with that kind of yield.

I'm guessing the "14,000 times" number refers to the amount of cesium in the fuel pool and doesn't refer to the size of the explosion. Maybe it's from the article below.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/14/us-japan-fukushima-insight-idUSBRE97D00M20130814?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews

1 ( +1 / -0 )

“There is no issue here. Not one person in Tokyo has been affected by this issue. Tokyo and Fukushima are almost 250 kilometers apart.

This is total rubbish, there are many people who have been affected by what is happened, I know people in Tokyo who have under gone severe emotional damage and tremendous stress, these are direct affects of the disaster.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

"Tokyo’s hopes that continual reassurances about the city being unaffected by the Fukushima nuclear leak..."

The problem is that the reassurances are mere lip service and not backed up by any action. You see, when you keep promising something and don't deliver, that tends to 'dog' your promise.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

If I was in a position of power.. the money forked out to pretty up the city and streets in a bid to win the Olympics, I would rather see the funds go to those poor people who are still without their own house and shacked up in temporary housing right next to thousands of others in the same boat.. but that's just my own lame idea.. Perhaps fix up your own back yard (Fukushima/TEPCO) first before inviting the world over?

11 ( +10 / -0 )

The IOC should NOT award the 2020 Games to Tokyo. Maybe then Japan will get the message that the rest of the world is gravely concerned about the disaster (both natural and human management) here, and spur some real action.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

“The radiation level is absolutely safe. The 35 million people living in Tokyo are living in normal conditions. There is no problem.”

Total lies! Either these guys are totally uninformed or lieing through their teeth! These guys are totally out of the loop, Tepco just yesterday released a press release saying that radiation was so high that 1 hour next to the water would be lethal. Tepco had to bring in equipment that would measure higher because their instruments were maxing out.

The other side of the coin is that the problems are getting worse and worse by the day, so come 2020 who knows what has happened!

I'm going to write an email to the IOC telling them the truth. No 2020 Tokyo until Fukushima is under control!

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Yeah, there's a surprise. But I'm not sure that the Beijing air pollution wasn't as bad. The problem is that as gogogo said it just keeps getting worse.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Even if Tokyo won the Olympic bid do you think some athletes would be reluctant to attend for this reason, and or some other such as Cetus, I think not. Every location has its pros and cons but not like these.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The JIOC needs to get an internationally known celebrity with extensive knowledge of the nuclear power industry to help them pitch the safety factor of the Tokyo games.......Homer Simpson comes to mind.

9 ( +8 / -0 )

if you are patriotic enough to believe the lies from Tepco and the politicians,yes it is safe..but I doubt the international players will buy it

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Andreas Zachciel,

"Radiation equal to" and "Explosion equal to," which you stated in your first post, is not the same thing at all.

You said, "And if something goes very wrong, like a fuel rod falls down during that process, it could trigger an explosion and the power of that explosion would be 14000 times bigger than the Hiroshima bomb."

That information is not in the article.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Until a few months or even weeks ago, I was fairly positive that Tokyo would get the nod. I myself supported the bid, thinking it would benefit the country despite the high cost.

Now, however, I no longer thinks it's really safe, nor do I believe the country actually deserves the games until that whole mess is sorted out and the cover-ups and lies stop once and for all.

The grilling by the IOC confirms their grave concerns about this so- called 'issue', and I would expect that quite a few IOC members who may have been undecided until now will get swayed in favour of one of the other two contenders as a result of what is going on here.

But then, who could blame them?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Those of you talking about "lies" vis-a-vis radiation levels in Tokyo need to buy a clue. You may not trust the government, but there are a number of reliable, open source, third-party monitoring sites and they all agree: Tokyo has no elevated radiation levels in air, soil, or water. Not a single person has experienced a documented health issue as a result of the Fukushima disaster. The city is utterly unaffected.

There is cause for concern going forward in Fukushima, and I agree that the Abe administration has not acted decisively, but any problems will be almost certainly limited to the immediate Fukushima area.

In rational decision making, one deals exclusively with facts. In this case the facts are clear. Tokyo is safe. Tokyo's bid is the strongest by far.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Those readings? Has the equipment been independently checked for calibration? I do remember an admittance that previously they had been calibrated to show a much lower reading. Not one or two but across the board. Could it be an apology for causing confusion will regrettably be givenin 6 months time?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

For the geographically challenged posters (of whom there appears to be a surfeit), the distance from Fukushima to Tokyo is about the same as London to Paris. Or, to take another example, Fukushima is about three times further from Tokyo than the US national nuclear testing site (where 928 test explosions have occurred, more than 100 of which were above ground) is from Las Vegas. Last time I checked, Las Vegans were not growing extra limbs or developing super-powers.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

A N-bomb uses most of its radiation very quickly thus the massive deverstation. A N-Plant on the on the hand releases huge amounts of radiation (when out of control) that is not used up in an instant, reaction just sprinkled everywhere. Apples, Oranges, short term (relative) long term. November will give us more information.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

2020 is quite a ways off. Certainly the problem will be dealt with by then... right?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

darknuts,

2020 is quite a ways off. Certainly the problem will be dealt with by then... right?

By 2020, I'm almost sure the government well, might have, probably will have moved toward actually discussing what to do about it. Actually holding meetings about it.

Or they might not.

The LDP have a majority, why should they bother?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

FYI the straight distance between Paris and London is 342 km. Between Fukushima Nuclear Plant and central Tokyo (Chuo-ku), it is 210 km.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The IOC and the Tokyo Govement dont give a hoot about the Radiation, the Athletes or the Danger, they care about the Money there is nothing else to care about as far as they are concerned.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

it could trigger an explosion and the power of that explosion would be 14000 times bigger than the Hiroshima bomb. And then 250km away from it, does not matter much anymore.

Andreas Zachcial - completely insane alarmist statements like this do nobody any good. But I gotta hand it to you, thats definitely the gold-medal for fear-mongering statements.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Tokyo and Fukushima are almost 250 kilometers apart. We are quite remote from Fukushima

The 2010 Icelandic volcanic ash affected the whole of Europe, including countries such as Spain and Italy that are thousands of miles away. We have a chain of badly damaged, poorly managed, very unstable, old nuke plants only 200km from Tokyo centre (about 120km from outskirts), continously spewing poisonous nuclear radiation into the sea and atmosphere since 3/11. In typical Japan style of arrogance and lack of accountability, the whole world is being reassured not to worry! If anything goes wrong with the sort of knee-jack gambling, quick fixes taking place, the whole of Tokyo would be evacuated. Imagine the world's best lungs on track with millions of spectators from the whole world: the boooooooooooooom! Shall we say still in Japan style that "nobody knew this would happen"? And who will forgive us?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The vote will probably depend on the usual money game rather than what's happening in Fukushima. Abe and his team are very practiced in this with all their vote buying during elections here, so Japan has a chance.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

All this speculation in the comments would make me feel better and give me a laugh if the JP Gov or TEPCO knew what to do, but they clearly don't.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

IOC and Japan may paper over the problems, but people other than locals are not going to fly or buy tickets. All it takes is a ten minute Internet search to be concerned about government ineptitude in the face of nuclear waste and to know just how badly Japan has abandoned its own people. Many news articles not seen by Japanese have already showed as much. A free press outside of Japan isn't going to let that go.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

We are quite remote from Fukushima

This says it all doesn't it? The situation in Fukushima is getting worse, Abe just brushes it off with that comment.

But we have a new robot so it must be ok, add a couple of cartoon characters and all is well

3 ( +3 / -0 )

As a British subject, I get email updates from the British Embassy from time to time.

A recent one advised us not to travel in the Fukushima area because the situation with the reactor is too dangerous.

As has been pointed out several times, Fukushima is only 200 kilometres from Tokyo. That's a couple hours drive on an Expressway. It doesn't take long for radiation to spread that distance. They're already talking about dumping the tainted water in the ocean.

And Takeda says it's safe? ? ?

This must be some new or unusual definition of the word "safe" that I haven't come across yet.

Because "safe" it ain't.

And I cannot believe the low level of responsibility of the Japanese PM who does NOTHING about this situation for three years, talks about restarting the reactors and beetles off to the Middle East to hawk nuclear power technology.

How can they even THINK about having the Olympics in Japan?

Do they fondly imagine the world is going to send its top athletes to Japan to come back glowing in the dark?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The government does not have a magical solution, no ace up their sleeve. The only thing they can do is ease TEPCO's financial burden. I'm sure TEPCO is consulting, oficially or unoficially, experts all over the world, on how to contain the problem.

IMHO, it is a matter of fact that the government pays for the mess, as it was they who approved the building of the Fukushima reactors.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

People who think that Japan has a chance to host the games are clearly delusional. Such a thing will never happen anytime soon because of earthquake predictions in Tokyo and Fukushima being broken. Lastly, the priority is given to countries who never have hosted the games before. Countries such as Japan and the USA had their past glory, It's now time to leave the turn to emerging countries. Japan really sounds like a spoiled kid.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just caught the end of a TBS TV news report on the press conference for the bid. Some foreign journalists were saying things like "We just don't know what's really going on (at Fukushima Dai-ichi)". So TEPCO's cover ups and lies have come back to hurt the bid. It's really good that this is putting pressure on them. Not sure the government would even have been pledging help if it hadn't put their Olympic bid in a bad light. I'd like to say it's taught them all a lesson but it probably hasn't. Still playing whack-a-mole up there and lying through their teeth. Government's still all talk and no action.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"We just don't know what's really going on (at Fukushima Dai-ichi)".

Perhaps a little bit of research by these so-called "foreign journalists" are in order. But then again, sensationalism and controversies is what sells in the media so they will continue to remain clueless which is pretty much the way it has been for over two years now. I'm willing to bet only one out of maybe twenty of these foreign journalists that are there in Beunos Aires can point to the map of where Fukushima daiichi plant is in relation to Tokyo.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

All these articles and discussions just prove that the Olympic Games have nothing to do with sport anymore. This is nothing else than a nausea of marketing pollution, TV rights, waste of resources and exacerbated national ego.

I would never ever support any Games anywhere!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

aside from the fact that since we don't - and can't - know when the Tokyo "big one" will come, does having a gazillion people gathering 250 km from a nuclear plant that is obviously NOT shut down [even spilling nasty stuff all over the place] sound like a good idea? plus the uncertainty of a big quake really striking Tokyo - if very unfortunately [Murphy's Law, anyone?] that does happen, do you really want to gather a gazillion of unaware tourists with no clue what's going on, what to do, where to go if disaster strikes? well, in my books NO is the rational - if not only - answer.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

warispeaceSep. 05, 2013 - 04:53PM JST

The vote will probably depend on the usual money game rather than what's happening in Fukushima. Abe and his team are very practiced in this with all their vote buying during elections here, so Japan h----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- You are right. Olympic events are just a way to make money for IIOC. That is why I think Tokyo will get with huge ad income by Japan Inc. Also, CBS and other media will give huge ad contract money to IOC. ABC, NBC, and FOX in USA. It is just like advertisement agency now.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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