Koide Hiroaki, retired professor from the Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute: “The Tokyo Olympics will take place in a state of nuclear emergency. Those countries and the people who participate will, on the one hand, themselves risk exposure, and, on the other, become accomplices to the crimes of this nation.”
IN ONE OF THE MOST TELLING INTERVIEWS WE MAY BE ABLE TO READ ABOUT WHY JAPAN HAS NOT ALLOWED OUTSIDE HELP TO STOP THE LEAKS OR LET IN LONG-TERM INVESTIGATIVE TOURS BY OTHER NATIONS, DR. YOICHI FUNABASHI BLOWS THE LID OFF THE FEARS WITHIN THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT THAT JAPAN WOULD BE TAKEN OVER BY BOTH RUSSIA AND THE U.S. IF THEY FAILED TO HANDLE THE NUCLEAR NIGHTMARE THAT FUKUSHIMA WAS, IS TODAY, AND WILL BE FOR ANOTHER 40 TO 100 YEARS.
IT'S AN AMAZING INTERVIEW.
THE MAIN QUESTION WE MAY ASK AFTER READING THIS AND OTHER SCANT ARTICLES BY THOSE WHO WERE INVOLVED IN THE FUKUSHIMA COVER-UP FROM THE BEGINNING, IS WHY, IN THE NAME OF SANITY AND REASON, HASN'T THE WORLD COMMUNITY DEMANDED EXACTLY WHAT KAN AND ABE AND SO MANY MORE IN JAPAN FEARED...THE COMPLETE REMOVAL OF JAPAN'S GOVERNMENT, ITS NUCLEAR INDUSTRY AND NUCLEAR REGULATORY AGENCY FROM THE DECONTAMINATION EFFORTS?
IS IT SIMPLY ALREADY TOO LATE?
WHY DIDN'T JAPAN IMMEDIATELY ASK FOR INTERNATIONAL HELP TO CONTAIN THE RADIATION?
"Early on March 15, 2011, when then-Prime Minister Naoto Kan went to TEPCO headquarters, he said if nothing was done, eastern Japan would be devastated. If Japan was unable to do anything, it could be occupied by the United States and Russia. "If that should occur, what would happen to Japan?" Kan said at that time."
WHY HASN'T TEPCO AND THE ABE REGIME DONE MORE TO CONTAIN THE RADIATION?
"In the case of Fukushima, Japan’s power companies and regulatory bodies fear that any safety improvements would provoke criticism that the existing safety provisions and regulations were inadequate— and then such criticisms would have to be addressed.
In addition, they feared that the public would demand that nuclear reactors be shut down until all such safety improvements had been fully implemented."
ACCORDING TO 'THE ATLANTIC':
Katsunobu Onda, author, explains it this way: “If TEPCO and the government of Japan admit an earthquake can do direct damage to the reactor, this raises suspicions about the safety of every reactor they run.
They are using a number of antiquated reactors that have the same systematic problems, the same wear and tear on the piping.”
Politicians inside the ruling bloc , after the Japanese government's latest attempts to stop Japanese experts from leaking news, are saying, “It can’t be denied that another purpose is to muzzle the press, shut up whistleblowers, and ensure that the nuclear disaster at Fukushima ceases to be an embarrassment before the Olympics.”
THE LIES ABOUT JAPANESE FOOD PRODUCTS BEING SAFE IS ONLY ONE LIE AMONG HUNDREDS.
THERE HAVE BEEN OTHER EXPLOSIONS AT DAIICHI SINCE 2011.'Fukusima Aware' website posted the following in January, 2014:
"Russia’s Department of Defense reported that Russia's Red Banner Pacific Fleet detected two “low-level” underground atomic explosions occurring in the Fukushima disaster zone on 31st of December 2013, the first measuring 5.1 magnitude in intensity, followed by a smaller 3.6 magnitude explosion moments later.
These explosions were reported as 'earthquakes' in the U.S.
Important to note, this report continues, was that the architect of Fukushima Daiichi Reactor 3, Uehara Haruo, warned on 17 November 2011 that a “China Syndrome” (aka: hydrovolcanic explosion) was “inevitable” due to the melted atomic fuel that had escaped the container vessel and is now burning through the earth." [As reported by 'JAPAN TODAY', on September 20, 2011, Hiroaki Koide, assistant professor at Kyoto University's Research Reactor Institute, estimated that material from the nuclear fuel rods may be twelve meters deep underground at reactors one and three. The atomic power plant continues to release very high levels of radiation.]
EARTHQUAKES NEAR THE PLANT DO CAUSE RADIATION SPIKES BUT TEPCO AND ABE DENY IT.
NOVEMBER 16, 2016: A "RadCon 5" radiation alert was issued for Raleigh, NC as Gamma radiation levels in that city spiked to 632 Counts-Per-Minute in the 600-800 (Kev) range, as recorded by the US Environmental Protection Agency's RadNet monitoring system. This spike came just four days after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake in Japan rattled the severely damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear site.
Alarms around the Fukushima plant indicated a major radiation spike there after the recent earthquake.
SUCH SPIKES HERE IN THE U.S. HAVE BEEN REPORTED SEVERAL TIMES BY THE EPA SINCE 2011.
IN 2014, MICHAEL COLLINS WAS PROVING THAT IN HIS REPORTS.
HIS VIDEO SHOWING THESE SPIKES IS MOST TELLING.
Despite the issuance of MANY RADCON-5 Alerts, no mass-media in ANY of those cities, bothered to report the condition.
A MILITARY VETERAN, CONCERNED THAT THE AMERICAN [PUBLIC HAS BEEN LIED TO, GATHERS THE RADIATION READINGS AND DISTRIBUTES THEM BY INTERNET EACH WEEK. .
MANY U.S. CITIES HAVE 'JOINED THE MILLION A WEEK CLUB', SHOWING GAMMA LEVELS OVER A MILLION RAD-CPMs EACH WEEK, MANY TIMES MAXIMUM SAFE LEVELS.
"The Radiation is cumulative so the Total Gamma Radiation continues to increase as long as humans continue to produce the Rads with nuclear power factories and nuclear detonations. One way to measure the Rad became widespread in the States.
That is by measuring, recording and publishing the Total Gamma Radiation at ground level at many locations in the US. Those Rad Numbers are presented here."
TEPCO, THOUGH BUSTED NUMEROUS TIMES, JUST CAN'T SEEM TO STOP LYING.
TIMES OF INDIA, FEBRUARY 10, 2014:
"TEPCO announced last week that what was recorded as 900,000 becquerels per liter of deadly beta radiation from a test-well last July was wrong and the actual level should read 5 million becquerels per liter. That's five times more than what they announced."
What this means is that the water pouring out of that plant today is just as poisonous as the water that came out the first day this accident took place; and it has been that way for over 8 long years.
FEBRUARY 25, 2015: NEWSWEEK MAGAZINE
The fallout from the Fukushima disaster is far from over.
"The operator of the crippled nuclear power plant announced Sunday that sensors in its drainage system had detected a leak of contaminated water 50 to 70 times more radioactive than radioactivity levels already seen on its campus
Tepco has been “aware since last spring” that the rainwater pooling in one corner of the roof contained 23,000 becquerels per liter of radioactive material cesium 137, which is more than 10 times more radioactive than samples of water taken from other parts of the roof, Reuters reports."
DID U.S. MAINSTREAM MEDIA HAVE ANY HEADLINES ABOUT THE UNDERGROUND EXPLOSIONS, THE NUMEROUS RAD5 ALERTS THROUGHOUT THE YEARS?
OF COURSE NOT.
AFTER ALL, WE HAVE LEAKING NUKE PLANTS HERE, TOO.
IN FACT, OUR HANFORD 'SUPER SITE' MAY BE WORSE THAN FUKUSHIMA.
THE FOLLOWING IS WHAT WE NO LONGER READ IN OUR MAINSTREAM MEDIA...THE TRUTH.
Dr. Yoichi Funabashi is Chairman of the Asia Pacific Initiative (formerly the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation), a Tokyo-based independent think tank.
He is a former editor-in-chief of Japan's 'Asahi Shimbun', a leading news agency there.
He is a writer for 'Foreign Affairs Magazine'.
Funabashi gathered some of Japan's top scientists and academics and launched what they called the Independent Investigation Commission on the Fukushima Nuclear Accident.
[NOTE: That web page is no more, deleted, but was archived at the link provided above.
However, even that has dead-ends.]
In its months of interviews and inquiries, the commission found plenty of failures of design and performance behind the meltdowns. But, Funabashi says, the biggest problem the commission identified wasn't with technology — it was with the culture of Japan's "nuclear village."
It was a culture, Funabashi says, in which “regulators pretended to regulate, [and] operators pretended to be regulated.”
Funabashi describes this "nuclear village" as a closed world of nuclear power plant operators and regulators in Japan — impervious to public scrutiny and accountability within Japan, and resistant to innovations and new safety technologies from elsewhere.
Within this bubble, he says, the Japanese nuclear village built up a myth of the absolute safety of the country's plants, and the firm belief that the country’s reactors were the safest and most advanced in the world.
“I think they actually have found themselves caught in their own trap,” says Funabashi.
“The myth of absolute safety blocked implementation of the so-called ‘backfit approach,’ in which new scientific knowledge and the latest technological developments are incorporated into existing nuclear power generation systems in order to improve security.
In the case of Fukushima, Japan’s power companies and regulatory bodies feared that any safety improvements would provoke criticism that the existing safety provisions and regulations were inadequate— and then such criticisms would have to be addressed.
In addition, they feared that the public would demand that nuclear reactors be shut down until all such safety improvements had been fully implemented.”
FROM THE BULLETIN OF ATOMIC SCIENTISTS:
Dr. Yoichi Funabashi, chairman, 'Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation' and report co-author, said: “Three years after March 11, 2011, this crisis has not ended, because of the unsolved issue of the contaminated water and the fact that there has been little change in the human side of the equation: the whole system of Japan’s governance and leadership on nuclear matters.
Putting aside the question of the issues with nuclear technology, the human factor that led up to the Fukushima crisis must remain a major concern. We need to learn the Fukushima lessons more seriously in pursuing a new way of decision-making, a new way of crisis management, a new form of governance and leadership. Otherwise, we run the risk of an even more disastrous situation in which Japan would have gained little in terms of wisdom from the Fukushima experience.”
The Independent Investigation Commission on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident, a civilian-led group, consisted of a working group of more than 30 people, including natural scientists and engineers, social scientists and researchers, business people, lawyers, and journalists, who researched this crisis involving multiple simultaneous dangers. They conducted over 300 investigative interviews to collect testimony from relevant individuals. The responsibility of this committee was to act as an external ombudsman, summarizing its conclusions in the form of an original report, published in Japanese in February 2012. That report was substantially rewritten and revised for this English-language book edition.The English edition includes the reviews by 3 world-renowned experts, Professor Frank von Hippel (Princeton University), Dr. Jessica Mathews (President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), and Professor Paul t’Hart (Utrecht University School of Governance).
HERE IS THE BULK OF THAT INTERVIEW, VERY LENGTHY, BUT ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL TO READ. I HAVE HIGHLIGHTED SOME SENTENCES WITH BOLD ITALIC TYPE.[BEGIN INTERVIEW]
INTERVIEW/ YOICHI FUNABASHI: Fukushima nuclear crisis revealed Japan's governing defects
[ORIGINAL URL WAS
February 29, 2012
"The first report by a private-sector committee investigating the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, which was announced earlier this week, has drawn wide international attention for its detailed research that digs out many facts about what had really happened at the plant.
The report was put together by the Independent Investigation Commission on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident, a committee of the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation, led by Yoichi Funabashi, a former editor in chief of The Asahi Shimbun.
In an interview on Feb. 29, Funabashi presented his view that the Japan-U.S. alliance was in a crisis situation in the first week after the Fukushima nuclear accident. He also expressed understanding for the sense of fear that former Prime Minister Naoto Kan felt about the possibility Japan would have to come under the control of the United States and Russia if it was unable to handle the accident by itself.
Excerpts of the interview follow:
The Asahi Shimbun AJW: What is the key fact that you concentrated on about the confused government response, including micromanaging by Kan?
Funabashi: The one area that we were really interested in, as well as what many people wanted to know, was how serious Tokyo Electric Power Co. was about pulling all of its workers out of the Fukushima No. 1 plant because there was nothing they could do.
We wanted to find out if there was the intention among top TEPCO management to make the decision or come one step toward making the decision to pull out all of its workers.
In that respect, from late March 14 through early March 15, Masataka Shimizu, the TEPCO president, tried to phone Banri Kaieda, the then industry minister, then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano and Goshi Hosono, then special adviser to Kan. Shimizu called Kaieda a number of times because he did not answer.
The question arose as to why he had to make so many phone calls that late at night. If it involved simply temporarily evacuating the workers to the Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant, he would not have had to do what he did. There must have been some very important development for him to do that. We wanted to find out what that was.
The question arose as to why he had to make so many phone calls that late at night. If it involved simply temporarily evacuating the workers to the Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant, he would not have had to do what he did. There must have been some very important development for him to do that. We wanted to find out what that was.
In its interim report issued last year, TEPCO explained that the company was only thinking about a temporary withdrawal rather than the complete withdrawal of all workers. That has become the company's official position.
In the interviews we conducted with the politicians who were at the center of the government, they all said their view was that TEPCO wanted to withdraw completely.
Politicians tend to say things that are popular with the public and since there was the possibility that all the politicians were told to give the same story, we searched for individuals who took memos as well as interviewed bureaucrats to find out what TEPCO officials told them.
There were other TEPCO officials who were at the Prime Minister's Official Residence. So, we looked into such matters as much as possible.
From that, we feel that many of the bureaucrats also held the view that TEPCO wanted to withdraw all of its workers.
So, it was not only politicians who felt that the company wanted to pull out all of its workers.
The government's interim report takes the view that the politicians had misunderstood. If one takes that view, that would mean they were making much ado about nothing because they had become frightened by the situation they faced.
But our investigation finds that there was something much deeper and that TEPCO seriously considered withdrawing all of its workers.
But, we were unable to reach a definite conclusion in our report.
We presented the possibility that TEPCO had considered withdrawing to a much greater degree than was contained in the government's interim report due to the circumstantial evidence that we found.
That is the one area that we really wanted to uncover.
Q: Are you saying the bureaucrats felt that way about TEPCO'S intention?
A: Not all of them held that interpretation.
For example, Nobuaki Terasaka, the then head of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, talked with Shimizu before Shimizu tried to call Kaieda. Terasaka said he never felt that Shimizu asked to withdraw all TEPCO employees when they held discussions on what should be done as the No. 2 reactor approached a dangerous stage.
We included what Terasaka said in our report.
I hope the Diet investigative committee will thoroughly look into this matter, by checking internal TEPCO documents, telephone records and memos. All the teleconference sessions between TEPCO headquarters and the Fukushima plant are recorded and should still be in storage somewhere. The Diet should force the company to release those recordings to look into what was said by whom.
Q: Since the report was published on Feb. 27, have you received any reaction from TEPCO?
A: Surprisingly, there has been no response. They may just ignore us until the very end.
Q: If it does come out that TEPCO executives had called for a complete withdrawal, would that have been simply an unthinkable decision?
A: The government put together a worst-case scenario. I only learned about that in September.
While Kan unintentionally revealed the existence of such a scenario, all other government officials were in unison in denying such a scenario.
We only obtained a copy of the scenario in December.
The development described in that scenario is similar to what would have happened if TEPCO had withdrawn all of its workers. The trigger for the worst-case scenario is a situation where the radiation levels were so high that no workers could enter the area. The No. 4 reactor was considered the most vulnerable link in that scenario.
The No. 4 reactor was not operating because it was undergoing a periodic inspection. The fuel rods were moved to a storage pool. In the scenario, if the fuel rods became exposed, it would heat up and come into contact with the concrete and begin a reaction that would melt through it. Because the fuel rods were not in the containment vessel or pressure vessel, but exposed, all workers nearby would not be able to work there.
A similar situation would have occurred if all workers left.
It is at that time that Kan probably felt the fear of having Japan come under control of the international community.
Early on March 15, when Kan went to TEPCO headquarters, he said if nothing was done, eastern Japan would be devastated. If Japan was unable to do anything, it could be occupied by the United States and Russia. "If that should occur, what would happen to Japan?" Kan said at that time.
When one reads such comments now, one probably will think something was wrong with Kan, but I can really understand the fear that he felt. That would mean that Japan was saying to the world that it did not have the ability to handle its own problems.
That would mean the end of Japan because it could not even handle its own nuclear accident even though it had the Self-Defense Forces. I think that is the sense of fear held by Kan at that time.
When I knew that, I felt I had come to the true core of the fear that Kan felt.
Q: Was the decision by Kan to stop TEPCO from withdrawing the watershed in the crisis?
A: Kan did many things that were unnecessary, raising questions about minor details. That is a form of accident management. Leaders should not be involved in accident management, but should only handle crisis management.
While he excessively micromanaged, he also understood what the government had to do at the most vital time of the crisis and what decision had to be made at that time.
At that time, Kan was correct.
Even among bureaucrats who were displeased with the Democratic Party of Japan-led government, especially METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) officials who were made out to be the villains, many acknowledged privately that Kan was the right man for the job at that time.
Q: What does the report say about crisis management at such times?
A: That is a difficult issue. The Fukushima nuclear accident was one where manuals about what should be done were worthless because the events that unfolded were not contained in any manual. At such times, what becomes the decisive factor is who the leader is.
The fact that it was Kan who was the leader at that time may have been lucky for Japan.
There were other factors that were also lucky.
March 11 was a Friday, meaning there were 6,000 workers there. If it had been on the weekend, there would only have been one-tenth the number of workers.
The winds also blew out toward the Pacific every day until March 15, which helped the venting process.
Rain also did not fall, which would have brought radiation to the ground with it.
For the first four days, there was good luck.
Another incident was the storage pool for nuclear fuel at the No. 4 reactor. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said there was no water covering the pool. However, for some reason an explosion at the No. 3 reactor sent water to the storage pool in the No. 4 reactor. That is nothing more than sheer luck.
However, our report states that while another crisis will not arise in a similar manner so will there never be another instance of such good luck coming our way either.
Q: Do you feel the maturity of Japanese democracy was tested by the crisis?
A: What was most tested at that time was the ability of the nation to govern as well as the capability and structure for crisis management.
Many of the problems related to governance emerged at the same time, such as risk-adverse thinking, stovepiping and bureaucratic turf battles.
What was probably most lacking was the desire to form a partnership with the public to deal with the crisis.
For example, there was no attempt to explain what the situation was and provide context for the information to be supplied.
Information has to be provided in the proper context and explanations about what will be done in order to seek out cooperation from the people. While that stance and words and the presence of such a leader is what is most necessary to deal with a crisis, that is what was most missing in the Fukushima case.
Q: What sort of information should the government have released more quickly?
A: One problem was waiting until March 22 before releasing information from the System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information (SPEEDI).
Another major problem was not being able to measure conditions within the nuclear reactors because measurement devices were not working.
The problem then becomes one of what does the government tell the people when it does not have the information. It may have to say we do not know.
That is most difficult for the Japanese government because officials always want to believe they know everything.
If government officials said they did not have the information, they would face criticism from the media, so those officials would have to bear with that criticism.
In an interview with us, Edano told us the most difficult experience he had was when the No. 1 reactor exploded on March 12. After two hours, they had no idea what happened, but reporters were asking why was no explanation given and saying the public would become worried if nothing was announced. But, he did not know what to say when he had no data to announce to the people.
The issue becomes one of whether the government had the will to communicate with the public.
But, when the government later decided that the public were still children who would panic if given the true information, that was when the fundamental mistake was made by the government in how it handled the crisis because it failed to gain the trust of the public.
Even amid the crisis, support ratings for the Kan Cabinet only rose by 6 percentage points at the most. That was because the government failed to give off a sense of trust in the public.
Q: What was the interaction between the governments of Japan and the United States in the immediate aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear accident?
A: We were fortunate to have Nobumasa Akiyama, an expert on nuclear non-proliferation at Hitotsubashi University, interview officials in the United States, including Steven Chu, the U.S. energy secretary, as well as officials at the NRC, White House, Pentagon and State Department.
In a word, between March 11 and March 17, the Japan-U.S. alliance was in a crisis situation.
It appeared when the United States issued a travel advisory recommending not entering an 80-kilometer radius from the Fukushima No. 1 plant when the Japanese government had established a 20-kilometer radius evacuation zone.
Japan did not provide adequate information to the United States, including the fact that it was unable to obtain the necessary information.
While the United States may have been somewhat pushy, Japan should have moved faster in setting up meetings with Japanese officials when NRC officials came to Japan.
Fundamentally, Japanese officials were embarrassed and did not want the U.S. officials to see what had happened. Japanese officials may have also had a sense of pride at being able to handle the situation by themselves.
On March 15, an NRC delegation led by Charles Casto arrived in Japan and that changed the situation.
He made the appropriate judgments and also had consideration for what the other party was going through. That led to an increase of trust among Japanese officials.
On March 17, Japan demonstrated its will as a nation when the SDF dropped water from helicopters over two reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 plant.
The United States was frustrated that Japan was not employing all the assets that it had, including the SDF. That message was eventually passed on to Kan and Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa.
Hosono, former parliamentary defense minister Akihisa Nagashima and others met with U.S. officials, including Ambassador John Roos, on March 18. A decision was made that the Prime Minister's office had to take the initiative to establish a bilateral body to deal with the nuclear accident on March 22.
That led to a more coordinated effort by the Japanese government, although it took 11 days to achieve.
Q: Turning to your original motivation, what were the reasons and significance behind your decision to set up a private-sector committee to investigate the Fukushima nuclear accident?
A: After March 11, I thought about how to view the accident.
Some of my friends asked me "Isn't what is happening a total meltdown?"
Others said, "I have two young children, and I am thinking about fleeing to Hong Kong."
Those were some of the concerns being raised by my friends.
Because of my long background as a journalist, I also received many questions from people who said, "You must know something."
I also wanted to find out what was happening so what I did was interview politicians and those in the policy field, such as top officials in the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
I also had the question in my mind of "What exactly is going on here?"
From about March 16 or 17, more blogs emerged about the accident and my friends called me and said, "Isn't something really major happening?"
I also followed media reports closely and I also interviewed a number of government officials, including those at the very center of authority. But, despite those efforts I still did not know was happening in the first few days.
I realized later, sometime in late March or early April, that something really terrible likely occurred. It was only in May that TEPCO admitted that a meltdown had actually occurred. That was when everyone understood that something really bad had happened.
When I realized the extent to which I had not understood what had happened as well as the extent to which the public was not informed about the accident, I asked myself what was it that caused the government to not properly handle the situation.
The Japanese government faced with a similar situation in the past has never accurately passed on information to the public or conducted investigations. The Diet has also done nothing. That was repeated a number of times in the past, but I felt that could absolutely not be allowed to happen this time.
I thought about entering into a partnership with a university, but, although this is not easy to say, starting with TEPCO, the electric power industry and the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan have considerable influence by distributing subsidies and if I were to work with any institution that received such funds it would be difficult to do.
I felt that I had to start something new and ask for funds and start from zero because that would be much cleaner. I discussed this with my friends from about April and decided to set up the foundation.
What was important there was the concept of independence.
Japan is a heavily interlocking society with nepotistic ties prevalent everywhere.
Everyone is connected to someone so people do not want to say the truth because that may cause trouble to others. So, people remain silent even if they know something and there is no discussion. That has often been repeated in the past.
But I held the feeling that such a situation could never be allowed this time.
So, that is the major motive behind setting up the committee.
Q: What were your guiding principles for your investigation effort?
A: The slogan for creating the organization was "Truth, independence and humanity."
The model we were trying to emulate was the investigative committees set up by NASA to look into the accidents involving the space shuttles Challenger and, especially, Columbia.
The NASA report about the Columbia accident was lent to me by my friend John Hamre, the president and CEO of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. I met him in Washington in late April and asked for his advice in setting up the foundation. He lent me the report and after reading it I felt that the United States had outstanding oversight capabilities because the work involved an independent group of investigators with a wide variety of backgrounds and expertise who were given access to interview those involved and confirm each and every fact. They were very thorough.
In the United States, it is usually Congress that plays a leading role in such investigations, but think tanks also play such a function. There were actually a number of committees set up to look into the Columbia accident.
At that time, the Japanese government had already decided to set up its own investigative commission, but I thought a totally independent investigation should be carried out.
We brought together about 30 such individuals and began forming an organization from June before the foundation was actually established.
We were not trying to conduct a kangaroo court and look for the guilty parties. What we were interested in was finding out what actually happened, what response was carried out, what judgments were made for those responses, what actually happened as a result, what appraisal was made of those actions and as a result what policy results emerged.
That was our true aim.
The third factor of humanity is related to the fact that Japan is like the Galapagos in being satisfied if only it was safe and being overly confident that they were in fact safe.
But, there was a major blind spot there. That is one thing we have learned through our investigation.
Q: A blind spot?
A: We learned that the United States asked on a number of occasions if Japan had really taken the necessary precautions if all power sources were lost. While the United States had not considered the possibility of tsunami for the total loss of power sources, they did think about a terrorist attack. But, preparations for both situations are the same. So, if the adequate security measures had been prepared, such a major disaster at Fukushima would never have occurred and Japan would not have shown the world just how thoroughly unprepared it was.
One factor was that after the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, the United States has not constructed a single new nuclear reactor. But Japan has constructed several so there was the thinking that Japan had become an advanced nation in terms of nuclear energy technology. Japan ignored the warnings made by foreign nations.
One argument made by Japan early on was that terrorist attacks do not occur here.
But, after realizing that such an argument was not convincing, Japan decided in 2005 to strengthen measures for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel and the nuclear reactors. Those measures were in a sense designed also against terrorist attacks at nuclear reactors.
However, those measures were not very effective.
There is no other field like the nuclear business where there are as many international regulations because of the dangers associated with it. There are many regulations related to nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear safety.
We wanted to conduct our investigation within such a global context because we feel that is a common theme of humanity regarding safety.
We felt that even if our group was a small one, the most important factor was to be totally independent.
In the end, that is what we most wanted--independence.
Q: What were the barriers that were raised because of that independence?
A: We were prepared for that.
For one thing, TEPCO was uncooperative throughout the entire process.
We submitted written requests for interviews with the top executives at the time of the accident as well as those in charge at the Fukushima plant.
But, we received no cooperation. That was very regrettable.
We did speak with some TEPCO sources on deep background.
We also spoke to retired executives, but we wanted to know what decisions had been made by those in the top positions at the time of the accident. That would mean talking to those who were making those decisions at that time.
To be honest, that is one area where I felt the limits to what we could do.
Q: How did you try to overcome these difficulties?
A: We also created a channel on the Internet to allow individuals to provide information, be they TEPCO employees, those who worked to deal with the accident as well as evacuees.
We wanted information and data that could provide help in uncovering what happened rather than opinions.
There were a few that were like diamonds in the information that was contained.
We included the information from one such individual in the prologue. The individual worked in the on-site center designed to withstand quake damage at the time of the earthquake and tsunami.
The individual described what Masao Yoshida, the head of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, and others in the operation center said in their discussions with TEPCO headquarters. While we received the information in an e-mail message, we did not know if everything was accurate, so we had one of our investigators spend a day checking on the facts with the individual. After we determined the individual was genuine we decided to use what was described in the prologue of our report.
That may not necessarily be a pursuit of truth because all it is is what one individual experienced at the time of the accident.
Because our work involves humans investigating humans, we decided to include such information as what humans felt at that time and what the blind spots or misperceptions felt by humans are. By checking on such factors, we could determine what may have been mistaken and we included that additional information that we uncovered.
Q: You have interviewed a number of key political leaders involved in the crisis management at the prime minister's office.
A: Starting in September and lasting until February, we conducted in-depth interviews with those who were at the core of government, such as Kan, Kaieda, Edano, Hosono, and Tetsuro Fukuyama, then deputy chief Cabinet secretary.
We had a two-hour interview with Kan and later met him on three other occasions.
Unfortunately, we wanted more contact with TEPCO executives, but because we couldn't we used the Internet channel for information.
While there were limits to what the government investigative committee could do, the report on what happened on-site, such as which reactor was the first to experience meltdown, why the venting process was delayed and other analysis of operational and technical matters, including confirmation of what actually happened, was very detailed.
Because we could not meet directly with TEPCO officials, we relied to a considerable extent on the interim report of the government investigative committee.
However, there were several differences in the conclusion we reached and the nuances to the reports that were released by our organization and the government committee.
Q: What do you think will be the international perception or appraisal of what Japan did or should have done?
A: While everyone is looking critically at the response now, things could change in 10 to 20 years.
People might change to an appraisal that Japan actually did a good job considering the extent of the disaster. It will depend on whether any severe radiation cases emerge in the future. Despite the amount of radiation released, no one has yet died, including among the workers who dealt with the accident.
The sense of purpose and courage of the Fukushima 50 should be praised.
There were problems with the systematic negligence on the part of TEPCO and the decision by executives to send in the workers under very dangerous conditions was very problematic. At the same time, we also have to separate that from what the workers who went into the reactors risking their lives did.
And, finally, when Kan and his team decided that TEPCO could not withdraw and realized that the nation had to in the end take responsibility that was what saved the nation.
Having said that, there were also many problems including a lack of proper regulation.
There was also the self-defeating logic of the myth of total safety in nuclear plants in Japan. Under the logic that nuclear plants are 100 percent safe, no further preparations should be made for any sort of accident.
Anyone would realize how wrong that logic is."
YOU MAY READ THE FULL 21-PAGE PDF REPORT OF FUNABASHI AND HIS TEAM AT ...
Fukushima in review: Acomplex disaster, a disastrousresponseYoichi Funabashi and Kay Kitazawa
YOU MAY READ THE FULL 21-PAGE PDF REPORT OF FUNABASHI AND HIS TEAM AT ...
Fukushima in review: Acomplex disaster, a disastrousresponseYoichi Funabashi and Kay Kitazawa
WHEN WE BEGIN TO SEE THE AFTERMATH OF KAN'S DECISION TO NOT EVACUATE TOKYO AND MOST OF JAPAN, WHEN CHILDREN ARE BORN SIMILAR TO THOSE STILL BEING BORN AFTER CHERNOBYL, MANY WILL DESPISE HIM FOR 'SAVING FACE'.
"Now what would have happened if this molten material had escaped from the containment?… A radius of 250 kilometers — which includes the city of Tokyo — anyone living in this area, if you count them up it comes to 50 million or 40% of the Japanese population, and they would all have had to be evacuated."
~ Former Japanese PM Naoto Kan
THEY STILL HAVE NOT LOCATED ALL THE CORIUM AND MANY HAVE ADMITTED TOKYO AND MOST OF JAPAN SHOULD HAVE BEEN EVACUATED.
The Lid Comes Off Fukushima Daiichi.
"Abe at Ground Zero: the consequences of inaction at Fukushima Daiichi"
THE ASIA PACIFIC JOURNAL, March 17, 2013, Volume 11 | Issue 12 | Number 1
Professor Andrew DeWit is Professor in the School of Policy Studies, Rikkyo University.
Dr. Christopher Hobson is an Assistant Professor in the School of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University, and a Visiting Research Fellow at the United Nations University.
"The most recent opinion poll, released by the Mainichi Shimbun on August 25, shows that no less than 91% of the Japanese public wants the government to intervene. Clearly, Abe’s August 7 gambit of publicly declaring “Tepco: shape up!” convinced few that he was doing enough. Indeed, while the Mainichi was in the midst of polling, Abe was being lambasted by an August 23 editorial in Nishinihon Shimbun. The editors demanded he act, expressing open dismay that he would call for decisive action from Tepco given its shameful record of endless mishaps and denials.
The August 28 Business Times Singapore spoke up from the East, and excoriatingly editorialized that “Mr Abe appears grudging in his occasional statements of ‘regret’ at the ongoing crisis but resentful that it continues to dent Japan’s international image. Certainly, it embarrasses a country anxious to promote overseas sales of nuclear reactors and to bring other idled reactors back on line.” The editors highlighted the proliferating “international dimensions” of the crisis and cautioned that if Fukushima Daiichi “is not an international threat, then it is difficult to see what is.”
As for China, on August 21 the state officially expressed “shock” over the situation, with its Foreign Ministry calling for Japan to “take effective steps to put an end to the negative impact of the after-effects of the Fukushima nuclear accident.”
But the government was also careful to declare domestically that the Chinese State Oceanic Administration’s survey results show radiation flows (including Cesium 134) from Fukushima Daiichi into the aquatic environment but not into areas under Chinese jurisdiction. They also stressed they were doing follow-up surveys of the marine environment, and have stated they reserve the right to request entry into waters near Daiichi to conduct to assess the impact the ongoing leaks were having on the ocean.
Influential actors within the ranks of Abe’s LDP also began openly questioning his government’s management of the situation. On August 28, LDP Diet member and party deputy secretary general Kohno Taro bluntly derided the most recent promise for closer supervision: “The METI way of thinking is crazy…TEPCO doesn’t want to spend money, and TEPCO doesn’t want to use their personnel. The government has to step up and take responsibility for all of this, otherwise we won’t get on top of the situation.”
Every day, according to the Japanese Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, the Nos 1 to 4 area of the Daiichi site receives about 1000 tons additional groundwater flow from the nearby mountains. Of this amount, it appears that roughly 400 tons come in contact with the reactors’ structures and underground radioactive wreckage and is thus contaminated, with roughly 300 tonnes of that flowing into the ocean. The remaining 600 tons appears not to be going into the reactor basements, but some volume of it appears to be getting contaminated elsewhere before flowing into the sea.
Tepco uses about 400 tons of water per day to inject into the ruined reactor facilities (especially the area around the three 100-ton molten fuel cores) in order to keep them cooling. That amount is mixed with the 400 tons flowing in as groundwater. Tepco recycles half and pumps out the latter 400 tons of contaminated water and puts it into these above-ground tanks, each with 1000 ton capacity.38 So every 2.5 days, a new tank is necessary, for an annual total of roughly 150,000 tons. About 350 of the 1000 tanks already in place were for “temporary” storage, hastily thrown together with bolts and bits of cast-off material, and some of them are already leaking.
This is Not Just About Water
Without downplaying the seriousness of the contaminated water, and the other setbacks at Daiichi, it is important to recognise that things could very easily, and very quickly, get much worse.
Understandably, most commentary on Daiichi focuses on the multiple leaks of water laced with high- and low-level radiation, but the oncoming challenges are far more serious.
As Robert Alvarez, former Senior Policy Advisor at the US Department of Energy and one of the world’s top spent fuel pools experts, has warned, sites such as Fukushima Daiichi “have generated some of the largest concentrations of radioactivity on the planet.” They need to be handled by the most competent and best-equipped expertise available.
[T]here are 1,533 used fuel rod assemblies tightly packed together in the spent-fuel pool above the reactor.50 They weigh a total of 400 tons, and contain radiation equivalent to 14,000 times the amount released by the Hiroshima atomic bomb.
The spent-fuel pool stands 18 metres above ground, was damaged by the earthquake and tsunami, and is in a deteriorating condition. It remains vulnerable to any further shocks, and is also at risk from ground liquefaction.
One might add there is a significant terrorist threat, considering the damage that could be done with a light plane or some similar attack. Removing the spent fuel from No 4 and the other pools, bundles that among other fission products contain deadly plutonium, is clearly an urgent task but must be done properly.
Even under ordinary circumstances spent-fuel removal is a difficult task, normally requiring the aid of computers. But due to the damage, removal of the total 6840 spent fuel bundles from Daiichi No. 4’s spent fuel pool, the five other reactors’ pools, and the entire unit’s common pool will have to be done manually.
This work will also be undertaken under arduous conditions, increasing the risk of yet another mishap. And if something does go wrong, the consequences could be far more severe than any nuclear accident the world has ever seen.
This crisis at Fukushima Daiichi transcends the politics of being being pro- or anti-nuclear.
The evidence overwhelmingly indicates that Fukushima Daiichi’s current management is an unsustainable threat to the future of the country.
To be polemical: Abe can save Japan or TEPCO, but he can’t save both.
When put in those terms, the choice is an easy one. Or at least it should be."
ABE MADE HIS CHOICE. HE CHOSE TO TELL THE WORLD THAT THE DANGER IS OVER, THAT EVERYTHING IS FINE IN JAPAN, SO COME TO THE 2020 SUMMER OLYMPICS AND HELP PAY FOR ABE'S SILENT NUCLEAR WAR AGAINST PLANET EARTH.
The Fukushima nuclear disaster: 8 years on
MARCH 11, 2019
Eight years after the world’s most complex nuclear disaster, the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants and spent fuel ponds are still leaking and dangerous, vast amounts of contaminated water continue to accumulate, 8,000 odd clean-up workers labour daily and will need to for many decades, the needs of people exposed to radioactivity are still neglected, no one is in prison for a disaster fundamentally caused by the negligence of the operator and the government, and most of the lessons of Fukushima have yet to heeded.
Professor Kiyoshi Kurokawa, who chaired the Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission, Japan’s first ever independent parliamentary investigation commission, has written recently that since the Commission submitted its recommendations to the national Diet in 2012, “little progress of significance can be observed”.
He describes the regulatory changes as “only amounting to cosmetic changes”.
The Japanese government seems determined to present the Fukushima disaster as a past problem with things essentially back to normal and under control in the lead-up to the 2020 Olympics in Japan. The start of the Olympic torch relay, softball and baseball games are scheduled to take place in Fukushima. Grossly misleading claims by Prime Minister Abe in 2013 underpinned Japan’s bid for the Olympics. He stated that “the situation in Fukushima is under control”, that “it has never done nor will do any damage to Tokyo”, and that “there have never been any health problems nor will there be”.
There may have been more than misrepresentation about Fukushima involved in Japan securing the 2020 Olympics. On 10 Dec 2018, Tsunekazu Takeda, the president of the Japanese Olympic Committee, and chair of the International Olympic Committee’s marketing commission, was indicted on corruption charges in France. France’s financial crimes prosecutors contend that money was paid to African Olympic committee officials to vote for Japan’s Olympic bid.By Sep 2018, the Japan Reconstruction Agency identified 2202 deaths as related to the nuclear disaster – principally through suicide and interrupted or diminished medical care. However comprehensive long-term prospective mechanisms linked to radiation exposure have not been established to monitor population health impacts of the nuclear disaster. If you don’t look, you won’t find. Given the fragmented and incomplete nature of cancer registries in Japan, it is quite possible that health effects would not be detected.
The one area that promised to be an exception was monitoring for thyroid cancer through regular ultrasound screening among those in Fukushima aged under 18 years at the time of the disaster. By Dec 2018, 166 surgically confirmed thyroid cancer had been identified among 207 cytologically suspected cancers.
In 2012, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Realisation of the Right to Health, Anand Grover visited Fukushima and made multiple recommendations in a report to the UN Human Rights Council. They included independent monitoring and regulation of the nuclear industry; accurate information for the public and evacuations driven by radiation exposure level dose (including hot spots), not simply distance; public provision of unbiased radiation risk information; a timeline for achievement of 1mSv maximum additional radiation exposure; comprehensive long-term health studies in all affected areas; patients having better access to their medical results and documentation; long-term monitoring and treatment for nuclear workers; financial support for those in contaminated areas who chose to evacuate or to stay; TEPCO and not taxpayers should pay for the costs of the disaster; and public participation in all aspects of post-disaster management, such as design of shelters and health surveys, and decontamination implementation. The Japanese government was hostile to Human Rights Council attention and these landmark recommendations, and has implemented very few
In 2017 in a periodic review of Japan, a number of delegations made recommendations to Japan in the UN Human Rights Council:
– Austria urged provision of continued support for voluntary evacuees from the high-radiation areas of Fukushima, with housing, financial and other life-assisting means and with periodic health monitoring of those affected, in particular those who were children at the time of the accident;
– Portugal called for the application of the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement to all those impacted by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, in order to ensure full and equal participation for both women and men in decision-making processes regarding their resettlement (forcible return of evacuees is contrary to these principles);
– Germany advocated respect for the rights of persons living in the area of Fukushima, in particular of pregnant women and children, to the highest level of physical and mental health, notably by restoring the allowable dose of radiation to the 1 mSv/year limit, and by a continuing support to the evacuees and residents;
– Mexico recommended guarantee of access to health services for those affected by the Fukushima nuclear accident, as well as for the generations of survivors of the use of nuclear weapons.
While Japan responded that it was or would implement these recommendations (but not any particular provisions for second and subsequent generation survivors), no corresponding measures have yet been taken.
While attempting to create a misleading illusion of return to normality, the government is still now, 8 years after the disaster, applying an allowable radiation annual dose limit for the public of 20 mSv. It is the only government worldwide to accept such a high level so many years after a nuclear disaster. It has even established 4 reconstruction sites in areas where residents would accumulate more than 50 mSv/y, and scheduled returns to these areas by 2023. People who have relocated from areas where restriction orders have been lifted are under significant pressure to return to an unacceptably hazardous environment, or lose all financial support."
[NOTE: The source of the article directly above, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, is a non-partisan federation of national medical organizations in 64 countries, representing tens of thousands of doctors, medical students, other health workers, and concerned citizens who share the common goal of creating a more peaceful and secure world freed from the threat of nuclear annihilation.]
Former Japan PM accuses Abe of lying over Fukushima pledge. BLOOMBERG NEWS:September 7, 2016
"Junichiro Koizumi disputes current leader’s description of situation at stricken nuclear power plant as being under control.
“When [Abe] said the situation was under control, he was lying,” Koizumi told reporters in Tokyo. “It is not under control,” he added.”
IT'S A NUCLEAR WAR WITHOUT A DECLARATION OF WAR.
Bear in mind that the average nuclear warhead only contains about 20 pounds of nuclear fuel, and a nuclear power-plant, such as Fukushima, contains thousands of tons of nuclear fuel. this is the reason why just one nuclear meltdown has the capacity to destroy an entire nation.
A single nuclear disaster, such as the ongoing possibility at Fukushima's reactor units 3 and 4, can release more radiation than the combined radiation of all the nuclear weapons tests ever conducted.
It will never be possible to safely shut down all 450 operating nuclear reactors and recover or maintain control of perhaps thousands of nuclear waste facilities around the world.
Big Nuke's obligation is to provide safe and secure storage for all their radioactive waste for a million years. Mankind has yet to build a structure which will last 50 thousand years, let alone a million, and the nuclear industry has no intention of spending the trillions of dollars it would cost to store nuclear waste FOREVER.
Japan's Nuclear Migraine; A Never-Ending Disaster at Fukushima
From 'Spiegel Online':
"Japan is stumbling helplessly from one crisis to the next as it battles the ongoing disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. US nuclear inspector Dale Klein is demanding the intervention of foreign experts, but a quick solution is unlikely.
Dale Klein describes it as "very sobering." Klein, who was head of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission until 2009, now serves as chair of the Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee, which advises Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).
Klein is generally a polite man, but he recently announced in public exactly what he thinks of the company that hired him. "You do not know what you're doing," Klein told company president Naomi Hirose in person. "You do not have a plan."
In accordance with Japanese custom, the company head, thus chastised, inclined his head and replied, "I apologize for not being able to live up to your expectations."
Stumbling "from crisis to crisis," Klein says. And with no improvement in sight.
[Klein] says Japan should form a new company to apply knowledge from international experts to the cleanup efforts. TEPCO, he believes, is simply not capable of handling the extremely difficult water issue, a problem that, he says, they will be dealing with "for the next decade."
THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN, NOR IS IT LIKELY TO.
The Japanese government has too much to hide to allow serious investigation from outside sources.
Outsiders just might uncover how much uranium they were enriching, where and how and how far they had gone toward acquiring FULL NUCLEAR CAPABILITY..."THE BOMB".
WE ARE NOW TOLD TO EXPECT NO RESOLUTION FOR AT LEAST FORTY YEARS.
WHY ARE WE ALL STILL SUFFERING THE CONTINUAL FALLOUT, THE UNENDING RADIATION RELEASED INTO THE ATMOSPHERE, INTO THE OCEAN AND RIVERS, INTO THE SOIL AND INTO HUMAN BODIES?
NATIONAL PRIDE, THE 'SAVING OF FACE'?
GOVERNMENT AND NUCLEAR REGULATORY AGENCIES CORRUPTION AND COLLUSION?
THE DESIRE OF A MADMAN TO REGAIN JAPAN'S FREEDOM TO RAISE AN ARMY AND ATTAIN NUCLEAR CAPABILITY?
A COVER-UP OF THE FACT THAT WE HAVE ALL BEEN ADVERSELY AND IRREPARABLY AFFECTED BY JAPAN'S NUCLEAR FALLOUT?
TO PREVENT AN UPRISING OF THE MASSES AND A DEMAND THAT NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS CEASE TO EXIST?
YES, YES, YES!
IT WOULD COST TRILLIONS OF U.S. DOLLARS TO DECOMMISSION ALL NUCLEAR REACTORS, AND EVEN MORE TRILLIONS TO STORE AND MONITOR THE NUCLEAR WASTE AND FUEL RODS AND MATERIALS FROM ALL THOSE POWER PLANTS...FOR UP TO, AND IN SOME INSTANCES MORE THAN, 100,000 YEARS.
IT'S COST US AND OUR CHILDREN'S CHILDREN, TO 10,000 OR MORE GENERATIONS, THE HOPE OF A SAFE FUTURE WITHOUT DAILY DOSES OF LIFE-ROBBING RADIATION.
NO ONE ASKED US IF WE WERE WILLING TO PAY SUCH A DAMNABLE, HEINOUS PRICE, DID THEY?
In the words of renowned novelist Haruki Murakami:
“However, this time it was not a bomb being dropped upon us, but a mistake committed by our very own hands... We set the stage, we committed the crime with our own hands, we are destroying our own lands, and we are destroying our own lives.”
EVERY DAY THAT WE ALLOW FUKUSHIMA'S REACTORS TO SEND OUT THEIR POISONS, WE DROP MANY BOMBS...OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN...
“The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Is a Serious Crime.” Interview with Koide Hiroaki by Katsuya Hirano and Hirotaka Kasai. APJ-Japan Focus, Vol 14, Issue 6:2, March 15, 2016.
”Save the Town”: Insolvable Dilemmas of Fukushima’s “Return Policy.” Interview with Namie Town Mayor Baba Tamotsu by Katsuya Hirano with Yoshihira Amaya and Yoh Kawano. APJ-Japan Focus, Vol. 16, Issue 3:2, February 1, 2018.
David McNeill and Paul Jobin, Japan’s 3.11 Triple Disaster: Introduction to a Special Issue 特集 3.11. APJ-Japan Focus, Vol 12, Issue 7:1, February 16, 2014.