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Fukushima Evacuation Zone To Be Expanded As Political Fallout Joins Radioactive For Kan Cabinet

Tyler Durden's picture


As had been anticipated for weeks, and frankly is criminally overdue, Japan has announced that it will expand the evacuation zone around Fukushima to areas beyond a 20 km (12.4 mile) radius to include villages and towns that have had more accumulated radiation, Japan's chief cabinet secretary said on Monday. "These regions could accumulate 20 millisieverts or more radiation over a period of a year," Yukio Edano told a news conference, naming Iitate village, 40km from the plant, part of the city of Kawamata and other areas. The news preceded the latest major 6.6 magnitude aftershock which shook buildings in Tokyo and a wide swathe of
eastern Japan on Monday evening, knocking out power to 220,000
households and causing a halt to water pumping to cool three damaged
reactors at Fukushima. " The epicentre of the latest quake was 88 km (56 miles) east of the plant and stopped power supply for pumping water to cool reactors No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3. The aftershock also forced engineers to postpone plans to remove highly contaminated water from a trench at reactor No. 2." Also spotted was the now disgraced TEPCO president who had fallen "sick" early on in the crisis and completely disappeared from view. Per Reuters  "TEPCO President Masataka Shimizu visited the area on Monday for the first time the disaster. He had all but vanished from public view apart from a brief apology shortly after the crisis began and has spent some of the time since in hospital. "I would like to deeply apologise again for causing physical and psychological hardships to people of Fukushima prefecture and near the nuclear plant," said a grim-faced Shimizu. Dressed in a blue work jacket, he bowed his head for a moment of silence with other TEPCO officials at 2:46 p.m. (0546 GMT), exactly a month after the earthquake hit." But the biggest loser is surely Prime Minister Naoto Kan who saw a landslide drubbing in local elections over the weekend, leaving Japan once again leaderless precisely at a time when it needs focused leadership more than ever.

The triple disaster is the worst to hit Japan since World War Two after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and a huge tsunami battered its northeast coast, leaving nearly 28,000 dead or missing and rocking the world's third-largest economy.

Concern at Japan's inability contain its nuclear crisis is mounting with Prime Minister Naoto Kan's ruling party suffering embarrassing losses in local elections on Sunday.

Voters vented their anger at the government's handling of the nuclear and humanitarian crisis, with Kan's ruling Democratic Party of Japan losing nearly 70 seats in local elections.

In a statement marking one month since the earthquake, On behalf of the people of Japan, Kan expressed "heartfelt thanks" for assistance and support from 130 nations around the world.

"Japan will certainly repay, through our contributions to the international community, the cordial assistance we have received from around the world," he said.

The unpopular Kan was already under pressure to step down before March 11, but analysts say he is unlikely to be forced out during the crisis, set to drag on for months.

"The great disaster was a double tragedy for Japan. The first tragedy was the catastrophe caused by the earthquake, tsunami and the nuclear accident. The other misfortune was that the disaster resulted in prolonging Prime Minister Kan's time in office," Sankei newspaper said in an editorial on Monday.

And while Kan's days are numbered, the real question is what happens to BOJ governor Shirakawa: a replacement with a more trigger happy finger would mean the center of QE would promptly move to the far east, once again, as Japan tries monetizing everything once again. Surely this time it will be different.


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Mon, 04/11/2011 - 07:22 | 1157086 aVian
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maybe Michael Ruppert is correct...this is going to kill gdp's around the world and July's numbers are going to reflect it

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 10:41 | 1157689 Don Birnam
Mon, 04/11/2011 - 11:52 | 1157836 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture


Mon, 04/11/2011 - 07:31 | 1157095 umop episdn
umop episdn's picture

We will never know which is worse, radioactivity or bankster paper. A proper scientific experiment has only one variable, and the PTB insist on a cocktail of cultural toxins.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 07:51 | 1157114 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Well said umop. A cocktail of cultural toxins indeed.


Mon, 04/11/2011 - 07:36 | 1157098 Drag Racer
Drag Racer's picture

words from a radiation monitor worker at Fukushima

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 12:33 | 1158075 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

 Great interview. It confirms most of what I have thought for weeks. Radiation in and around the reactors is too high to get in and really do any useful level of work. He also points out debris from the exposions is highly radiactive. Last week a report cofirmed pieces of spent nuclear fuel rods found a mile from the plant. And the area around the plant is strewn with the stuff.

This could go on for over a year easy!


Mon, 04/11/2011 - 13:03 | 1158186 avonaltendorf
avonaltendorf's picture

13 years to clean up Three Mile Island, one reactor, not demolished by an explosion. No one has ever decommissioned four reactors and four damaged spent fuel pools in destroyed containment buildings.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 13:58 | 1158362 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

 Indeed! What everybody needs to keep in mind is that there are 4 damaged reactors. My god what a mess!! And the whole area is highly radioactive.


Mon, 04/11/2011 - 07:37 | 1157099 RECISION
RECISION's picture

I think we may have a logic fallacy there...

Prime Minister Naoto Kan who saw a landslide drubbing in local elections over the weekend, leaving Japan once again leaderless precisely at a time when it needs focused leadership more than ever.

It equates having an elected government with having leadership.

That doesn't necessarily follow.

In fact, in a "democracy" the reverse could be argued.

You get a figurehead... sure...

Best of luck with that...

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 08:13 | 1157168 cossack55
cossack55's picture

My thoughts exactly. Leaderless Japan, meet leaderless amerika, and leaderless Germany, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, Greece, Italy, UK, Yemen, 2 leader Ivory Coast. Stay away from Iceland, all that independence might rub off.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 08:25 | 1157199 Ruffcut
Ruffcut's picture

It truely shows that government(like most) has no real substance.

Strong leadership, is a tyranny. Always in control. TPTB always look for these opportunities to take more control, buy up quality assets.

Our financial crisis was completely ignored of the fraud in the system and the critters would say "we don't know anything about financial markets", and hand off more power to the creators of the crisis.

All politicos suck, pretty much sums it up.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 09:03 | 1157301 bigdumbnugly
bigdumbnugly's picture

 that is one of the irrefutable tenets of life.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 15:00 | 1158540 MSimon
MSimon's picture

As my grandpappy always used to say:

They are all crooks.


Mon, 04/11/2011 - 09:40 | 1157295 TumblingDice
TumblingDice's picture

No, it equates the absence of a leader with the absence of leadership.

The reverse of your original statement

It equates having an elected government with having leadership.

would also be hard to argue. Having a Democracy equating to not having leadership is an absurd statement due to the many empirical counter examples that could be brought up. But then again we would have to establish our definitions of democracy and leadership before any meaningful discourse on the matter.

edit: the word "leaving" does not necessarily imply a change in state.

edit 2: Also, there wouldn't be a logical fallacy there even if that premise was used. If the conclusion follows from the premises it makes for a logically valid argument. The truth of the stement would be in question then, not the logic. So "leadership and elected government are the same" "Japan has no elected government" means that "Japan has no leadership" is a logically valid argument with no fallacies. Of course as pointed out in the original post, the first statement in this argument was not a premise.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 10:29 | 1157616 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

it needs focused leadership more than ever

Isn't Kan the guy who, at the time of the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear catastrophe, was in meetings admitting accepting foreign bribes and vowing to not step down? Bad leadership or no leadership? My vote would have to be none.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 07:42 | 1157100 Corduroy
Corduroy's picture

Nobody has any BALLS anymore ! There is nothing better for a G8 country than a massive disaster in order to be able to throw the rule book out and look after number one for a change... There have been many 'reset' opportunities presented to various countries over the last decade, and it seems that only Iceland has taken the ride.

Faliure to take advantage of 'reset' opportunities means that we are all destined for fighting in the streets

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 07:51 | 1157111 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Kan Kan't Kare less. Politicos are role players. In Japan's tightly controlled politics (we know who pulls the strings of course) Kan's will come and go, look at the past 15 years of revolving leadership. As comical as Italy before they got...stability under....Bunga Bunga Boy!

The joke is surely on us. The bigger question is how do we slay this global, inter-twined political monster that has us by the jugular? Where lies it's soft under-belly?


Mon, 04/11/2011 - 08:04 | 1157137 mick_richfield
mick_richfield's picture

fiat money

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 08:24 | 1157196 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Burn it? Don't use it? It seems to be more of a sledgehammer than an underbelly, eh?


Mon, 04/11/2011 - 07:49 | 1157112 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

If japan is too fucked up to use their surplus to buy usa bonds that is an umforeseen problem that might send treasuries lower, but not qe2 itself which is expected.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 07:51 | 1157115 Kaiser Zose
Kaiser Zose's picture

New evacuations.  New 7+ Quake.

Bullish for equities.


M. Zandi

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 08:18 | 1157177 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Another CNBS dream spot:

Rick Santelli grabs LIESman by the feet and using him as a club beats Zandi to death while yelling "Rate this you useless piece of shit". 

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 15:02 | 1158548 MSimon
MSimon's picture


Mon, 04/11/2011 - 15:03 | 1158552 MSimon
MSimon's picture


Mon, 04/11/2011 - 07:55 | 1157121 Catullus
Catullus's picture

Just leave Japan.  This is what you can expect for the next 50 years.  Don't rebuild.  Just leave.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 08:02 | 1157130 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Who will manage the other nuclear sites?

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 08:16 | 1157181 cossack55
cossack55's picture


Mon, 04/11/2011 - 09:27 | 1157365 hardcleareye
hardcleareye's picture

GE are whores, they will do ANYTHING for a price!

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 09:53 | 1157467 franzpick
franzpick's picture

French utility users pay 6% more than otherwise to cover the cost of reprocessing spent fuel rods and avoiding storage and contamination problems.

To GE designers, 6% isn't a small price to pay for public safety as the French see it.  It is a huge component of ROI to be preserved for Tepco and other nuclear utilities.

GE: "We Bring Good Things To An End".

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 08:19 | 1157186 cossack55
cossack55's picture

I would not recommend New Orleans or SF or LA.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 08:10 | 1157133 malikai
malikai's picture

As hotspots are identified, we should expect more villages to be evacuated. One must wonder what Japan will do to deal with the cs and sr contamination in these areas. A long term exclusion zone ala Chernobyl sounds unlikely for Japan. This part of the country produces a notable part of their rice and cabbage output and unlike Ukraine or Belarus in the 80s, Japan doesn't really have much spare land to relocate millions of people overnight.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 09:34 | 1157391 pvzh
pvzh's picture

One must wonder what Japan will do to deal with the cs and sr contamination in these areas.

There is not much that they can do. Nuclear decay cannot be speeded up, and Cs and Sr are easily absorbed by all life forms in place of K and Ca/Mg. In addition to all that, Cs forms water soluable salts, thus gets in water supply.

Basically, evacution zone is closed forever (couple hundred years at least).

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 10:03 | 1157517 franzpick
franzpick's picture

Any ideas on how far contamination spreads into the Pacific, and how long that will be closed ?

Fish markets and restaurants are starting to do this:

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 11:05 | 1157780 malikai
malikai's picture

Any ideas on how far contamination spreads into the Pacific, and how long that will be closed ?

It's probably safe to say there will be at least some detectable amount of surface contamination in most coasts and estuaries in the Pacific rim and islands. Japan will definitely be the most exposed of course, but others will see their share as well. It probably won't be enough to be a serious health issue overall, but there's also a large migration northbound of fish for the approaching summer. 

Now is definitely a good time to be long geiger counters, especially for seafood merchants and consumers. There's probably a dozen or so chinese companies about to enter hyperdrive geiger counter manufacturing mode.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 12:02 | 1157958 pvzh
pvzh's picture

The main problem is not so much Cs or Sr, but fuel particles. Cs, Sr, I, and others are easily detectable (gamma/beta-radiation) and are easily diluted to "safe" doses. Fuel particles are much more "sneaky" because they gives off concentrated alpha radiation that does not travel very far (couple millimeters in tissue). So worst case scenario fish ingests one fuel particle, gets caught, tested "safe" (particle very small and at least half inch in the fish, so all alpha particles are absorbed, and cannot be detected), somebody eats it and that pretty much guaranteed cancer because tissue around this particle in the body will be heavily irradiated.

Now everybody plays russian roulette with the food supply albeit with quite low odds of failure (maybe on the order of winning $1 million in the lottery for north american residents). Besides, since spent-fuel pools were dry for long time these particle were airborne also. Most of them will settle in Pacific, but some will travel around the globe, so it is not only pacific seafood that is in question.

Edit PS

Any ideas on how far contamination spreads into the Pacific, and how long that will be closed?

DDT (very chemically stable insecticide) that was used as a powder has been detected in Antarctica, so draw your own conclusions how far it can spread. The only saving grace is that just small fraction of fuel is / (will be eventually) dispersed far less of quantities of DDT used.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 08:11 | 1157156 trav7777
trav7777's picture

well, I think it's been 9 days since the date Mosely-claven predicted as when everybody in Tokyo would either be dead or evacuated.

Fukushima is a clusterfuck but at least things aren't getting worse.  They've clearly bottomed out and the world didn't end.  The tsunami posed more of a "GDP problem," despite the rampant hysteria here.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 08:11 | 1157163 malikai
malikai's picture

Hey trav, where were you getting your isotope analyses from? Do you know of anywhere that is pooling the data?

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 10:32 | 1157632 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

Got a little somethin brown on your nose.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 10:52 | 1157727 malikai
malikai's picture

Checking references != brown nose.

How exactly do you verify your information?

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 08:15 | 1157174 Mr. Mandelbrot
Mr. Mandelbrot's picture

Good morning, idiot

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 08:16 | 1157179 mick_richfield
mick_richfield's picture

but at least things aren't getting worse.


You mean, other than the recriticality last Thursday, and the first traces of iodine-131 that were measured in my drinking water a week ago?

If I were a troll, I would do it better than you.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 08:33 | 1157215 taraxias
taraxias's picture

He's way worse than a troll mate, he's an asshole, a complete asshole without any self-respect. That's who he is.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 08:50 | 1157267 mick_richfield
mick_richfield's picture

Well --- b-but --- that's what I am, too!   



Mon, 04/11/2011 - 10:33 | 1157639 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

Well you're doing a very poor job of it.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 08:31 | 1157213 TumblingDice
TumblingDice's picture

The radioactive rain here in Korea was a minor event. This is consiering that Korea is known to be extremely paranoid and people here take the first opportunity to wear facemasks. Only a few students wore them last Thursday.

It is a bit unsettling though that more contigency plans are not being made. I am sure that a proper amount of explosives can be used to bury the plant.

The public handling of the disaster is also unsettling so I am glad to have a reliable source such as ZH.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 10:51 | 1157720 flattrader
flattrader's picture

A ZH poster runs this blog--

He noted something interesting yesterday--

Earlier today, I was watching the separate press conferences of Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency and TEPCO (which they did it roughly at the same time). What was interesting was a "doom and gloom" among the Internet audience of these press conferences that were presented live by independent journalists (yes there are such people now in Japan). Many of them were saying (tweeting) that there was something amiss in both press conferences, as if some huge SHTF event was coming soon.


Mon, 04/11/2011 - 09:19 | 1157333 hardcleareye
hardcleareye's picture

"Fukushima is a clusterfuck but at least things aren't getting worse."

You have salt water contaminationin a high temp environment with SS equipment.   Even if you could "flush" the equipment with "demin" water and circulate a solvent/prep wash through the system to decontaminate it (like you do in a start-up/commissioning of a HT Boiler) the damage is done...  "flushing the system" is NOT realistic given the radiation and structural integrity of the facility/equipment/instrumentation etc.. setting these issues aside, just considering the time required to actually perform the necessary repairs to even begin to "flush the system" (I supervised a 10 MW (small by industry standards) steam turbine explosion repair in a power plant (very minor compared to what is at hand here) we were "highly motivated" to get the damn thing back on line, setting aside the replacement equipment lead times, the repairs to the "physical plant and peripheral equipment" required a substantial chunk of time (and that is a "simple system" compared to this monster), even if you have unlimited man power, you can only get so many men working in a confined space at one time.

The corrosion/fatigue/brittle failures will start to rapidly increase, things will start to cascade.   Realistically there is no way to fix this and the ending of this story is painfully obvious, the time frame is the only question. 

May God show mercy for the people of Japan.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 08:16 | 1157178 Implicit simplicit
Implicit simplicit's picture

The tendacy to cover up disasters that cause harm to citizens has a hsitory in Japan (they are not alone). In the book by Kerr "Dogs and Demons" Tales of the dark side of Japan, suggested reading by contributor William Banzai, goverment and big business have shown a capacity for ignoring, lieing, maiming, and murdering people involved in lawsuits that got cancer from industrial pollutants. If that doesn't work they drag the cases out beyond the statutes of limitations.

"The secretariat of the supreme court keeps judges strictly in line, and they dare not rule against the goverment; the police have broad powers to imprison without trial and to elicit confessions with methods verging on torture. An incredible 95% of lawsuits against the state end in rulings against the plaintiffs."

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 08:19 | 1157185 Husk-Erzulie
Mon, 04/11/2011 - 08:33 | 1157217 Josh Randall
Josh Randall's picture

It's all fun and games until the radioactive TAR and FEATHERS come out

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 08:34 | 1157219 blindman
blindman's picture


Nuclear Engineer Arnie Gundersen demonstrates How Fukushima's Fuel Rods Melted and Shattered
Mon, 04/11/2011 - 08:43 | 1157221 blindman
blindman's picture



Mon, 04/11/2011 - 08:45 | 1157244 TumblingDice
TumblingDice's picture


Where do you get the timelapsed radioactive isotope dispersal map?

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 09:05 | 1157304 truont
truont's picture

Now that you have ingested sufficient radioactive particles to render you walking dead, Iitate village, go ahead and evacuate the area.

You will be now irradiated from within.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 09:24 | 1157343 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

That was the purpose of this whole "accident".

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 10:33 | 1157653 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

I hate that idea.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 09:48 | 1157460 TerraHertz
TerraHertz's picture

Some new photos at:


The March 11, 2011 tsunami hitting the Fukushima Dai-ni nuclear power plant

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 10:39 | 1157679 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

Good photos. Like the one of Obama and Sarkozy.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 11:16 | 1157823 majia
majia's picture

Ok I admit to being clueless but in Arnie Gunderson's latest video he says that in, at least, reactor #2 (and maybe #3) the fuel pellets are melting THROUGH the bed of the nuclear reactor.

Is this the scenario where it melts through the bed until the nuclear fuel hits water and then boom?

In the Battle for Chernobyl this was the explicit fear that drove the massive entombment effort, which required the workers to dig under the reactor itself.

What are the implications? I mean really?


Mon, 04/11/2011 - 11:24 | 1157847 avonaltendorf
avonaltendorf's picture

If (big if) corium lava eats through the concrete it will find seawater and make radioactive steam. Probably complicate access to the reactors for a couple months and remediation for a couple years.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 12:13 | 1158010 davepowers
davepowers's picture

I watched it and what I think  he was referring to as the bed of the reactor was the bottom of the reactor pressure vessel, not the bigger concretized container vessel. So it would have to burn thru both to get to whatever is underneath. Then again he also says it has likely already gotton thru the pressure vessel on 2 and maybe 3.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 11:29 | 1157860 Welfareisfraud
Welfareisfraud's picture

No, Japan's "leadership" needs to step down and fuck off for good. Too bad it is one country with very low confidence in free markets. And look where it has gotten the little eggheads.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 13:27 | 1158274 Felix-be
Felix-be's picture

They're finally admitting it:

Kyodo news "NEWS ADVISORY: Japan eyes raising level of nuke crisis to most severe", i.e. to INES Chernobyl level 7.

(00:58 12 April)

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 14:45 | 1158496 Roger Knights
Roger Knights's picture

Bloomberg (contains other news than just the headline topic):

Tepco Chief Rebuffed by Fukushima Leader for Second Time on Nuclear Anger

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 15:05 | 1158561 Roger Knights
Roger Knights's picture

"The news preceded the latest major 6.6 magnitude aftershock ..."

Per Bloomberg, this has been upgraded to 7.1.

(Or there's been another aftershock.)

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 15:14 | 1158601 Sweet Chicken
Sweet Chicken's picture

Japan may raise nuke accident severity level to highest 7 from 5

TOKYO, April 12, Kyodo

The Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan released a preliminary calculation Monday saying that the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant had been releasing up to 10,000 terabecquerels of radioactive materials per hour at some point after a massive quake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan on March 11.

The disclosure prompted the government to consider raising the accident's severity level to 7, the worst on an international scale, from the current 5, government sources said. The level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale has only been applied to the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe.

The current provisional evaluation of 5 is at the same level as the Three Mile Island accident in the United States in 1979.

According to an evaluation by the INES, level 7 accidents correspond with a release into the external environment radioactive materials equal to more than tens of thousands terabecquerels of radioactive iodine 131. One terabecquerel equals 1 trillion becquerels.

Haruki Madarame, chairman of the commission, which is a government panel, said it has estimated that the release of 10,000 terabecquerels of radioactive materials per hour continued for several hours.

The commission says the release has since come down to under 1 terabecquerel per hour and said that it is still examining the total amount of radioactive materials released.

The commission also released a preliminary calculation for the cumulative amount of external exposure to radiation, saying it exceeded the yearly limit of 1 millisieverts in areas extending more than 60 kilometers to the northwest of the plant and about 40 km to the south-southwest of the plant.

It encompasses the cities of Fukushima, Date, Soma, Minamisoma, and Iwaki, which are all in Fukushima Prefecture, and some areas including the town of Hirono in the prefecture.

Within a 20-km exclusion zone set by the government, the amount varied from under 1 millisieverts to 100 millisieverts or more, and in the 20-30 km radius ring where residents are asked to stay indoors, it came to under 50 millisieverts.

The commission used the System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information to calculate the spread of radiation.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 15:41 | 1158720 Lapri
Lapri's picture

From what the NISA official indicated ever so subtly in the presser, the government didn't put two and two together: nitrogen injection operations (potentially dangerous) and allowing the residents to return. Ooopsy.

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