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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aVian's picture

maybe Michael Ruppert is correct...this is going to kill gdp's around the world and July's numbers are going to reflect it

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.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Well said umop. A cocktail of cultural toxins indeed.


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!


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.

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.


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...

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.

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.

bigdumbnugly's picture

 that is one of the irrefutable tenets of life.

MSimon's picture

As my grandpappy always used to say:

They are all crooks.


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.

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.

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

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?



Oh regional Indian's picture

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


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.

Kaiser Zose's picture

New evacuations.  New 7+ Quake.

Bullish for equities.


M. Zandi

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". 

Catullus's picture

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

AnAnonymous's picture

Who will manage the other nuclear sites?

hardcleareye's picture

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

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".

cossack55's picture

I would not recommend New Orleans or SF or LA.

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.

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).

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:


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.

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.

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.

malikai's picture

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

goldfish1's picture

Got a little somethin brown on your nose.

malikai's picture

Checking references != brown nose.

How exactly do you verify your information?

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.

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.

mick_richfield's picture

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



goldfish1's picture

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

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.

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.


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.

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."