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Fukushima Smoking Gun Emerges: Founding Engineer Says Reactor 4 Has Always Been A "Time Bomb", Exposes Criminal Cover Up

Tyler Durden's picture


It was only a matter of time before someone grew a conscience, and disclosed to the world that in addition to the massive cover up currently going on with respect to the true extent of the Fukushima catastrophe, the actual plant itself, in borrowing from the BP playbook, was built in a hurried way, using cost and labor-cutting shortcuts, and the end result was a true "time bomb." Bloomberg has just released a report that if and when confirmed should lead to the prompt engagement of harakiri by the Hitachi executives responsible for this unprecedented act of treason against Japan's citizens. Quote Bloomberg: "One of the reactors in the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant may have been relying on flawed steel to hold the radiation in its core, according to an engineer who helped build its containment vessel four decades ago. Mitsuhiko Tanaka says he helped conceal a manufacturing defect in the $250 million steel vessel installed at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi No. 4 reactor while working for a unit of Hitachi Ltd. in 1974. The reactor, which Tanaka has called a “time bomb,” was shut for maintenance when the March 11 earthquake triggered a 7-meter (23-foot) tsunami that disabled cooling systems at the plant, leading to explosions and radiation leaks....“Who knows what would have happened if that reactor had been running?” Tanaka, who turned his back on the nuclear industry after the Chernobyl disaster, said in an interview last week. “I have no idea if it could withstand an earthquake like this. It’s got a faulty reactor inside.” What follows is the harrowing tale of a criminal cover up at the only reactor that luckily was empty when the catastrophe occurred. We can only imagine what comparable horror stories will emerge in the next several days as other whistleblowers emerge and disclose that Reactors 1 through 3 (which unfortunately do have radioactive fuel in their reactors) passed the same "rigorous" quality control process that makes them the same time bombs just waiting or the signal to go off (and probably already have... but since the truth is the last thing the public will uncover one can only speculate).

More on this sad story of criminal corruption and incompetence from the bottom all the way to the top, from Bloomberg:

Tanaka’s allegations, which he says he brought to the attention of Japan’s Trade Ministry in 1988 and chronicled in a book two years later called “Why Nuclear Power is Dangerous,” have resurfaced after Japan’s worst nuclear accident on record. The No. 4 reactor was hit by explosions and a fire that spread from adjacent units as the crisis deepened.

Hitachi spokesman Yuichi Izumisawa said the company met with Tanaka in 1988 to discuss the work he did to fix a dent in the vessel and concluded there was no safety problem. “We have not revised our view since then,” Izumisawa said.

Kenta Takahashi, an official at the Trade Ministry’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, said he couldn’t confirm whether the agency’s predecessor, the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, had conducted an investigation into Tanaka’s claims. Naoki Tsunoda, a spokesman at Tokyo Electric Power Co., which owns the plant, said he couldn’t immediately comment.

Tanaka, who said he led the team that built the steel vessel, was at his apartment on Tokyo’s outskirts when Japan’s biggest earthquake on record struck off the coast on March 11, shaking buildings in the nation’s capital.

“I grabbed my wife and we just hugged,” he said. “I thought this is it: we’re dead.”

For Tanaka, the nightmare intensified the next day when a series of explosions were triggered next to the reactor that he helped build. Since then, the risks of radioactive leaks increased as workers have struggled to bring the plant under control.

Here is why one should not trust anything coming out of the authorities out of TEPCO and out of all other pundits who now rely on what is certifiably faulty information:

Tanaka says the reactor pressure vessel inside Fukushima’s unit No. 4 was damaged at a Babcock-Hitachi foundry in Kure City, in Hiroshima prefecture, during the last step of a manufacturing process that took 2 1/2 years and cost tens of millions of dollars. If the mistake had been discovered, the company might have been bankrupted, he said.

Inside a blast furnace the size of a small airplane hanger the reactor pressure vessel was being treated one last time to remove welding stress. The cylinder, 20 meters tall and 6 meters in diameter, was heated to more than 600 degrees Celsius (1,112 degrees Fahrenheit), a temperature that softens metal.

Braces that were supposed to have been placed inside during the blasting were either forgotten or fell over when the cylinder was wheeled into the furnace. After the vessel cooled, workers found that its walls had warped, Tanaka said.

The vessel had sagged so that its height and width differed by more than 34 millimeters, meaning it should have been scrapped, according to nuclear regulations. Rather than sacrifice years of work and risk the company’s survival, Tanaka’s boss asked him to reshape the vessel so that no-one would know it had ever been damaged. Tanaka had been working as an engineer for the company’s nuclear reactor division and was known for his programming skills.

Saving Hitachi billions by putting millions at risk:

I saved the company billions of yen,” said Tanaka, who says he was paid a 3 million yen bonus and presented with a certificate acknowledging his “extraordinary” effort. “At the time, I felt like a hero,” he said.

Over the course of a month, Tanaka said he made a dozen nighttime trips to an International Business Machines Corp. office 20 kilometers away in Hiroshima where he used a super- computer to devise a repair.

Covering up the lies with a sheet, and bribing with golf and hot springs:

Meanwhile, workers covered the damaged vessel with a sheet, Tanaka said. When Tokyo Electric sent a representative to check on their progress, Hitachi distracted him by wining and dining him, according to Tanaka. Rather than inspecting the part, they spent the day playing golf and soaking in a hot spring, he said.

The guy wouldn’t have known what he was looking at anyway,” Tanaka said. “The people at the utility have no idea how the parts are made.”

After a month of computer modeling, Tanaka came up with a way to use pumpjacks to pop out the sunken wall. While it would look like nothing had ever happened, no-one knew what the effect of the repair would have on the integrity of the vessel. Thirty- six years later, that reactor pressure vessel is the key defense protecting the core of Fukushima’s No. 4 reactor.

“These procedures, as they’re described, are far from ideal, especially for a component as critical as this,” Robert Ritchie, Professor of Materials Science & Engineering at the University of California of Berkeley, said in a phone interview. “Depending on the extent of vessel’s deformation, it could possibly lead to local cracking in some its welds.”

"The father of the Japanese Chernobyl":

After the meltdown at Chernobyl in 1986, Tanaka was asked to narrate a Russian movie documenting the disaster. A team of Soviet filmmakers had taken 30 hours of footage inside the plant, getting very close to the ruptured core. The movie’s director died of radiation poisoning about a year after the filming. While watching the footage, Tanaka had a breakdown.

“All of a sudden I was sobbing and I started to think about what I’d done,” Tanaka said. “I was thinking, ‘I could be the father of a Japanese Chernobyl.’”

Two years later Tanaka says he went to the Trade Ministry to report the cover-up he’d been involved in more than a decade earlier. The government refused to investigate and Hitachi denied his accusations, he said.

Everybody lies.

“They said, if Hitachi says they didn’t do it, then
there’s no problem,” Tanaka said. “Companies don’t always tell
the truth.”

So... is there still someone who believes anything coming out of Fukushima? And anyone who thinks that spraying water on overheating reactors from hopelessly irradiated firetrucks will actually do anything at all?


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Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:24 | 1088367 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

How fucking DARE you Tyler Durden.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:49 | 1088454 Montecarlo
Montecarlo's picture

<S> on right?

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 01:19 | 1088875 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture


So let me get this right. It was repaired at great expense, worked fine for 37 years and still didn't fail in a scale 9 earthquake...


Strikes me as a bit of a red herring.

The real question should be, 'why was this apparently adequately repaired reactor sited on a fault line in the first place?'

Whistleblower? Sounds like he's kind of the good guy. This dude just wants some limelight when in reality he should be hanging from a tree along with everybody else connected with this fiasco.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 01:22 | 1088891 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

Unit 4 was in shutdown and so at least one bullet was dodged. So this converup is not the point really.

The question that emerges is how many other poison seeds are bursting into bloom and decay at Fukushima?

Futhermore, how many poison seeds are planted and waiting to bloom at all the other nukes around the world?

Read much about Indian Point?

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 01:59 | 1088935 wretch
wretch's picture

Plutonium production waste at Hanford will leak into the Columbia River soon.

And fuck you, captcha, for messing with my baked head.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 02:06 | 1088943 malusDiaz
malusDiaz's picture



JPMorge gets approval as a registered COMEX Delivery Vault!


Wed, 03/23/2011 - 03:50 | 1089015 SunBlaster
SunBlaster's picture

Well that didn't take long, I knew they would come up with something soon enough.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 07:49 | 1089195 The Profit Prophet
The Profit Prophet's picture

The depth and breadth of the scams to keep this turd of a financial system afloat can only increase over time.  Alas, I fear the worst is yet to come......or in the immortal words of the great Canadian band B.T.O:

T.E.I.N. everyone!

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 09:52 | 1089665 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

Yeah, my feelings are kinda split on this as well. On the one hand, where there's one cover up there's bound to be more. On the other hand, a 20' diameter vessel less than 1.5" out of round just doesn't seem important, and if in the end there's no problems related to the "defect" after the quake, explosions and meltdowns, I'd think the standards could even be relaxed. I'm sure the whistle-blower believes it's a really bad situation, but he has an admitted anti-nuke agenda, having even written a book on the subject. The idea that Chernobyl, having no containment vessle like the one he built, and having graphite as a moderator that burned in the meltdown, would lead him to conclude that all other nuclear power designs are just as suspect, I find hard to understand outside of fear and regret from having been a part of nuclear power himself.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 14:14 | 1091239 pslater
pslater's picture

"On the other hand, a 20' diameter vessel less than 1.5" out of round just doesn't seem important...."

Try that line out on the people who run the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.  This is nuclear physics, not commodities processing.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 01:19 | 1088878 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:15 | 1088577 CPL
CPL's picture

wait until someone mentioned that the families of some of them were threatened with death if they didn't jump into the core and die for the home land.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:19 | 1088589 Raymond K Hassel
Raymond K Hassel's picture

Indeed Tyler, how dare you tell a potential version of the truth.  Seeing much normalcy bias backlash from ZH posts I share on FB.  It's getting unpleasant.  I have friends in Japan, military related, thanking me for sharing your posts, because they know they and their Japanese friends are getting less than the truth.   You are a lifeline for them and they send their gratitude.  Most of the rest who speak out don't want to hear it.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:27 | 1088629 Michael
Wed, 03/23/2011 - 00:28 | 1088809 CD
CD's picture

Hmm... The original interview with Mr. Tanaka took place on March 12th, the day after the quake...

“I saved the company billions of yen,” Tanaka said in an interview March 12, the day after the earthquake."

Bloomie published this 3/18. Mr. Tanaka appears in a number of articles starting on 3/12, but the link above seems to be the first (easy to find) mention of this specific issue.

Why did a full week need to pass for THIS particular tidbit to come to light? The guy is quoted in the NYT
other Bloomberg articles

did this topic not come up then?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:26 | 1088368 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

Latest n greatest:

NEWS ADVISORY: Fukushima No. 1 reactor temperature rising, water injection up: agency   *** NEWS ADVISORY: No. 2 reactor power repair work halted, 500 millisievert per hr radiation found ***   Tokyo megabanks eyeing more than 1 trillion yen loan to TEPCO Keep it flowin' now
Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:40 | 1088406 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture


Rising temperatures are due to a strong and robust recovery. This means there is a strong sign of increased demand as the temperature indicates, the increase is due to a need for the power produced; thus recovery. I win.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:40 | 1088425 Sathington Willougby
Sathington Willougby's picture

Well of course the leading indicator to a roaring economy is, you guessed it, radioactive fallout.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:46 | 1088443 InfinityZero
InfinityZero's picture

BREAKING NEWS: TEPCO says that the reactor became a time warp portal and now they can travel back on time to stop the tsunami.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:26 | 1088628 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture


It's a strong and robust global recovery. The core temperatures clearly indicate a strong recovery. We wouldn't need the energy if it wasn't released.

-Ben Bernanke

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 02:58 | 1088987 Sokhmate
Sokhmate's picture

They must've gotten their hands on the USA gov's 'source code'

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:27 | 1088371 InconvenientCou...
InconvenientCounterParty's picture

Of course you heard it here first....

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:38 | 1088413 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

....if you don't read Bloomberg.


Wed, 03/23/2011 - 00:59 | 1088859 bingocat
bingocat's picture


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:26 | 1088372 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Well, there you go. It's all leaking now, reactors, people, vessels, vassals.

And this is 1974. I think the world got a lot better at telling lies since.

It will get worse. Genie's do not go back into lamps once freedom has been tasted.

Our glowing, nuculur future.



Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:36 | 1088407 kinetik
kinetik's picture

Sorry but your predictive skills are worse than useless so just stop.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:41 | 1088424 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Because you say so? Hah!

Anyways, check this out, Fukushima Daiichi 1 had a planned decomissioning date of......

26th March 2011. Co-inky-dink?

Possibbly, eh?


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:47 | 1088447 kinetik
kinetik's picture

March 19th earthquake lol, just stop man. Or keep going, the laughter... the laughter.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:58 | 1088726 Sabibaby
Sabibaby's picture

WTF are you talking about there have been numerous earthquakes over the past week in Japan. They happen every freaking day!!! Not to hard to predict dontcha think?

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 00:55 | 1088854 Threeggg
Threeggg's picture

More like every 15 minutes for a week now

Here is a list:

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 01:22 | 1088890 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

I predict that it will either rain or go dark today...

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 07:55 | 1089213 UGrev
UGrev's picture

You're good.. do have a traveling show? I'd like to buy tickets for a future date to see what's going to happen tomorrow.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 10:03 | 1089717 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

I predict that it will either rain or go dark tomorrow...

Tickets are $10 a pop.

I predict that I might not sell very many...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:12 | 1088484 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture


by Oh regional Indian , on Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:41 #1088424 
Anyways, check this out, Fukushima Daiichi 1 had a planned decomissioning date of......

26th March 2011. Co-inky-dink?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

No, completely WRONG.


Back in Feb the operating license was extended for 10 years.


Verify it, in fact, I dare you to verify it ...



Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:12 | 1088568 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

ident, I appreciate your self-appointed role as my troll-hound.

In this case, I provided a link. Be a gent and do the same. 

Unlike some, I can and will do a graceful mea culpa.

On the other hand, extending the license of an already defunct design for a further 10 years reeks of something rotten, don't you think?

If you are not a paid troll, I suggest being on-topic, not on-person. A waste of energy.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:36 | 1088657 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

Blather; failed to find anything about the license extension, is that it?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:44 | 1088690 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

This is the last time I'll inter-act with you, you clown.
You think you'll "dare" me to do something and I'll go do it?
Delusional asswipe troll.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:49 | 1088710 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

'Touchy' - get over it.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:49 | 1088707 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture


2011? Make that 2021 (but FAT CHANCE of that happening now):

Tepco — the utility that supplies power for Japan’s capital and biggest city — accounted for nearly a third of that market capitalization, though its shares have been battered since the disasters, falling 65 percent over the past week to 759 yen ($9.6) Thursday.

Last month, it got a boost from the government, which renewed authorization for Tepco to operate Fukushima’s 40-year-old Unit 1 reactor for another 10 years.

Source: AP story:


Wed, 03/23/2011 - 00:24 | 1088799 prophet
prophet's picture

When this site adds the "like" button to the "junk" button function, perhaps they should add a "missing link" button too.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 01:26 | 1088896 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

and maybe even a 'nice guy, wrong planet' button too...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:31 | 1088643 FreeMoney Bernie
FreeMoney Bernie's picture

Co-inky-dink? I don't thinnk so. God is the reason there is 24 hours in a day and 24 beers in a case. However the Fed is making it so we can only afford an 18 pak.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 10:02 | 1089716 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

Tragically, with all the reported air, surface and grounwater contamination, it appears Tokyo may be decommissioned on the 26th of March.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:56 | 1088477 homersimpson
homersimpson's picture

I junk him because of his worthless website link, not because of his predictions.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:45 | 1088688 Arch Duke Ferdinand
Arch Duke Ferdinand's picture

"Well, there you go. It's all leaking now, reactors, people, vessels, vassals."

You gonna believe Japanese MSM?....

27 Signs That The Nuclear Crisis In Japan Is Much Worse Than Either The Mainstream Media Or The Japanese Government Have Been Telling Us

Wrong Side Up....OT Comedy Short...

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 06:47 | 1089103 Judge Judy Scheinlok
Judge Judy Scheinlok's picture

"Regarding Cesium-137, the situation is a bit different. In the cloud eventually propagating to the United States, the ratio of Iodine-131 to Cesium-137 was about 30. This is similar to the Chernobyl accident. In Takasaki, however, this ratio was four. This would indicate a much larger Cesium-137 release in the second two-day period after the accident. Taking this together, the source terms would be about 3 1015 Bq during the first two days, and 3 1016 during the second two-day period. In sum, this could amount to about 50% of the Chernobyl source term of Cesium-137."

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:30 | 1088376 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

What a story.  Of course he should feel terrible, but at least he had the guts to pass along word to the authorities in 1998.

This guy can only be one of legion who share fault in this catastrophe.  I have a feeling that TEPCO and .gov Japan will not be able to keep all the secrets under wraps for much longer.

Japan´s Chernobyl, what an awful thought.  I really hope we don´t have one coming our way as well.


Great work Tylers for keeping this story front and center.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:42 | 1088426 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

1988, two years after chernobyl.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:05 | 1088548 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Ah, my bad.  Thanks for catching the mistake and giving us the right year.  Good information is better than bad!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:11 | 1088564 franzpick
franzpick's picture

Refreshing true story: usually the whistleblower is ignored, then discredited, and sometimes hit by a passing car. 

I suspect his story will never gain media or public traction:  it reminds me of a medical teaching journal that recommended to doctors confronted by patients asking about unsatisfactory tests and reports: "Confuse them with technics", which obfuscation is the main course delivered to us all by network media. 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:29 | 1088380 jomama
jomama's picture

holy shit! nice work, TD.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:30 | 1088382 CB
CB's picture

how many more reactors have this problem?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:29 | 1088385 CB
CB's picture

and I don't mean only at Fukushima

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:56 | 1088478 Cistercian
Cistercian's picture

 I had relatives that worked for B&W (Babcock and Wilcox).They made stainless steel tubing for nuclear reactors.They were under great pressure to get the work done in budget.That means they cut corners, and passed questionable material.Workers who brought up the deficiencies were told to keep quiet.

  These components have worked well for years...under normal use.The stuff has such big safety margins, it has been just fine.


  Of course, when you push the components to the danger zone...the defective pieces fail.The lowered tolerance inherent in defective pieces then bites the operator...HARD.

 This is what happens when getting in on budget trumps more important concerns.

 All too common a problem, isn't it?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:22 | 1088608 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

Now there is a company I have seen some loads out of.

What was it that someone said? Oh yes, Napoleon. Wars can be won or lost due to want of a horseshoe when it is needed where it is needed.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:08 | 1088557 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

A neighbor does specialty heavy hauling, he says he hauls piping and other materials destined for nuclear plants and refineries and as an expert welder he thinks much of it looks like crap. And it's coming from China mostly...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:24 | 1088613 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

We enjoy American made alumimum and steel. So precise.

However we hated imports of same from Russia, China or Mexico because the quality is not there.

But someone bought em and wants em delivered. Who am I to talk? Show me the money and wheels roll.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:30 | 1088384 TerraHertz
TerraHertz's picture

For those talking about 'entombment', here's a comparison of the Fukushima site to the Pyramids of Giza. Gives an idea of the scale of effort implied.  Fukushima vs Pyramids of Giza (109KB)     Ditto, large version (1.5MB)

Someone with ability to embed the small image here, you're welcome.

Ha. Captcha answer is -42. Ironic.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:35 | 1088405 Backspin
Backspin's picture

Negative 42?  Now that's really scary.

Links did not work, BTW.  Please try to fix if you can.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:39 | 1088422 TerraHertz
TerraHertz's picture

Bah. Some weird linkerization bug, appended junk to urls. Also, can't edit post. Fixed links, hopefully:


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:44 | 1088438 CD
CD's picture

Posts can be edited, but only until someone replies to them -- after that they are frozen. Nice job on the transposition - wow. Or rather, OMFG.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:48 | 1088448 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:14 | 1088570 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

Yeah entombment would be the size of a pyramid or two.  As we all know the pyramids weren't built in a day, so best to get started.  Today.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 04:30 | 1089030 Thorlyx
Thorlyx's picture

They should start immediately. This would be a tourist magnet. two great pyramides side by side near the water, I would call that the 9th world wonder. Huge boost for the region.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 07:24 | 1089153 Escapeclaws
Escapeclaws's picture

Will the pyramids be earthquake and tsunami proof? Probably not. No doubt the builders will cut corners in their construction and various mafias will get their payola.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 07:28 | 1089155 Hotspur
Hotspur's picture

Ricky Gervais could send Karl Pilkington to visit in Idiot Abroad Season 3

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:55 | 1088470 Montecarlo
Montecarlo's picture

Terrific - so we can do it in a post peak oil world!  Awesome, I was afraid without cheap electricty and an abundance of dinosaur juice we couldn't get'r done.  I'm feeling much better...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:58 | 1088506 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

Good post. My god. The amount of men and material needed is staggering.

So does anyone else think the Worldbank is lowballing this thing at $264B?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:05 | 1088551 SuperRay
SuperRay's picture

gee, maybe the pyramids were build by aliens to hide reactor meltdowns. that would explain the desert they're in...

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 10:11 | 1089771 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

Rubbish. I have it on very good authority from TEPCO that they were actually built in 1974 by Elvis so he had somewhere to park his tour bus...

They actually started off as a two car garage but the project got a little out of hand.

Nothin' to see here...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:07 | 1088553 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

See, now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about.  You all think I am nuts.  I am not.

Of course it's that, get the goddamn critical path/show-stopper problems analyzed STAT. 


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:24 | 1088623 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

Already did, Jim from MN

A Nuclear Weapon with a self contained sun several miles across or perhaps a cavern dug large enough under the plant. I have advocated and will continue to advocate this solution.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 01:07 | 1088866 prophet
prophet's picture

are you implying that the pyramids were built by aliens to bury their spent fuel and protect the humans?

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 05:28 | 1089060 mick_richfield
mick_richfield's picture

Those pyramids were originally intended to be cubes.  But the contractors cut too many corners.


Fed delenda est.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:30 | 1088388 Convolved Man
Convolved Man's picture

A little bondo, some paint and ...

Voilà, good as new.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:19 | 1088601 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

duh.  just mud 'er up & float 'er off!

i'm surprised tyler didn't include the info on this snitch's book deal, too.  this m.o. is getting worn.  this is straight copy-cat of the guy that tried to rat out bernie madoff to the SEC.

if it takes a 9.0 quake, a 30-ft. wave and a 4 banger melt-down to give this guy cred, does he belong on zeroHedge?

of course!!!

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 09:23 | 1089541 US Uncut
US Uncut's picture

Duct Tape! Don't forget duct tape!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:32 | 1088391 Trifecta Man
Trifecta Man's picture

Anytime someone develops a motto, it's because that it their point of weakness.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:31 | 1088392 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

And the guns are indeed smokin':

Thermometers working again at 3 reactors

Tokyo Electric Power Company says thermometers are working again at 3 of the reactors at the quake-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The March 11th earthquake and tsunami cut off power and the reactors' measurement equipment stopped working.

TEPCO tried to restore the instruments' functions with make-shift power sources, including batteries. It says the thermometer at the Number 3 reactor started working again last Saturday morning.

At that time, the temperature of the reactor's external surface was 366 degrees Celsius, much higher than normal. The company increased the amount of sea water it was using to cool down the reactor.

The thermometers for the Number 1 and Number 2 reactors were restored on Sunday.

The power company says it will pour more water onto the Number 1 reactor, as its temperature was 394 degrees on 3:30 PM on Tuesday.

TEPCO says the functioning thermometers, along with devices to measure pressure and water levels, will provide better information about the condition of the reactors.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 06:12 +0900 (JST)

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:00 | 1088514 Tapeworm
Tapeworm's picture

I don' know nuttin'.

 I do wonder if the reactors are too hot because of sea water injection is causing a salt barrier to build up and insulate what would be cooled nicely with fresh water.

 Any nuke experts that tell me that is silly, please dismiss it The temperatures that I have seen quoted would not allow for such a thing . I do see that condition happen in quenching steel in brine.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:04 | 1088532 Real Estate Geek
Real Estate Geek's picture

the temperature of the reactor's external surface was 366 degrees Celsius, much higher than normal . . . the Number 1 reactor, as its temperature was 394 degrees . . .


The cylinder, 20 meters tall and 6 meters in diameter, was heated to more than 600 degrees Celsius (1,112 degrees Fahrenheit), a temperature that softens metal.

tick, tick, tick


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:42 | 1088681 Tapeworm
Tapeworm's picture

Being a RE guy you latch onto numbers that you have no understanding.

 The vessel was stress relieved after welding in order to put the structure in a state that would not move around much after being subjected to operational temperatures. Perhaps you found "softens metal" to be key to your understanding. I will not call you a twit, but you know nothing about metals and fabrication of metal structures.

 Look up "stress relief", "annealing", "normalizing" to get your start.

These are as basic as they get.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 01:25 | 1088888 Real Estate Geek
Real Estate Geek's picture


Allow me to return the favor by suggesting that you read this book (it's as basic as it gets):

(BTW, my post, which apparently so offended you, wasn't a reply to your post; it just happened to be below your post.)

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 17:43 | 1092440 fallst
fallst's picture

Spoiler! the tiny goes to Dale Carnegie's famous book.

I'd rather be Andrew Carnegie and buy, rather than win and influence people and friends.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 06:17 | 1088999 Stormdancer
Stormdancer's picture

I understood the point Real Estate Geek was making just fine.  But then, my IQ is probably over 70 too.

Let me help you out here Tapeworm ...

1.  The article reported that the reactor vessel was heated to something over 600 degrees celsius during the stress relief heating.


2.  The article reports that due to fallen bracing, that temperature resulted in warping of the vessel.  You can logically assume that the reactor vessel was not pressurized during the heat treat.


3.  We now have reports that some of these reactor vessels are getting very close to 400 degrees celsius.  It is logical to assume that these vessels which are still loaded with fuel are pressurized to some degree, which will very likely result in the reactor responding like a  cherry-red balloon should the temperature rise another 200 degrees or so.  The "tick-tock" alluded to the fact that it's a matter of time before the reactor vessels full of hot radioactive material begin to deform if temperatures continue to rise.  I think even you can see that that would not be a good thing.


I don't think Real Estate Geek's problem was lack of knowledge.  His problem was that he gave the "dots" at the two ends of a logic chain fully confident that his reader's intelligence would connect the dots in the middle.  In your case his confidence was misplaced I guess.


Oh, and please note that I didn't call you a twit either.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 08:16 | 1089283 Canucklehead
Canucklehead's picture

You are in error.

Reactor #4 had the repair.  The others were not mentioned.

Tapeworm is correct.  You and the RE Guy don't know what you are talking about.

Should we quibble about a handful of IQ points?  70 ~ 75, does it make a difference?

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 10:12 | 1089765 Stormdancer
Stormdancer's picture

Sorry fella, I'm not in error. I understand that reactor four was open and contained no fuel.

There are three very similar reactor vessels on site that DO have fuel in them. And those are the ones getting a bit hot...

A bit of minor extrapolation from the data is far from out of line. I'm amazed at the lack of ability to connect dots across data gaps... but it sure seems the lack is pervasive.

If reactor four's vessel slumped a bit at around 600 degrees Celsius during manufacture, it's not a stretch to assume that reactor's 1-3 just *might* experience a bit of distortion at around the same temperature.

Is this really that hard to conceive???

I mean, did you miss the part where the heat treat is what CAUSED the defect the whistleblower repaired??

Thu, 03/24/2011 - 16:23 | 1096679 Seer
Seer's picture

Just a slight nit to pick on this:

"I mean, did you miss the part where the heat treat is what CAUSED the defect the whistleblower repaired??"

It was the improper adherence to the process that resulted in the defect.  That's how I read it.

But yes, I caught the point about the concern being about temps exceeding those performed during the annealing process.

Unfortunately the entire debate will get pulled down to some stupid technical level.  It'll keep us from the larger macro discussion as to whether we're even spec'ing things out correctly, or, whether we should even be building and operating these things (knowing that this kind of stuff occurs in everything we do).

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:32 | 1088393 Dave Thomas
Dave Thomas's picture

The question now arises, how long before the entire plant becomes too "Hot" to "rescue", and they have to just continue to pee on the thing till it completely melts down and they bury the whole thing in sand?


Either the radiation levels go down, to where they can isolate and containe each of the reactors, or they just have to say, fudge it, and bury the fugger.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:09 | 1088556 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

fine question, and i've been wondering that myself

whats the plan?

are they trying to save it so they can still use it, or they just have zero idea for a real solution

covering this one over is gonna require a heck of alot more material than chernobyl took

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:31 | 1088396 puzzling
puzzling's picture

Sounds sarcophagus-worthy. 

At Chernobyl, hundreds of miners were sacrificed to bore underneath the reactor and carve out a large chamber that was then filled with concrete to prevent a meltdown into the deep water table that serves much of the continent. Is such a procedure even possible at Fukushima?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:37 | 1088411 InconvenientCou...
InconvenientCounterParty's picture

if the tuna could speak, they would tell you no

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 00:20 | 1088779 prophet
prophet's picture

Sorry Charlie!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:00 | 1088511 Montecarlo
Montecarlo's picture

No much point in protecting the water table.  Japan uses a tremendous amount of surface water for drinking.  Step back on Google Earth and take in the size of the reservoir up the hill from the gore on the coast.  This is already a disaster...nothing averted.  You'll be delivering cesium and Iodine everytime you turn on a faucet in Tokyo...just give a few more days (for accumulation).  Tokyo will be an absolute ghost town in 30 days...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:18 | 1088588 Eally Ucked
Eally Ucked's picture

You are mistaken, some people (90%) don't have any choice and they will stay there. Just imagine situation when you don't have any escape route. This will be used by media to show everything is ok.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:38 | 1088664 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

Also consider that 500k Japanese are already crowded into the evacuation centers that exist, and that all the other resources that would be needed like food, water sanitation, blankets are under tremendous pressure already. Infrastructure is smashed to the north and overloaded to the south.

To where will they flee from Tokyo? And how?

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 07:34 | 1089163 Escapeclaws
Escapeclaws's picture

For the Japanese, it could be less a question of protecting the water table than avoiding a hydrogen bomb-like explosion, if you go by the film "The Battle of Chernobyl". In that case the Russians were trying to stop such an explosion as the radioactive magma sinks to the water table, but of course they were also concerned about not poisening the water table itself.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:37 | 1088400 foolio
foolio's picture

This just in!

Nuclear regulations have been updated and now the "sagged" and "warped" vessel falls within all acceptable safety measures.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:02 | 1088534 Montecarlo
Montecarlo's picture

+1    actually the tolerance should be +- 60cm, just in case the other ones are defective too...

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 01:46 | 1088920 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

and 'mildly pear shaped' is now also acceptable...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:35 | 1088404 Careless Whisper
Careless Whisper's picture

well mayor bloomberg says that indian point is safe. safe. safe. but smoking cigarettes in central park isn't, and now it's against the law.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:41 | 1088678 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

There's the government for you, so caring for your lung-health.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:37 | 1088409 QQQBall
QQQBall's picture


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:37 | 1088410 FischerBlack
FischerBlack's picture

When a reactor core goes critical, is that sorta like winning?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:52 | 1088467 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

Yes, we're winning now ... we have everything under our thumb.ain't it great!

Thu, 03/24/2011 - 18:47 | 1097251 Seer
Seer's picture

What's that Hollywood saying, "I don't care what they're saying about me as long as they're talking about me?"

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:38 | 1088415 GlassHammer
GlassHammer's picture

"Companies don't always tell the truth."

I nominate this for quote of the decade.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:36 | 1088662 Battleaxe
Battleaxe's picture

I second the motion.


Companies tell the truth if it helps their bottom line.

They lie if the truth hurts their bottom line.

Profit rules.

Thu, 03/24/2011 - 18:50 | 1097262 Seer
Seer's picture

According to many only governments can lie.  Maybe the government is telling companies to lie?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:38 | 1088417 DoctoRx
DoctoRx's picture

Extend and pretend . . .

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:48 | 1088418 SparkyvonBellagio
SparkyvonBellagio's picture

Pedal Accelerator and Reactor 4 probably made at the same Foundry in Japan. LOL


This is just INSANE FOLKS.




found out


note found saying they've embarrassed their own family.



Certainly not all Japanese but the GOVT and HIGH RANKING CEOs.

The Japanese as a whole are very hardworking, proud people, who don't complain and don't want attention.

However their Leadership, as with the USA and others, could use Massive Improvement. 

It's not the Masses- the GOVT/LYING CEOs need to take a hike and Rules of Law need to apply to EVERYONE. Not just the poor. You can steal trillions and people look up to you, but if you steal a car stereo you're going to the Jar!  


PUT THESE PEOPLE BEHIND BARS and IN HARD-CORE PRISONS where their Bunkies are Friendly!!!!!!!!!


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:40 | 1088419 samsara
samsara's picture

Nailed it Tyler !!!

Ya,  we have a REAL credibility problem with this site.

Who are these Trolls (paid or hobbyists), who keep showing up and worrying about ZH's credibility?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:43 | 1088430 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

I love the evil alien asian lizard overlords.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:58 | 1088512 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

I love the evil shapeshifting alien asian lizard overlords.


fixed it for you

you owe me fifty ameros

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:00 | 1088530 Sweet Chicken
Sweet Chicken's picture

Great fucking avatar Quato!!!!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:33 | 1088633 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

I've been meaning to change it to show my handsome side more.


that's better. lulz

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:43 | 1088431 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

This is why we have a war in Libya... to keep stuff like this off the front page.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:43 | 1088434 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Notice a pattern? BP tried micromanaging the spin during Deepwater Horizon last year in almost the same way as Tepco is trying now. Floating statements that make it seem that "everything is now under control" after every new ominous development, then either taking them back or contradicting themselves without remorse. 

Their disaster playbook says: it's better to falsely reassure and control the flow of information to the public than to let it appear that events are really in control. 

Thu, 03/24/2011 - 18:51 | 1097282 Seer
Seer's picture

Pure novices!  The US government can't be beat for their stringing BS along in the lead-up and subsequent military actions in the middle east: nearly every freaking thing was distorted and proven (or will be) to be false.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:43 | 1088436 dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

3 strong quakes rattle Japan overnite........

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:45 | 1088437 patb
patb's picture

if corners were cut badly on rac 4, what else has shortcuts?

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 06:41 | 1088937 pitz
pitz's picture

Yeah no kidding, financial entities can make 'boo-boos', get bailed out and their equityholders/employees remain prosperous.  But heaven forbid, an engineering company makes a 'boo-boo' and has to scrap some work-in-progress because of safety defects, they go bankrupt and their principals are forced to live out the rest of their lives sucking dicks for quarters on streetcorners.


This double standard is killing us.  Literally.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 05:41 | 1089067 Byte Me
Byte Me's picture


if corners were cut badly on rac 4, what else has shortcuts?


A.) The biggest elephant of them all -- What to do with all the used fuel. They've ducked that decision for decades with the result that it's all stored on-site.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 05:55 | 1089077 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Good story by AP on US 71K tons of spent fuel. 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:46 | 1088440 samsara
samsara's picture

Take a look at Northern Japan's future.

A motorcycle ride thru Chernobyl

REALLY worth a few minutes of pictures.

(bottom of each page has a Next Page link)

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 05:50 | 1089073 Byte Me
Byte Me's picture


Thanks muchly for the 2 links.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:48 | 1088442 Carl Spackler-t...
Carl Spackler-the Creator of Spackler Feather Bent's picture

Sounds like this guy was the Japanese MacGyver of nuclear vessels.  Little bit of chewing gum there, and a little bit of ducktape here and presto you have a working reactor. 

This only gets better and better.  Sounds like the design and manafucturing work would have been better executed by a bunch of University of Phoenix undergrads.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:47 | 1088444 Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

As long as there have been chemical plants, refineries, nuke plants, etc. there have been people who would cut corners at any cost or to cover up a mistake.  Frankly, I'm not surprised to hear this revelation, but it makes finding out what's really going on even more urgent. From reports I've read here & elsewhere, this story is far from over.  Too bad the MSM have already mostly abandoned it for Libya coverage.  We might be glowing in the dark on the West Coast if all 6 of these bastards melt down.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:20 | 1088599 samsara
samsara's picture

Too bad the MSM have already mostly abandoned it for Libya coverage. 

Oh for the love of Mike.  They didn't ABANDON it for Libya coverage.   That makes it sound like they have a choice of what they cover.   They were/are a Critical, Willing, and Able part of the planned diversion of coverage/perception of the news.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 01:37 | 1088910 Ted Celeste
Ted Celeste's picture

Great points by both of you, Westcoastliberal and samsara.  I don't have a television, but here is what I see online:

  • To Westcoastliberal's point: Drudge - all Lybia, all the time.  Japan is a secondary issue.
  • To samsara's point: Yahoo (keeping it as my homepage for shits 'n giggles) - the top four stories are: Couple sues over awful wedding video / Chris Brown's meltdown / Who are the Lybian rebels (LOL) / Japan aid caught in red tape.

(On topic, Robot Trader has been getting way too much hate here lately. "Joe and Jane Six" live in Yahoo's world and aren't reading ZH anytime soon. Thanks for all your contributions, Robo.)


And most of all, thank you Tyler & co. for your coverage of what's going down in Japan.  There aren't many places on the web I can trust for honest coverage of what's happening there.  This is one of them. 

As others have said recently, please donate to Zero Hedge.


And on a human note, "Angles" came out today.  It's not bad:


Best of luck to all.  And have fun!


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:46 | 1088449 Aristarchan
Aristarchan's picture

Well, I think it is possible that spraying water might work on one or more of the reactors - as a temporary measure until something can be done to suit each plant's condition, or finally, to embed them if no other permanent plan can be implemented.. No, I do not believe everything they say, and I think there is just as much ignorance being displayed by management and government as there is purposeful misinformation. The problem here is one of information....nobody really knows what is going on in there except maybe the people on the ground, and their view is probably skewed by their inability to get close enough to determine the real damage inside the plants. Right now, until a final solution is put in place, spraying - which does attenuate radiation, and trying to get water flow established, is all they can do. Many will argue with me that entombment should have already been done. Maybe. But I have doubts that anything dropped from the sky will work on three plants that close, having to work from the altitudes they must to avoid damaging radiation exposure. As far as the possible manufacturing defects in the reactor vessel...I do not know how things work in Japan, but in the US all the procedures in the manufacture, testing and installation of such a critical component is well documented, and witnessed by outside signatories to each step. But, even if the #4 vessel is deficient, that does not mean the others are...we are back to square one...lack of provable information.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:59 | 1088466 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

rather a long way of saying the Jap Govt (all Govts) have absolutely no fuking clue what they're doing, no back-up plan, no containment plan, no Plan A or Plan B, no safety protocol and pissing water at least makes these brainless retards look like they're doing something ...even though in point of fact it's nothing (a sham)

the usual clown show of absolute incompetent cretins that is the public sector (Govt)

Is that about right?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:02 | 1088536 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

Almost right.  The water is the finger in the dike.  IF nothing else goes wrong, they will sloooooowly cool off. 

But there is a lot that is probably already wrong--damage to containment in the reactors, and various issues with the waste pools. 

The new 500 millisievert/hr reading on unit 2 today is a case in point--that will make you very sick/kill you in a couple of hours.

Water helps :^) a lot.  Too bad about the folks spraying it though.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:15 | 1088565 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

when you say, "almost right" do you mean they've "almost" got a Plan A and Plan B or do you have news they've "almost" got a back-up plan ready? ....because if they haven't i am still absolutely right surely!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:19 | 1088590 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

Just that pissing water is a useful sham.  Otherwise you're good to go.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:17 | 1088582 Aristarchan
Aristarchan's picture

I suspect that at times the water they are spraying evaporates, then radiation levels go high, then they concentrate more on that unit, then they go down. There are a few things that can spell big problems:

- Earthquake damage prevented the control rods from being fully inserted.

- The piping interfaces - which are generally the weak point in a piping system - flanges, so on, are ruptured, and no cooling water can be circulated without tying into another link and circulating back out through the rupture.

- The torus or vent pipes are ruptured.

- Power cannot be applied to the motor valves, which would require people to get in there an manually open or close them.

- The spent fuel pools are structurally ruptured.

- A concurrence of radiological events occur that require the entire site be evacuated for an extended period.

- Another large aftershock comes along and does further damage.

There are, of course, a thousand other things that could be listed here, but those above would worry me the most with what little I know.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:03 | 1088540 Aristarchan
Aristarchan's picture

Well, if they have a plan they certainly have not shared it with anybody I am aware of. I do know there are NRC resources over there, probably from their emergency response division. No, I have said here many times that spraying water is better than nothing, you do not necessarily have to circulate large volumes of water through the spent fuel pools to keep them reasonably cool. Evaporation and expansion cooling will provide a great deal of cooling. I think they are doing all they can in hopes of getting power back and getting some kind of cooling flow going. Hopefully, they are also planning a final solution involving entombment if what I think they are doing does not work. But, I am just working on my experience and what little information I have on what is going on, with not many assurances that the information is correct. Everything from anybody who is not on the ground there is a absolute wild-ass included.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:20 | 1088591 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

so let's boil down your 2nd long post to pissing on the reactor from fire engines or dropping it from Helis' ...both not known pieces of safety equipment for nuclear specific accidents but drafted in from civilian tasks (ie. they have zero nuclear safety equipment)

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:35 | 1088653 Aristarchan
Aristarchan's picture

When you are in the situation they are in, it does not matter a good God-damn where the water comes from, as long as it comes. The plants we are talking about here assumed a design-basis of never losing all possible sources of power...they were designed in the 1960's. They kept them going by making too many assumptions of their continued viability in the face of new designs, relied on optimistic engineering and geophysical calculations, and called it all good based on financial bottom-lines. They fucked up. They met a black swan. Now they are trying to recover to some basis of minimal loss of...a hell of a lot of things. I'll make a deal with you, you stop your snide remarks about the length of my posts, and I will not start making snide remarks about what I think of yours. Deal?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:50 | 1088711 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

I very much appreciate your posts and their length. It is helpful to read plausible speculation made by someone with technical insight into nuclear reactors. It helps cut the hysteria without understating the gravity of the circumstances.

So thanks for that.

I'm going to have another Wild Turkey now.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:57 | 1088727 Aristarchan
Aristarchan's picture

You are welcome. Wild Turkey, eh? When you lift your glass, my friend, toast all those poor bastards on the ground in Fukashima who are killing themselves so we can all have the luxury of speculating about the outcome of their efforts. A toast: RES IPSA LOQUITUR!

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 01:02 | 1088863 bingocat
bingocat's picture

+100 toasts

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 01:38 | 1088915 Matte_Black
Matte_Black's picture

Done, brother. Twice.



How is it pronounced? My wife thought I was speaking in tongues or something, and took my bourbon from me.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:55 | 1088718 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

i'm not a believer in 'Black Swan' events. It pre-supposes you can't see it coming. This 'Black Swan' was siting a nuclear plant in a known high risk (highly fuking likely) tsunami strike coastal area. This was not a Black Swan, this was an in-your-face Parrot sqwuaking "I'll be on a surfboard coming your way sometime soon"   

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 00:08 | 1088751 Aristarchan
Aristarchan's picture

Black Swans underlie the the ignorance that smart men assume are not a part of their calculated realm - that of the bell curve. Now, I am no Taleb fan...he can't write anything without it becoming a treatise on himself  and his "George Soros" like pretensions to be a philosopher. Be that as it may, You are right that that area of Japan has been historically predisposed to seismic events. But, it has also known centuries with little or relatively minor seismic activity - at least as far as would impact a nuclear plant of that design. Therefore the black swan. They used historical events to form a design basis (which includes location). They got burned.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 00:17 | 1088774 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

This whole website here is about tail events and their consequences.  That's why we hang around.

Once read a Wisconsin EMT's memoir in which he relates their word for a certain type of accident, the kind where the skid marks end at a tree: an 'osh' as in "OHHH SHIIII----"

You never really truly expect it.  Not the big ones.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 00:46 | 1088841 Aristarchan
Aristarchan's picture

An awful lot of people seem to do so after the fact. If I would have polled everyone on this site a year ago about the dangers of an obscure set of nuclear plants on the Japanese coast going tits-up in this fashion after a massive earthquake and tsunami...what do you think the response would be? I would never have predicted it, and I worked in that field for many years. Yes, I worried about earthquakes - everyone in the industry does...tsunamis? no...even after the Indian Ocean tsunami, it never came up on my radar screen. My worry was always a control system failure, losing the main and backup systems for the coolant flow or control rod insertion....then, you are banking on the scram system, with no ability to flow water without pumps and pipes and valves. Even then, I thought the possibilities were remote for this to happen.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 06:51 | 1089100 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

Jim and Aristarchan

every Japanese building is designed to be earthquake proof. Where does the earthquake danger come from? The continental shelf off the East coast of Japan under the sea. It seems pretty obvious (now) that if you've prepared all your buildings for seismic action from a danger zone under the sea you also factor in tsunamis with those same calculations

Aristarchan you say you weren't factoring in a tsunami risk but at least one of the Japanense coastal villages had built a substantial tsanami wall which took a right hammering with the 32ft monster that hit. If a Japanese village had prepared for tsunami and built a wall specifically for its defence does this not give the lie to the 'apparent' lack of risk calculation and casual attitude you and the Jap Govt agencies had for their nuclear plants???  

Why is a humble coastal village prepared for tsnumais and the 'experts' like yourself and the nuclear industry not?

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 07:48 | 1089194 Escapeclaws
Escapeclaws's picture

This reminds me of 911. The WTC had already been attacked in 1993, but nobody was prepared for another attack after that. However, they probably did inspect delivery trucks that went into the parking garage underneath the WTC. It was too much of a stretch of the imagination to think that someone would fly planes into the buildings in another attempt. Too Talebian.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:48 | 1088450 glenlloyd
glenlloyd's picture

well well well, so the gritty truth begins to emerge.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!