IAEA Refutes Reactor 3 Cooling Problems, Provides Fukushima Status Update; Credibility Schism Developing In Japan

Tyler Durden's picture

Contrary to earlier reports that cooling at Reactor 3 at Fukushima has failed (as per CNN and Reuters) and there is now a state of emergency for three reactors at the site, the IAEA has released a report refuting these rumors. It appears that there is a split in news reporting in Japan: on one hand we have the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency which seems to present a downside case, while the government is obviously spinning news in a favorable direction. While the Japanese government is likely not to be trusted much with truthful data dissemination, jumping the shark on rumor spreading is probably not in anyone's favor either. That said, with the government losing credibility (see prior Stratfor post), the question is just whom can the public trust, if not the Japanese government and media? Furthermore, if there is another accident at Fukushima, and the government's credibility is completely destroyed, what happens next: after all the BoJ needs as much "market faith" as it can muster ahead of its decision on Monday to flood the money markets with JPY2 trillion (sound familiar). If the government eats up all the street cred of Shirakawa, the BOJ rush to action may end up doing far more bad than good.

From the IAEA:

Japanese authorities have
informed the IAEA that Units 1, 2, and 4 at the Fukushima Daini retain
off-site power but are experiencing increased pressure in each reactor.
Plant operators have vented the containment at each of the three units
and are considering further venting to alleviate the increase in
pressure.

Daini Unit 3 is in a safe, cold shutdown, according to Japanese officials.

Japanese authorities have reported
some casualties to nuclear plant workers.  At Fukushima Daichi, four
workers were injured by the explosion at the Unit 1 reactor, and there
are three other reported injuries in other incidents. In addition, one
worker was exposed to higher-than-normal radiation levels that fall
below the IAEA guidance for emergency situations. At Fukushima Daini,
one worker has died in a crane operation accident and four others have
been injured.

In partnership with the World
Meteorological Organization, the IAEA is providing its member states
with weather forecasts for the affected areas in Japan.  The latest
predictions have indicated winds moving to the Northeast, away from
Japanese coast over the next three days.

The IAEA continues to liaise with the Japanese authorities and is monitoring the situation as it evolves.