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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

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.



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Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:08 | 1045399 taraxias
taraxias's picture

the "i" is missing


do you guys ever take a break


I'm glad you don't


EDIT: fixed

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:04 | 1045400 Spalding_Smailes
Spalding_Smailes's picture


(CNN) -- The powerful earthquake that unleashed a devastating tsunami Friday appears to have moved the main island of Japan by 8 feet (2.4 meters) and shifted the Earth on its axis.

"At this point, we know that one GPS station moved (8 feet), and we have seen a map from GSI (Geospatial Information Authority) in Japan showing the pattern of shift over a large area is consistent with about that much shift of the land mass," said Kenneth Hudnut, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:09 | 1045417 AN0NYM0US
AN0NYM0US's picture

from prior thread

CitizenPete , Kaiser Zose , New_Meat , Aristarchan  (and I am sure I am missing others)

better quality info and updates from you people than any other source that I have been able  to identify



Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:19 | 1045423 Spalding_Smailes
Spalding_Smailes's picture

Thanks Bro - And....  Cognitive Dissonance

This is getting crazy now ..... 


Another reactor at Fukushima nuke plant loses cooling functions


Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Sunday another reactor of its quake-hit Fukushima nuclear power plants had lost its cooling functions, while at least 15 people at a nearby hospital were found to have been exposed to radioactivity.

The utility supplier notified the government early Sunday morning that the No. 3 reactor at the No. 1 Fukushima plant had lost the ability to cool the reactor core. The reactor is now in the process of releasing radioactive steam, according to top government spokesman Yukio Edano.

It was the sixth reactor overall at the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 plants to undergo cooling failure since the massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami struck Japan on Friday.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:34 | 1045450 Spalding_Smailes
Spalding_Smailes's picture

Press Conference Live NOW:

Also .....

BREAKING NEWS: Radiation surpasses legal limit in Fukushima No. 1 plant premises: TEPCO

NEWS ADVISORY: Emergency aid team from China to arrive in Japan Sunday afternoon

URGENT: Radiation 1,000 times higher than normal detected at nuke plant
TOKYO, March 12, Kyodo

The amount of radiation reached around 1,000 times the normal level Saturday in the control room of the No. 1 reactor of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said.

The discovery suggests radioactive steam could spread around the facility operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:53 | 1045559 Tortfeasor
Tortfeasor's picture

CNN's science/nuclear reactor special advisor - Bill fucking Nye, the science guy (not kidding)

Up next - the Cookie Monster answers questions on the global food chain disruptions


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:16 | 1045663 Cursive
Cursive's picture


I LOL'd.  Good to have a laugh during this crazy shit.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:18 | 1045664 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

That is really funny. Bill Nye...

American TV in a scrotum (nutshell for the uninitiated).

Here is something to think about. Earthquakes are a-comin'. Everywhere. 

Dislocation/disruption on a massive scale. No one who is Nuke Energy dependent (like France) can shut down in anticipation. All powergrids are susceptible to such damage.

Get ready to be power in-dependent.



Sun, 03/13/2011 - 01:15 | 1045949 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

was he selling bobble head meltdown reactors??

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 00:21 | 1045841 Michael
Michael's picture

Bow Tie and all. Shakes head in disbelief. The US MSM thinks we are all 10 years old. No wonder Al Jazeera is becoming the new station of choice.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 01:13 | 1045947 whatsinaname
whatsinaname's picture

9-11 and now 3-11..

whats with 11?


Sun, 03/13/2011 - 01:25 | 1045972 reader2010
reader2010's picture

wait for 5-11

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 03:03 | 1046076 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture


Sun, 03/13/2011 - 12:34 | 1046581 MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

Are they open right now?

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:27 | 1045695 Cindy_Dies_In_T...
Cindy_Dies_In_The_End's picture

Hi everyone


Perhaps this will be useful--from a nuclear guy:


’m not an expert on nuclear reactors. I taught in the nuclear power program of the US Navy some years ago, meaning I was competent to discuss some aspects of reactors, and specifically the type the navy uses. So I’m also not some random guy in the street. With that disclaimer in mind, there are a few items to mention with regard to the reactor issues in Japan following the earthquake.

This is not another Chernobyl. The reactor design is very different, and the circumstances are different. The Chernobyl accident (link for the more technically inclined) involved an operating reactor that went prompt critical as the result of operational errors, deliberate disabling of certain safeguards as part of a test, and design flaws. This caused a steam explosion and chemical fires as the carbon moderator caught fire.

A closer analogy would be Three Mile Island.

There have been reports of an explosion, but it must be stressed that this was not a nuclear explosion. The reactors have been shut down. It’s not so easy to cause a nuclear explosion in the first place (bombs require a level of expertise), and a shutdown reactor does not have the capability of sustaining the fission reaction. This leaves us with steam pressure buildup or hydrogen as the most likely culprits, i.e. it’s thermodynamics or chemistry, not nuclear physics, which explains the explosion.

The reactor is shut down, so what’s the danger? The products of a fission reaction are typically radioactive, and subsequent decays also release energy. Shutting down the reactor reduces the fission rate by many orders of magnitude, so it’s effectively zero in terms of heat output, but the radioactive fission products still release up to 6-7% of the plant’s power output. The actual value depends on the operating history; the fission products with long half-lives take longer to build up to steady-state values. This value will drop fairly quickly as the short-lived isotopes decay, but it’s still significant — a reactor rated at 1000 MW will still be producing tens of MW of decay heat. The reactors in question at Fukushima Daiichi are rated at 460 or 784 MW

So shutting down does not mean it’s Miller Time? Right. You need to run pumps and do something with the energy, which usually means piping water to a cooling tower, which means you need to run pumps, and those require electricity. It seems silly, at first glance, that a reactor would need a source of power to run it, but the turbines are probably designed to run at the high power output of the reactor and not off of decay heat. So you have an external power line (lost in the quake), local generators (apparently also damaged) and battery backup. Redundant systems. However, it seems that the damage was severe, so the primary and first backup systems are still offline, and if cooling was lost (batteries have a finite lifetime), the water in the core can boil away.

That sounds bad. Yes. As long as the core stays covered with water, things should be fine. But uncovered, the temperature can rise and fuel elements can begin to melt. Hydrogen is produced, which can explode, and boiling water becomes steam, which raises the pressure in the containment vessel. The latter is why the containment vessel would be vented. You would need to replace that water into the system, which also requires pumps. (This what had happened at TMI, though in that case, the cooling pumps were shut off deliberately owing to a flawed procedure)

So this is serious. Nothing here is meant to imply otherwise. But the term “meltdown” (or worse, if preceded by “Chernobyl-like”) raises all sorts of imagery, most of which is inaccurate.

Here are some links from what look to be credible sources. This is a dynamic situation, so there is a shelf-life to the details.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 00:48 | 1045889 FreedomGuy
FreedomGuy's picture

Excellent post. This kind of post is what keeps me reading ZH.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 01:20 | 1045965 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture


Sun, 03/13/2011 - 01:54 | 1046006 i-dog
i-dog's picture


Sun, 03/13/2011 - 01:56 | 1046007 snowball777
snowball777's picture

Am I the only person who thinks it is silly that they can't run the turbines (and therefore pumps) off the decay heat? I understand that it may not even be applicable in a likely badly damaged reactor, but it's not even in the design?

You jump, jump, here
You jump, jump, there
You jump, jump, jump

Then you mellow down, eee-easy
Mellow down, eee-easy
You mellow down, easy
When you really wanna blow your top

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 02:16 | 1046033 Kaiser Zose
Kaiser Zose's picture

They can do exactly that - which is what the RCIC system is - Reactor Core Isolation Cooling.  It's a single "terry turbine" or steam driven pump that shouldn't require much in the way of controls to open steam admission valves and water injection valves to intiate cooling water flow to the Rx vessel.  I don't know the specifics of their RCIC design so I can't say why its not working at some units.  It could be that dc control power failed...or air operated valves didn't actuate properly, or physical damage to piping, loss of cooling water source, or some other explanation.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 10:54 | 1046419 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

RCIC is useful presuming the facilties are intact, and there are personnel capable of invoking that mode ... and, the control lines from the control building to the reactor are intact, so, they have control of the valving that has to be open/closed as required ..


Were I to hazard a guess, that is.



Sun, 03/13/2011 - 02:22 | 1046040 rocker
rocker's picture

Nice Job Cindy. I am not as well informed as you, and I had only one comment on this so far. So here goes two. As I said previous. This is not Russia. They will and did get help from those in the know, unlike Russia. They are smarter, unlike Russia at the time. And they do understand what they need to do, unlike Russia. I personally live within 50 miles of TMI, so I did educate myself on what I did not know at the time of that pooper. And I must say, I left immediately for a month when it the shit hit the fan. As long as Japan does not get another shocker they may fare well. Japan does have honor for the citizens and will caution on the safe side, no use being foolish. Let's all hope for the best and give them some credit for doing what they can under these trying times. TSHTF for sure.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 14:43 | 1046893 Cindy_Dies_In_T...
Cindy_Dies_In_The_End's picture

Hey folks read carefully, this is from a blog of a nuclear guy that I thought would be helpful to us. I'm just a stupid fucking lawyer who took the blue pill and is terminally ill.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 07:09 | 1046207 Weaseldog
Weaseldog's picture

You say that the core isn't producing heat but it needs constant cooling, and that it runs so hot that it can dissociate the water.


I sense an intellectual disconnect in your post.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 12:12 | 1046530 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

What I think I read was that the core produces "ambient heat" which is maybe 5% or 10%  of the operating output (5 to 10 MW for a 500 MW design - not sure what that translates to temperature wise). That ambient heat never truly goes away, thus the core must be cooled constantly.

Should the core lack water/cooling, eventually the core will heat up, getting hotter and hotter until it melts (i.e. melt down).

They didn't address this specifically, but hydrogen is a byproduct of the core being hot enough to "crack" a water molecule and oxidize the O and release the H2.



Sun, 03/13/2011 - 10:06 | 1046364 ILoveTheWorld
ILoveTheWorld's picture

Thanks, excellent info.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 14:04 | 1046808 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

As the lunacy is flying fast and furious here, and as Tyler is blowing up his hit stats with blown up badder news, I thank you for your above post.  I'd like to add a few things.

First and foremost, I am pissed off at the lack of good technical info about what is really happening.  This clears the way for end of th world speculation, which isn't yet warranted at all.

It seems to me that the Fukushima Daiichi sites have experienced an event that exceeds their design basis: an earthquake that can be credibly expected only every several hundred years, coupled with a 33 foot-high tsunami.  In spite of this, no one offsite has been injured by anything going on at the plant. 

The worker who was taken to the hospital for high rad exposure reportedly received a dose of about 100mSv.  All of you nuclear death fear morons need to understand that you can get almost a third of that amount from a single CT scan.  You didn't know that, did you?

AT an operating nuclear plant there is abundance of installed caution.  What I mean is, there are procedures for creating alert statuses and there are required notifications that the units must do when certain thresholds are crossed.   These have the perhaps unfortunate side affect of constantly keeping the plants in the news.  I'm guessing, but it would appear that when the torus reaches boiling that is one threshold: "failure of the emergency cooling system."  That does not mean meltdown is imminent.  It does mean that someplace else to put decay heat must be found.  As long as they can pump enough water in, and vent steam, the core will not melt. 

When a reactor is shut down, the radioactive decay of fission products continues to produce heat; about 5% of rated power at first, then decreasing roughly exponentially.  That, however, does not mean there won't be "core damage."  Core damage occurs when the zirc cladding / tubes begin to chemically react with water at very high temperatures.  This is the source of any free hydrogen in the system; it wouldn't be there otherwise.  If this free hydrogen is vented from the vessel into the containment, this could (AND PROBABLY DOES) explain the explosion at Fukushima Daiichi 1.

When the zirc cladding begins to disintegrate the core becomes a truly awful mess.  The fuel pellets are ceramic in nature, so they "melt" at a much higher temperature.  This explains why they are injeting borated water into the cores; boron absorbs neutrons and prevents any nuclear reactions.

Core damage does not mean meltdown, you fucking ignorant morons (OP excepted).  GW, Yes, I mean you.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:23 | 1045437 flapdoodle
flapdoodle's picture

Notice what the IAEA said - Fukushima DaiNI 3 was in safe shutdown - the problem meethinks is with Fukushima DaiICHI 3...

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 02:18 | 1046023 Bob Sponge
Bob Sponge's picture

I hope we get some pictures of the reactor site.  That should show the containment vessel or the spot where it stood before it exploded.

Edit:  I see TD posted before and after pictures in the other thread.  Reactor 1 is no longer there or is part of it underground?

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 02:21 | 1046038 sushi
sushi's picture

Japanese Scramble to Avert Meltdowns as Nuclear Crisis Deepens After Quake

Published: March 12, 2011

TOKYO — Japanese officials struggled on Sunday to contain a widening nuclear crisis in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake and tsunami, saying they presumed that partial meltdowns had occurred at two crippled reactors and that they were facing serious cooling problems at three more.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 07:50 | 1046234 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Grabbing the top spot again, this time to post before and after images of Fukushima plant.

Plus other overhead before and after images of various disaster areas in Japan by clicking the link. Total devastation. May heart goes out to all the people of Japan.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 11:25 | 1046296 Spalding_Smailes
Spalding_Smailes's picture
1456: Radiation levels at the Onagawa nuclear power plant in Miyagi prefecture are about 700 times higher than normal but are still low, the Tohoku Electric Power Company has said, according to the Maichi Shinbum website. Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency dismissed the possibility that the Onagawa plant was to blame, saying it was likely caused by the radioactive substances that scattered when a hydrogen explosion hit the troubled Fukushima plant on Saturday.

''VIENNA : Following the explosion at a quake-hit nuclear plant in Japan, a state of emergency has been declared at a second facility due to excessive radiation levels there, the UN atomic watchdog said on Sunday.

"Japanese authorities have informed the IAEA that the first or lowest state of emergency at the Onagawa nuclear power plant has been reported by Tohoku Electric Power Company," the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement.

The alert was declared "as a consequence of radioactivity readings exceeding allowed levels in the area surrounding the plant. Japanese authorities are investigating the source of radiation," the watchdog said.''

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 10:46 | 1046413 Spalding_Smailes
Spalding_Smailes's picture

1419: The governor of the Bank of Japan has said it will provide 2 trillion ($24bn) to 3 trillion ($37bn) yen of liquidity to the banking system on Monday to keep markets stable in the wake of the disaster and keep short-term borrowing costs down. "We will monitor market conditions and plan to provide markets with a lot of liquidity first thing tomorrow morning," Masaaki Shirakawa said. He added that the bank would also thoroughly consider the economic impact of the earthquake when the board meets for an interest rate review on Monday.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 12:23 | 1046559 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

Not to be paranoid here ... but compare the "whiteness" of the before/after pics across all the images provided. That nuke plant just doesn't look right. Its perspective seems ... off. From the angle, shouldn't the "perspective" of the shapes be ... going the other way?


Sun, 03/13/2011 - 15:12 | 1046941 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

You need to be familiar with how Google Earth renders images including their "elevation" feature, which has a tendency to distort images when there are elevation differences within the image itself.

The nuclear plant was carved out of the side of a hill leading down to the water's edge. So there are several elevation changes in the image your looking at. I always turn it off to eliminate the distortion, but whomever took the image grab had it running when they grabbed it.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 09:31 | 1046326 duo
duo's picture

A professor was on NHK live feed explaining that not only did Honshu move 8 feet, but the Iwate pref. coast moved down several feet, and most of the coastal areas are now below sea level, including many square miles of farmland.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:09 | 1045401 AN0NYM0US
AN0NYM0US's picture


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:04 | 1045403 tahoebumsmith
tahoebumsmith's picture

You can only trust your instincts. My instincts tell me this is far more dangerous then they are leading us to believe. The impact from this in addition to the chaos in the rest of the world could easily cause a global meltdown.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:40 | 1045418 T-NUTZ
T-NUTZ's picture


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:15 | 1045426 Mad Max
Mad Max's picture


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:59 | 1045587 Larry Darrell
Larry Darrell's picture

Well we know how they downplayed the effects of the GOM oil spill.

If this is worse, they will downplay it harder.

People who trust their governments leave me speechless.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:19 | 1045669 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

I'd say your in-stincts are spot on. Givernments will avoid bad-press over dead citizens any day. Especially the Japanese. Grit it out in extremis.

Global meltdown, at the core, FTL.


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:18 | 1045404 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Take whatever Japanese officials are stating publicly with an iodized grain of salt.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:53 | 1045509 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

shhhhh, the sheeple will start asking why is iodine in our salt.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:54 | 1045771 Id fight Gandhi
Id fight Gandhi's picture

Ain't no doubt when you got the gout!

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:59 | 1045577 i-dog
i-dog's picture


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:05 | 1045405 bugs_
bugs_'s picture

credibility foreshock!

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:06 | 1045407 r101958
r101958's picture

I trust Stratfor.....not sure about above.


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:06 | 1045408 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

This comical limey on FOX is a real jerk. Iodine is target specific. Meltdown is confirmed on reactor 1.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 02:30 | 1046049 rocker
rocker's picture

Somebody still watches FOX. Wow.  Have not turned the Boob tube on once today.

Much less noize this way, no circle jerk.  ZH, You Tube, and BCC did it for me.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 07:56 | 1046240 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

sky news is pretty decent coverage also

not to mention Al-J

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 10:04 | 1046363 Spalding_Smailes
Spalding_Smailes's picture

English coverage ...


Middle channel is in English. With live twitter feeds.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:09 | 1045412 Lord Welligton
Lord Welligton's picture

"IAEA Refutes Reactor 3 Cooling Problems"

If ever the phrase "This shit just got real" had a time and place this is it.


Sun, 03/13/2011 - 01:47 | 1045999 sushi
sushi's picture


The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is an international organization that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its ...

Never let facts get in the way of industry promotion

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:11 | 1045414 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

He said, she said, they said, we said. Or lets all play pass the hot reactor potato.

As is always the case during events such as this, the public will be the last to know. Sometimes this will be because of confusion, sometimes because of official denial among themselves over the severity of the problem and most often because of CYA and passing the buck.

It wasn't the earthquake that pushed this over the top, it was the tsunami. Shouldn't they have planned for both? We will eventually find that this was considered nearly impossible.....meaning too costly to build for at the time. Or should I say they didn't wish to spend the money, thus they decided it was nearly impossible and so worth the too small to measure risk.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:56 | 1045566 nonclaim
nonclaim's picture

Or should I say they didn't wish to spend the money, thus they decided it was nearly impossible and so worth the too small to measure risk.

While this is a valid point on the other hand there's only so much engineering can do because knowledge is limited on materials, structure, aging and stress on both, etc. The math may be exact but the models are experimental, with every failure studied and the results factored in in a better model. But it is just that: a better model. This is Engineering. And yes cost *is* one major factor in this field of study.

We may never know how much the structure was damaged/stressed during the earthquake just before the tsunami hit... Just one or the other, both major events to remind you, might have been ok.

There's also only so much you can forecast in a disaster scenario before it gets ridiculous. It can still happen in real life though.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:37 | 1045716 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I agree. But how about putting the emergency generators high enough and maybe even on the back side of the buildings so a tsunami can't inundate them? Or at least it's more difficult. From what they are saying it was the generators being flooded that brought this to a head, not the earthquake.

Take a look at the images I placed on the thread below, particularly the high resolution image of all 4 reactors taken some years ago and then the smaller image of the #4 unit after the tsunami. Look back and forth at the small details, back and forth and you will see many small buildings and pumps and other equipment that are gone, swept away. Look at the blue equipment on the water intake gates, valves I assume, and then look at them afterwards. This couldn't have been foreseen in a high earthquake area?

Of course it could have. Particularly the generators. All the generators were wiped out. This means they were all at the same elevation and within reach of the water. Piss poor planning from an engineering point of view. Piss poor. What happens often is one design is accepted and then it's just duplicated for each additional reactor. Unit one was the template. It was repeated on a larger scale for two more, then even bigger for the fourth.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 00:17 | 1045819 nonclaim
nonclaim's picture

There a lot of things peripheral to the main activity in any large industrial complex...

Those things you assume to be important may not really be and could sit anywhere else but, by design, may be exactly there to take the hit and lessen the energy/damage of a tsunami (up to a certain level); things that would be lost in salt water anyway. This is a speculative guess from my part. The main structures seem ok on the outside, but obviously not inside...

Now, do we really know if the generators were flooded? It is believable but in reality it can be something completely different, probably a combination of things, either way, too complex for live TV and popular consumption. "Lets say flooded, it's simple enough". It might really be, who knows? I don't.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 01:10 | 1045941 Eternal Student
Eternal Student's picture

What I find ironic is that it's a power generating plant, STILL generating enough power to blow up one of the buildings, and they are whining about the grid failure as well as backup generators failing. Just relying on batteries.

Maybe it's me, but this strikes me as extremely stupid.

And yes, I'm sure a dozen excuses can be conjured up for not doing that. It doesn't matter. It's still extremely stupid.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 12:35 | 1046585 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

I must confess a back up system, baked into the structure of the building that uses heat to cool the system sounds down right ... genius.

Too bad that sales guy from the generator manufacturer hooked somebody up with a fat steak.


Sun, 03/13/2011 - 03:27 | 1046098 duckduckMOOSE
duckduckMOOSE's picture

They should use emergency generators driven by a combination solar/wind power! FLOL!

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 09:33 | 1046333 duo
duo's picture

From what I just saw on NHK, perhaps that part of the coast moved down 6-10 feet, so that what they thought was a safe elevation for the pumps/etc., got moved into harm's way.


Sun, 03/13/2011 - 15:53 | 1047015 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

My understanding is that it was a southward movement of 6 to 10 feet. Elevation changes at this point weren't that severe. In the case of the plants, they were build on bedrock. The elevation changes were taking place in soil and mostly in flat plains near rivers and harbors.

It is beginning to come out that the planners never planned for both an earthquake and a tsunami of more than 2-3 meters. Ask any Japanese geologist what is the history of tsunami's in Japan and they will tell you there is a history going back hundreds and hundreds of years of tsunamis much greater than 2-3 meters.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:00 | 1045588 trav7777
trav7777's picture

and you know what, they would be RIGHT!

WTF is with all you chicken littles???  JFC, SHIT HAPPENS sometimes.

stop whining.

I am totally amazed at how clear all of your hindsight is.  Where was the clarion call in your last tl;dr novel for tsunami risk to coastal japanese reactors of 40-year old design?

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:35 | 1045723 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

End Game – Hubris, Arrogance and Deceit

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 10:36 | 1046396 Twindrives
Twindrives's picture

And why not the Japanese government?   Obama lies every day.  Obama's whole presidency is a lie.  The man reeks of deciet under the guise of articulate, yet always deceptive speech.    

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:06 | 1045612 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

I can hear them now, "they" asked the question.


How do you propose to cool the Reactor in an emergency?


A: Place the Reactor a close to the water as possible, and as an added bonus, this makes the entire project feasible, and profitable... we can literally ship the heavy elements directly to you.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 00:42 | 1045872 QQQBall
QQQBall's picture

Yeah, there was one geeky guy who spoke up and said that this location or design "might be a bad idea'... Half the room knew he was right, buty said nothing.... they kept there jobs, he did not.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 01:17 | 1045954 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

He was right, but being sane "doesn't fit in" with the current paradigm.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 12:42 | 1046610 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

This is just an aside but ... a long time ago on SlashDot, a young CS grad submitted (and was approved) the following question: "As a new CS grad, what should I expect from industry? Comments? Thoughts? Career advice?"

Something like that.

Down in the comments somewhere was approximately the following. "Two young men enroll in a CS program at a recognized state university. One student works hard for two years, focusing on projects, while the other student spends some time on projects buy enjoys the social aspect of college much more. After one year, the former student has a solid B average and the later student is failing. The former student presses on and gradutes with a solid GPA. The later student drops the CS program and drinks his way through an MBA."

"Unbeknownst to either student, both students hire into the same large corporation. Both students are successful in their career tracks."

"After seven years, both students are placed on the same project. QUESTION: who is the boss?"

That right there captures one of the biggest problems with engineering. For companies whose "success" doesn't equate to clear and measurable failure (i.e. a product that doesn't work), amazingly stupid shit is quite the norm. The waste, inefficiency, and stupidity that my eyes have seen ...



Sun, 03/13/2011 - 14:02 | 1046807 VinniPukh
VinniPukh's picture

get back to work, Cooter. We're reviewing your performance matrix next week

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 03:32 | 1046100 glenlloyd
glenlloyd's picture

fat tail

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:12 | 1045420 FunkyMonkeyBoy
FunkyMonkeyBoy's picture

Seems the best place to hear the propaganda first hand from Japan:

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:28 | 1045441 Lord Welligton
Lord Welligton's picture

That may be propoganda but ..............

It is doing the thing that it is not desinged to do.

They have lost all control.

No amount of spin can hide the fear.


If it were just the earthquake and wave they would be gushing with stories of the brave men and women (public and private) who were selfless in their effort to help their fellow man.

They have lost control.

A propogandists worse nightmare.


Sun, 03/13/2011 - 00:20 | 1045838 davepowers
davepowers's picture

I agree. Reading the TEPCO press releases is unnerving. 

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:31 | 1045449 Lord Welligton
Lord Welligton's picture

The comment thread is interesting.

"In Miyagi and Iwate, water, elec, gus, mobile phone are out. 1 minute agomoo883"

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:52 | 1045545 fuu
fuu's picture

The entire country is short 15-20% of total electric generation right now. This morning they were posting news stories regarding rolling blackouts across the entire country starting today.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:14 | 1045422 fragrantdingleberry
fragrantdingleberry's picture

...and Hiroshima was just a bad tornado.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:32 | 1045452 justtotaketheedgeoff
justtotaketheedgeoff's picture

The nuclear problems are getting a lot of coverage but let's not forget that even healthy survivors will start dying of exposure and thirst.  They need warm shelter, water and food.  What a nightmare.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:38 | 1045478 Lord Welligton
Lord Welligton's picture

Japan is quite capable of dealing with that. (And yes it is tragic at a human level)

The reason the nuke is getting precedence is because they have lost control of the problem.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:34 | 1045463 WTFisThat
WTFisThat's picture

I hope that I will not have to look at the real time radiation map:

And for New York


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:42 | 1045489 Spalding_Smailes
Spalding_Smailes's picture




[8:47 p.m. ET, 10:47 a.m. Tokyo] A state of emergency has been declared for three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Roughly 180,000 people who live within 10 to 20 kilometers of the Daiichi plant are being evacuated.

[7:40 p.m. ET, 9:40 a.m. Tokyo] Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Sunday that another reactor of its Fukushima nuclear power plants had lost its cooling functions, Kyodo News reports. The utility supplier notified the government Sunday morning that the No. 3 reactor at the No. 1 Fukushima plant had lost the ability to cool the reactor core. The reactor is now in the process of releasing radioactive steam, top government spokesman Yukio Edano said, according to Kyodo News.

It was the sixth reactor overall at the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 plants to undergo cooling failure since the massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami struck Japan on Friday.

Per the BBC:

The unsafe level of radioactivity at the Fukushima plant is being created by the plant's No 3 reactor, AFP says, quoting the Japanese government.


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:14 | 1045655 Cindy_Dies_In_T...
Cindy_Dies_In_The_End's picture

Thanks for your coverage SS:


Live Updates on Financial Times thru Gideon's blog here.


2328 – More from Michiyo Nakamoto in Tokyo, who has spoken to sources at Tepco: Pressure in units 1,2,3 at Fukushima Nuclear power plant Number 1 has risen in the primary containment vessel but unable to confirm the level. All units almost completely sealed. The government has ordered Tepco to release the pressure and Tepco is preparing to do so. There is no electricity so unable to cool. All units at Fukushima Number 2 power plant shut down but all units apart from those that had been under maintenance are still functioning.

2319 - Reuters quotes a Tepco spokesman saying that pressure is stable inside the reactors but rising in the containment vessels. He said he did not know if there would be a need to release pressure – and radiation – at the plant at this point.

2310 – The Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) now says two nuclear power plants in Fukushima have lost ability to cool down, the FT’s Michiyo Nakamoto reports from Tokyo.

2307 – Japanese officials say radiation levels are also rising outside the Fukushima plant, the AP reports. “This may be the result of them carrying out the release of radioactive steam that they were talking about,” says Ed Crooks, the FT’s US industry and energy editor.


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:38 | 1045492 Lord Welligton
Lord Welligton's picture

Reactors 1 & 3.

Minister assuming a "meltdown".

Game over?


Sun, 03/13/2011 - 00:46 | 1045885 BigDuke6
BigDuke6's picture

Yo, lordy. Meltdown?

Just chuck some concrete on, no?  i'm off to wikipedia

Those who think the usa should keep bankrupting itself on military defense , MIC, should see what happens with china.

Now is the perfect time to invade japan.

Will they? of course not.  So cut the defence budget and spend the money at home.


Sun, 03/13/2011 - 08:07 | 1046246 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

invade japan?

novel idea

to bring them democracy?

i can picture the rederick that would come from the chinese press if they did....japan has slipped into lawlessness and to protect our....blah blah blah....martial law..blah...terrorist waves...bring them aid until they have a functioning....blah blah blah...nuclear threat...blah...i'm a war president...blah blah...pull out troops day one...blah blah blah

someone in chinas getting a nobel peace prize if they do it

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:40 | 1045501 Lord Welligton
Lord Welligton's picture

Minister "Depending which way the wind blows".

At least he's being honest there.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 01:06 | 1045933 BigDuke6
BigDuke6's picture

Yep, just chuck on some concrete.

To summarize - a nuclear reactor is a bunch of dudes in suits gathered around a very hot molten toxic gloop.

They cool down the tiny sun with coolant gases and if this isn't done it burns through a few layers of stuff and gloops into the floor off the building.

i thought it might burn through to the centre of the earth allowing cthulhu and his salamanders to rise up and attack.... but no.

there's been loads of meltdowns which is a generic term for an accident.

the big issue is radioactive gases temporarily poisoning others while the local site poisons the japs if they go near it for centuries.

who are used to it anyway.


Sun, 03/13/2011 - 13:20 | 1046714 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

So, what I saw was Stage 1 meltdown is "core uncovery" which has already been reported (i.e. 3 meters of core exposure reported on reactor 3). Stage 4 "rapid oxidation" seems to be the source of hydrogen explosion seen in the video of reactor 1 exploding that has made the rounds. I really doubt a steam vent from the inner vessel produced that much damage. I have yet to see a full, *in scope* picture of that building after the explosion.

The last stages, 5 and 6, are anyone's guess.


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:43 | 1045511 automato
automato's picture

My wife is Chinese and I don't know if she has her story straight but she says that CTV in Taiwan is reporting that the tallest dam in Japan, the Kurobe Dam, has been completely destroyed! I cannot find any confirmation on the Internet anywhere, but if this is true, the disaster in Japan is only beginning. Even the News coming out of Japan is virtually non-existent with the exception of just a few localized high profile stories. The Japanese media and government must be REALLY scared because they have almost kept a News blackout OR their communication infrastructure is in total chaos and they have no clue what is going on throughout the country.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:26 | 1045702 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

A google news search for "Kurobe Dam" returns zero results. Nor does your link have anything regarding Kurobe Dam.


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:44 | 1045748 Unlawful Justice
Unlawful Justice's picture

It comes up when you google "Kurobe Dam destroyed" in the menu.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 13:23 | 1046719 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

Nope, still nothing. Why not just post a working link?


Sun, 03/13/2011 - 10:21 | 1046376 ILoveTheWorld
ILoveTheWorld's picture

Kurobe is on the west coast.

Nothing else is reported destroyed from that area.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 13:25 | 1046722 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

True, but ... from your link ...

The Sankei Shimbun reported that the Fujinuma irrigation dam in Sukagawa city, Fukushima, had collapsed

Is not the same as the Kurobe dam. So an irrigation dam collapsed, but the big boy is still intact.


Mon, 03/14/2011 - 09:58 | 1049974 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

Yes I know, just trying to get everyone pointed in the right direction.

BTW, the Fujinuma Dam is pretty damn big.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:44 | 1045521 bullet357
bullet357's picture

I was just watching CNN and they had there resident scientist trying to say that with these two types of radiation that confirms a meltdown....CNN cut him off ...they are trying to hide this fact to stop the panic here in the U.S.  Time to Hunker in the Bunker ... tried to buy radiation pills (Potassium Lodide) Its  nowhere to find ....everyone is selling out fast.  I guess plastic and duck tape is in order now.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:54 | 1045773 reader2010
reader2010's picture

I will be selling the pills pretty soon on ebay. You need to buy in bulk though.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 00:29 | 1045852 duo
duo's picture

Betadine antiseptic.  Soak your hand in it for 5 minutes.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 21:27 | 1046032 New World Chaos
New World Chaos's picture

If you can't find anything else, you might be able to eat millipedes.  Many species secrete iodine as a chemical defense (along with cyanide and quinone, so don't gorge yourself).  Be sure to collect and kill your millipedes before the first fallout reaches you, or you will get a concentrated dose of radioactive iodine.  Note:  I don't know of anyone who advises this, nor do I think it will be necessary in this case.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:50 | 1045537 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

Tim Geithner sucks

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:50 | 1045539 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

I see the Director General of the IAEA, Yukiya Amano, is Japanese. Can you say credibility canyon?

Nothing to see here folks. Why don't you watch American Idol? Better yet, why not plan for buying some Japanese sushi in a few weeks. I'm sure it'll be as good, if not better than Gulf of Mexico shrimp.

CD is absolutely right. The engineers undoubtedly said if you want to protect against an earthquake and the completely predictable tsunami, it would double or triple the cost. Management decided the engineers were probably being too conservative, and in any event, these costs will be socialized anyway.


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:38 | 1045719 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture



Mon, 03/14/2011 - 22:39 | 1053395 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

Cooter,I didn't see what you deleted, but honestly I am interested in what you had to say.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:53 | 1045552 SDRII
SDRII's picture

As an aside, the Arab league has come out in favor of  no fly zone while Yemen increases the crackdown.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:00 | 1045586 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Thats funny, coincides with the no-breath-zone in Japan.  MSM increases the crackdown.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:08 | 1045632 Larry Darrell
Larry Darrell's picture

If the US gets involved in instituting the "no fly zone," the reality is we will have just entered a 3rd war we have no business in which we also can't afford.

The first thing you do when instituting a no fly zone is bomb the shit out of every plane on the ground as well as any and all airports.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:53 | 1045564 bullet357
bullet357's picture

Bill Nye(resident scientist for CNN) just said that there was a meltdown....they could not have this type of radiation in the air without a meltdown ...only way it could be.  He said this is "The worst case scenario.  Just on CNN.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 22:59 | 1045583 GoldDigaSlappa
GoldDigaSlappa's picture Radiation protection: Potassium iodate may be used to protect against accumulation of radioactive iodine in the thyroid by saturating the body with a stable source of iodine prior to exposure.[1] Approved by the World Health Organization for radiation protection, potassium iodate (KIO3) is an alternative to potassium iodide (KI), which has poor shelf life in hot and humid climates.[2] The UK, Ireland, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and US states Idaho and Utah are known[by whom?] to stock potassium iodate in tablet form.[citation needed] It is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as a thyroid blocker, and the FDA has taken action against US websites that promote this use.
Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:06 | 1045625 GoldDigaSlappa
GoldDigaSlappa's picture

great info for radiation protection

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:45 | 1045751 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

Thank you.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:01 | 1045601 trav7777
trav7777's picture

Everyone please PANIC NOW and run around like the world is ending.

It fits well with the bs apocalysm here and the moonbat conspiracy theories.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:05 | 1045615 Lord Welligton
Lord Welligton's picture


I think you might be missing the reality.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:34 | 1045714 trav7777
trav7777's picture

nah...I have a pretty good idea of what the scope of issues here are with this particular reactor design.

We released far more radiation with surface nuke tests and still do so every year with coal and trash burning; the apocalypse has not unfolded as a result

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 01:12 | 1045945 BigDuke6
BigDuke6's picture

FFS, dont junk -read.

Its a deal but no big deal

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 11:08 | 1046435 Cistercian
Cistercian's picture

 Let me know the next time a cloud of Iodine 131 comes out of a coal fired power plant.

   There is nothing like a radionuclide that bio-accumulates in 1 organ.


Sun, 03/13/2011 - 07:39 | 1046227 Treason Season
Treason Season's picture

"Others are engaging even in an eco type of terrorism, whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes or volcanos remotely, through the use of electromagnetic waves."  U.S. Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, April 1997.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:03 | 1045603 Lord Welligton
Lord Welligton's picture

Partial meltdown confirmed.


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:13 | 1045611 i-dog
i-dog's picture

"the question is just whom can the public trust, if not the Japanese government and media?"

The answer to that question is self-evident: neither the government nor mainstream media can be trusted, so the public must rely - as always - on their own assessment based on social media interactions with their friends and neighbours, and on trusted alternative sources of information and analysis!

Whether it is anthropogenic global warming, the Gulf of Mexico spill, US unemployment and CPI statistics or the world financial meltdown, ZH knows full well that there is nothing but lies and obfuscation coming from ALL captive governments and mainstream media.

So why should this situation be any different?

It is disappointing to see ZH even pose such a question in this way.

Anyone who turns to the government or mainstream media for answers to "What is happening?" and "What should I do?" needs to double their daily intake of fluoride, Prozac and carbohydrates and go back to discussing DWTS.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 07:40 | 1046229 Treason Season
Treason Season's picture

Trust is good. Not too trust is better.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:04 | 1045618 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Shirakawa to buy CORN ETFs to feed the Japanese.  Brilliant economics.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:07 | 1045627 Lord Welligton
Lord Welligton's picture

They are admitting, by omission, that the sea water will be radio active and will be released.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:19 | 1045671 Cindy_Dies_In_T...
Cindy_Dies_In_The_End's picture

sea water is not going to help the problem.

Its a hail Mary.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:44 | 1045743 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture


I agree, pumping seawater is last-ditch; hook up pumps to bring it in and let it flow out back into the ocean, radiation be damned, the only way to get enough cool water fast enough when all other options have been exhausted.

I'd bet they're getting the helicopters and cement mix ready while telling the public that "everything is under control".

(BTW - love the "Plants versus Zombies" avatar - that game has taken hundreds of hours of my life, but fun hours).


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:14 | 1045653 mechawreck2
mechawreck2's picture

Not sure why we shouldn't trust the government...on day one of all this Hillary announced the US was cooling the reactor ourselves.  (This engineering absurdity was later retracted...propaganda is one thing but apparently we're not quite at physical impossibilities.  Next week maybe.)


Sun, 03/13/2011 - 00:51 | 1045895 QQQBall
QQQBall's picture

She is a Clinton so... Lying - Nuture or nature; you decide?

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 09:17 | 1046313 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

Bill Safire:

'He would write a column calling first lady Hillary Clinton "a congenital liar" — then, deadpan, explain that he meant to call her "a congenital lawyer." '

- Ned

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:16 | 1045662 bullet357
bullet357's picture

just out on Drudge Report 6 th reactor has failed.  If a person reads up on what happens with a meltdown and how it will affect the world then a person just might want to take precautions to protect one's self.  This is not being paranoid this is being smart and self protecting. 

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:19 | 1045676 cunningtrader
cunningtrader's picture


I guess the japanese finance ministry, after telling ben they didn't want to buy any more USDebt,

got what they were threatened with..

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:37 | 1045730 trav7777
trav7777's picture

oh JFC, more moonbat earthquake weapon, gtfo here.

Can't tyler PLEASE put a separate ZH site up called where you people can post?

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 01:48 | 1045998 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Indeed.   Frickin' HAARP.  What can't it do?

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 02:39 | 1046059 Attitude_Check
Attitude_Check's picture

I'd tell ya -- but then I'd have to kill ya! <snark>

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 02:58 | 1046069 cunningtrader
cunningtrader's picture

Prove it doesn't function as designed, shit for brains.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:26 | 1045694 Muir
Muir's picture

"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)."


You mean Fridays' much heralded repatriation of yens home to Japan on every news network will not strengthen the yen?!!


But everybody said so!!;range=5d;indicator=volume;charttype=candlestick;crosshair=on;ohlcvalues=0;logscale=off;source=undefined



Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:33 | 1045717 FreedomGuy
FreedomGuy's picture

I know that this site is prone to unending conspiracy theories and I believe some are probable to some extent. Let me pose another theory here. The theory is that the Japanese government and emergency management is being reasonably honest and dealing with a hell of a lot of stuff, some planned, some unplanned. They try to balance developing, shifting uncertain information with reasonable caution.

I can see the engineers and workers in the plant working feverishly trying to figure out what is broken, what is not, what is happening, where problems are eminating, what lines, pipes, power grids, guages, etc. are working and not working, what the real situation is, what the physics are, what the danger is, what the top five solutions are, what the repercussions are on top of 8000 phone calls per hour asking all the above so they can report to their supervisors, governors, 12 regulatory agencies, three emergency agencies, the military, CNN, NBC, the U.S. state dept., and of course Zerohedge! It reminds me of times I was in the military and the shit is going down and everyone wants a fucking status report. Sometimes, you need to just fight and report later.

So, the evacuation might actually be precautionary planning for a worst case scenario. It might not be a lie or evidence of a cover up. It is entirely possible that no one, not one person "knows" with authority the entire picture. They are working through it as "shit happens" and we are about the 101st priority of the top 100 they are dealing with.

I would cut them a little slack. Any of you guys who've ever been in crisis or military situations knows how you have to work with imperfect information and control. After the fact everyone will Monday-morning quarterback you over cold beers and PowerPoint charts. Screw all of them.

So, there may be some limited "cover up". I don't deny it's possible to put some half happy face on the situation, but I posit the possibility that we've got some smart, dedicated Japanese engineers on the ground standing square in the middle of the "shit" going down trying to keep this thing from going truly nuclear...and they ain't got time to write a report right now. So, say a prayer for them if you're so inclined, cut them some slack and let's not pretend we know things we don't know.

The Godzilla of natural disasters just hit Japan and I think they're fighting the beast. I wish them well and luck if necessary.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:39 | 1045736 justtotaketheedgeoff
justtotaketheedgeoff's picture

I agree.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:49 | 1045760 Aristarchan
Aristarchan's picture

Also agree.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:52 | 1045768 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

Yes. May they be guided and protected with our love and energy.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:54 | 1045776 Lord Welligton
Lord Welligton's picture


The shit has hit the fan and they are doing their best.

But the shit has hit the fan.


Sun, 03/13/2011 - 00:13 | 1045823 fuu
fuu's picture

"They are working through it as "shit happens" and we are about the 101st priority of the top 100 they are dealing with."


We are the 101st Chairborne Keyboard Brigade.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 00:21 | 1045843 pierre66
pierre66's picture

I also agree. As a 747 co-pilot/captain for the past 30 years who gets his share of compound emergencies (usually in the sim, thank God), let the crew focus on the task at hand and get the airplane on the ground.

Reports and analysis come later if you're lucky and skilled enough to get it there.

These guys are getting irradiated and will die but they are focused on containment. God Bless people like that, right now......

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 00:56 | 1045909 FreedomGuy
FreedomGuy's picture

Damn straight. You know what I'm talking about. Even if the government is full of people...well, like our government, you know the guys on the ground are trying like hell to get it right. 3 Mile Island didn't happen in the midst of world class earthquake and tsunami. This is a potential major distaster inside a disaster surrounded by disaster. God bless those guys, right now. I believe some of them are going to get cooked. I hope they get a damn high school named after them and state funeral. I'll send a check in their honor.

Sun, 03/13/2011 - 09:27 | 1046323 pierre66
pierre66's picture

Yep. Sometimes we should give honor and respect to brave, smart people who put their lives on the line to clean up the mess that finance and engineering guys thought "could never happen".

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:36 | 1045722 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

From a BBC update:

"Quoted by Kyodo, Tepco said the tops of the MOX fuel rods were 3m above water."

MOX = Plutonium-uranium mixed fuel, plutonium being about the most toxic substance ever seen.

Layman's translation: JFC

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:41 | 1045744 trav7777
trav7777's picture

the news coming out is by a thousand sources and is disjointed.

We don't know whether this means the reactor vessel is compromised.  If the core is exposed, radiation detectors would be going apeshit everywhere.

Recall that Chernobyl was discovered by virtue of radiation alarms going off in Sweden and shit

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 23:58 | 1045787 Lord Welligton
Lord Welligton's picture

Who are you?

Why do you exist?


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