Japan Attempts To Overturn Food Export Ban As TEPCO Proceeds With Operation "Superglue"

Tyler Durden's picture

Earlier today Japan Geiger counters had a brief scare following news that a second radioactive powerplant - Fukushima Daini briefly emitted smoke. Reuters reported: "smoke was reported to be coming from a second
damaged nuclear plant nearby on Wednesday, with the authorities saying
an electric distribution board powering a water pump was the problem. The Daini plant several miles from the stricken Daiichi facility has been put into cold shutdown." And while the incident was subsequently said to be under control, a bigger issue for Japan's export market is the attempt to overturn the food export embargo which many countries have imposed on the island nation out of radiation concerns. That this is a major issue for Japan becomes apparent following disclosure that the country is already pushing hard to overturn this ban: "Japan called on the world not to impose "unjustifiable" import curbs on its goods as French President Nicolas Sarkozy was due to arrive on Thursday, the first leader to visit since an earthquake and tsunami damaged a nuclear plant, sparking the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986. In a briefing to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Japan said it was monitoring radioactive contamination to prevent potential food safety risks and would provide the WTO with quick and precise information." Alas, with Japanese credibility non-existent following the abysmal treatment of the catastrophe over the past three weeks, one can see why the world may be a little skeptical. Add to this earlier news that according to the IAEA there "might" be recriticality in the reactor, and we can't wait to see Japan's March trade balance when it is released in just over a month.

From Reuters:

Japan has ordered an immediate safety upgrade at its 55 nuclear power plants, its first acknowledgement that standards were inadequate.

A Reuters investigation showed Japan and TEPCO repeatedly played down dangers at its nuclear plants and ignored warnings, including a 2007 tsunami study from the utility's senior safety engineer.

Nuclear plants will now be required by mid-April to deploy back-up mobile power generators and fire trucks able to pump water, while beefing up training programmes and manuals.

Longer-term solutions such as higher sea walls at nuclear stations will be considered and Japan will review policy to encourage renewable energy.

Anger at Japan's nuclear crisis saw more than 100 people protest outside the Tokyo headquarters of TEPCO.

"We don't want to use electric power that can kill people," said Waseda University student Mina Umeda.

But the Japanese government says nuclear power will remain an integral supplier of power. Before the disaster, Japan's nuclear reactors provided about 30 percent of the country's electric power. That had been expected to rise to 50 percent by 2030, among the highest in the world.

TEPCO said it was inevitable it would have to scrap four of its six reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

But even just scrapping the damaged nuclear reactors may take decades, said Hidehiko Nishiyama, deputy director-general of the Nuclear and Industry Safety Agency (NISA).

"Even if they decide on scrapping the reactors, water spraying needs to be continued to prevent the fuels from overheating, and a sustainable cooling system needs to be established," said Nishiyama.

"It would be 10 to 20 years before the scrapping process runs its course and we see nothing but a flat piece of land at the plant site," he said.

Now that both project Irrigation and project Extension Cord have been failures, the latest strawman out of TEPCO is to sprinkle superglue.

 TEPCO will test sprinkling synthetic resin in some areas of the Daiichi complex to prevent radioactive dust from flying into the air or being washed into the ocean by rain. The resin is water-soluble, but when the water evaporates, it becomes sticky and contains the dust.

"Radioactive dust from the hydrogen explosions in reactors No. 1 and 3 has drifted and is stuck on debris from the tsunami," said NISA's Nishiyama.

"We need to prevent that from spewing out into the sea along with the rain or from drifting away in the air."     Pollution of the ocean is a serious concern for a country where fish is central to the diet. Experts say the vastness of the ocean and a powerful current should dilute high levels of radiation, limiting the danger of marine contamination.

We give this particular plan a half life of 2 days, and in the meantime we hope that Japan is ordering the concrete it will need for operation Trappuccino.

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the mad hatter's picture

I thought Japan had the best engineers.


WTF are they thinking?

Harlequin001's picture

"Japan called on the world not to impose "unjustifiable" import curbs on its goods"

unjustifiable, you must be pissed...

This stuff gets up and walks on its own...

Sudden Debt's picture

Driving a Toyota will never be the same...



Harlequin001's picture

not when you don't need headlights at night...

Antarctico's picture

All imported 2011 Toyotas now come with easy-to-find NiteGlow feature!

MarketTruth's picture

Japan's problem was that they trusted a United States company called GE. Today, GE is Obama's favorite company and will cover up whatever GE tells Obama to. No worries, BP is #2 on Obama's fav list as is #3 being Bahrain.

TruthInSunshine's picture

I would have to disagree.

I'd say their biggest problem was building and continuously operating an old school BWR nuclear clunker on one of the earth's most active seismic zones, and using a half-assed utility company (that can't apparently afford rubber boots or bottled water) to manage it.

10kby2k's picture

Tepco is in survival mode.....they obviously have a vested interest in minimizing the cost (just to survive). At what point do they get over-ridden and replaced in dealing with this crisis?  A proper solution most probably bankrupts them. Tepco's survival hinges on finding a super-glue solution.  That simple.



OpenEyes's picture

TEPCO will not survive.  They are already a dead company.  They WILL be nationalized.  They have already tried to abandon this clusterfuck but, reportedly, were ordered back on the scene to avoid public (and probably Capitol) punishment.

VisualCSharp's picture

Capital or capitol? I guess either way it makes sense. :)

tmosley's picture

Hurray for no rule of law!

Now, where to apply this retroactivity power next?

scatterbrains's picture

actually I'd prefer we let them keep their bonuses here in the U.S.  but hang them all by the neck retroactively to 2008.

tmosley's picture

I would settle for hanging them today, along with the treasonous pols who gave them our money.

tmosley's picture

Awww, you like Congresscritters so much that you pop up to defend them againt charges of treason?

And "youre a dickweed" is the best you can come up with.

Move on, Billy the Retard.  We know your game, and we can spot you a mile away.

VisualCSharp's picture

Aww c'mon, if you're going to use the proper spelling of "you're" at least throw the apostrophe in there, too.

pods's picture

I agree, where to apply this newly found power next. /sarc

Hmmmm, retroactive immunity for TBTFs who have a ton of toxic MBSs that can be put back and that they severed the deed and note so cannot foreclose?

Just like superman spinning the world to undo things.

Not a good thing, no matter who is on the receiving end.


alien-IQ's picture

Go long Japanese seafood and tap water?

SheepDog-One's picture

Im never eating or drinking anything again! Radioactive iodine in Colorado now at 3,300% above 'acceptable standards', should be no problem EPA will raise standards up around 3,300% quickly.

Harlequin001's picture

Greed is a terrible thing...

'tis the worst crime one can commit against one's self because it keeps one working when one otherwise would not...one...


Beer on the other hand is a marvellous thing, 'cos it keeps one typing when one otherwise would not...


TruthInSunshine's picture

I am reassured to know that TEPCO said Daiini was smoking today because of an electric distribution board.

Oh, and they at least called the fire department this time.

TEPCO is the best.



InconvenientCounterParty's picture

Please include a fat stack of yen with each item and I'll consider eating it.

AN0NYM0US's picture

I much prefer food imported from China.

Harlequin001's picture

Personally I have a rule that bars me from eating anything that isn't dead...

TruthInSunshine's picture

What about cheese? Cured meats (the animal is dead, but the meat is lit up with microbes)?

Sour cream?


What about putana?

serotonindumptruck's picture

Raw garlic is an excellent medium with which to grow Clostridium botulinum bacteria.

Harlequin001's picture

better death...

never touched the stuff, trust me, I'm a doctor...

DavidC's picture

All good for the Dow and S&P though...wheee!

(sarcasm off...)


plocequ1's picture

I see that. Long live Weisenthal and Blodget

AccreditedEYE's picture

I agree... total madness. The worlds 2nd largest economy (or 3rd, depending who you believe) is literally crumbling and all is well. Gives you an idea of the true value of paper assets at this point.... and how growth is reaching such lofty levels unchecked. Total BS.

kaiserhoff's picture

The Japanese are efficient and disciplined.  I'm sure they can complete all of their work in the two hours/day they have electric power.  Works for public servants;)

buzzsaw99's picture

Corexit all over again.

john2011neb's picture

This is just a way to get you and your children to get your required daily dose of radiation. 

Harlequin001's picture

remember it's good for you, brings out that healthy glow that supermodels yearn for...

though why I might want tits like a supermodel being a bloke is beyond me...

that's if I was a bloke, which I'm not admitting to...

DavidC's picture

That made me laugh Harlequin001! Excellent!


djrichard's picture

This is where the American Ambassador will visit to negotiate that America will accept food with risk of radiation contamination in return that Japan accepts beef which may have risk of mad cow disease contamination.

Edit: let's do business

Ruffcut's picture

Just like gulf schrimp, if it passes the "sniff" test, then it must be good.

Just think if this spreads then the alaska kings will be big as arms and legs.

Miss Expectations's picture

As if Deadliest Catch wasn't dangerous enough.

jtmo3's picture

Fuck that. Let the Japaneese eat their own food.

NotApplicable's picture

Yeah, you'd think that a place with empty store shelves might want to keep the food for their own consumption.

Then again, all of the exporters are probably owned/controlled by Western interests (Rockyfellers and such).

The spice must flow!

john2011neb's picture

Cloth and resin to cover the meltdown...hmmm, I can hardly wait to see how well that will work.  How does that work on the tons of 1000 millisievert water?  I'm sure cloth and resin won't melt when applied to fission products.  Sounds good guys like you really planned for this.

Cui Bono's picture

Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the Shroud of Turbine.
It's like a frickin' miracle and shit...CB