Japan's Latest Proposal To Contain Fukushima's Radioactive Fallout - A (Circus) Tent

Tyler Durden's picture

You just can't make this up: proving that Japan can outdo even the Russians when it comes to nuclear crisis "response", Dow Jones reports that the latest scheme to come out of TEPCO is to cover Fukushima with a giant tent. It is unclear if it will have a circus coloration yet. From DJ: "Giant polyester covers will soon be placed around the damaged reactor buildings at Japan's Fukushima nuclear complex to help contain the release of radioactive substances into the atmosphere, the plant operator said Friday. Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) will install the first cover at the No. 1 reactor, the focus of recent stabilization efforts, starting next month." This probably means that Japan looked long and hard at the concrete shell option and realized it was impossible, which is true. The problem is that by now the melted cores are not in the complex, but deep beneath it and the radioactivity is actively seeping directly into the soil. And since the polyester tent idea is doomed to failure, it is only a matter of time before the Simpsons dome is firmly in place over a ragion with a radius of about 20 kilometers. Impossible you say? Just wait.

From DJ:

Workers will erect a steel framework and place a giant polyester tent-like cover around the reactor building. Similar covers will be placed around units No. 3 and 4. The work is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

A series of hydrogen explosions blew off the roofs and upper walls of the three reactors in the days after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami knocked out their cooling systems, triggering the overheating of the reactors.

The explosions scattered a large amount of radioactive debris in the area around the reactors. Workers will have to clear the debris near the No. 1 unit so that cranes and other heavy equipment can approach the reactor. TEPCO said it began shifting debris from the area around the unit Friday.

The damaged buildings have come to symbolize the severity of the nuclear crisis at the plant, the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

The loss of the roofs and filters above the reactors has led to the steady release of radioactive substances from the complex, prompting calls for measures to contain contamination in the surrounding areas.

Artist's impression of this latest Japanese venture:

h/t Joshua

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Die Weiße Rose's picture


Japan's T E P C O the house of TRAGIC EPIC COMEDY :))

you're allowed to laugh only outside the 6000 mile exclusion zone.

SilverDoctors's picture

JP Morgue Increases Physical Silver in New Vault 39% in 2 Days During Manipulative Take-Down!


SqueekyFromm's picture

Has anybody said this yet???

We always knew the damage would be "in tents."

Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter

knukles's picture

Squeeky, I am speechless.
I cannot bring myself to ask the questions weighing gravely upon my psyche.

Jim in MN's picture

Intensities...in tent cities

Burticus's picture

What I wanna know is where TF is the banzai charge on the reactor core?  What ever happened to bushido?!  During WWII, thousands of Jap soldiers fearressry charged into heavy machine gun fire and kamikazied ships for a hoperess cause?  Now, the whole damn isrand is getting irradiated, putting millions of their ferrow citizens' lives and futures at risk, and they can't get a miserable thousand heroic volunteers to shut these reactors down or entomb them?  A mere few decades ago, the TEPCO officers and board would have already honorably committed sempuku (televised in the modern era), disemboweling themselves, trusting their "second" to lop off their ukraniums before they cry out and rooze face.  Have the Nips become sissified dawgs too?

Now I know were **cked.

silberblick's picture


Follow the link to read the open letter sent to NILU regarding their suspension of Fukushima Radiation Emission reports. This is a serious development that concerned readers should be aware of:



Jim in MN's picture

...and to top it off for the evening, a 6.2 quake (largest in the last month) just struck off Honshu a little while ago...bidness as usual....



Stormdancer's picture

Holy cow, Jim.  Plug the coordinates into google earth and you can measure just over 33 kilometers from the epicenter to Fukushima.

This may be the one that took out reactor 4's building and SFP. 

We shouldn't have long to wait to find out.

For perspective, a little 5.1 damaged buildings, flattened at least one and killed 8 people in Spain just a few days ago.  Crossed fingers......


Edit:  It's been five hours now and no fresh reports of disaster that I can find, so hopefully this is another bullet dodged.

The TBS/JNN live feed shows everything looking pretty normal from a distance so hopefully it just shook 'em up a bit. 

Jim in MN's picture

Oh, heck, a little more cheer for Friday the 13th (almost over in the Midwest)

From NHK:

Radioactive cesium detected in tea leaves

Radioactive material above designated safety limits has been detected in tea leaves harvested in 5 municipalities in Kanagawa Prefecture, neighboring Tokyo.

The prefectural government checked samples of leaves harvested in 15 municipalities in the region.

Officials say that samples from 5 of those were found to contain unsafe levels of radioactive cesium.

They say 780 becquerels of cesium were detected in tea leaves in Odawara City, 740 becquerels in Kiyokawa Village, 680 becquerels in Yugawara Town, 670 becquerels in Aikawa Town and 530 becquerels in Manazuru Town.

The Kanagawa prefectural government has asked the affected municipalities and the local farmers' cooperative to voluntarily halt shipments for the time being.

It says it will repeat the tests in these towns and villages when tea leaves are harvested next month.

The survey comes after 570 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram -- exceeding the provisional state limit of 500 -- were detected in products from Minami Ashigara City on May 9th.

Friday, May 13, 2011 21:27 +0900 (JST)

TEPCO searching for 'missing' radioactive water

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is trying to locate thousands of tons of radioactive water that has leaked from one of the damaged reactors.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, says contaminated water is apparently leaking from the No.1 reactor, which is in a state of meltdown.

TEPCO has injected more than 10,000 tons of water into the reactor since the March 11th disaster damaged the plant. But, less than half that amount is believed to remain in the reactor or its container vessel.

The utility says the leaked water is likely in the basement of the reactor building -- still a no-go zone due to concerns over high radiation levels.

TEPCO is considering using remote-controlled robots to check the situation, but says the wireless links needed to control them may not reach the basement and that it has to explore other options as well.

Injected water is continuing to stabilize the reactor, but any radioactive water that has leaked could hamper the effort.

TEPCO says it hopes to come up with ways to retrieve and purify contaminated water to use it to cool the reactor again.

Friday, May 13, 2011 21:27 +0900 (JST)

Jim in MN's picture

Kyodo urgent bulletin:

URGENT: Man dies after collapsing during Fukushima plant work

TOKYO, May 14, Kyodo

A worker at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant died Saturday shortly after collapsing while he was carrying materials at a building, the operator said.


Stormdancer's picture

Kanagawa Prefecture, where those radioactive tea leaves were discovered, is south of Tokyo.  Over 250 kilometers from the power plant.

Their agricultural contamination problems are much more widespread than admitted up to this point.

Last week there was a report of feeding restrictions for cattle, both milk and beef, in Chiba Prefecture, which is east and slightly south of Tokyo.  In Chiba grass in the open was too contaminated and farmers were required to switch to imported hay. 

Chiba and Tokyo are approximately the same distance from Fukushima - ca. 220km

Monetative Easing's picture

Jim, that's the first confirmed fatality related to this situation, correct?  Of course, he could have died from a MI or some congenital disorder.  Or at least that's what we will hear.

More importantly, either TEPCO has suddenly become more forthcoming or things have seriously deteriorated over the past week or so.  Maybe to the point where they no longer see the need to hide the truth.  Thoughts?

Frankly, I would not be sleeping easy if I were in Tokyo these days...

Jim in MN's picture

Several workers (two for sure) died in the initial event; this new person is also unlikely to be a radiation-related fatality.  But the industrial accident aspects of this, including the warning from medical experts that contract workers could be 'worked to death' and the problems with food, rest and safety equipment, lend salience to this incident despite its coincidental nature.

I think there is a strange kind of 'disaster whitewash fatigue' setting in.  They are too shell-shocked and busted to keep maintaining the story for the media.  They try but in fits and starts.  Parts of the government and perhaps even TEPCO are not coordinated.  And there is a lot of media, academic and non-profit attention now mobilized.  The whole facade, as well as the plant, is breaking down and being patched daily. 

I do think that water and gravity are continuing to compromise the plant systems and it does not seem to be going TEPCO's way.  Sadly.

More wierd stories: previously unreported 'highly radioactive substance' was found in metro Tokyo sewage sludge incinerator in late March....more of that kind of thing all the time....

Plumplechook's picture

The following is a great comment posted on the Guardian,  under todays article about the reactor 1 meltdown:

"The most revealing thing to date regarding the media coverage of Fukushima is the staggering extent of external corporate control over what the major news outlets are allowed to cover and publish.

I'm guessing that editors were ordered to pull all their reporters out of Japan and send them off to cover less sensitive topics like the Royal Wedding and so on.

This is because at least three large sectors of the corporate plutocracy - nuclear reactor manufacturers, uranium mining concerns, and their financial backers (banks and commodity traders) had all been counting on a large flow of cash from the misguided 'nuclear renaissance' that they'd spent millions of dollars promoting, both in the press and in the various government bodies (huge lobbying and advertising budgets, right?).

It turns out that the same large banks that invest heavily in nuclear and uranium mining also invest heavily in corporate media, not for the lucrative returns (obviously not) but rather as a means of controlling the information landscape as part of their central goal: protecting corporate profits.

This particularly impacts those with Australian and Canadian uranium mine holdings, by the way - with major operators like Paladin Capital (chaired by neocon activist and Iraq WMD hype specialist, ex CIA-director James Woolsey) looking to take huge losses. Other big losers are Extract Resources, Energy Resources of Australia, Cameco Corp, and Uranium One Inc.

This is of course one of the dirtiest mining operations imaginable, one which contaminates water resources all over the world, from Africa to Canada to Australia, while generating massive amounts of radioactive mine tailings.

But never mind all that, who made Kate's dress again? Wasn't it fabulous?"

Stormdancer's picture

I'd like five minutes in a dark alley with Michio Kaku's smug little arrogant face.  Still talking about "potential" meltdowns and TEPCO "incompetence".  That's the fallback position the media is going to take to avoid common understanding of the fact that TEPCO isn't incompetent.  They're lying, scheming criminals willing to destroy lives to save their own financial hide.  Kaku was one of the first MSM "experts" I saw singing the "Nothing significant to worry about and no immediate danger to human health" refrain.  Now he's trying to pretend he "called it" all along.  Whore.

And this..from the Guardian article.  Corporate/Government fascism at it's finest:


The government has decided to use taxpayers' money to help Tepco compensate tens of thousands of people affected by the Fukushima accident. Total damages are expected to run into trillions of yen, equating to tens of billions of pounds.

Reports said the government would issue special-purpose bonds worth 5tn yen (£37bn), with other utilities asked to pay into a newly established fund. Tepco would be required to contribute annual premiums and allow monitoring of its management by a government-appointed commission.

Analysts said the scheme would ensure Tepco's status as a listed firm and prevent market instability, although there are fears that the costs will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher electricity bills.

"This scheme will help alleviate concerns of financial market turmoil because holders of Tokyo Electric shares and bonds will be protected," Yasuhide Yajima, a senior economist at the NLI Research Institute, told Reuters.


TEPCO pays part of the damages, but will raise rates to cover the cost.  Taxpayers get to do the rest.  Stock and bondholders get their butts covered at the expense of taxpayers and higher electric bills for all.



We're gonna need a lot 'o rope....

Jim in MN's picture

Shit.  Asahi Shimbun just got ahold of a secret 100-page report from inside TEPCO.  Double-barrel headline for Saturday 5/14:

TEPCO concealed radiation data before explosion at No. 3 reactor

Tokyo Electric Power Co. concealed data showing spikes in radiation levels at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March, one day before a hydrogen explosion injured seven workers.


Accurate data destroys optimistic TEPCO assessment, hampers cooling plan


Stormdancer's picture

These bastards should hang.  I knew in my heart they were hiding critical information, yet when it's proven I'm still shocked and angry.  I guess it's hard to give up that last shred of hope that maybe they're just incompetent instead of criminal.  Shot out.....

Now we'll get to see if this revelation can get legs or if their control of media is as thorough and complete as it is here.  I'm afraid I know the answer.


That Asahi Shimbun article is as close to investigative journalism as I've seen from a Japanese source.  Any bets on whether or not they'll post the whole 100 page document on the net for all to see?  Not holding my breath.....


whoopsing's picture

Polyester degrade's pretty rapidly in sunlight

DavidC's picture

Adam and Jamie, the Mythbusters, built a lead balloon, perhaps they could help the Japanese in building a lead tent?



ATSC LTD's picture

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Beaniebabe's picture

Those crazy Canucks think the food chain will be affected:



One of the authors is not on any lists of dead microbiologists, buut M. Motycka did die in a workplace accident in 2008.

Willzyx's picture

Have they tried top kill, top hat, or junk shot yet?