Ongoing Bad News Forces TEPCO To Blame Computers; Still Unclear How Japan Will Fund Recovery Efforts

Tyler Durden's picture

After first it was disclosed that TEPCO does not know the different between millions and thousands, the firm which is now set to be at least partially nationalized, has decided to blame its computers for the ongoing catastrophic handling of the Fukushima disaster. From NHK: "Tokyo Electric Power Company says it will review all data on radiation
leaked from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, citing errors
in a computer program. The utility says it found errors in the program used to analyze
radioactive elements and their levels, after some experts noted that
radiation levels of leaked water inside the plant were too high
." In other words, every "fact" you have heard so far in the past 3 weeks - you can forget it. And since the BLS is coming, and the Nasdaq is about to fund (105% debt financed) the Japan government's multitrillion restoration effort, it will all be well from now.

From NHK:

The company and the government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency say previously released data may have shown the levels of tellurium-129 and molybdenum-99 to be higher than they really were.

But they say that levels of iodine-131, which has a significant impact on humans and the environment, remain unchanged.

Tokyo Electric releases data on radioactivity inside the plant compound and in nearby seawater and soil.
The radioactive substances are believed to be coming from damaged nuclear fuel rods.

The data is crucial for identifying the source of radioactive leaks and assessing their impact on the environment.

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has told the company to find out why the errors occurred and to take steps to prevent a recurrence.

And while joiking about who gets to fund the Japan quake relief, it seems nobody has any clue yet who ends up footing the bill. From Market News:

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Friday repeated that the government cannot make a decision on how to finance the high cost for rebuilding the quake-hit northeastern areas until it listens to the views of experts and various parties involved.

Faced by more legislative challenges in the hung parliament, Kan also told a news conference that he will seek an agreement between the ruling coalition led by the Democratic Party of Japan and the opposition parties, the latter of which holds a majority in the upper house.

Asked if he plans to re-invite Sadakazu Tanigaki, who heads the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, to form a grand coalition, Kan replied that he wants to "create a non-partisan structure to deal with reconstruction" of the quake-hit economy.

Kan said he will launch a reconstruction council comprising experts and regional representatives on April 11, a month after the massive earthquake and tsunami hit fishing ports and farmlands along the Pacific coast, triggering Japan's worst nuclear crisis.

He noted that suspending some planned spending in the fiscal 2011 budget would not be enough to secure a quake-relief fund but added that there is no decision as to whether the government will have to issue deficit-financing bonds or raise taxes.

Earlier on Friday, Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda said that the government is not considering introducing a new kind of income or consumption tax or issuing new types of government bonds aimed at financing high costs for rebuilding the quake-hit areas.

Noda also told reporters that any discussions on the possibility of the Bank of Japan's underwriting government bonds, which is currently banned by fiscal law, should be held "cautiously."

So while everyone expects this disaster to be ultimately "accretive" to shareholders everywhere, the question of where this money transfer will come from is still out in the open. Oddly, the push back for another massive debt infusion in Japan with its 200% debt/GDP may be higher than in the "prudent" US. Then again in a worst case scenarion, BofA and Wells Fargo, hot on the heels of their NYSE-Nasdaq "success", can always come to the table with a "higly confident" letter to presell a few hundred trillion in yen. After all what's a little debt between friends at the peak of a credit bubble.

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Highrev's picture

Still Unclear How Japan Will Fund Recovery Efforts

Really? And I thought the game plan was to print more money. ;-)


Sudden Debt's picture

Printing money isn't the only plan....





MonsterBox's picture

Funding is obvious.  they're not going to tax their population...  they're going to sell all that US debt. 

This may crash the dollar, but that's not their worry.  Of course, as they do sell to rebuild, China will see their dollar-based wealth evaporate and may pile on too with more selling.  (assuming that this isn't already going on, unreported)

Japanese selling of US Treasuries could be the dollar-crash trigger we've all been looking for/ worrying over. 

sschu's picture

... they're going to sell all that US debt.

Good luck with that.  Large holders of USG debt are screwed, they are going to get paid in pennies on the dollar or not at all.

This is the stuff wars are made of.


Ahmeexnal's picture

If only the power elite could print themselves trillions of serfs....but...THEY CAN!

AnAnonymous's picture

Kan replied that he wants to "create a non-partisan structure to deal with reconstruction" of the quake-hit economy.

Everyone will have one's piece of the bribes huh reconstruction cake, including the opposition. No struggle over the shares of the reconstruction effort.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Wonder who has done the research on how many Siemens controllers were there in the Fukushima complex. If there were many (I'll bet there were), I imagine STUXNET might have been there too.

And that would explain a lot and also how hamstrung the Japanese are/were.



MsCreant's picture

An earthquake and Tsunami happened. The plants are old. They had cheap designs where they cut costs in the construction process. They were not inspecting properly and hiding it. They continue to have quakes. STUXNET speculation is pretty far down on my list of problems that explain their response to this crisis.

They are reactive, not proactive, that is the problem.

I don't believe computer malfunction is the problem-- AT ALL. They lie to cover their asses.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Perhaps the Japanese were hamstrung by said old and poor designs being thrust down their throats by ther Amrikan masters? And for all their ham-handedness, they learnt ALL about nuculear power from the same twisted ass-wipes at GE/Establishment?

Blaming the Japanese for a dragon out of control thrown in their backyard by a colonial power is just not reality.

Stuxnet, as Iran showed is a pretty nasty FuKur too, by the way. IT's presence could have put a spanner in any recovery works (nothing would respond as designed).

You have the same exact issues in your own back-yard. All over it in-fact.



Byte Me's picture


Blaming the Japanese for a dragon out of control thrown in their backyard by a colonial power is just not reality.

Could you clarify that please.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Byte Me, japan has been an american controlled puppet, in every aspect of it's functioning since the end of WWII. In fact before, if you believe the nudge nudge wink wink stories behind Pearl Harbour too.

America has directly controlled Japanese Economy, Industry, Culture and Education system since the time. Else Basebaru and McDondardu being Japanese staples are really ridiculous.
In fact, Demings is the reason for Japanese industry developing how it did too. In effect, nothing Japanese is really Japanese anymore. A visit there shows the same vast wooden Cube homes and concrete cube buildings so exemplary of American Ingenuity in Architecture. I am speaking in extremis and yet am 90% serious.

The god-awful GE designed reactors have been railed against since the past three decades. Japan could have been a posterchild for GeoThermal and Wavegenerator power as two of many alt. energy examples. Some examples of Japanese innovation, that I have seen (absolutely mind-blowing), have been suppressed.

Japan has been a nation in name alone, more and more with every passing day since 1945.

Which sane person would make the most seismically active nation in the world 100% nuclear power dependent?
I could go on as I have extensive direct experience of Japanese decay.

Please check out My Year in Meats by Ruth Ozeki, a tangential but chilling read into the above phenomenon.

Jim in MN's picture

Jeff Immelt heard your bitching and went to the trouble of stating that GE reactors are flawless.  So there.

Oh regional Indian's picture

hah! You mean Jeff I'mMelt(ing) down and out?


Jim in MN's picture

GE is the real belwether stock in the US so please for the sake of the elite--er, humanity--  


Byte Me's picture


I am speaking in extremis and yet am 90% serious.

Please. Be much more serious, like 100% serious.


Blaming the Japanese for a dragon out of control thrown in their backyard by a colonial power is just not reality.

Explain 'colonial' for the benefit of the readers, espescially our Japanese readers. As I am sure you are aware 30% of Japanese elec gen came from nuclear pre-disaster -- not 100%.

Hope your "extremis" ends favourably in the near future -- laying off the okra phaal might be a winner.

Oh regional Indian's picture

byte Me, i stand corrected on the 100% figure. it is 30% and was planned to be raised to 50% by 2017.

The rest of your sarcasm dripping reply is not worthy of rebuttal.


Byte Me's picture

Why thankyou!!

Always glad to be unrebuttable. My hopes of your imminent recovery were heartfelt and genuine. Only the last bit was a sarky quip. Glad you noticed.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Well Byte, seeing your little snark comment below, I suppose this is our last direct interaction. I made the mistake of thinking you are a genuine individual.


Byte Me's picture

For the love of Mary!!

You are just TOO easy -- and far too stiff necked - lighten up a bit and get off your high horse! You're wrapped up in a Möbius strip with colonial and conspiracy written large.

Evolve, and develop a sense of humour.

MsCreant's picture

I'm still too uptight for my own good but I am working on it. Playing on blogs like this sure has helped my recovery from taking myself too seriously.

He may need to be wrapped in a Mobius stripper. She conspires to take all kinds of positions while colonizing nothing at all...


Byte Me's picture

+2E^6 becq /m^2

Now that'd be one talented stripper.. You come up with all sorts of interesting comments MsCr. I gave up taking myself seriously for Lent and may make a career out of it.

AnAnonymous's picture

Explain 'colonial' for the benefit of the readers, espescially our Japanese readers.


Colonial as a country, acknowledged democracy and all,that  voted a government with a mandate to remove a foreign military base from their soil and failed at doing it.

Byte Me's picture

(Shhhh, I usually do LP -- nice mute avatar...)

Roger Knights's picture

Weren't foreigners (some int'l. agency) nudging them last year to beef up their plant? And didn't TEPCO say no?

MsCreant's picture

I don't have the link but I read that too. I know they were supposed to decomission it and did not.

Chumbadumba's picture

I want to make a radioactive two-headed baby with you!


old naughty's picture

Is it the same one as Deepwater?

Chumbadumba's picture



old naughty's picture


the one-eyed cyclop is "in", he can grow up with a vengeance.

Marla And Me's picture

And that's the catch-22 of proposing a space for free speech: it's really easy for psy-ops fools to derail the conversation with idiotic charicatures of real commenters.  Here is our newest copy-cat - Chumbadumba

Notice that this character was created at least 43 weeks ago, but only started posting a bit over two months ago, which coincided with the return of the real chumbawumba.  I know we all love this space, but when I see stuff like this, I can't help but think that all that the Tylers do is create a pen to direct all the like-minded individuals to in order to make their identification easier.  There are at least 10 similar characters around.  Now that Redneck isn't around anymore, we get that green mouse.  At least Redneck was funny.  The green mouse, not so much.  His M.O. is ad hominem every single time.  Dedicated Trolls are all over this board, just like they are over at the Wall Street Journal (Marcia Crowley anyone?).  Sad...

Although I love this ZH information outlet, I often wonder if it isn't much more than a Langley/Brzezinski creation that the Russian trader Tyler had to agree to as part of his plea deal...

iinthesky's picture

Well since they decided to blame the computers it seems logical that the next step is to bring in the infamous virus to blame and if things go off the deep end the stage is set to blame terrorists for the whole mess. This way Japan may make a bid to rearm in preparation for a contrived war to pull out of decades of economic funk. Makes sense.

Judge Judy Scheinlok's picture

Since the virus has been in the wild for at least 6 months a counterargument can be formed by the terrorist lobby to deflect the blame back upon the victim for not hardening their systems against KNOWN viri.

TomJoad's picture

Even the most simple electrical and electronic systems are generally FUBAR'd by cursory contact with seawater. The systems at a nuclear plant are not simple (regardless of their age) and in this case the contact with seawater went far beyond cursory. I'll go with Occam on this one.

MsCreant's picture

You made my point better than I did.  There are so many issues that are obviously at work here that, for me, blaming a computer virus is over the top.

Commander Cody's picture

The fact that these four reactors operated safely, within their design parameters, for almost 40 years is apparently irrelavant.  So, along comes an event that is well outside of those formerly considered credible and the blame is put on old, cheap and ill-maintained.  Your logic doesn't jive.

The fact is that what was up to now considered not credible (and there is science behind that, not just an ill-informed guess), must now be considered to envelope the design parameters.  That means either significant upgrades at other plants susceptible to similar events or decommissioning.  More conservatism must be applied to plant design.  That is the major take-away here.  It is easy to point fingers and blame, but it is not so easy to take a policy stand on a major power source and enact appropriate safeguards to protect public health and safety.

I am not trying to defend TEPCO.  They have not managed the response to this event well.  Emergency planning will no doubt be upgraded as a lesson learned.  There is a clear lack of command and control over the situation in Japan.  That must be corrected.  Attributing motives to this is pure speculation.

MsCreant's picture

"Attributing motives to this is pure speculation."

Ultimately sir, you are correct. I was responding to the Computer virus explanation. How about this, I would look to all those things BEFORE a computer virus. Joad above suggests salt water. I am saying blaming the computers is cowardice and BS.

Commander Cody's picture

Seems like there is some question regarding estimation of radiation and contamination levels by software developed to translate sample results to impact on the public.  This is an emergency preparedness function.  There is no mention of software being an issue in causing the meltdowns.  After all, without power software is useless and most power was lost very early in the accident.

The lack of command and control of emergency response is vivid and is not helping to mitigate the consequences.  Without a preplanned, specific capability to deal with an event of this magnitude, the desparate attempts by those courageous workers appears futile.  But those are the cards that have been dealt.  The immediate concern is to keep the damaged fuel from being further damaged.  With the extent of damage to installed plant equipment that has rendered it inoperable and probably not salvageable, the responders can only work with anything immediately available.  Albeit, the response on this aspect was painfully slow.

old naughty's picture

Hey, got my first (and second) junks. to the bar. Be back a bit.

i-dog's picture

I posted this elsewhere here earlier (#1124417) in reply to a good post by Chindit13 (#1123767), but it bears repeating:

One might also ask why it is that the Japanese are incredibly well prepared to deal with frequent earthquake and tsunami disasters -- every house has an emergency kit by the front door with flashlight, blankets, emergency biscuits, etc; there are signboards everywhere informing where to go and what to do if there is a disaster; there are warehouses with emergency food supplies in major cities; etc -- yet TEPCO, seemingly deliberately, had only one stretcher, one satellite phone and 50 contamination suits for the whole fucking nuclear complex at Fukushima Daiichi! (Which explains why they are sending in only 50 at a time!!). Now we also hear that the workers currently sacrificing their lives are provided with just one 1.5 litre bottle of water a day, a couple of dry biscuits, and one dosimeter per GROUP of workers rather than the one EACH mandated under regulations ... and it took the company a week or so to find an extension cord!

In other words, the average Tokyo citizen was far better prepared for these frequent disasters than a major nuclear facility!! ... notwithstanding that, in their 2010 Annual Report, TEPCO stated: "During the year ending March 31, 2011, the TEPCO group must wrap up [sic] its crisis management efforts and strengthen programs for post-crisis growth and development". LOL!

Something in the venture between GE, Hitachi and Toshiba to plant these incendiary bombs ... er, sorry, build these nuclear power plants ... stinks worse than even Washington, DC.

Oh regional Indian's picture

+1 i-dog. Cui Bono indeed.

I suspect a building-7 like response will be the answer du jour.


old naughty's picture


It may be of interest to know there have been 38 EQ >6.0 since that fateful 8.9/9.0 on 3.11 in/around the east of Honshu area.

And the Dai-Ne (No.2) plant not too far away from No.1 has another 4 reactors. Just info...

Oh regional Indian's picture


I read recently that Kyoto (beloved city to me) is also seeing radiation readings far above normal. It's a big downhill slide and to deny it is just to be blinder-happy.

Speechless with sadness overall.


TerraHertz's picture

Blame Israeli/CIA hackers for Iran's reactor problems and their stupid Stuxnet getting loose.

But Stuxnet won't do much harm in controlers that lost electricity, were submerged in salt water, blown up, heavily irradiated, then sprayed with more salt water.

Really. Stuxnet irrelevant, even if it was there.

Now if someone could show that the failure to airlift in suitable backup generators had something to do with Stuxnet, then that would be different. But highly unlikely. Seems like it was just an impossible time constraint, even if everyone involved had acted incredibly rapidly.

Personally, I blame Stuxnet for my difficulty with these damned captchas.

MsCreant's picture

"Stuxnet irrelevant, even if it was there."