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Panic Evacuations Strike Tokyo Where Radiation Levels Are Ten Times Normal, Food Hoarding Empties Stores In Capital, Fallout Projected To Blow To Pacific

Tyler Durden's picture


Simply surreal news out of Tokyo (which unfortunately we predicted once again) which is now reported to have ten times normal radiation levels.

From Reuters:

Radiation wafted from an earthquake-stricken nuclear power plant towards Tokyo on Tuesday, sparking panic in one of the world's biggest and most densely populated cities.

Women and children packed into the departure lounge at an airport, supermarkets ran low on rice and other supplies and frightened residents, tourists and expatriates either stayed indoors or simply left the city.

"I'm not too worried about another earthquake. It's radiation that scares me," said Masashi Yoshida, cradling his 5-month-old daughter Hana

The nail-biting eased in the afternoon after Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano appeared on national television saying radiation levels at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power complex had fallen dramatically since morning.

But confidence in the government is shaken and many decided not to take chances, especially after radiation levels in Saitama, near Tokyo, were 40 times normal -- not enough to cause human damage but enough to stoke fears in the ultra-modern and hyper-efficient metropolis of 12 million people.

Many hoarded food and other supplies and stayed indoors. Don Quixote, a multistorey, 24-hour general store in Tokyo's Roppongi district, was sold out of radios, flashlights, candles, fuel cans and sleeping bags on Tuesday.

At another market near Tokyo's Yotsuya station, an entire aisle was nearly empty on both sides, its instant noodles, bread and pastry gone since Friday's earthquake and tsunami killed at least 10,000 people nationwide and plunged Japan into a twin nuclear and humanitarian crisis.

At Haneda Airport, hundreds of young mothers lined up with children, boarding flights out of Tokyo.

"We are getting our of Tokyo and going to our home town because of the situation. For the time being we have bought a one way ticket and will wait and see what happens," said a Japanese woman with an eight-month-old baby and four-year-old son, who declined to be identified by name.

Tourists such as Christy Niver, of Egan, Minnesota, said they had enough. Her 10-year-old daughter, Lucy, was more emphatic. "I'm scared. I'm so scared I would rather be in the eye of a tornado," she said. "I want to leave."

Winds over the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power complex, about 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo, blew slowly southwesterly towards Tokyo for much of the day before shifting westerly later, a weather official said.

Some scientists, however, urged Tokyo to stay calm.

"Radioactive material will reach Tokyo but it is not harmful to human bodies because it will be dissipated by the time it gets to Tokyo," said Koji Yamazaki, professor at Hokkaido University graduate school of environmental science.

"If the wind gets stronger, it means the material flies faster but it will be even more dispersed in the air."

University of Tokyo professor of bioengineering Hiroyuki Takahashi added: "If the nuclear fuel remains contained, there will be very little health risk."


The Czech Symphony Orchestra left Tokyo by bus for Ishikawa prefecture on the west coast.

"Some of them wanted to go home after the earthquake but it's pretty much impossible to get tickets for a hundred people now," said Hitomi Sakuma, a friend of the orchestra who was seeing them off at a Tokyo hotel.

About 350 Japan-based expatriates at Infosys Technologies Ltd , India's second-largest software services exporter, are returning to India, its chief executive said.

"Some of them have returned, some are in the process of coming back," S. Gopalakrishnan told Reuters. "The revenue from Japan is very small and overall it will have a minimal impact on business."    U.S. banking giant Citigroup said it was keeping workers in Tokyo informed but there were no evacuation orders, said a spokesman, adding the bank was closely following guidance by the U.S. Embassy, which has not urged nationals to leave.

Some international journalists covering the disaster from the worst-hit region around the northeastern city of Sendai, devastated by Friday's mammoth earthquake and tsunami that killed at least 10,000, were pulling out.

The Tokyo office of Michael Page International, a British recruitment agency, was closing for the week. "I am leaving for Singapore tomorrow," said one employee.

Levels of radiation had risen in Tokyo but for now were "not a problem", the city government said.

And while Korea and Russia are reported to be safe for now, with radiation fallout simulated to head toward the Pacific, we expect America to be quite vocal about the threat of radioactivity coming from Japan via the Jet Stream as soon as it wakes up. From Kyodo.

South Korea's Meteorological Administration on Tuesday released the results of a weather simulation which it said shows most of the radioactive particles from Japan's damaged nuclear power plant will drift toward the Pacific.

The weather agency insisted that the results are entirely hypothetical, noting that it does not have concrete data with respect to the amount of radioactive vapor that escaped into the air, the timeframe and other details concerning the extent of damage to Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s No. 1 Fukushima nuclear power plant.

The agency said it conducted the simulation using the latest weather data to find how the radioactive particles will spread in the next 24 hours, assuming that the leak occurred at 9 a.m. Tuesday Tokyo time.

The simulation shows similar results whether the leak occurred at 3 p.m. or 9 a.m. Tuesday, the agency said.


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Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:29 | 1054773 HamyWanger
HamyWanger's picture

I wouldn't worry about all this. The Japanese will soon come to their senses and realize that the best option for them is preserving the status quo. Besides, CNBC just said it will have no consequences on the world economy. 

I've just bought the dip in equities this morning with all my life savings on a x150 leverage. This is a unique buying opportunity!!!

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:31 | 1054779 dukeystick
dukeystick's picture

...uh, but the "dip" hasn't dipped yet.


Fat, radio-active fingers.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:08 | 1054861 anvILL
anvILL's picture

When you see Japanese manufacturing companies with great technology and good balance sheets that are very likely to post profits this year break well below PBR of one andstarts showing dividend yield exceeding 1%, it is likely that it will be dipped very soon or it has already dipped but you haven't noticed yet. Either way, some of those companies that were sold off are very geographically diversified and very cheap.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:09 | 1054867 dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

middle east tensions cant be helping.....


iran says saudi troops unacceptable

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:14 | 1054884 anvILL
anvILL's picture

Make that dividend yield 2%. My mistake.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:33 | 1054782 Bob
Bob's picture

If you snooze, you lose, eh Hamy?  Well done, as always.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:37 | 1054791 Ethics Gradient
Ethics Gradient's picture

Has anyone coined STFP, yet?

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:21 | 1054907 equity_momo
equity_momo's picture

STD - Sell the dump

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:57 | 1055040 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

now we have #4 too hot to handle.  b/c of the proximity of these reactors, the heat involved is now lighting up the first (nearest) of the ones which [if i'm not mistaken] were shut down and not producing power at the time of the quake/tsunami. 

who ya gonna call?

we may be seeing the deflation that some have been wagging their tongues about since 666 and the biggest dead cat bounce in the history of fiat.  commodities are down.  the bloomie screen for dummies has nat. gas and orange juice green.  period. euro stox are awash in red;  after asia, who ya gonna call?

the dollar is upskie, 2 cents v. the loonie, almost 3 v. the aussie, but is getting absolutely plastered by----the yen!!!

wherever your carry trade arises, if you have pumped the cheapo, you may hafta re-pay with the primo.

and good luck managing those VIX spreads, too!  shark city, BiCHeZ!!!

gold and silver desperately seeking bids.  trades unwinding all over creation.  perhaps those reactors have reached the critical heat to ignite paper wealth, world-wide. 

gold just found a bid @ down $40, and silver, too, which is now down a little over $2, from worse.  now we shall see who will cut loose PM's for green stamps, and how the phys. and paper markets correlate thru this mess.

my new Four Horsemen play of the week?  Go Long On Wigs.  we'll all be bald as cue balls in 2 weeks!

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:20 | 1055158 Manipulism
Manipulism's picture

What are you talking about?


Tue, 03/15/2011 - 12:39 | 1056111 Stares straight...
Stares straight ahead's picture

Thanks, Charlie Sheen...

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 12:43 | 1056122 DocLogo
DocLogo's picture

what's with all the junks?.... Does no one get satire anymore?

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:31 | 1054777 Boilermaker
Boilermaker's picture

Wow, Mark Faber literally blew the doors off the government ponzi scam this morning on CNBC.  The D-BAGS at CNBC literally couldn't speak and he spewed the gossip.

Cue up the tape on ZH! 

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:36 | 1054792 Freewheelin Franklin
Freewheelin Franklin's picture

QE 18, bitchez.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:38 | 1054795 Boilermaker
Boilermaker's picture

Yea, I don't think he left much to the imagination.  He pretty much pulled his pants down and said "there it is, take a picture".  He won't be back any time soon.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:00 | 1054848 sushi
sushi's picture

Was it glowing?

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:21 | 1054912 equity_momo
equity_momo's picture

Kind of. He said we are heading to collapse and WW3.  

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:53 | 1055010 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

The one and only Marc Faber.

"The money printer will continue to print, that I'm sure."

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:16 | 1055131 Eternal Student
Eternal Student's picture

+1. Thank you. My favorite part was at the end, when Liesman concluded with the words "I'm a little stunned". I think a crack in the Matrix just appeared.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:31 | 1055260 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Liesman looked fetching in his "I'm a little stunned" look for a Tuesday morning.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:44 | 1054887 Ratscam
Ratscam's picture

maybe because of my ultra-pessimistic view ;)

we had dinner on saturday

he was also short term cautious on PM and other commodities

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:26 | 1054927 victor82
victor82's picture

And they let him do his whole rant w/o going to commercial? Wow, I'm impressed. Somebody at CNBC doesn't like Chicago Jesus anymore..

Did he find a way to work in the Mayans?

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:11 | 1055094 Diplodicus Rex
Diplodicus Rex's picture

I loved his comment "I would like to warn your listener" .  What, the only one?

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:34 | 1054784 r101958
r101958's picture

Panic? Please be real!

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:40 | 1054787 John McCloy
John McCloy's picture

Someone was saying today that Americans in Japan that she is speaking to are making plans to permanently leave Japan with their families and ones that are homeowners. Also the U.S. administration is stuck between issuing a warning directly to Americans in Japan to leave and trusting a close ally who they fear may be lying about the severity. 

Regardless I cannot see many expatriating to Japan in the near future. I people are evacuating Tokyo there is going to be some devastating housing price ramifications. 

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:46 | 1054810 r101958
r101958's picture


Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:54 | 1054830 ivana
ivana's picture

That's something nobody can fake. No cash helicopters and no CNBC can prevent exodus

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:53 | 1054835 duo
duo's picture

I seriously talked with my wife about retiring in one of those seaside towns in Iwate pref.  We stayed at one on our honeymoon.  Oh well.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:02 | 1055049 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

Well, good. More room for me. Japan has been my bug out country of choice for years and if Americans are leaving, well, more room for me.  I mean, what gives?  I am NOT making light of the situation because I love Japan more than any place I've ever lived, but everything will be more or less back to normal in 1 to 2 years on an infrastructure level regardless of tsunami or nuke plant damage.  I can not speak to the economic condition of the country but it will be a hell of a lot more orderly and neighborly when it hits the fan than the USA.  I actually JUST put in for a transfer TO Tokyo for next September and I fully expect to get it since all my co-workers are pulling their apps out like a hot potato.  Being a contrarian has so many advantages.  Thoughts?  Anyone else planning to expat to Japan or is everyone permanently bearish on remote Japanese farming villages (away from the coast) to retire in?

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 11:16 | 1055732 gruden
gruden's picture

An island in the Ring of Fire as a bug-out location?  Sure, go right on ahead...

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 05:33 | 1059765 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

And New Zealand, Oregon, and British Columbia aren't on the ring of fire?  This is whereI hear others are bugging out to...

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:36 | 1054789 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

Larry Kudlow cannnot be happy that this effecting his portfolio

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:39 | 1054797 Boilermaker
Boilermaker's picture

Mustard seeds don't grow in a radioactive wasteland?  I didn't know that.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:28 | 1054938 victor82
victor82's picture

No sweatshops, no peace!

Simple solution. Give the Happy Workers radiation suits. Then Larry's portfolio won't be harmed.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:01 | 1055046 snowball777
snowball777's picture

Hope the fucktard bought with both hands...and that said hands then fall the fuck off.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:07 | 1055076 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

If that bastard really did say that the lives lost are no big deal because it didn't affect the economic picture (I didn't see the quote myself) then he should burn in hell.  I cannot imagine a human being saying that on TV and still having his job the next day.  I just had to get that off my chest.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:36 | 1054793 Winisk
Winisk's picture

Stay calm.  Ignore that deep seated instinctual feeling of flight in the face of potential danger that your ancient ancestors used to get you here.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:41 | 1054803 Boilermaker
Boilermaker's picture

Everyone please step into the massive group showers so we can clear up this lice infestation.  Keep the line moving folks; there are literally millions of you.  This will take some time and we have other things to do.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:30 | 1054943 victor82
victor82's picture

To paraphrase Molly Ivins, this financial house of cards comes down so much better when it is heard in the original German.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:36 | 1054794 AUD
AUD's picture

Gold, silver, Euro & USD all down in Yen. I'm having trouble equating this to a loss of credibility of the Japanese government.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:46 | 1054812 eigenvalue
eigenvalue's picture

The strength of the Yen is because of the selloff of foreign assets by Japanese insurance companies in order to satisfy the coming claims in Japan.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:40 | 1054981 PeaBird
PeaBird's picture

+81.169 Trillion Yen

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:52 | 1054816 anvILL
anvILL's picture

I consider this to be the loss of credibility of BoJ being able to "stabilize" markets despite their massive injection. Although, I still do believe they still have some power because it did move 1 Yen for 1 trillion of intervention last year.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:55 | 1054834 AUD
AUD's picture

The Yen appreciating against everything is the Yen being bid. The Yen is the obligation of the BoJ which is an arm of the government. Your obligation doesn't get bid when you have no credibility.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:11 | 1054876 anvILL
anvILL's picture

Yes, I completely agree with your statement. What I was trying to say is that I think that BoJ has failed to scare off speculators shorting the Nikkei and buying the yen despite their huge intervention.

I think maintaining the credibility of a currency and maintaining credibility as the power to intervene are different things.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:50 | 1054822 ivana
ivana's picture

Do not forget all CBs support eachother and are infact a cartel. Wait a while...

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:44 | 1054996 Tail Dogging The Wag
Tail Dogging The Wag's picture

To me it's very simple:

BoJ will print to oblivion, Blackhawk Ben was the orchestra director, but Masaaki Shirakawa wants to print faster. Silver n Gold cannot be printed, they need to be mined. As the prices of the metals go down, I see an opportunity to buy physical.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:39 | 1054798 snowball777
snowball777's picture

A close friend who lives just outside Tokyo is joining the rest of her family and heading for their mountain cabin as a precaution. They're no more panic'd than anyone else who's been through a 9.0 quake and accompanying aftershocks, but also not sticking around to see what happens next.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:40 | 1054800 the_white_mouse
the_white_mouse's picture

Who didn't see this coming?

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:41 | 1054801 anvILL
anvILL's picture

As far as I can see on mixi (the Japanese equivalent of facebook and twitter in one), most of my friends, especially those who are well informed seems to be pretty calm despite the ten fold increase in radiation because ten times still wouldn't hurt. But yes, food is being hoarded not only in Tokyo but in many places in the Kanto area. 

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:11 | 1055107 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

I agree anvILL.  All the panic seems to be coming from the (Western) media at this point.  What do you make of a complete return to normal programming?  Maybe it's just because I get TV from the Kansai area, but all the regular comedy shows are back with full commerical interference.  And does it strike you as odd that potassium iodide isn't being panic purchased on the internet auction sites, but (in the Kansai region) rice has been stripped from the shelves and batteries are selling for thousands of yen?  What think ye?

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 10:05 | 1055418 anvILL
anvILL's picture

I don't see rice being stripped in the Nagoya area. Which makes me think that people in the Kansai area are still deeply traumataized by the Hanshin quake, making them rushing in to the store and buy rice.

The TV is pretty much back to normal, but that may no longer be the case due to the Shizuoka quake that just took place.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:40 | 1054804 Boilermaker
Boilermaker's picture

LMFAO, REITs actually at par pre-market.


Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:43 | 1054805 Twindrives
Twindrives's picture

Where is our glorious Messiah Obama.........surely he could spin this as positive and ramp the futures higher.  Barry Barry quite contrare, where are you in our moment of depair?  <sarcasm>

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:44 | 1054808 Bob
Bob's picture

According to CNN, he's promoting nuclear power.  Yeah, you read that right.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:51 | 1054819 Twindrives
Twindrives's picture

That's our man Barry, clueless as usual.  Yesterday he was trying to incite gun confiscation in Arizona while hordes of illegals continue to pour over the border.   He's counting on their vote in 2012, lord knows everyone else knows better by now. 

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:59 | 1054844 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Unbelievable eh Bob? The entire, surreal schtick-show we have been held to for the past 6 decades, unravelling right before or eyes, and he's telling people how good it is for us.

I want to see who here is going to type in here today and say that yesterday was "general over-reaction" and calm the fuck down and all will be well. Armchair scientists.

Not that any of it matter's anyway. We played our hand, turned out we played it from our sleeve, got caught out and now we get to pay.

India's one giant reactor central, Kalpakkam, sits right in Tsunami belt. And we are breathlessly talking about the next two and what a damn bargain it's going to be.

Unreal times. Unreal actors. Shaky stage.

Happy/sad to watch it all crumble to dust. As it should.



Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:32 | 1054946 Bob
Bob's picture

Hey, ORI, since you called the Japan quake, how do you see the Super Moon event now that the planet's attitude wrt its axis has shifted?

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 12:49 | 1056149 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Bob, I think it's new Madrid and it's between the 19th and the 22nd-23rd.

interesting map pointing to that, I'll post it tomorrow.

All in all, tidal surge and shaking ground seem to be the theme upcoming.


Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:09 | 1054873 willien1derland
willien1derland's picture

Angela Merkel has just taken seven (7) German Nuclear Power Plants offline for the next three (3) months for 'further review' - GE getting hammered - Jeff Immelt will call His Highness Obamarama & demand he be bailed out & what better way than to deploy the 'Gold Standard' of Nuclear Reactors - the GE A-Type - just like your Russian Grandmother in Chernobyl  - Unbelievable Bob - Pass the Iodine please

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:48 | 1055015 Tail Dogging The Wag
Tail Dogging The Wag's picture

Crash GE — a major Obama campaign contributor.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:54 | 1054828 Unlawful Justice
Unlawful Justice's picture

Hamy will be filling in for him.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:49 | 1054821 bingaling
bingaling's picture


Tokyo geiger counter back online now - at almost 30 cpm compared to 11 yesterday

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:54 | 1054826 Yes We Can. But...
Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

Where am I? I'm in the Lincoln bedroom practicing my putting. 

Why?  Wussup?

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:54 | 1054833 BennyBoy
BennyBoy's picture

Godzilla's skin is radioactive and is coming to Tokyo.

Where is Mothra when you need him?

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:08 | 1055086 Broomer
Broomer's picture

You forgot the music

Mosura ya Mosura
Dongan kasakuyan
Indo muu
Rusuto uiraadoa
Hanba hanbamuyan
Randa banunradan
Kasaku yaanmu

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:54 | 1054837 Al89
Al89's picture

Don't worry guys. NFLX is up 1.14% in pre-trading.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:14 | 1055127 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

the Dow, S&P, and Nasdaq futures are now also being bid, but shld still gap lower @ the open by 1-1.5%.  what this triggers and leads to is anybody's guess, but a 3rd grader with a pencil and a ruler might come up w/ something...

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 12:34 | 1056092 Widowmaker
Widowmaker's picture

Easy money.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:58 | 1054839 Leo Kolivakis
Leo Kolivakis's picture

The WSJ reports that in Russia's Far East near Japan, residents bought up iodine pills to prevent radiation sickness and military units prepared to evacuate towns on concerns of nuclear fallout, even as the government insisted that radiation levels in Russia remain at normal levels after problems at Japanese reactors.

Meanwhile, the LA Times reports on nuclear emergencies and health risks. I quote:

About exposure, the EPA says this:

"There is no firm basis for setting a 'safe' level of exposure above background for stochastic effects. Many sources emit radiation that is well below natural background levels. This makes it extremely difficult to isolate its stochastic effects. In setting limits, EPA makes the conservative (cautious) assumption that any increase in radiation exposure is accompanied by an increased risk of stochastic effects. "

Stochastic, by the way, is associated with chronic exposure.

But then the agency says this:

"Health physicists generally agree on limiting a person's exposure beyond background radiation to about 100 mrem per year from all sources. Exceptions are occupational, medical or accidental exposures. (Medical X-rays generally deliver less than 10 mrem). EPA and other regulatory agencies generally limit exposures from specific source to the public to levels well under 100 mrem. This is far below the exposure levels that cause acute health effects."

Note the phrase "beyond background radiation."

You can estimate your own annual radiation dose via the agency's radiation calculator.

There, the agency notes: "In the United States, the average person is exposed to an effective dose equivalent of approximately 620 mrem (whole-body exposure) per year from all sources."

Questions include: Do you wear a plutonium powered pacemaker? Do you use gas lantern mantles when camping? Do you have a smoke detector in your home? Do you watch TV?

Such questions may seem beside the point. They're not. If we're going to begin analyzing the radiation exposure created by nuclear power accidents (and it seems safe to say that we are), we need something for comparison.

In Canada, the CBC reported this morning that iodine pills are being snapped up. People are panicking, remembering Chrenobyl. But this isn't Chenobyl. Modern nuclear facilities are a lot stronger. We'll see if this is another buying opportunity, which I believe it is, but  who really cares about markets when radiation is leaking in Japan!?!

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:02 | 1054850 Al89
Al89's picture

Modern nuclear facilities obviously aren't strong enough to prevent 3/4 of their reactors suffering major explosions and radiation leaks.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:07 | 1054863 snowball777
snowball777's picture

4/4 now. :(

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:00 | 1055048 TeamAmerica
TeamAmerica's picture

I think he means reactors with a containment vessel, unlike the naked reactors at Chernobyl.   It's the difference between leaking radiation locally vs. ejecting it into the stratosphere.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:55 | 1055031 r101958
r101958's picture

Yeah, I see a lot off panic here.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:17 | 1055145 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

The Japanese learned after exporting the Godzilla movies that everyone makes fun of them for panicking like a normal person would when facing utter destruction. So they've taken to panicking in a queue with their hands in their pockets.  This way, stupid juvenile trolls on loan from the Yahoo! comments page won't be so likely to jam up ZH with their Ja-hapa-nizu pronunciation and Godzilla jokes.  (I will junk future such jokes on principle.)

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:57 | 1054840 GOSPLAN HERO
GOSPLAN HERO's picture

Is Obama on vacation again?

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:12 | 1054881 willien1derland
willien1derland's picture

Bwaaaaahhhh!!! +1,000

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:58 | 1054843 sushi
sushi's picture

to stoke fears in the ultra-modern and hyper-efficient metropolis of 12 million

According to the CIA World Fact book the metropolitan Tokyo population is over 36 million. This is greater than the entire population of Canada.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:06 | 1054857 cossack55
cossack55's picture

And the Japanese can speak Engrish much better and drink less beer. 

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:35 | 1054958 victor82
victor82's picture

But they DON'T have Hockey Night!

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:39 | 1054980 sushi
sushi's picture

And Canucks do not glow in the dark.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 10:14 | 1055447 i-dog
i-dog's picture

... yet.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:30 | 1054945 Arch Duke Ferdinand
Arch Duke Ferdinand's picture

""to stoke fears in the ultra-modern and hyper-efficient metropolis of 12 million

According to the CIA World Fact book the metropolitan Tokyo population is over 36 million. This is greater than the entire population of Canada.""

...Canada's four Western Provinces have a plethora of Natural Resources w/ only 12.5 million citizens and is led by gateway city Vancouver BC...

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:12 | 1055114 sporb
sporb's picture

Hello from Winnipeg, safely deep in the Canadian prairie. We may get a flood this year, but we see it coming and are ready. Investment opportunities abound!

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 07:59 | 1054845 cossack55
cossack55's picture

"coming from Japan via the Jet Stream as soon as it wakes up." LMFAO  If the Jet Stream traveled 1 inch/hour they wtill wouldn't be awake by the time it got here.  Awake amerikans=oxymoron.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:13 | 1054856 Spartan
Spartan's picture

German Power Front Month contract is nearly 17% higher far...

Follows decision to shut down pre-1980 Nuclear Plants.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:15 | 1054875 AN0NYM0US
AN0NYM0US's picture

watching NHK last night as the Japanese Prime Minister was speaking was completely surreal as it was translated to English like a bad sci fi movie

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:13 | 1054879 hero HNL
hero HNL's picture

I live in Kansai area....everything is normal over here.

It's raining right now and the forecast is a return of

cold weather for the next few days....going to be

miserable for the people with no shelter in the striken





Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:16 | 1054891 slackrabbit
slackrabbit's picture

I think they should print moeny...after all...that how we solve our problems in the west....sad but true

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:21 | 1054908 Cant see me
Cant see me's picture
This is from a friend in Tokyo.  Hello again everyone,   New updates. Fukushima reactors 1, 2, 3, and 4 are all in trouble. 1 and 3 building blew up but reactors seem to be holding. 4 caught fire after 3 blew but fire seems to be out now. Radiation leek from that fire. #2 had a different explosion and is unable to retain water for cooling. Core has been exposed for several hours and might be meltiing. Unable to know for sure but radiation is rising in the building to dangerous health levels for workers. Release of radiation has spread to the Tokyo area on an abnormal wind direction. We are well above average BUT the amount of radiation is about the same as you would get on a flight from Tokyo to New York. It will dissipate very soon and poses NO HEALTH RISK.   Let me just say something about the US Media. DON'T LISTEN TO IT. They are sensationalizing this whole disaster for their own profits. I've seen headlines of "Panic in Tokyo" "Tokyo Shelves Empty" "People Evacuating Tokyo"...believe none of it. I've seen no panic here. On the contrary everyone is quite calm. It is true some items are sold out:Rice, Bottled Water, Gas bottles for table stoves, some favorite food items, Batteries, etc. But in a trip to the store today there was LOTS of food on the shelves, prices are stable, a few people but NO long lines. Everything was normal. It was much less than I've seen on the news for people preparing for a Hurrican in Florida.   In the Northeast it is different but NOT in Tokyo. New agencies are using pictures of normal crowded commutes to claim people are leaving Tokyo. Bull!!!   Also, I've been told US News has been showing people weeping over dead bodies of loved ones. OUTRAGEOUS!!!! We have THOUSANDS DEAD and NOT ONCE has Japanese news shown us a dead body in 24 hour coverage.   The ONLY people I have seen scared are the foreigners who have been watching US Media reports. I've been getting emails and calls from some of you asking me what is happening and to leave Japan. You are watching too much TV or reading mis-information on the web. Find a reliable source in Europe or Canada (maybe). I understand the US crews are leaving the Tsunami area because it is too difficult to get around and get supplies.

In summary; the situation is difficult but not as bad as the media would have you believe, at least in Tokyo. Even if we have a meltdown I understand it will NOT be like Russia 25 years ago. Different type of reactor; different problem; different result.   Will keep you informed. Thank you for your concern but DON'T PANIC...we're not.   John and Yuko


Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:34 | 1054957 cbaba
cbaba's picture

John and Yukosan Thanks for the update, please keep us informed.

All our hearts and prayers are with the Japanese people.


Tue, 03/15/2011 - 10:16 | 1055401 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

Even if we have a meltdown I understand it will NOT be like Russia 25 years ago. Different type of reactor; different problem; different result.

How did you come to this understanding?  Can you see the future? 

You do realize that different can also be worse, and you may be betting with your lives? 

I hope this wager works out for you and your family, John.  If it does, what do you win?

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:58 | 1055041 r101958
r101958's picture

Thank you for some reality, finally. All this talk of 'Panic'. Bilge!

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:12 | 1055101 TeamAmerica
TeamAmerica's picture

With all due respect, your perception of what the American media is reporting is not supported by what I'm seeing.   CNN is not saying there is panic in Tokyo, and I have not seen any dead bodies either.   Quite the contrary - reporters frequently comment on how calm and cooperative the Japanese people are in the face of this disaster.

I don't doubt there is some sensationalist reporting going on, but it's not the American mainstream media doing it.   I also don't believe the sensationalist media only exists in the USA...check out the UK or Russian media for examples of how bad it can get.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 13:07 | 1056228 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

Dear Don't See Me:  t.y. for forwarding the e telling you not to panic.  wherever you are.  apparently J&Y are extremely sensitive to US news and reactions to this huge earthquake, tsunami, the aftershocks, and the the 4 known nuclear reactors which are problematic, one of which (i may be mistaken) was not even producing electric when the tsunami rolled thru. 

why should J&Y care if WE panic?  or believe something that isn't "true" for J&Y?  the only reason i can come up with is:  we might SELL!  why don't J&Y want americans to sell, Can't See Me?  huh?  if i was sitting downwind of no less than 4 problematic reactor cores and/or waste "pools" why the fuk would i care what somebody almost 1/2 the globe away was selling, buying, eating, reading or watching? 

yep.  i wouldn't!  so this doesn't pass the smell test.  keep yer fuking lies off of zeroHedge, asswipe, and tell yer little straw friends in tokyo that slewie is sure glad they still have plenty of fuking KOOL AID!!!

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 15:00 | 1056710 Cant see me
Cant see me's picture


   John meant for his friends not to panic worrying about him, the thought  about "Selling" is the last thing from his mind.  Quite frankly, I am worried about him. 

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 13:17 | 1056267 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

and, since everything is just fine, no one in the entire nation of japan will ever hafta answer why the hell they didn't start evacuating families with children about 3 days ago, either, will they?  if you all just wanna stick around, downwind of radiation no worse than a long, safe airline flight, who could blame you?


Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:20 | 1054911 Alex Kintner
Alex Kintner's picture

Bad to worse...

NHK reporting there is a Spent Fuel fire at reactor 4. Analysis from the source of the article: " A spent fuel fire has the potential of causing far greater radiation release to the environment than a reactor accident. Heat from the spent fuel would have eventually boiled off the water once circulation was lost. When spent fuel is uncovered it can heat up to such high temperatures that its zirconium alloy cladding catches fire. Spent fuel in pools around reactors contains very high levels of radioactivity. If this is a spent fuel cladding fire large amounts of radioactivity could be released to the environment."

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:50 | 1055016 sushi
sushi's picture

It is even worse than the NHK report. In another ZH thread there was a link to Status of nuclear power plants in Fukushima as of 19:00 March 15 (Estimated by JAIF)

This report shows that units 5 and 6 have SFP which are increasing in temperature. If not provided with additional cooling water they will come to a boil, the coolant will evaporate, the fuel bundle cladding will oxidize and release H2 and there will be a subsequent fire and explosion. The heat of the fire will send the radionuclides up into the atmosphere.

The crew of 50 workers are reported not to be able to attend to unit # 4 and add coolant due to the current radiation hazard. So #4, #5 and #6 will all explode and burn. Forty years worth of spent fuel bundles in each unit for a total of 120 years worth going boom.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:31 | 1055251 Alex Kintner
Alex Kintner's picture

Sounds like the worst case scenario is now more and more  likely. Thanks for the update.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 13:29 | 1056317 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture



the 3, er, i mean 4, now, overheating cores are gonna cook the other 2 sure as the 4 flaming "campfire" marshmallows on the end of yer coat hanger are gonna cause the 5th and 6th little balls of puffed sugar to light up and start turning black, too.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:33 | 1055262 hardcleareye
hardcleareye's picture

Concur, my take on it too.  All 6 are going to be involved before this is done playing out.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 13:40 | 1056384 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture


double duh

and maybe we should add about 6 more duh's for the nuculer waste pools which are being/will be incinerated, too.  4-5 days after the tsunami, we are still not on the downside of the nuculer events and very possibly of the geologic and geothermal events, either. 

maybe japan can dodge a bullet or two.  that would be fine avec moi, but i, personally, have no interest, whatsoever, in being or becoming a "good" japanese.  i feel like a square peg in a round hole in my own nation, pretty much full-time, already.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 14:24 | 1056549 Alex Kintner
Alex Kintner's picture

Slewie, good luck to you. The govt and TEPCO are either in CYA mode or they just don't know what is happening inside the reactor buildings, so trust your own judgement. Personally, I'd get out of Dodge until the smoke clears.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:56 | 1055028 trav7777
trav7777's picture

this was the highest risk issue, high temperature fire in the zircalloy cladding

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:23 | 1054914 TexDenim
TexDenim's picture

This is way, way overblown. Japan will recover from this much faster than Ukraine did from Chernobyl. Remember when they were telling us Russia would be uninhabitable, New Orleans underwater, and the Gulf Coast buried in a crust of bunker fuel? Didn't happen. Japan recovered from WWII. This is a cake walk in comparison.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:10 | 1055102 Josh Randall
Josh Randall's picture

Overblown ? Its the complete opposite - no way to articulate how devastating this is for the next several decades. Lets pretend there wasn't even a nuclear chain reaction meltdown - the tsunami pics are incredible. Towns wiped off the map, soggy homes for miles beyond that. This takes nothing into account such as cost of commodities to rebuild, transportation of anything to and front that island for the next 6 months, etc...Add in loss of life, disease that will start to spread due to rotting corpses washing up and laying dormant and its a nightmare. OK - now add back in a daisy chain nuclear reactor explosion and you have Silkwood on steroids meets Katrina

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 10:00 | 1055384 TexDenim
TexDenim's picture

Nonsense. Six months from now, this will be old news.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:24 | 1054918 TerraHertz
TerraHertz's picture

This whole 'natural disaster' theme would sit a lot more comfortably, if it hadn't fallen on that damned signature '11' again, plus being *exactly* on time to save the Elite's fiat/paper bacon from the Silver Liberation Army.

Wasn't this the month we were supposed to be watching the CRIMEX default on physical, certain very large somebodies fall to the ground clutching silver-over-$36 derivatives knives in their chests, and in general the downfall of the FED ponzi scheme?

Well gosh, that was *convenient* timing, wasn't it!

If I had any idea how the hell that one could have been pulled off, I'd definitely be reaching for a new roll of alfoil. But if it is somehow possible, someone's had plenty of opportunity for aiming practice with Aceh, Haiti, Christchurch, and the Mar 10 China quake.

Yes, I'm aware of the Vials 'seafloor nuke trigger' idea, and the HAARP/Scalar-wave ideas. No I have no idea if any of it could be true. Just saying.... 11, AGAIN. And incredibly, arse-savingly lucky timing for certain people, who have a history of not giving a shit about megadeaths for their own gain.


Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:40 | 1054984 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

'11' again....what are the odds?


well bro, the odds of a catastrophe happening in any given month on the 11th are,oh say, one in thirty

i'll wager you 100 ameros and a shape shifting reptilian that the next disaster wont be on the eleventh

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:01 | 1055047 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

You're right JQP, it won't be the 11th this time.

It'll be the 22nd. That 11, just in disguise.

Such is how it goes. Numbers matter. 


Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:55 | 1055025 Old. No. 7
Old. No. 7's picture

Of course this is scripted.  3-11-11.  Lots of big playas will benefit. Strange action right now @ physical dealers like Tulving.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:18 | 1055153 TeamAmerica
TeamAmerica's picture made my day.   Haven't laughed that hard in a while.

A tip:  there's a reason why they say "tin foil hat" and not aluminum.  It's hard to find, but get yourself some genuine tin foil and give it a try.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:31 | 1054941 genieous
genieous's picture

Terra - yep, that "11" again.


Gold down 32 bux spot month, silver down 2 bux


By the pricking of my thumbs something wicked this way comes

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:35 | 1054959 Snidley Whipsnae
Snidley Whipsnae's picture


Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:04 | 1055057 Tail Dogging The Wag
Tail Dogging The Wag's picture

Silver under $34 is a bargain! BTFD while it lasts. Physical!

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:34 | 1054961 the not so migh...
the not so mighty maximiza's picture

I actually saw asian people driving their cars with a surgical mask on their face on my way to work here in great neck, ny.  Do they know somehting I dont????  is shit allready blowing in?

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:36 | 1054963 Snidley Whipsnae
Snidley Whipsnae's picture

Yeah, they saw your hair on fire...

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:37 | 1054968 the not so migh...
the not so mighty maximiza's picture

I always protect my ears and fur for the ladies.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:37 | 1054971 Mercury
Mercury's picture

I don't understand:  shouldn't the Japanese be running amok, smashing windows and looting storefronts right now like any self-respecting American (or Middle Easterner) would be doing right now?

What the hell is the matter with these people?

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:41 | 1054988 Snidley Whipsnae
Snidley Whipsnae's picture

The're busy buying the dip... What all those running around this board with their hair on fire should be doing.

Some would rather spread wild rumors and that is great for those that are loading up on the dip...go figure.


Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:58 | 1055039 trav7777
trav7777's picture

huh?  Only one type of american does that.  The majority of disasters don't see looting

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:38 | 1054972 slackrabbit
slackrabbit's picture

Is the conspiracy theory true, that this is not a nuclear meltdown, but Ben and Mel printers over heating?....i knew they were printing somewhere in a secret underground base......and all the time I thought is was inside a volcano ;-)

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:42 | 1054985 Clapham Junction
Clapham Junction's picture

Anybody care to discuss metals action?


I didn't think so.  Metals trade in disaster scenario: FAIL.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:54 | 1054997 Clapham Junction
Clapham Junction's picture

A big middle finger to the faggot(s) who just junked me.

You guys talk big about free speech, but can't handle dissent.

Instead you snipe like little teenage bitches-which I'm beginning to think, you actually are.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 10:35 | 1055541 robobbob
robobbob's picture

free speech also comes with the responsibility of taking criticism of that speech.

You cannot eat PM's in the middle of a crisis, or build a liferaft with it. However, it is the wealth asset most likely to survive to the other side.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 14:01 | 1056454 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture


it's a troll dude.  this is from below:  "Thanks for a civil reply.  I don't know man, this seems to indicate to me that the metals are just another speculative asset, with a cute story that doesn't pan out."

now we can spend hours explaining little "things" that s/he just diesn't "quite" understand..."yet"...about gold and silver, no less.

clapham junction is only pretending to be an ignorant shitheaded asswipe.  in reality, s/he is BOTH the problem with the head and the stuff being wiped.




Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:44 | 1054999 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

buying opportunity

they will fire up the nuclear powered printers again, if they ever turned 'em off

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:50 | 1055013 Clapham Junction
Clapham Junction's picture

Thanks for a civil reply.  I don't know man, this seems to indicate to me that the metals are just another speculative asset, with a cute story that doesn't pan out.


This IS the disaster that gold/silver is supposed tom protect against.  Its not working.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:10 | 1055090 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

i think the thing with metals, is they are highly liquid and get sold first to cover longs/shorts/losses

they are just as speculative as anything else, but at least they never go to zero,as some of my stocks have done in the past

silver is always going to have value as not only a safeguard, but also for industrial uses

i like junk silver because it can never go below face value(for now)

and people have always valued metals

but they like diamonds too....what people place value in is always relative

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:11 | 1055100 Dr. No
Dr. No's picture

I own gold.  I own silver.  Anyone who thinks gold and PMs will appreciate in a recession (or global melt down), has not thought things through.  Today, fiat currency is money.  Many people on this board will not like me for saying it, but a wad of bills will buy you more bread and gas than a roll of gold coins.  This is why fiat appreciates in times like these.  To really get the junks rolling, consider that a wad of dollar bills will appreciate in the event of a US gov default.  Think before you junk please.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:16 | 1055139 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

do explain that theory a bit more please...


as in , when no one has any money, yours is worth more deflationary perspective?

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:22 | 1055175 Dr. No
Dr. No's picture

US gov default on some treasuries-> balance sheets with treasuries listed as assets turn to liabilities, or reduced value-> a race for cash to cover -> bank reserves go down-> loans called, credit cards canceled-> people on the street need cash to buy bread and gas. -> dollar bill worth more.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:25 | 1055211 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

sounds reasonable

also sounds like a reason to have some metal in reserve too, but cash on the sidelines


damned if you do/damned if you dont

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:29 | 1055242 Dr. No
Dr. No's picture

food, cash, gold, silver, guns.  The amounts are negotiable but need to have all of them.  Keep a shoebox for each one (except food of course).

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:15 | 1055128 snowball777
snowball777's picture

Metals provide protection from inflation, which this ain't. Besides, all my PMs are still well into positive territory and will very likely appreciate rapidly if/when the central bankers bring their firehoses to the party.


Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:26 | 1055199 chubbar
chubbar's picture

This is NOT the disaster that PM's are supposed to protect against. In fact, most moves the PM's make during a disaster are short term moves and usually correct back rather quickly.

PM's are discounting (and only just starting at that) the failure of the fiat/monetary system. It's foolish to take a short term move and extrapolate a meaning or theory from it.

The CB's reaction to this will be telling and I suspect will result in even more money printing, which will eventually be reflected in the price of PM's. Short term, anything can happen.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:46 | 1055006 youngman
youngman's picture

I think its wierd that PM´s are falling.....Its better than a 10 yer T-bill...thats for sure....this disaster means trillions more fiat out there very fast....and if i was a Japanese I would sell Toyota and buy PM´s..IMHO

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:44 | 1054993 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

The French are not holding back much in their analysis - they have raised their nuclear disaster level to 6 , 7 is a Chernobyl.

On France 24 a nuclear analyst claimed it could be another Chernobyl.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:01 | 1055045 trav7777
trav7777's picture

this is definitely worse than TMI, which was a 5(?) on their scale?

As for being another Chernobyl, this will occur if there is a significant fire involving core elements or spent fuel rods...

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:44 | 1054995 Josh Randall
Josh Randall's picture

Simply stunning - the Black Swan landed March 11th and there are baby ducklings running everywhere. COAL is the word now - cue Loretta Lynn music please...

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:50 | 1055020 curbyourrisk
curbyourrisk's picture

If the wind does stay in a Westward direction...How long before China gets pissed off????

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:23 | 1055192 TeamAmerica
TeamAmerica's picture

The nearest Chinese territory is some 800 miles away from Fukushima.   A pretty long time.

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:56 | 1055034 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

and whats news on my tv this a.m.?

well, football lockout/strike

st pats day singers

lots of commercials

these are the reasons the mute button on my remote is worn out

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 08:57 | 1055035 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Everyone forgets Gamera: the giant fire breathing turtle that attacked Tokyo in the 1950s. He's coming from Fukushima beach. 

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:20 | 1055159 snowball777
Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:03 | 1055055 Jaxn44
Jaxn44's picture

Has everyone forgotten that Japan is the 3rd biggest US bond holder in the world?  They won't be buyers ever again.  China....they're running monthly trade deficits now. Done. is not's pure debt....and that debt has no financier.  No bond more dollar value. QE3 was started before the first wave hit. 

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 09:06 | 1055070 Campagnolo
Campagnolo's picture

end of times soon...regrets about all your and market manipulations all, run! (with your gold)

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