Summary Update Of Japan's Nuclear Crisis - The Cable Quandary

Tyler Durden's picture

Below is the most recent summary update from Reuters on the Japanese crisis. The one topic that everyone is following, however, namely whether some cable is attached to some cooling installation that probably blew up on Monday or Tuesday, gets the proper treatment: i.e., in the span of 4 minutes Reuters reports two completely conflicting stories. Looks like we will be seeing more crocodile tears from TEPCO executives in the next few days.

  • From 10:52 pm ET -  Engineers have yet to attach a cable to Japan's quake-stricken reactors but hope to be successful either on Saturday or Sunday, the plant operator said.
  • From 10:54 pm ET - Engineers successfully attach a power cable to the outside of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear station in a first step to help cool reactors and stop the spread of radiation.

Credible stuff.

More updates below:

  • Further cabling inside under way before an attempt to restart water pumps to cool overheated fuel rods. Engineers able to restart a diesel pump to cool reactor No. 5, plant operator says.
  • Plant operator says once power is restored, the next stage will be to check equipment is working and not damaged before trying to crank up the coolers at reactor No. 2, followed by 1, 3 and 4.
  • The U.N. atomic agency says conditions at the plant are grave but not deteriorating badly.
  • If engineers are unable to cool the reactor, the last option would be entombing the plant with concrete and sand to prevent a catastrophic radiation leak, the method used at Chernobyl in Ukraine in 1986.
  • Severity rating of the nuclear crisis raised to level 5 from 4 on the seven-level INES international scale, putting it on a par with the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, although some experts say it is more serious. Chernobyl was a 7 on that scale. - No plans yet to expand the evacuation area beyond 30 km at this point. Japan's nuclear agency said the radiation level at the plant was as high as 20 millisieverts per hour. The limit for workers involved in emergencies was 100 millisieverts but it has been raised to 250 for workers handling the Fukushima incident.
  • The head of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Gregory Jaczko, says it could take weeks to cool the reactors. About 300 workers, wearing masks, goggles and protective suits are toiling in the radioactive wreckage.
  • Japanese PM Kan plans to sound out the opposition on joining a grand coalition to handle reconstruction policy following the earthquake and tsunami.
  • A man pulled alive from the rubble of a house eight days after the quake in Miyagi prefecture, one of the hardest hit areas.
  • Nearly 7,000 people have been confirmed killed in the quake and tsunami. Another 10,700 people are missing with many feared dead.
  • The Japanese government plans to dedicate up to 10 trillion yen ($127 billion) in crisis lending to businesses to help them finance day-to-day operations and repair damage, Nikkei said

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Triggernometry's picture

"Crisis Lending" -priceless

RockyRacoon's picture

I'm having a crisis -- kin I git some o' dat?

sangell's picture

No, but how about a cup of nice warm milk.

From the LA Times...

"The amount of radiation found in the milk, if consumed for a year, was equivalent to levels found in one CAT scan...

The dairy farm in question is "more than 19 miles" from the Fukushima plant, beyond the 12-mile evacuation perimeter set up by authorities, Edano said....

I'm no Dairy Queen but if the cow's milk is radioactive on Friday how much earlier was the grass it ate irradiated, i.e. what is the conversion time from food to milk in a cow?

Thomas's picture

"I'm no dairy queen..." Very funny.

SparkyvonBellagio's picture


The MontyPython-SimpleScale Nuclear Radiation Code =


1 - Tis' but a Scratch


2 - Your Arms Off


3 - I'll Have Your Other Arm


4 - I Don't Want to go On the Cart


5 - What behind the Rabbit? It is the Rabbit!


6 - Jezzzzzsus Christ,,,,, that Rabbit's Dynamite!


Oh regional Indian's picture

I imagined Crisis Giving would be the order of the day, ne?

After all close to 30 trillionwent to certain someone' s in a crisis giving mode.


bob_dabolina's picture

Here is a good 6 minute vid on what was done to cleanup Chernobyl. The ruskies used humans called "biorobots" and sent them in. Many times the actual robots being used to assist would not work and literally drive into the breach...


I hear Japan is currently taking applications.

dark pools of soros's picture

they finally sent in some robots..  some radz detector bots

bob_dabolina's picture

Yea but like in that video the robots can only last so long with radiation levels that high.

Ray1968's picture

wow. Bravery vs. Stupidity. I don't know.

Now that I'm over 40 I know I'd never do that. Maybe when I was 20 and stupid.

Great link.

buzzsaw99's picture

Bellona ia reporting 3700 mSv/hr at some of the plants. Of course they hate nukes so they make be exagerating. (they also said the release is already 1/10 of Chernobyl which I don't believe either). My WAG would be somewhere between the 15 - 87 mSv/hr reported by the Japanese and the 4 Sv reported by the nuke H8Rs.

privet's picture

Quote "

At approximately 10AM on March 15th, we observed 400mSv/h at the inland
side of the Unit 3 reactor building and 100mSv/h at the inland side of
the Unit 4 reactor building.



TEPCO Press Release (Mar 18,2011)





bob_dabolina's picture

If you look on google you can find all kinds of interviews, and documentaries from surviors, scientists, etc that state how much the government lied. Saying things like "there is no radiation, or very little" even in Pripyat they were telling the citizens that there was no threat whatsoever.

Incredible stuff to those thirsting for a taste of the future if you spend the time to look

Dr. Porkchop's picture

That was part of what made Chernobyl as bad as it was, the bumbling bureaucracy and denial of reality. It seems to be playing out here as well.

Zon's picture

ive seen this guys videos before he is like the Japanese alex jones.(except he is still white, but he speaks japanese)

Spitzer's picture

Uranium one up 13% today

Strathmore monerals up 22% today

Uranium Energy up 11% today

hack3434's picture

Your comment is misleading as Strathmore is down 45% from the Feb/11 peak and over 90% from the 07' peak. The stock was a dog until QE2. 

mophead's picture

You forgot to add:


* As a result, prices everywhere set to rise


All your purchasing power are belong to us,


-the cabal

tahoebumsmith's picture

Deja vu? How about top kill or maybe a junk shot and then a containment cap? Sorry I'm not a taker anymore, Just tell us it's going to take 100 +- days and cause Catastrophic economic, enviornmental and human health issues. And please if you have so much uncertainty can you show some humanity and initiate an evacuation plan for Tokyo like you should have done 5 days ago.

mfoste1's picture

those poor workers....gonna be a lotta lawsuits

SparkyvonBellagio's picture

The Japanese don't typically sue as a culture.

I recall some devastating airline crash and no one sued the company.

I believe the company gave a small amount of money to each family for their loss and that was it. It's completely different over there than the US or other countries.

What you DON'T SEE in Japan at this point is looting, violence, anger, and people complaining the GOVT isn't doing enough for them. So,,,,, a bit different than say a Katrina reaction. Different people are the Japanese, a people who don't feel everything is owed them.

However their GOVT officials and CEOs need to be more upfront with their people, and quite HIDING all the trouble. Ask for Assistance EARLIER rather than later.  They could improve on that.  However their GOVT and the clowns who ran the Gulf of Mexico disaster and are still running it, are very very similar.  Why is it the Top Brass are so F'n Stupid in every Country and Culture?  

I hope they can get these Reactors under control and the winds don't switch and blow over Tokyo. 

cossack55's picture

"The Japanese don't typically sue as a culture." True. As an island-based culture they restrict the majority of their sharks to off-shore.

RmcAZ's picture

"...conditions at the plant are grave but not deteriorating badly."

How do you deteriorate more than "grave"?

Oh regional Indian's picture

I think it goes like this:

Grave, graver, gravest.

Brave, braver-->Gravest.



PhattyBuoy's picture

Such crap ...

These sites could not be made operational in 6 months under perfect working conditions, never mind a lethal exposure in < 5 minutes !

Jim in MN's picture

If by 'operational' you mean 'not careening into disaster on an hourly basis' then yes, if radiation took a holiday....

SilverIsKing's picture

Why hasn't anyone blamed Bush yet for the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear reactor meltdown in Japan?  It's surely all his fault.  Just ask Obama.  He'll tell ya.

LongSoupLine's picture

10:55 pm ET - Engineers have removed all radioactive material and the site is now fully built out as "Disney Japan".

LongSoupLine's picture

whomever junked me, I was merely trying to underscore the ridiculousness of "fact reporting" coming from govt agencies.

If you couldn't see that, then F-off.

serotonindumptruck's picture

Ultimately, this catastrophe is EVERYONE'S responsibility.

Yeah, I'm talkin' to YOU.

It's a tragic testimony to humanity's technological advance into the fields of nuclear energy. Should the "unthinkable" happen, and there is a catastrophic radiological release due to a nuclear meltdown, many people seem to assume that there just has to be a contingency plan in place to deal with this type of worst-case scenario.

Newsflash: Try implementing that contingency plan in a disaster scenario. Bear in mind that it requires you to consign many brave souls to their death, but hey, as long as YOU don't have to deal with this mess personally, what's the problem?!?

F*ck this shit. Who wants to fight?


TruthInSunshine's picture



Google cache of story - since taken down.

References Zero Hedge.

No cover up. Suuuuure.


By Miriam Raftery
March 16, 2011 (San Diego) 12:30 a.m. -- A radiation map on the U.S. Environmental Protection Service shows radiation levels at measuring stations across the United States.  There is a disturbing pattern showing gamma radiation levels along the West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii at two to ten times levels on the East Coast, with midwest states in mid-ranges:

 The EPA radiation site ( has a database but does not appear to list what units this map is measured in, so it is difficult to assess whether these levels should be of concern. However it's clear from the map that levels are highest in all West Coast states, Hawaii, Alaska, Arizona and  Nevada, all with measures in the 900s, tapering off as you move eastward, with measurements on the East Coast ranging from around 100 to 400. 
The map displays gamma radiation.  The site states that gamma radiation is only measured when beta radiation is found to exceed normal levels
Gamma radiation is the type of radiation being spewed forth from at least four failed Japanese nuclear reactors, including two where authorities have indicated the core has been breached, plus a spent fuel rod pond where radiation was released directly into the atmosphere.  In low levels, gamma rays can cause nausea and other effects.  In high levels, it can cause more serious health effects both short and long term, including cancer and birth defects.
East County Magazine will be contacting the EPA when their office opens for an explanation on the measurements.  Earlier today, the EPA issued a statement indicating it will deploy more electronic monitors that measure radiatiolevels in the air. The monitors, which detect gamma radiation and radioactive particles, will be set up in "parts of the Western U.S. and U.S. territories," the agency said in a statement.
EPA officials, however, refused to answer questions or make staff members available to explain the exact location and number of monitors, or the levels of radiation, if any, being recorded at existing monitors in California, the San Jose Mercury-News reports. Margot Perez-Sullivan at the EPA's regional headquarters in San Francisco, said the agency's written statement would stand on its own.
Critics said the public needs more information.
"It's disappointing," said Bill Magavern, director of Sierra Club California. "I have a strong suspicion that EPA is being silenced by those in the federal government who don't want anything to stand in the way of a nuclear power expansion in this country, heavily subsidized by taxpayer money."
The EPA has 124 air monitors, which provide hourly readings, already in place in its "Rad-Net" system to measure radiation, including 12 in California and two in Hawaii. California locations include San Jose, Sacramento, Fresno, Los Angeles and San Diego; however the San Diego monitor is listed as "inactive" on another EPA database. The EPA also has 40 mobile monitors, some of which are now being deployed. The agency clarified that some would go to Guam, Hawaii and Alaska, but did not respond to questions about California, the Mercury-News said.
"As the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has said, we do not expect to see radiation at harmful levels reaching the U.S. from damaged Japanese nuclear power plants," the EPA statement yesterday stated.
Government regulatory agencies and nuclear experts have repeatedly said that high levels of radiation are unlikely to hit California in significant quantities because Japan is 5,000 miles away. However, studies from the California Air Resources Board have found that coal dust and other pollution from China regularly reaches the state.
Most experts said that if the Japanese reactors experience a complete Chernobyl-type explosion, fire and release of nuclear material, some could reach California, but "probably in very low amounts," the Mercury- News reports.
The Japanese government now has a website with radiation readings there posted online, however Fukushima and certain other locations are listed as "under survey" and have not been releaesd.  You can view the current data here:
There is an analysis and screenshots of the Japanese data here that indicates gamma radiation levels were extremely high 100 miles or so from the explosions and fires at the Fukushima nuclear reactors. The website Zero Hedge analysis concludes that "the data is stunning: based on a N, NE and NNE wind direction (where it originates), meaning all coming from Fukushima, with a normal reading in the 80 nGy/h range, the city of Kounosu Naka is at 3,024, Kadobe Naka is at 2,416, Isobe Hitachioota is at 1,213 and many others are in the mid to upper triple digit range! Again, this is based on wind coming out of Fukushima and ultimately headed toward the capital. Indicatively, normal terrestrial plus cosmic gamma radiation is about 80 nGy/h."  See  
ECM cautions that we do not know whether these sites are using comparable measurements to the EPA site or not, nor even whether West Coast gamma measurements are customarily comparable to East Coast measurements or not, nor whether the higher levels on this map are due to the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan.  However we believe in giving the public all information available.   We will be seeking expert comments at the earliest opportunity.

snowball777's picture

Fixed Monitor Location: CA: SAN FRANCISCO
Measurement Start Date/Time: 03/19/2011 02:49:10 AM
Measurement End Date/Time: 03/19/2011 03:49:18 AM
Beta Gross Count Rate (CPM): 14
Gamma Energy Range 2 Gross(CPM): 1937
Gamma Energy Range 3 Gross(CPM): 1246
Gamma Energy Range 4 Gross(CPM): 377
Gamma Energy Range 5 Gross(CPM): 196
Gamma Energy Range 6 Gross(CPM): 134
Gamma Energy Range 7 Gross(CPM): 159
Gamma Energy Range 8 Gross(CPM): 98
Gamma Energy Range 9 Gross(CPM): 29
Gamma Energy Range 10 Gross(CPM): 38


Fixed Monitor Location: NC: WILMINGTON
Measurement Start Date/Time: 03/19/2011 03:16:27 AM
Measurement End Date/Time: 03/19/2011 04:16:35 AM
Beta Gross Count Rate (CPM): 25
Gamma Energy Range 2 Gross(CPM): 1724
Gamma Energy Range 3 Gross(CPM): 1038
Gamma Energy Range 4 Gross(CPM): 307
Gamma Energy Range 5 Gross(CPM): 140
Gamma Energy Range 6 Gross(CPM): 72
Gamma Energy Range 7 Gross(CPM): 76
Gamma Energy Range 8 Gross(CPM): 44
Gamma Energy Range 9 Gross(CPM): 21
Gamma Energy Range 10 Gross(CPM): 28


Fixed Monitor Location: DE: DOVER
Measurement Start Date/Time: 03/19/2011 03:09:18 AM
Measurement End Date/Time: 03/19/2011 04:09:26 AM
Beta Gross Count Rate (CPM): 36
Gamma Energy Range 2 Gross(CPM): 1416
Gamma Energy Range 3 Gross(CPM): 892
Gamma Energy Range 4 Gross(CPM): 278
Gamma Energy Range 5 Gross(CPM): 163
Gamma Energy Range 6 Gross(CPM): 96
Gamma Energy Range 7 Gross(CPM): 123
Gamma Energy Range 8 Gross(CPM): 79
Gamma Energy Range 9 Gross(CPM): 28
Gamma Energy Range 10 Gross(CPM): 32

Fixed Monitor Location: RI: PROVIDENCE
Measurement Start Date/Time: 03/19/2011 03:05:10 AM
Measurement End Date/Time: 03/19/2011 04:05:17 AM
Beta Gross Count Rate (CPM): 33
Gamma Energy Range 2 Gross(CPM): 3302
Gamma Energy Range 3 Gross(CPM): 1973
Gamma Energy Range 4 Gross(CPM): 569
Gamma Energy Range 5 Gross(CPM): 304
Gamma Energy Range 6 Gross(CPM): 199
Gamma Energy Range 7 Gross(CPM): 231
Gamma Energy Range 8 Gross(CPM): 149
Gamma Energy Range 9 Gross(CPM): 39
Gamma Energy Range 10 Gross(CPM): 43


TruthInSunshine's picture

I see that you didn't get the memo.

RadNet is run by the EPA. Earlier captured values have been wiped.

The data is suspect, and before you cry 'tin foil!,' please tell me why so many reporting stations were and are offline?

Edit - I was just informed that there was confusion as to reported values versus reporting station IDs, but there's still a question as to why so many stations are or have been offline.

snowball777's picture

I see you're an idiot who will use any excuse to justify your confirmation bias of conspiracy.

904.0000 53.0000 2011-02-28 23:03:00 2011-03-01 00:03:08 31.0000 2,267.0000 1,230.0000 340.0000 177.0000 117.0000 134.0000 84.0000 37.0000 904.0000 50.0000 2011-03-01 00:03:13 2011-03-01 01:03:21 32.0000 2,244.0000 1,218.0000 334.0000 176.0000 114.0000 135.0000 80.0000 36.0000 904.0000 51.0000 2011-03-01 01:03:27 2011-03-01 02:03:35 31.0000 2,244.0000 1,210.0000 339.0000 169.0000 113.0000 134.0000 83.0000 37.0000 904.0000 50.0000 2011-03-01 02:03:40 2011-03-01 03:03:48 29.0000 2,230.0000 1,195.0000 337.0000 168.0000 111.0000 135.0000 74.0000 35.0000 904.0000 50.0000 2011-03-01 03:03:53 2011-03-01 04:04:01 30.0000 2,224.0000 1,195.0000 339.0000 171.0000 115.0000 138.0000 72.0000 34.0000 904.0000 50.0000 2011-03-01 04:04:06 2011-03-01 05:04:14 32.0000 2,244.0000 1,204.0000 339.0000 166.0000 116.0000 138.0000 71.0000 36.0000 904.0000 50.0000 2011-03-01 05:04:19 2011-03-01 06:04:27 34.0000 2,253.0000 1,205.0000 346.0000 170.0000 113.0000 139.0000 69.0000 37.0000 904.0000 49.0000 2011-03-01 06:04:32 2011-03-01 07:04:40 36.0000 2,239.0000 1,207.0000 342.0000 168.0000 112.0000 146.0000 68.0000 38.0000 904.0000 48.0000 2011-03-01 07:04:45 2011-03-01 08:04:53 38.0000 2,251.0000 1,216.0000 345.0000 172.0000 118.0000 145.0000 69.0000 37.0000 904.0000 49.0000 2011-03-01 08:04:58 2011-03-01 09:05:06 40.0000 2,270.0000 1,226.0000 349.0000 173.0000 113.0000 147.0000 68.0000 37.0000 904.0000 50.0000 2011-03-01 09:05:12 2011-03-01 10:05:20 41.0000 2,265.0000 1,223.0000 350.0000 173.0000 113.0000 148.0000 69.0000 39.0000 904.0000 49.0000 2011-03-01 10:05:25 2011-03-01 11:05:33 44.0000 2,252.0000 1,223.0000 351.0000 171.0000 114.0000 148.0000 65.0000 37.0000 904.0000 47.0000 2011-03-01 11:05:38 2011-03-01 12:05:47 49.0000 2,279.0000 1,241.0000 357.0000 174.0000 119.0000 152.0000 66.0000 36.0000 904.0000 49.0000 2011-03-01 12:05:52 2011-03-01 13:06:00 54.0000 2,280.0000 1,254.0000 359.0000 177.0000 117.0000 155.0000 66.0000 38.0000 904.0000 47.0000 2011-03-01 13:06:05 2011-03-01 14:06:13 59.0000 2,292.0000 1,249.0000 363.0000 176.0000 119.0000 157.0000 68.0000 37.0000 904.0000 48.0000 2011-03-01 14:06:18 2011-03-01 15:06:26 67.0000 2,293.0000 1,279.0000 370.0000 177.0000

Oligarchs Gone Wild's picture

EPA RADNET data is down again.  Must be under survey.  Or as it's called in the US, "quality review".

  • Dark Blue - RadNet monitor is running
  • White - RadNet monitor is temporarily out of service
  • Light Blue - RadNet data is undergoing quality review


REIT Bubble's picture
  • From 10:52 pm ET -  Engineers have yet to attach a cable to Japan's quake-stricken reactors but hope to be successful either on Saturday or Sunday, the plant operator said.
  • From 10:54 pm ET - Engineers successfully attach a power cable to the outside of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear station in a first step to help cool reactors and stop the spread of radiation.

Is Rick James working for Reuters?

Real Rick James: See, I never just did things just to do them. Come on, what am I gonna do? Just all of a sudden jump up and grind my feet on somebody's couch like it's something to do? Come on. I got a little more sense then that.
Real Rick James: Yeah, I remember grinding my feet on Eddie's couch.

Cursive's picture

Plant operator says once power is restored, the next stage will be to check equipment is working and not damaged before trying to crank up the coolers at reactor No. 2, followed by 1, 3 and 4.

So it is just as we skeptics thought.  This is like the old sayings about Isvestia: they do report the news, you just have to know how to read between the lines.

Augustus's picture

Connecting to the BUILDING is not the same as connecting to the REACTOR.  Presenting the reports as being in conflict is simply nonsense.  It illustrates the lack of understanding of the work that is being done.

Psquared's picture

What I want to know is why portable generators were not flown in immediately (as in two weeks ago to provide power for the water pumps. Of all the nations the US and Japan have the technology and logistics to do this within hours. They could have brought in a nuke sub and run an extension cord (its been done before) to provide electrical power to at least one of the plants if not all of them.

GoldbugVariation's picture

LA Times reporting that they have the cable at the building of No 2 reactor but have not yet connected the power - first, all internal circuits have to be checked by workers (presumably just checking for water pools and obvious physical damage?) and then the workers have to actually hook up the power lines, which I would guess possibly involves a transformer too.  All while wearing hazmat suits and working short shifts due to the radiation...

Also reporting that they hope to connect power to 3+4 tomorrow.

Perhaps the best news is that they have jury rigged a device to spray water onto the top of reactor 3 constantly and unmanned, for 7 hours at a time.  (I'm not sure what the 7 hours is - maybe that is the intervals between fillups of diesel?)

I would evaluate this news as good positive progress.

Unfortunately, I imagine they are going to have to continue doing this indefinitely though - I have not seen, anywhere, any suggestion - apart from "entombment" - for how to deal with this situation longer term.  The alternatives would seem to involve, for each of reactors 1, 2, 3, 4:

1)  Filling the spent fuel pools full of water, so that workers can work safely on the roofs of reactors

2)  Removal of debris from the destroyed roofs

3)  Reactivation of cranes, if still working

4)  Removal of all spent fuel rods to an off-site location

That doesn't even begin to deal with the cores.