When Duty Called …


377mWhen Duty Called …

We know today that during the disastrous meltdown at the Fukushima facilities, most of the nuclear plant workers, those highly trained individuals, bold and brave, willing to stay when everything is going wrong and a possible disaster threatens us all, when confronted with an actual nuclear disaster decided to take a day off and fled the scene.

Goodness! Does this call into question all those scenarios where the nuclear plant is in trouble and the steely eyed, workers (who will be played by Tom Cruise in the later film) work those controls, klaxons sounding in the background, and bring that reactor back from the brink?

The government and TEPCO kept this from their public and us until now. It’s embarrassing. After all, if you’ve telling a story of courage and stalwart endurance in the face of nation-wide danger, the revelation that the last ditch defenders against nuclear disaster were searching their pockets for car keys may be less than edifying.

If you think this constitutes an argument against nuclear energy, you’re right.Those systems designed to stop nuclear disaster aren’t all automatic. They need human guidance, and if the workers flee, only the thinnest of chances protects us from disaster.

James Pilant

Business Ethics Implications –

The workers violated their duty to their nation, friends and relatives by leaving their stations. It seems obvious that TEPCO, the utility company, did not properly prepare for the incident and its management handled the events poorly. The Japanese government and TEPCO have actively suppressed information regarding the incident and its aftermath.

If you are a student writing a paper about an incident in which a lack of business ethics actively contributed to the disaster, this is a good topic with abundant sources.

James Pilant

Panicked workers abandoned Fukushima as the nuclear disaster unfolded, report reveals

http://www.salon.com/2014/05/20/panicked_workers_abandoned_fukushima_as_the_nuclear_disaster_unfolded_report_reveals/

As a nuclear disaster began to unfold at the Fukushima No. 1 plant, a full 650 of the 720 workers on hand panicked and abandoned the scene, a previously undisclosed report reveals.

That’s a very different version of events than the one put forward by TEPCO, the plant’s operator, which has said that it evacuated most of its workers, leaving a small, dedicated team behind to risk their lives fighting to contain the crisis. …

When Duty Called,

They Did Not Hesitate,

They Ran Like Hell.

(my thoughts, not in the original article, jp)

The Japanese government confirmed the report, but did not explain why it had been kept secret. TEPCO countered only that Yoshida’s vague order to withdraw to “low radiation areas” technically could have referred to the No. 2 plant, and said that it therefore didn’t consider those workers to have violated orders.

That the plant experienced such a severe breakdown in its chain of command during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami becomes all the more relevant as the Japanese government moves to restart the country’s other nuclear reactors, which were temporarily shut down after the disaster. As the Asahi article notes, “Yoshida’s testimony raises questions about whether utility workers can be depended upon to remain at their posts in the event of an emergency.”

From Around the Web.

From the web site, Japan Safety, Nuclear Power Updates.

http://japansafety.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/tepco-under-calculated-radiation-exposure-for-142-fukushima-workers-rt/

Tepco under-calculated radiation exposure for 142 Fukushima workers — RT

” Tokyo Electric Power Co. underestimated internal radiation exposure of 142 workers involved in immediate emergency operations at the damaged Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011, according to Japan’s Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

After reexamining exposure records provided by TEPCO, the Ministry said Tuesday it had increased the 142 workers’ radiation data by an average of 5.86 millisieverts, The Asahi Shimbun reported.

The Ministry said one male employee was exposed to 180 millisieverts. He was initially reported to have been exposed to around 90 millisieverts.

Two other workers were exposed to radiation of 50 to less than 100 millisieverts, the Ministry found.

According to the International Commission on Radiological Protection a person should be exposed to no more than one millisievert per year from all sources of radiation, though it says only doses of more than 100 millisieverts are associated with a higher risk of cancer.

Radiation Lies


nuclear reactor pd 1000643523Radiation Lies

What a surprise! It seems both the Japanese government and the United States Navy lied to the sailors aboard the USS Ronald Reagan about how much radiation they were exposed to. Please be aware the Fukushima crisis continues on day after day. The reactors continue to leak radiation. Every day workers have to go in and try to keep the situation under control. It’s a slow-speed crisis demonstrating the power of a nuclear disaster as opposed to other man made destruction.

What kind of ethical judgement was at play here? Surely a high radiation level is going to have long term effects? And in real life, conspiracies of silence only work for so long. 

This is a failure here to discern right from wrong. This is a failure to do everything possible to safeguard the lives of Americans on a rescue mission. And most of all, this is a failure of the Japanese government whose continued lies and incompetence have created an ongoing crisis for which they may be no cure in our lifetimes or even the lifetimes of our children. 

 

James Pilant

US sailors exposed to Fukushima radiation levels beyond Japan’s estimates | Al Jazeera America

Crew members of the USS Ronald Reagan’s March 2011 Fukushima relief mission encountered radiation levels that far exceeded the Japanese government’s estimates, according to a report in the Asia-Pacific Journal.

The revelations contained in the report could have a bearing on the lawsuit against Tokyo Electric Power Company by more than 70 U.S. service members who say they suffer from long-term health effects from their participation in the U.S. navy’s response to the nuclear disaster.

Kyle Cleveland, a Temple University professor based in Japan, obtained documents showing military officials aboard the carrier detected radiation levels that were 30 times greater than normal and significantly greater than what the Japanese government told them to expect.

Navy officials have maintained that the radiation levels service members were exposed to during Operation Tomodachi were not enough to cause health effects.

via US sailors exposed to Fukushima radiation levels beyond Japan’s estimates | Al Jazeera America.

From around the web.

From the web site, Japan Safety.

http://japansafety.wordpress.com/2014/03/01/atomic-suicide-the-tale-of-the-sailors-and-the-seals-climate-viewer-news/

March 11th, 2011 would have begun like any other day for the crew of the USS Ronald Reagan, except this particular day would go down in history, as the world learned of the 9.o earthquake and devastating tsunami that had struck Japan. The ship, which was already relatively close to Japan, would be changing course for the coastline of Honshu to assist in humanitarian efforts needed for the tens of thousands of people now displaced by this enormous disaster. The rest of the 7th fleet would join in the mission as well. In total, 70,000 members of the US military would participate in some way during the course and became known as “Operation Tomodachi”. Tomodachi happens to mean ‘friend’.

Over 1000 miles away, Alaskan ringed seals stretched lazily on ice floes, perhaps aware of a disturbance in the earths’ geomagnetic field, perhaps not. Either way, not much changes from a seals point of view, one day is not much different from another. You wake up, swim around, find food, and go back to sleep. The only time seals deviate from this schedule is if it is mating season, a tsunami is coming, you are being chased by a polar bear or killer whale, or if you have cubs to look after.

In Japan, as the 7th fleet anchored off Honshu, helicopter flights were readied, supplies prepared, gear was checked, and orders received from Naval Command stateside, who were taking their direction from the Japanese government, and later the NRC. What may have first seemed like an in-and-out mission, was immediately and drastically expanded. The widespread damage was much worse than first feared. It would be weeks, even months, that Japan would need help. The sailors prepared themselves accordingly. But it didn’t take long to see this mission may not go as planned. Within the first days, things started going really, really wrong on the ship. You could say, they went rather critical.  As well as a few nearby nuke plants on the coast of Honshu, and especially at Fukushima Daiichi.

Fukushima, Three Years Ago


NuclearPowerPlantFukushima, Three Years Ago

And still the crisis goes on and on. Every few months, new unsettling information comes out. Every few months, new levels of incompetence emerge.

The reactor continues to leak radioactivity.

They can’t fix it.

Should that make you wonder about the future of nuclear power?

Better yet, what kind of business ethics is it that encourages taking these kinds of risks?

James Pilant

Fukushima: Third Anniversary of the Start of the Catastrophe | Eslkevin’s Blog

With the third anniversary of the start of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe coming next week, the attempted Giant Lie about the disaster continues–a suppression of information, an effort at dishonesty of historical dimensions.

It involves international entities, especially the International Atomic Energy Agency, national governmental bodies–led in Japan by its current prime minister, the powerful nuclear industry and a “nuclear establishment” of scientists and others with a vested interest in atomic energy.

Deception was integral to the push for nuclear power from its start. Indeed, I opened my first book on nuclear technology, Cover Up: What You Are Not Supposed to Know About Nuclear Power, with: “You have not been informed about nuclear power. You have not been told. And that has been done on purpose. Keeping the public in the dark was deemed necessary by the promoters of nuclear power if it was to succeed. Those in government, science and private industry who have been pushing nuclear power realized that if people were given the facts, if they knew the consequences of nuclear power, they would not stand for it.”

via Fukushima: Third Anniversary of the Start of the Catastrophe | Eslkevin’s Blog.

From around the web.

From the web site, Nuclear Energy.

http://nuclearenergyblogassignment.wordpress.com/2012/12/08/lets-say-no/

Based on those potential risks and terrible experiences, I cannot agree nuclear power is the best option for generating electricity. Nowadays, we still cannot control nuclear power steadily. Nuclear power is like a savage beast. If it becomes uncontrollable someday, we do not have the capability to control it. There is no perfect safety. We don’t know how serious problems will happen or when the next accident will appear. We cannot bear more catastrophes. We should decrease reliance on nuclear power. I hope scientists can develop new technology to obtain energy or improve other renewable energy and alternative energy resources, like wind power and solar power. We should learn from history to not repeat failure. For public health and for the safety of the environment, we should keep away from this beast.

How Much Strontium-90? We dont’ know?


From the Department of Defense
From the Department of Defense

How Much Strontium-90? We dont’ know?

As I wrote with some foresight years ago, the Fukushima disaster is going to last for decades. As a business ethics disaster, Fukushima gives fracking a good run for its money, and here’s how: We keep finding out new ways that TEPCO screwed up. That’s right, after enormous failures in management, truth telling and just basic competence, all of them staggering, we keep finding new ones.

Read below about the new one and relish their utterly responsible reason – they were real busy. That is precisely one step above “the dog ate my homework.”

We’re talking Strontium 90, an isotope of the element. Our bodies mistake it for calcium and thus incorporates it into our bone structure. And that’s because we all need silvery radioactive metals deposited right next to our bone marrow so that our production of blood cells can be illuminated by the glow.

So, it seems they got real busy and lost track of how much strontium 90 was being released. No big deal. After all, what is it going to do? – Deposit itself in the bones of adults and in particular children giving  them enhanced opportunities for cancer and leukemia?

Nah. Don’t let that kind of thing worry you. After all, these are the kinds of people running nuclear power all over the world. They’re competent, cool, collected, well-educated businessmen. Not flaky environmentalists, no government officials, no liberal arts trained thinkers, just savvy businessmen who understand the real world, the world of competence, of money, the important stuff. Genetic structure? Screw it. It’s not on the balance sheet. Won’t cost the investors a dime, and that’s where the action is, after all.

Remember the free market can solve all problems. Government interference damages the free market and thus produces inefficiencies which cannot be tolerated. So, therefore, these gentlemen at TEPCO are heroes being unfairly stigmatized. We should get out of their way and let market forces naturally solve the problem.

Just look away. Everything will be fine.

James Pilant

Tepco Says Fukushima Radiation ‘Significantly’ Undercounted – Bloomberg

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501) is re-analyzing 164 water samples collected last year at the wrecked Fukushima atomic plant because previous readings “significantly undercounted” radiation levels.

The utility known as Tepco said the levels were undercounted due to errors in its testing of beta radiation, which includes strontium-90, an isotope linked to bone cancer. None of the samples were taken from seawater, the company said today in an e-mailed statement.

“These errors occurred during a time when the number of the samplings rapidly increased as the result of a series of events since last April, including groundwater reservoir leakage and a major leak from a storage tank,” according to the statement.

via Tepco Says Fukushima Radiation ‘Significantly’ Undercounted – Bloomberg.

From around the web.

From the web site, Fukushima News Updates.

http://fukushimanewsupdate.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/mitsubishi-corp-mitsubishi-corporation-to-develop-mega-solar-projects-in-iwaki-fukushima/

Mitsubishi Corp : Mitsubishi Corporation to Develop Mega Solar Projects in Iwaki, Fukushima

Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) is pleased to announce plans for the construction of a new solar power plant* in Iwaki City, Fukushima. The largest of its kind in the Tohoku region, the 12,000-kilowatt facility is expected to start operating from mid-2014. The project forms part of MC’s overall strategic focus of developing its business in the renewable energies sector.

Known as one of the foremost industrial areas in the region and as well for being a major sightseeing area, Iwaki receives the highest amount of sunlight annually within Tohoku. MC is developing the mega solar project with full support from Nippon Kasei, as well as cooperation from the Fukushima Prefecture and Iwaki City governments. MC is simultaneously developing a 6,000-kilowatt mega solar project at the site of Onahama Petroleum Co., Ltd, a joint venture between MC and Tepco in Iwaki. Together, the two projects will constitute 18,000 kilowatts of solar power generation in total at Onahama.

From around the web.

From the web site, Evacuate Fukushima.

http://evacuatefukushimanow.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/welcome-back-to-tamura-city-%E7%94%B0%E6%9D%91%E5%B8%82-fukushima-%E7%A6%8F%E5%B3%B6%E7%9C%8C/

For the first time since the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant three years ago, the government is lifting an evacuation order in a restricted area, allowing residents to return to their homes.

Residents of an eastern strip of the Miyakoji district of Tamura, Fukushima Prefecture, are being allowed to return as of April 1, the first day of the 2014 fiscal year, government officials said at a meeting Feb. 23. The area lies within 20 kilometers west of where the accident occurred.

One reason the government is rushing to lift evacuation orders for communities affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster is cost. Tokyo Electric Power Co., which is being lent money by the government’s Nuclear Damage Liability Facilitation Fund to compensate evacuees, is required to continue compensation one year after an evacuation order is lifted. Lifting the orders will hasten the end of those payments.

According to the industry ministry, 1.5 trillion yen ($14.63 billion) has been paid in compensation to evacuees from 11 municipalities as of February.

In addition, decontamination costs will snowball if the government tries to achieve its long-term goal of lowering annual airborne radiation doses to 1 millisievert or less in areas where evacuation orders are in place.

A Reconstruction Agency official said it is unclear whether the long-term goal can be achieved even if the government continues decontamination work.

Prior to the Feb. 23 meeting, a senior Reconstruction Agency official asked Kazuyoshi Akaba, a senior vice industry minister, to explain the government’s policy to evacuees “even if it means rising to your full height and standing firm before residents.”

Akaba and Tamura Mayor Yukei Tomitsuka were tasked with explaining the new policy to the residents.

During a previous meeting in October, Tomitsuka had proposed lifting the evacuation order by November, but residents complained, saying too much contamination remained.

Some evacuees requested additional decontamination work because the radiation levels remained above 1 millisievert in some areas. The government promised to deal with residents who are still worried about high radiation levels on a case-by-case basis.

“If this abnormal situation continues, residents will lose attachment to their hometown and the community will collapse,” Tomitsuka has said.

Fukushima : simulation of dispersed radiation throughout the northern hemisphere (via canadanewslibre)


This is nice. I love pictures and this one is beautiful. Unfortunately, it is similar to the beauty of organisms on a microscopic slide that might very well be killing you.

This dispersed radiation on this graph is certainly doing you no good.

I recommend you look at the graph full size and get a grasp of the seriousness of the matter.

James Pilant

Fukushima : simulation of dispersed radiation throughout the northern hemisphere Radioactive Materials Dispersion Model by Kyushu University Researchers Friday, September 2, 2011 Using the supercomputer program called SPRINTARS, researchers at Kyushu University and Tokyo University created the simulation of how radioactive materials from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant may have dispersed throughout the northern hemisphere. The researcher say their simulation fit the actual measurements. It was published in the Scientific Onli … Read More

via canadanewslibre

Japan to fire top nuclear officials in wake of disaster (via 1 Real News)


This disaster happened in March. Virtually everything you can think of went wrong and now, they fire people. I’m not impressed. Once it became obvious that the people in charge were grossly incompetent, it might have been better to fire them immediately than waiting for months for what is apparently a better political climate.

James Pilant

Japan to fire top nuclear officials in wake of disaster ReutersAugust 4, 2011Japan will replace three senior bureaucrats in charge of nuclear power policy, the minister overseeing energy policy said on Thursday, five months after the world’s worst atomic crisis in 25 years erupted at Fukushima.The move comes as Prime Minister Naoto Kan calls for enhanced nuclear safety accountability and an overhaul of Japan’s energy policy, with the aim of gradually weaning it off its dependence on nuclear power as p … Read More

via 1 Real News

High radiation found at Japan’s Fukushima plant (via National Post | News)


Just when you think the Fukushima crisis had finally been scrubbed from the news by various interest groups and the Japanese government, it comes roaring right back at you.

James Pilant

TOKYO — Pockets of lethal levels of radiation have been detected at Japan’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in a fresh reminder of the risks faced by workers battling to contain the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) reported on Monday that radiation exceeding 10,000 millisieverts per hour was found at the bottom of a ventilation stack standing between two reactors. On Tuesday Tepco said i … Read More

via National Post | News

Japan considers stress tests for nuclear reactors (via Financial Post | Business)


This is certainly a classic case of closing the barn door after the animal has fled. Yet, the measure is probably no going to pass, even in the face of solid evidence that the plant was already in partial meltdown from the earthquake before the tsunami hit.

James Pilant

TOKYO – Japan’s government is considering conducting stress tests on nuclear reactors to ease safety concerns which have blocked the restart of idled reactors since the March quake and tsunami, including several that have completed maintenance and complied with new, stiffer safety standards. Japan is struggling with a drawn-out crisis after meltdowns at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi atomic plant, site of the world’s worst nuclear incident in 25 … Read More

via Financial Post | Business

Shareholders hammer Tepco over nuclear fiasco (via MY VOICE)


My favorite sentence –

Another investor shouted that Tepco’s executives should jump into their stricken reactors and die to take the blame for the fiasco.

Enjoy the article and remember that TEPCO has paid out more than 19 billion dollars in damages but that if this happened in America, the responsible utility company would be out less than a hundred million dollars due to our government protecting them from losses.

James Pilant

Shareholders hammer Tepco over nuclear fiasco By KAZUAKI NAGATA Staff writer Tokyo Electric Power Co. faced a six-hour barrage of heavy flak from shareholders Tuesday at their annual meeting, with management blasted over how it has handled the world’s worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Demonstrators gather outside Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Fukuoka Prefecture. KYODO Many investors demanded to know why Tepco failed to foresee the tsunami … Read More

via MY VOICE