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.

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 Disaster Continues


English: Internationally recognized symbol. De...
English: Internationally recognized symbol. Deutsch: Gefahrensymbol für Radioaktivität. Image:Radioactive.svg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fukushima Disaster Continues

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/20/fukushima-leak-nuclear-pacific

Frantic efforts to contain radioactive leaks at the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have been dealt another blow after its operator said about 300 tonnes of highly contaminated water had seeped out of a storage tank at the site.

The leak is the worst such incident since the March 2011 meltdown and is separate from the contaminated water leaks, also of about 300 tonnes a day, reported recently.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) said it did not know how the water leaked out or where it had leaked to, but it believed that the spillage had not flowed into the Pacific ocean.

Tepco’s spokesman, Masayuki Ono, said the water had seeped into the ground after breaching a concrete and sandbag barrier around the tank. Workers were pumping out the puddle and removing the remaining water from the tank, he added. Despite efforts to contain the spillage, the leak is already the most severe since the crisis began.

This is the worst leak since the 2011 disaster. Fukushima after the disastrous tsunami was a major disaster. It was on the news every day.

Now it’s slow motion disaster. Leakage continues into the ocean while experts solemnly intone that we shouldn’t worry because the ocean is big.

This is business ethics at its worse. A nuclear power plant was built on the coast near an earthquake fault. The safety systems we were repeatedly assured would never fail failed. We don’t find out from the government or the industry that there is a problem. The news media discovers the serious nature of the crisis. A corrupt industry downplays the incident with government connivance. As the disaster worsens, the lies and incompetence become more and more obvious, and gradually it becomes obvious that when confronted by a disaster, the nuclear industry simply has no idea how to fix the problem. This is contrary to what the industry has been saying for decades.

Remember, just repeat, “Nuclear industry is the future. It’s safe and cost effective. Only a handful of people have died in the rare nuclear accident compared to thousands in the coal industry. It’s only fearmongers and environmental cranks who oppose this future.”

See, after a while you feel better about everything?

James Pilant

From around the web.

From the web site, Fire Earth.

http://feww.wordpress.com/tag/fukushima-nuclear-disaster/

Highly radioactive water from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is leaking into the ocean creating an “emergency” that the operator, TEPCO, may be unable to contain, said an official from the country’s nuclear watchdog.

“This contaminated groundwater has breached an underground barrier, is rising toward the surface and is exceeding legal limits of radioactive discharge, Shinji Kinjo, head of a Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) task force,” told Reuters.

Tokyo Electric Power Co’s “sense of crisis is weak,” Kinjo said. “This is why you can’t just leave it up to Tepco alone” to deal with the ongoing disaster.

“Right now, we have an emergency,” he said.

A total of up to 40 trillion becquerels of radioactive tritium may have leaked into the ocean since the disaster, said TEPCO, insisting that it was within legal limits.

From the web site, The Bold Corsican Flame.

http://theboldcorsicanflame.wordpress.com/tag/fukushima-nuclear-disaster/

Two and a half years after the Fukashima tragedy Japan does not want to admit how serious it is, but it is obvious the drastic environmental implications are to follow, Harvey Wasserman, journalist and advocate for renewable energy, told RT.

RT: Japanese officials have admitted a leak at Fukushima has been happening for two years and is worse than earlier thought. Why did it take so long to evaluate the actual repercussions of the tragedy and take decisive measures to tackle them?

HW: The Japanese authorities have been covering up the true depth of the disaster because they don’t want to embarrass themselves and the global nuclear industry and they are trying to open up another nuclear plant in Japan. When the Japanese people now find out that the accident is worse than we thought and they have been leaking many tons of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean for almost two and a half years, this is a catastrophe. Tokyo Electric has no idea how to control this accident. This is absolutely terrifying after two and a half years. To find out that these reactors have been out of control, now that they can’t control this they don’t know what’s going on. This is not a primitive backward country; this is Japan with advanced technology. It has very serious implications for nuclear power all over the world.

RT: Why the plant’s operator failed to contain the leak?

HW: Because they don’t know what to do. This has never happened before. You have three explosions; you have four nuclear reactors that are severely compromised. No one ever planned for this. This is an apocalyptic event. This is something that could contaminate the entire Pacific Ocean. It is extremely serious. The reality is that Tokyo Electric does not know what is happening and does not know how to control what is going on. Our entire planet is at risk here. This is two and a half years after these explosions and they are still in the dark. It’s terrifying.

From the web site, Vernon Radiation Safety.

http://vernonradiationsafety.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/fukushima-disaster-may-13-2013/

The New York Times has recently reported
that the workers at Fukushima are running out of places to store the
water that has been used to cool the radioactive waste.   The water is
highly radioactive, and is leaking from its storage tanks at the rate of
75 gallons per minute.  In other news,
the Japanese  government is  changing the  threshold for danger so that
people may return.  Thus, doses of less than 20mS/y are now acceptable.

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This Nebraska Nuclear Power Plant Is Surrounded by Floodwaters (via Jewish Nerd)


There is something about a nuclear plant surrounded by flood waters that is more disturbing that a coal fired plant or any other kind of energy producing facility. What makes it more disturbing is that knowledge in the back of our skull that if things go wrong, the investors aren’t just out an investment, we all will pay a price for such a calamity.

May we live in a world where reason and knowledge are used to make energy decisions.

James Pilant

This Nebraska Nuclear Power Plant Is Surrounded by Floodwaters The good news: Nebraska's Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Station is staying dry despite being surrounded by tremendous Midwestern flooding. The bad news: Nebraska's Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Station is surrounded by tremendous Midwestern flooding, and a history of safety mistakes. Also unsettling, as Boing Boing's Maggie Koerth-Baker points out, is the fact that all our information on the plant's condition is coming from the plant's owner. Very, ver … Read More

via Jewish Nerd

Russia finds nuclear safety faults after Fukushima (via Radio Netherlands Worldwide)


This is the state of affairs we can expect in every part of the world. The upkeep and safety precautions necessary for the use of nuclear power are expensive, time-consuming and require technical expertise and competence. In a world where corporate profit is the number one concern and where government secrecy is a primary defense against catching wrong doing ahead of time, we can expect these expensive, high maintenance, time bombs to be under protected, under maintained and overly dangerous.

It is likely that nuclear plants can be made safe and that nuclear power can be part of a nation’s energy plan. But can we trust the industry and the government after so many lies, so many deceptions and so many disasters that were not supposed to be possible? Nuclear energy is surrounded not by science but by a shield of lies.

James Pilant

From Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Russia’s nuclear power plants are dangerously under-prepared for earthquakes and other disasters, said a state review conducted after Japan’s Fukushima accident and obtained Thursday by AFP.

The unusually candid survey was presented to a council chaired by President Dmitry Medvedev on June 9 and initially reported on its website by the Oslo-based Bellona environmental organisation.

Russia has until now steadfastly defended its 10 nuclear power plants and 32 reactors against criticism.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on April 30 pronounced the country’s nuclear safety system “the best in the world”.

But the State Council review revealed more than 30 weaknesses including reduced disaster safety standards and a lack of a clear strategy for securing spent nuclear fuel and other radioactive waste at many plants.

Japan: green tea exports banned due to high radiation levels (via The Crisis Jones Report)


I present a new post from the ever crusading web site, The Crisis Jones Report. I want to remind my readers that the crisis continues. Fukushima is going to be with us for years and the crisis continues with bad things happening almost daily generating more solid evidence of government and industry incompetence. That the Japanese Prime Minister survived a confidence vote was astonishing.

James Pilant

Japan: green tea exports banned due to high radiation levels The Japanese government has banned shipments of green tea leaves in four regions after high levels of radioactive caesium were found. Workers at the Fukushima nuclear plant are shielded with tarps  Photo: AP By Danielle Demetriou in Tokyo 7:00AM BST 03 Jun 2011 A swathe of Japan’s tea making regions including parts of Tochigi, Chiba and Kanagawa prefecture as well as the whole of Ibaraki were included within the ban, according to the Ministry of … Read More

via The Crisis Jones Report

Bloomberg: Fukushima Radiated Water May Overflow Trenches in Five Days (via Japan Earthquake & Related Info)


This web site covers the Fukushima crisis on a daily basis. If you have any interest in this situation I recommend you subscribe. I do.

James Pilant

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-06-02/fukushima-radiated-water-may-overflow-trenches-in-five-days.htmlRead More

via Japan Earthquake & Related Info

Typhoon Approaches Japan, May Threaten Nuclear Plant (via Losing Freedom)


I feel a “Charlie Brown” good grief coming on. Those reactors have been venting radioactive into the sea for weeks now. All those scattered control rods are now going to be rained on and a good number of them have plutonium in them. Does the fun never end? Does this disaster have a half-life as long as one of the isotopes it produces?

Let us hope and pray for a better outcome that is likely.

James Pilant

Typhoon Approaches Japan, May Threaten Nuclear Plant n this May 27, 2011 photo released by the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, members of the IAEA fact-finding team in Japan visit the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Okuma, Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan. – AP Photo TOKYO: Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is not fully prepared to deal with violent storms, officials admitted Saturday, as the country braced for Typhoon Songda to hit. The storm system was located about 30 … Read More

via Losing Freedom

Questioning Authority in Fukushima (via Jim Grisanzio)


I try to comment for a few paragraphs at least on each post but this writer has an edge I admire. He’s got this story nailed. Please read.

James Pilant

Questioning Authority in Fukushima It’s good to see Fukushima citizens pummel Japanese government officials on the idiotic decision to increase acceptable levels of radiation for children — 20 times the previously permissible standard! That’s according to the New York Times today (link below). It’s just a stunning display of contempt for the health and well being of the people on the part of the government. The video link below from a few weeks ago is most interesting, though. Yo … Read More

via Jim Grisanzio