Asahi: U.S. gov’t concluded Fukushima disaster “could spread to a global scale”

Published: January 29th, 2013 at 2:41 pm ET


Follow-up to: [intlink id=”paper-military-keeping-quiet-about-women-children-ordered-evacuate-base-300-kilometers-fukushima-when-radiation-alarms-after-311″ type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Title: PROMETHEUS TRAP (2): U.S. officials feared for loved ones still in Japan
Source: Asahi
Date: January 30, 2013

One day after the top-secret diplomatic cable was sent from the Japanese Embassy in Washington to the Foreign Ministry, at 1:30 a.m. on March 16, 2011, U.S. Eastern Standard Time, a teleconference was hosted by the U.S. State Department. […]

The previous day, the U.S. Navy distributed a memo to the U.S. State and Defense departments that outlined its forecast for how the accident would evolve. The memo said there was a danger of Tokyo being contaminated with highly radioactive materials if the storage pool at the No. 4 reactor emptied of water and the nuclear fuel began a reaction. […]

As the discussion continued, one phrase was repeatedly uttered, “While we can.” […]

Agreement was reached on one measure that could be implemented–immediately evacuating all U.S. citizens living near Tokyo, including members of the U.S. military. […]

The meeting demonstrated the huge gap that existed between the Japanese government, which only considered the Fukushima nuclear accident as an internal TEPCO matter, and the U.S. government, which had reached the conclusion that there was the possibility of a major disaster that could spread to a global scale.

See also: [intlink id=”map-fukushima-air-mass-hit-california-after-311-and-went-north-to-oregon-wash-canada-study-clearly-demonstrates-how-little-dissipation-occurred-plume-contaminated-entire-northern-hemi” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: January 29th, 2013 at 2:41 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. Asahi: We are reminded anew of the huge scale of contamination released from Fukushima plant — Impossible to recover pre-disaster environment — Radiation levels not dropping in certain areas January 9, 2013
  2. TV: Isn’t Fukushima Daiichi at least a 21 on International Nuclear Event Scale, equal to 3 Level 7’s? “Global catastrophe… Disaster of unimaginable proportions” (VIDEO) August 22, 2013
  3. Fukushima Daiichi Worker: Contamination is still spreading around from plant — Significantly high levels may be spread during decommissioning work January 23, 2013
  4. *The Economist* Nuclear power: A dream that failed — Promise of global transformation gone — Concern over safety, finances — Previously concluded industry “safe as a chocolate factory” March 13, 2012
  5. *Asahi* Japan Physicist: Several millions will need to be evacuated from around Fukushima plant if gov’t used same scale as after Chernobyl — Japan’s handling of disaster “far worse” than Soviet Union August 9, 2012

35 comments to Asahi: U.S. gov’t concluded Fukushima disaster “could spread to a global scale”

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    "Tokyo…contaminated with highly radioactive materials if the storage pool at the No. 4 reactor emptied of water and the nuclear fuel began a reaction."

    We know that Unit4 SFP dewatered, and Unit4 had two fires. Tokyo should have evacuated. Tokyo is so contaminated today that nobody should be living there. We know that Fuku is a global catastrophy. So does the US Government. But they are quiet about it these days. So very quiet. What are their priorities? Oh, right. They want to protect the investment of nuke-owning utilities from public protest.

    • PavewayIII PavewayIII

      I don't know, Philip. The more and more I read the NRC FOIA transcripts, the more convinced I am that the U.S. didn't know much at that time and still does not know much now. The NRC was using information from NKK and CNN during the meltdowns. They were not even invited to Japan's regulators' emergency meetings until the second week in. I've never seen a DOE or NRC-sourced picture of anything significant. Not sure they're even allowed at Fukushima.

      TEPCO is (or was) a private company and has never been willing to give any incriminating facts to anybody, and certainly not the U.S. government. TEPCO doesn't need the U.S. for anything. The U.S. government is in no position to demand any facts, either. My opinion is the U.S. government isn't hiding much – they just don't know.

      SimplyInfo had a good write-up last week about their thoughts on the Unit 4 explosion. They suggest that hydrogen couldn't have leaked from Unit 3 to Unit 4 because the pipe connecting them was severed by then. They also mention that SPF 4 wouldn't have to have been dewatered to generate enough hydrogen. The fuel could have remain covered and still generated that much hydrogen as the pool heated up.

      • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

        Fukushima: Inside the NRC FOIA documents (25 January 2013)

        Pretty nice work up.

      • 16Penny 16Penny

        I like you in general Paveway, but I don't think you are that naive.

        "My opinion is the U.S. government isn't hiding much – they just don't know."

        How much did we learn about Cherry Nobyle? (popped the world's cherry for Meltdown's)

        Come on Paveway, With what the US Gov knew about the after effects of Chernobyl when the Fuku multiple meltdown's happened, you think they were not watching very closely?

        The US Gov is not showing any public concern (same reason as the Japanese gov? don't want the cattle to stampede)I will grant you that. If they truly do not know anything then it is by choice and only certain people know but can not say. It is a matter of national security of course.

        • PavewayIII PavewayIII

          "…With what the US Gov knew about the after effects of Chernobyl…"

          I seem to recall the U.S. dismissing anything but acute radiation effects to liquidators after Chernobyl. On the Fukushima transcripts, someone (NRC people) asks how many fatalities from Chernobyl. There was some wacked out answer like 50, and then they started making jokes about how many Russians ended up killing themselves by drinking. Unless someone has other proof, I have to assume the federal family is – by choice or design – ignorant of the horrors in Gomel and quite clueless about chronic, low-level radiation exposure's effects. The knuckleheads are the first ones to trust that the DOE is telling them the truth (or at least as much 'truth' as they need to know).

          No, I don't think they have much concern about Fukushima and are dismissive of the health effects being reported. Why? Because Japan and TEPCO told them the reactors are in cold shutdown and there's no danger. Censoring news or turning off radiation monitoring didn't require any thought at all. It was to keep the unwashed masses from panic.

          How many people in the U.S. government could ever even find Gomel or Iwaki on a map? You give them too much credit.

          • 16Penny 16Penny

            "How many people in the U.S. government could ever even find Gomel or Iwaki on a map? You give them too much credit."

            Ok, as far as politicians go, you may be correct in that statement, but they stand on the heads, backs and wherever else they can find purchase of some truly intelligent people. As I stated, they keep the smart ones down in their place, until they become useful, meaning until whoever is handling the talent has enough leverage to coerce them into obeying. Only then can they ascend to the political ranks and carry their dark secrets on to the upper levels of management.

            Sorry, I am respectfully disagreeing with you on this opinion. I do not have time right now to dig up references to back my opinion but as time allows I will try to revisit this.

      • WindorSolarPlease

        Hi PavewayIII

        Quote: My opinion is the U.S. government isn't hiding much – they just don't know.

        Sorry I disagree. If I knew this would all blow here and that this was catastrophic, they Had to know from day one.

        As soon as I heard of this I asked my husband if we could leave, of coarse he said no, we can't afford it. I knew immediately this was not good.

        You don't give enough credit to the US, they have the high tech equipment.

        The pattern is the same as the on going Gulf Disaster. Admit to nothing, you know nothing.

        It is their responsibility to know, and they know.

        • WindorSolarPlease

          Why do you think they shut down their offical level readings to the public?

          • 16Penny 16Penny

            To save taxpayers money of course. We are in a recession and those silly things kept malfunctioning, so instead of servicing them (which costs money) and "re-calibrating" the sensors, it was wiser to turn a blind eye.

            • WindorSolarPlease

              Hi 16Penny

              We were in a recession, long before Fukushima happened.
              Funny they turned them off, just when they were needed the most.

              Unfortunately, they wanted us to have the blind eye.

              Top Secret for their eyes only. It's a matter of national security, and as usual protection of the corporations just like the Gulf Disaster.

              Fool me once shame on them..Fool me twice, they aren't going to do it. They knew from day one.

              • 16Penny 16Penny

                Yes we agree there. Sorry if you missed the sarcasm up there. Uugh, I think some just dripped down to this post.

                I thought it was obvious.

        • PavewayIII PavewayIII

          "…If I knew this would all blow here and that this was catastrophic, they Had to know from day one…"

          I think the DOE and NRC came to the conclusion early on that – worst case – loss of three reactors and six spent-fuel pools wouldn't rate an evacuation beyond the initial 50 mile radius in Japan *unless* the winds were unfavorable. The NRC stated outright in the transcripts that even then, there would be no danger to the U.S. homeland.

          There probably are some smart people somewhere in the U.S. government that knew better, but those people don't work for the DOE or NRC and have no influence on policy. If a whistleblower were to come out with evidence the EPA or DOE shut down Radnet intentionally, they would be publicly beheaded by Obama himself. Or maybe that's some other country – same difference.

          It's possible, I'll grant you that. But you don't need much of a big nuke industry conspiracy to 'hide' Fukushima. The average American public doesn't think it's a big deal. (Please – no lectures. I'm just making the same observation others here have made. Yes, they should care. No, they don't.)

          Goebbels wouldn't have much work here. Ignorance and depraved indifference do most of the work for the government nukes. 'Don't let the sheep panic' does the rest.

    • everyone pays attention to the reactor buildings… and so missed entirely the fact that the shared spent pool burned no once… but FOUR TIMES!… It no longer has a roof… in fact!? It's lost its ENTIRE TOP FLOOR as well. It now has a canvas roof, and all the heat exchanging systems on it's roof have been removed!
      The past week they have been pulling the burnt rods out of it and transferring them to the waterfront area… most likely to dump them a goodly ways off shore at night when folks can't see them doing it!

      Yes… E.L.E. have happened… and folks in Japan are all dead… they just don't know it as yet. Not that we all in time won't be dead now as well… so, enjoy the show they are putting on! That's all it is… a show!

      • that brings the total to just under 10,000 rods of 3 different types that have now exploded or burned… and thereby become part of the air we breath each day. 240,000 years of half-life on the worst fuels mankind has ever created and used without a shred of care!


    "…which had reached the conclusion that there was the possibility of a major disaster that could spread to a global scale." A possibility?! Excellent article and I'm all for being informed, yet I'm just curious about something. Has anyone informed these same entities of the extent of ongoing damage, from this catastrophe? You'd almost get to the feeling it's safe to go-back to sipping the green tea…

  • Pierpont

    This is extremely well written. Reads like a movie script. I see the author also took the photo suggesting that Asahi Shimbun, whatever it is, might be on a tight budget. Well done.

    Not to be a spoiler, but I wonder if the USS Geo. Washington ever returned to port at Yokosuka after it was chased out to sea by Fuki-rad.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    One electric company permanently contaminates the Northern Hemisphere. All man-made, and all for nothing.

  • weeman

    It does not take a nuclear engineer to know the potential of world wide radiation contamination from rouge reactors, anyone with rudimentary knowledge of a nuclear plant knows that on site of every nuclear plant worldwide is enough radioactive isotopes to kill every living thing on this plant with complete lose of control of reactor and SFP.

  • jec jec

    I think I heard a large contingent from the White House went to South America just after 3/11..Mrs. Obama, her mother..the kids, other family members..a lot of people for a friendship tour..Wonder if the trip..and the number of family members was a suddenly planned tour? And who paid for the "other than direct family members" who traveled with the Obamas.

    • Sickputer

      Blast from the past (Obama flees to SA with his buddies and family):

      "He left with his family for the safety of Brazil along with 51-carloads of his buddies and family members shortly after that speech in March 2011.

      "As they relaxed in the southern Hemisphere we experienced the largest toxic nuclear plume in the atmosphere since the 1966 Chinese atomic bomb test blast at Christmas. Must be nice to have jet planes to flee toxic clouds. But they did have to return to America."

      Unfortunately the fallout blowing to America from Fukushima Daiichi is not a one-time event. It has continued spewing into the Jetstream every day since March 11, 2011 when the nuclear megaplex in Japan experienced a massive earthquake. Mark it down in your memories since the American censored mass media press will not tell you of its significance. The event is 311 (March 11, 2011).

      BTW…the tsunami did not destroy the nuclear reactors..that is an American and Japanese lie. The earthquake had already destroyed the integrity of the buildings. If they didn’t stress the tsunami as the cause they would have to retrofit virtually all other nuclear reactors in the world as all of them are accidents waiting to happen during an earthquake."

      SP: Read the whole letter and you can see I am as grim as Pattie.

      • WindorSolarPlease

        Hi Sickputer

        I agree..When they said the tsunami knocked the reactors, I knew it was wrong. I saw the explosion, but no waves.

        Yes you are right, they went fast to Brazil. they also were in South Africa for awhile.

        Thank you for the link

  • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication


    Oh, that was just accidental that Obama took Chu and Geithner, and families with him. Just accidental that riots ensued in South America while he was there. Accidental that South America was surprised regarding the short notice of an official visit. But he said there was nothing to worry about and he would be the first to tell us if things went south with Fukushima….

    In regards to the sudden closing of nuclear power plants, I think they would already not make a dime if the U.S. Government didn't ensure them. Do you know of anyone else it ensures? Not most businesses.

    Secondly, the money they were supposed to set aside to cover the cost of decommissioning was never saved, at least not all of it. Therefore, there is no money to cover the cost and these are aging and unsafe plants. This government has borrowed to the hilt and the Feds are now paying for treasury bonds with "good" mortgages from Fannie and Freddie (Ha Ha). Why does not the Office of the President prepare a budget so everyone can know what our balance sheet is and how much we spend annually on Defense (ALL of it), Intelligence, Interest etc.? It's your taxes that are being spent–any idea of what they buy?

  • Sickputer

    Having said that…I am not dead yet and I am not giving up the fight to keep my family alive.

    On Saturday it will be 695 days since the Great East Japan Earthquake destroyed the second largest nuclear facility in the world.

    In minutes…One million minutes since March 11, 2011.

    Time keeps marching on…Mother earth will survive anything man can do to it. We may not be so lucky.

    • Sol Man

      SP: "may" not be so lucky? Weak elements of the population have succeeded in creating technologies that, when in failure mode, have the ability to wipe out humankind. The level of the problems that have "conspired" against us has created a situation where the technologies to fix them does not even remotely exist.
      All of this was avoidable if alternative technologies had been at the forefront since Carter.

  • skizexq skizexq

    interesting the fields (via google earth around SOMA, JP) /some near ocean with many tracks in snow. other side of snow-covered aerial photo/s none.

    just curious.

  • CB CB

    • Fukushima nuclear plume "covered most of North America" – Now over N. Atlantic; Including Caribbean, Canada's east coast
    • Feds admit radioactive xenon-133 from Fukushima detected TWO days ago in Washington State
    • Radioactive fallout has now reached Southern California: Diplomat -AP Austrian forecast map shows possible radioactivity EAST of Los Angeles by March 18 (ANIMATION & PHOTO) Heading for U.S.?
    • Radiation plume animation map from Fukushima – via Spiegel Online
    • Don't drink the rainwater says State of Virginia (VIDEO) Radiation from Japan Found in Milk from Washington – EPA, FDA "stepping up nationwide monitoring"
    • Radioactive Iodine-131 in Pennsylvania rainwater sample is 3300% above federal drinking water standard Fukushima Forecast: Radioactive particles to be concentrated over Midwestern US on April 1, 2 (VIDEO)
    • EPA: Penn. and Mass. have seen elevated levels of radiation in rain – "Short-term elevations" not a health concern… How about Long-term?
    • Spike in radiation levels for West Coast? "Abnormal" readings on 8 of 18 EPA monitors for California, Oregon, Washington – Devices now "undergoing quality review"
    • SURFACE forecast shows radioactive Xenon-133 lingering over Florida, Eastern Gulf (VIDEO) Phoenix milk sample exceeds EPA's maximum contaminant level for radioactive iodine-131
    • Canada: Local official advising residents not to drink…

    • CB CB

      Cough cont…,
      • Nuclear expert says Americium has been found in New England – Element even heavier than Uranium (VIDEO)
      • New EPA data shows iodine-131 in Los Angeles tap water – Still no testing for radioactive cesium
      • Canada suspends mobile radiation measurements around Vancouver, BC "until further notice" as radioactive cloud looms (VIDEO)
      • FOX: Is Iodine-131 Killing Babies In Philadelphia? Deaths up 48 percent since radiation levels spiked in tap water (VIDEO) Expert thinks US West Coast might see contamination of water and fish by 2013
      • Scientists: Average person in Seattle breathed in 10 hot radioactive particles a day during April
      • FOX affiliate in Seattle: Northwest sees 35% infant mortality spike post-Fukushima
      • 05:57 PM EST on June 25th, 2011 | 138 comments
      o EPA radiation monitoring exists so Feds can say they have a system – Not to report data that would undermine public support for nuclear power, thinks watchdog
      • "The easiest way to not have any concern over data is to have no data at all," said Hirsch Idaho Paper: EPA's "RadNet monitors were shipped out of Boise Tuesday" – Don't expect an update any time soon
      • Fox News: "U.S. is receiving a steady flow of radiation from Fukushima" – Media paying little attention to radiation in food, as if problem only involves Japan
      • "Very high concentrations" of hot particles in Pacific NW during April, May -…

      • 16Penny 16Penny

        Paveway, in case this slipped past, CB has graciously provided us with clear evidence that the Political dogs knew more than enough about the contamination and choose to act like it can be swept under the rug.

        CB, thanks!

        Gov't Shills, Tell your boss you quit based on moral objections, religious reasons, whatever. (Sorry for the religion thing Richard but it is a technicality we are allowed to use to get out of doing morally corrupt acts in US.) Get a job with the mob, they don't kill as many people.

  • ConnectingDots

    Lessons learned?

    " Westinghouse CEO Expects Japan to Restart Most Nuclear Reactors "

  • Jay

    I suggest to judge the Gov knowledge by the measures/actions it takes regarding a world catastrophy from Fukushima : 'cough' , well , you start ….

  • bwoodfield bwoodfield

    Here is the problem; if the government releases all the information regarding the contamination of North America the public is going expect actions be taken. Japan is a MAJOR trade partner for both the US and Canada, and with the Japanese government denying that anything is happening, they can't go in and attempt to assist in the clean-up and containment without damaging that trade partnership.

    SO like every other time in history, the government is putting business and money ahead of their people.

    I'm sure you've all noticed that as the "official" news reports come out of Japan with comments about the conditions, that the US news media has been reporting more adverse effect information. Once/If the Japanese government requests assistance, then we'll see the flood gates open on the actual numbers.