BBC journalist on Fukushima story you didn’t hear on CNN: “They Knew” — “I’ve seen a lot of sick stuff in my career, but this was sick on a new level”

Published: November 11th, 2011 at 1:44 pm ET
By

49 comments


Fukushima: They Knew, Greg Palast (New York Times-bestselling author, freelance journalist for the BBC and The Observer), November 10, 2011 [Emphasis Added]:

  • “Completely and Utterly Fail in an Earthquake”
  • The Fukushima story you didn’t hear on CNN

I’ve seen a lot of sick stuff in my career, but this was sick on a new level.

[…]

NEW YORK, 1986

Two senior nuclear plant engineers were spilling out their souls and files on our huge conference table, blowing away my government investigations team with the inside stuff about the construction of the Shoreham, New York, power station.

[…]

On March 12 this year, as I watched Fukushima melt, I knew:  the “SQ” [Seismic Qualification] had been faked.

[…]

I was ready to vomit.  Because I knew who had designed the plant, who had built it and whom Tokyo Electric Power was having rebuild it:  Shaw Construction.  The latest alias of Stone & Webster, the designated builder for every one of the four new nuclear plants that the Obama Administration has approved for billions in federal studies.

But I had The Notebook, the diaries of the earthquake inspector for the company.

[…]

All field engineers keep a diary. Gordon Dick, a supervisor, wasn’t supposed to show his to us. I asked him to show it to us and, reluctantly, he directed me to these notes about the “SQ” tests.

SQ is nuclear-speak for “Seismic Qualification.” A seismically qualified nuclear plant won’t melt down if you shake it. A “seismic event” can be an earthquake or a Christmas present from Al Qaeda. You can’t run a nuclear reactor in the USA or Europe or Japan without certified SQ.

[…]

Dick’s subordinate at the nuclear plant, Robert Wiesel, conducted the standard seismic review. Wiesel flunked his company. No good. Dick then ordered Wiesel to change his report to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, change it from failed to passed. Dick didn’t want to make Wiesel do it, but Dick was under the gun himself, acting on direct command from corporate chiefs. From The Notebook:

Wiesel was very upset. He seemed very nervous. Very agitated. [He said,] “I believe these are bad results and I believe it’s reportable,” and then he took the volume of federal regulations from the shelf and went to section 50.55(e), which describes reportable deficiencies at a nuclear plant and [they] read the section together, with Wiesel pointing to the appropriate paragraphs that federal law clearly required [them and the company] to report the Category II, Seismic I deficiencies.

Wiesel then expressed his concern that he was afraid that if he [Wiesel] reported the deficiencies, he would be fired, but that if he didn’t report the deficiencies, he would be breaking a federal law. . . .

[…]

Why the hell would his company make this man walk the line? Why did they put the gun to his head, to make him conceal mortal danger? It was the money. It’s always the money. Fixing the seismic problem would have cost the plant’s owner half a billion dollars easy. A guy from corporate told Dick, “Bob is a good man. He’ll do what’s right. Don’t worry about Bob.”

[…]

But I think we should all worry about Bob [Wiesel]. The company he worked for, Stone & Webster Engineering, built or designed about a third of the nuclear plants in the United States.

[This is an excerpt in FreePress.org from Vultures’ Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates and High-Finance Fraudsters, to be released this Monday.  Click here to get the videos and the book.]

h/t Anonymous tips

Here is a BBC video of Palast so you can familiarize yourself with his work, if you’re not already:

Published: November 11th, 2011 at 1:44 pm ET
By

49 comments

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49 comments to BBC journalist on Fukushima story you didn’t hear on CNN: “They Knew” — “I’ve seen a lot of sick stuff in my career, but this was sick on a new level”

  • stock stock@hawaii.rr.com

    So this is all about a Weasel getting Dicked?

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    Just came through a Tweet
    Rad levels Czech
    http://www.suro.cz/cz/index_html

    • jirim

      This office canceled aproximately on the 27th of March detailed reporting about radiation levels of all locations in CZ. Day before there was thousandfold increase in many locations – next day all reporting disappeared… regreting japanese:(

  • jimbojamesiv

    I read the blurb twice. I’d also read somewhere yesterday about Palast’s new book and perhaps it’s always the case with the man, but it was hard to follow his interview yesterday and, now, today this.

    Is this article saying that the earthquake didn’t shake the reactor or it did?

    And before you answer that, it’s my understanding that the official story is that the tsunami wiped out the intentionally negligent placement of the backup generators, which caused the fuel to overheat and perhaps leading to the “hydrogen” explosions, and the earthquake was never really a factor at all, I trust that is a semi-accurate rendition of the official account, okay, now go ahead with your answer?

    My understanding is that the above article is suggesting what everyone already knew, which is that companies fake safety records. And, by the way, it’s always been my contention that even the tsunami was not to blame but the lackadaisical way in which companies seek to maximize profit.

    • ENENEWS Staff

      Yeah, a bit confusing.
      It’s about how Palast met with two engineers in ’86 who were involved with faking reports to the NRC that showed the Shoreham NY power plant passed its SQ test, when it actually had a bad result.
      The company that built/designed Shoreham is the same that built Fukushima Daiichi.. and 1/3 of US plants… and is the designated builder on 4 future plants.

  • Dogleg Dogleg

    Breaking News; Sodium fire at INEL in Idaho. Same place workers were exposed to platonium. I will try and download link.

  • ocifferdave

    http://www.weatherimages.org/data/imag192.html

    I’m encouraged by this to move out of the continental US, let alone the West Coast, to Puerto Rico. Especially since the author above and Gunderson imply our country has an impending Fukushima one home soil.

    • ocifferdave

      “on home soil”

      using iphone. using my iTypo. 😉

      BTW, have real estate agent coming over wednesday to assess value of our home. i think we will just sell everything but clothes and pesonal items for the move. I really appreciate Kintaman’s struggle with moving!

      • Misitu

        Good Luck dave

      • arclight arclight

        send us a postcard then! err i meant a post 🙂

      • NoNukes NoNukes

        ocifferdave, I’m impressed that you are taking the steps to move. I have been working on convincing the family to flee the West Coast, too.

        I’m curious why you are looking at Puerto Rico, I believed that we needed to go farther south?

        Has anyone found radiation readings from Argentina, or anywhere in South America? I am unclear how much will make it there, and when, but understand that Chernobyl radiation never reached the Southern Hemisphere.

        • ocifferdave

          its a cost and time issue. it wont take as long to get to PR (no passport) and costs $200+ each ticket. something a family with zero money reserves can do. And moving sheds uneeded worldly posessions thus making it easier to move to the s. hemi if needed later on.

      • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

        Officerdave, what are your thoughts concerning the standard of emergency protection in PR if, let’s say, a nuke in Brazil blows up? Or in the U.S.?
        Don’t you fear that you might be even more left alone than in the U.S.?

        Just curious

    • alasanon

      I would enjoy being able to “breathe free” in the home of the free! 🙁

  • arclight arclight

    “What did Wiesel do? What would you do?

    Why the hell would his company make this man walk the line? Why did they put the gun to his head, to make him conceal mortal danger? It was the money. It’s always the money. Fixing the seismic problem would have cost the plant’s owner half a billion dollars easy. A guy from corporate told Dick, “Bob is a good man. He’ll do what’s right. Don’t worry about Bob.”

    That is, they thought Bob would save his job and career rather than rat out the company to the feds.

    But I think we should all worry about Bob. The company he worked for, Stone & Webster Engineering, built or designed about a third of the nuclear plants in the United States.

    From the fifty-second floor we could look at the Statue of Liberty. She didn’t look back.”

    that struck me!!!

  • billyedtimmy

    This story sounds familiar: Wasn’t this the general plot-line of “The China Syndrome”?

  • I’m trying to make sense of all of this.

    What is the level of “criticality” at Fukushima?

    Will there be a nuclear explosion or will fission occur in an on-off cycle?

    I’ve posted an explanation of what I understand as occurring using some reference sources here.

    Please let me know what you think
    http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2011/11/nuclear-chain-reactions-and-forms-of.html

    the post is too long to post here at Enenews

    • I would say an explosion is eminent. I base my statement more on the fact that MSM has allotted several seconds worth of information on the TV tube about the Fukushima ‘situation’ over the last 10 days. They, the media, have fed this to us for a reason. (my opinion)

      My understanding of the ‘not so good’ choices here are that we let the ‘spewing’ continue unabated for ages or the thing goes ‘critical’ and a single bigger release occurs. I have also heard that dropping a Nuke on Fuku might be a potential solution to possibly halting the nonstop contamination. Maybe they are letting it go critical? Maybe there are secret plans to nuke Fukushima? (How much worse could it be?)

      Several FACTS that I know for certain:

      We all should have been better informed initially, instead we were admittedly lied to.

      We are currently being misinformed and lied to. (about the air, the ocean, our foods and the status of Fukushima)

      We will continue to be lied to, or nothing said (same thing), in the future.

    • dharmasyd dharmasyd

      Excellent Majia…

  • James Tekton James Tekton

    Here is an article about radioactive particles that have been found.:

    Low levels of radioactive particles ‘found in Europe’

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15689555

  • arclight arclight

    World Bank: Chief Economist, Stiglitz Goes Public

    no date

    “Before Joe Stiglitz was fired he took a large stack of secret documents out of the World Bank.

    These secret documents from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund reveal that the IMF required nations:

    1. To sign secret agreements containing 111 destructive items. (I’d love to get a hold of that list)

    2. To agree to sell off their key assets – water, electric, gas, etc.

    3. To agree to take economic steps which are devastating to the nations involved.”

    http://www.skeptically.org/wto/id6.html

  • Anthony Anthony

    Time’s coverage on post Fuku Japan’s safe for tourists?

    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2099119,00.html

  • tony wilson

    the story you did not here on cnn…
    or the bbc!

    palast is a good man and freelance he does not crop up much on the bbc anymore.
    he knows the deal.
    bbc has been purchased owned not by licence fees from the general public but a a wonderful system of financial infiltration by the chatham house brigade.
    just look at newsnight the same old bilderburg stooges,mp and rothchild stooge rory stewart stating it is a good thing that an unelected banker is now running greece.in the cradle of democracy.
    the bbc is perfect for seeing what the elites want next by the way the news departments shape the agenda.

  • markww markww

    I hate to see SAFETY ENGINEERS do what happened FAKE REPORTS. I lost jobs cause I REFUSED to drop my ETHICS and told people to kiss my A** I told them if you want reports and you fake them Id FIRE YOU and everyone involved.

    But who cares today they just bury the paperwork fake it or trash it or change it lowering themselves to MICE and not MEN.

    I have one thing to say to engineers who lower their standards like this

    GO TO HELL

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    @It’s Saturday morning..mini-rant.
    Many days I have yelled about the BS ways of CNN…on this blog.
    They know and they conspire.
    Huh… AC Cooper?
    CNN knows about this… the BP oil spill…9/11
    CNN=CIA..simple as that.