Chief investigator rips Japan nuke agency for evacuating Fukushima plant after quake — ‘Ordered’ to return by gov’t

Published: December 26th, 2011 at 8:54 am ET


Fukushima Probe Highlights Nuclear Regulator, Bloomberg, Dec. 26, 2011:

When engineering professor Yotaro Hatamura took the job of heading the independent investigation into the Fukushima disaster, he said he was looking for lessons rather than culprits. He may have changed his mind.

Hatamura reserves some of his strongest criticism for Japan’s atomic power regulator, the Nuclear Industrial and Safety Agency […]

Gov’t Evacuation

  • NISA officials left the Dai-Ichi nuclear plant after the March 11 earthquake
  • Ordered to return by the gov’t
  • Provided little assistance to Tepco
  • [Report:] “Monitoring the plant’s status was the most important action at that time, so to evacuate was very questionable”
  • The committee found “no evidence that the NISA officials provide necessary assistance or advice”
  • Even though NISA’s manual said to stay at the plant, their manager gave the officials permission to evacuate, according to the report, which doesn’t name the manager
  • By March 14, all eight NISA officials, who are unidentified in the report, had left Dai-Ichi

Tepco Evacuation

  • Media reports [said] former Tepco President Masataka Shimizu requested to evacuate all employees from the plant
  • Tepco has denied it made that request
  • Hatamura’s report said the company was planning a “partial evacuation”
Published: December 26th, 2011 at 8:54 am ET


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  2. Recent Japan nuke headlines: Another Fukushima meltdown possible 38 hours after cooling stops — TEPCO concludes own crisis manual useless — Gov’t lets kids return near meltdowns October 3, 2011
  3. Japan Nuke Agency: 14 reactors at 4 sites were affected on 3/11 — Fukushima Daiichi had most serious damage — Daini, Onagawa, and Tokai also March 7, 2012
  4. Fuel rod containers damaged at another Japan nuke plant — Investigating if from 3/11 quake (VIDEO) July 10, 2012
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18 comments to Chief investigator rips Japan nuke agency for evacuating Fukushima plant after quake — ‘Ordered’ to return by gov’t

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    Oh man…this is EXPLOSIVE news! Thanks Admin!

    • Whoopie Whoopie

      This stands out to me:
      “while other officials head to the offsite emergency command office 5 kilometers (3 miles) away in Okuma town”
      Sounds about right, eh? Get the Big Shots OUT leaving workers there to face the crisis. CRIMINAL!!

      • Whoopie Whoopie

        They should be taken out and shot. This report is going to cause some heads to roll. COULDN’T HAPPEN TO A MORE DESERVING INDUSTRY. The poor Plant workers!! My heart goes out to them, THEN and NOW.

        • Clocka

          No, it won’t. They have enough lobby in Nagata-Cho (Japanese Govt) to prevent that and allow them to retire in Southern California.

    • aigeezer aigeezer

      Explosive news released on boxing day may not be noticed by most people in North America. Not a coincidence, I imagine.

  • James2

    Of course they left. They knew the seriousness and futility at that point.

    The thing that they knew, and some of us speculated, but is still being hidden, is that the #3 explosion blew MOX fuel all over the area.

    They knew immediately that it was the point of no return.

    So is anybody going to be arrested? Of course not, because then they would talk.

    • James2

      PS… They had better get the blame game under control, or the whole charade is going to blow wide open (pun intended)

      • Whoopie Whoopie

        YES JAMES. This whole mess will be something to watch. The Dem Party is already tearing into NODA too. All I can imagine is all these people runnning around like chickens with their heads cut off.

        • Clocka

          Noda was not expected to serve for a long time.

          I think the LDP, Japan’s Republican party, will come back next year. If they have half a brain, they will put Koizumi’s son as the prime minister. He is only in his early 30s, but North Korea now has a leader in his 20s so the Japanese people won’t be so wary of a young leader now.

          • Mack Mack

            @Clocka – Please educate us on which political party and candidates in Japan are more likely to be pro-nuclear vs. anti-nuclear. Thank you.

    • batista

      I know that MOX fuel requires different reactors from those used for lightly enriched uranium… It’s more difficult to control, requiring different control rods. They (the pro-nukes) don’t recognoize that it’s decay heat is greater than that of LEU. They state it to be lower than normal LEU fuel. But they recognize that it takes more time much more time for it to go away.
      But it’s uranium and plutonium mixed solidified oxides so actually it constitutes something of a lovechild of products that result themselves of a “sinful” metal burning… But I ain’t so good at chemistry. Can something produced by a burning process itself be rather too easily ignitable…
      Interesting that the Russians state they don’t use Depleted Uranium shells in their tank guns purportedly to avoid irradiation and contamination of the tank crew. I think it has more to do with them having problems to avoid the depleted uranium go kaboom in the gun/tank itself. I’ve read the so called DU (it’s not so depleted itself having sometimes U236 in it) slef-combusts at 170 degrees Celsius when having contact with oxigen…
      I hate seeing the Ruskie fail recently. Just as I hate the Japanese becoming so murderously evil and at the same time powerless…
      May be actually the MOX fuel being the love child of nuclear chemistry sinful congress is a highly unstable ignitable substance. It might have actually rather exploded than melted – thus actually helping the classic LEU in reactor 3 to melt down…
      But what do I know?

  • or-well

    Some may have to take a fall – thru the revolving public/private employment door.

    Some public humiliations (private compensations?) followed by diverting, positive talk of cleansing, moving forward in harmony, strengthened committment to stability and renewal etc. etc. wouldn’t surprise me.

    Someone high-profile enough to be symbolic and a underling or two.

    (But that’s after more studies, reports and investigations, all of which may contain some factual innaccuracy for damage control.)

    Power and influence juggling vs accountability and justice is my expectation.

    What will the people do ?

  • arclight arclight


    MARCH 28, 2011.
    Nuclear Regulator Tied to Industry
    “TOKYO—Japan’s nuclear regulator has amassed power while growing closer to the industry it regulates, according to former regulators and industry critics who blame the trend for lapses that may have contributed to the Fukushima Daiichi accident.

    Bucking the global standard, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has two distinct and often competing roles: regulating the nuclear power industry, and promoting Japanese nuclear technology at home and abroad.

    The setup recalls U.S. regulation of offshore drilling before last year’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, in which the same agency regulated the industry and promoted offshore oil-and- gas development.”

    “In the States, the most powerful banking regulator is the the Fed, which is essentially OWNED by the industry which it purports to regulate. And the last time I looked, the WSJ was part of the choir singing the praises of self regulation of the various segments of the financial sector, taking every opportunity to undermine independent regulation.

    And they probably do not get it. You just have to laugh at this kind of irony.

    Well, derivatives are a bit like radiation, something resembling a neutron bomb. They kill off the life in a society, while leaving the buildings intact.

    Speaking of the extended analogy, Radioactivity 100,000 Times Normal at Fukushima Reactor 2. The good news is that it is not 10 million times normal as reported by TEPCO earlier today.

    Reminds one of the recent report on the US banks by the Fed.”

    • Whoopie Whoopie

      Good find arc. Posted to hp.

    • aigeezer aigeezer

      “Bucking the global standard, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has two distinct and often competing roles: regulating the nuclear power industry, and promoting Japanese nuclear technology at home and abroad.”

      As I understand it, this situation is precisely analogous to the IAEA’s role, which leaves me puzzled at the assertion that Japan is bucking the global standard with this (distressing) practice.

      I believe such conflicts of interest are rampant world-wide, and in many industries besides nuclear. It will be very hard to unravel these connections – I hope humanity finds a way to do it – soon.

  • arclight arclight

    this kinda needs to go here, shows tepco giving the middle finger to the japanese press in their last press release.. if you ask me! cold shutdown is code for run out of bullshit!

    thanks to australian cannonball (ac) and all his good works! links to his website on the headline links at bottom of page!!

  • aigeezer aigeezer

    Super vid, arclight. Thanks!

    To my eye the press corps seem much more feisty than in the early days.

    It was amazing to watch the Tepco president scuttle away.

    The government flacks did a masterful job of turning the discussion into a trivial debate about the timing of the meeting. That is a classic bureaucratic dance, but I’ve never seen it done with stakes as high as they are now. The press should have pounced then, and perhaps they did, but the video ended.

  • unspokenhermit

    People within 3 kilometers (2 miles) of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant were told to evacuate, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said in Tokyo. Residents within 10 kilometers were told to stay indoors, said Ryohei Shiomi, a spokesman at the Emergency Information Center of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

    I recently came across these atmpospheric simulations, produced an American independent organization, that indicate TEPCO vastly under-reported radionuclide emissions from the Fukushima Plant.

    I’ve suspected for some time that the publicly released emissions data had been manipulated – If the models are correct I suppose this re enforces my hunch. Is there anyone here that can help us explain the implications of this model?