Fukushima Commander: “I thought Japan was finished” — Expansion of evacuation zone up to 200 km was repeatedly simulated

Published: December 31st, 2011 at 9:09 am ET


GSDF commander says he thought Japan done for as he faced Fukushima nuke crisis, Mainichi Daily News, Dec. 31, 2011:

Toshinobu Miyajima, commanding general of the Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) Central Readiness Force when it was desperately trying to bring the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant under control, thought at one point that Japan was done for, he recalled in a recent interview with the Mainichi. […]

Question: Were you afraid of being exposed to radiation?

Since it was a totally unexpected mission, SDF members were extremely worried about it. The deputy commanding general who led forces in the disaster areas visited them first, confirmed the situation and reported to me with a smile: “There’s no problem.” This reassured members of the force, and allowed them to calmly carry out their mission. I received a report that a radiation alarm was constantly beeping while water was being sprayed from fire engines (onto the reactors). However, all those involved in the work were dressed in protective gear and managed their radiation doses, so I wasn’t worried much.

Question: Did you assume the worst-case scenario?

I arranged models on a map in the commander’s office without being noticed by my subordinates, and repeatedly simulated expansions of the evacuation zone to 100 to 200 kilometers from the power plant. At one point, I thought Japan was finished. We never use the phrase, “beyond the scope of assumptions.” We can’t respond to a catastrophe unless we place even the worst possible situations within the scope of our assumptions.

Published: December 31st, 2011 at 9:09 am ET


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32 comments to Fukushima Commander: “I thought Japan was finished” — Expansion of evacuation zone up to 200 km was repeatedly simulated

  • jec jec

    Surprise surpise, Japan IS DONE for! Maybe not immediately, but when the children get sick, babies are not born, and the land is contaminated due to the poor disposal of radioactive substances…Oh, and the rest of the Pacific and West Coast USA as well.

    Guess the reason governments have been quiet on the disaster..they really don’t want citizens to have a way to know how they have been contaminated. Its been insidious and done quietly..over the years. A great extermination for 2012 is in progress.

    • Whoopie Whoopie

      What I find interesting is his statement: He THOUGHT Japan was done for. WTF?! Spin it all you want you tool, IT IS DONE.

      • or-well

        What surprised me was his saying they’ve never done nuclear accident response drills and then at the end mentioning the myth of nuclear power being safe !

        maybe he’s gonna retire soon………

  • aigeezer aigeezer

    “…reported to me with a smile: “There’s no problem.” This reassured members of the force…”

    This is interesting stuff. Consider:

    1. Commanders are trained to be confident and to reassure. They are expected to smile and reassure as they march their troops into hell.

    2. The fact that people are smiling and reporting “no problem” has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual existence or absence of a problem. Physics trumps spin.

    3. Without the smiling and confidence, the troops would not act. The smiling and confidence are necessary precursors to attempting to solve the (non-existent?) problem, but they are not sufficient to solve anything.

    4. The story invites us to relax when we should not. The overall theme is “Wow, that was a close one – good thing it’s over”.

    5. It makes for a gung-ho anecdote, but it tells us nothing about the state of the reactors, then or now. It is a crumb, a distraction, while we all wait and wonder how much radiation is out there, where it is going, when it will stop, and so forth.

    6. Its value to Enenews readers is that it is a glimpse into what people are being told by Mainichi. Its value to Mainichi readers is less clear to me. Anyone who is seeking to ignore Fukushima might draw false comfort from the piece, and anyone who has been paying attention to the Fukushima story may not care much about smiling commanders.

    • Whoopie Whoopie

      Exactly. Mainichi readers better WAKE UP to the ruse here. All these people have lying down pat. Like politicians, they are EXPERTS IN DECEPTION. Have to be…otherwise the Gig Is UP.

    • or-well

      It does tell Mainichi readers that their Self Defense Force never did nuke accident drills.
      It might now lead them to ask
      “Why the H… not?!”
      The Commanders’ remark about the myth of nuke safety may come as a good cold shock, for those still in doubt.
      That the defense force considered much larger evac zones may lead them to question those actually established, given subsequent events.
      Admittedly it’s not much but it adds the possibility of momentum to citizen questioning the TEPCO/J-gov line.
      The embedded downplaying of radiation
      issues is abominable of course, of false comfort as you say, but I am still surprised an establishment figure (as he surely is) delivered the crumbs that he did.
      The more questioning any and all coverage prompts the better, as any seriously-questioning Japanese citizen will soon find his/herself swept into the tsunami of coverup.

      • Whoopie Whoopie

        I would be sooooo pissed if I lived there after reading this bs. These people are digging a hole they will never ever be able to climb out of. The lies are so blatant, so obvious to those who have watched since 3/11. PLUS…it proves they didn’t know and dont know what the fuck to do. SHUTTTTTTTT EM ALL DOWN.

        • Whoopie Whoopie

          EDIT: It sure makes ya wonder about all the plants here. These guys are NO BETTER. Read this one this morning…posted on Nuke thread. GUESS WHO WOULD BE EVACUATED 1ST FROM SCHOOLS?! Of course, the Plant Facilities FAMILIES!!

          • Whoopie Whoopie

            It takes comments if your interested.
            Left one in Moderation.
            The NRC: Blatant, bald-faced­­­, unabashed, shameless, impudent, audacious, brazen hypocrisy

          • dharmasyd dharmasyd

            And this..San Onofre (SONGS). the date is a couple of years ago, but, so what, it still goes on W/out much mention:

            San Onofre’s liquid radwastes flow out of the plants through “outflows” pipes and empty into the Pacific. They are highly diluted but nevertheless still there. According to the plant’s 2007 Radioactive Effluent Release Report to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, there were 202 liquid effluent “batch” releases that year. These releases lasted a total of 489 hours, or over 20 days. The longest was 7.6 hours in duration. The releases averaged 2.4 hours.

            The releases contained many dangerous radioactive chemicals, including cesium 137, cobalt 60, iodine 131 and strontium 90. Cesium 137 has a radioactive life of over 300 years, cobalt 60′s over 50 years, and strontium 90′s almost 300. Iodine 131′s radioactive life is only a few months, but during that time it is intensely radioactive.

            Source here.

      • aigeezer aigeezer

        Nice focus or-well.

        One could usefully expand the questions to other countries. I wonder what kind of (non-weapon) nuke safety drills go on in my own country. I don’t recall every hearing of any, but perhaps the public is not notified lest they panic or some such.

        Speaking of which, I wonder by what right the government of any country (or state or province or city or municipality or village or county) takes upon itself the ability to withhold information from the public it (cough) serves. We generally seem to accept the dogma that governments are entitled to have secrets. Time to question that notion also, I suspect.

        • aigeezer aigeezer

          “ever” not “every” of course. Incipient senility on my part.

        • or-well

          I expect some to think I’m an apologist for Mainichi !

          I pulled the only two things he said that were useful out of the steaming pile…

          I wondered too if there’d be a Keystone Kops response to a local nuke-saster.

          Maybe those Civil Defense drills from the 50’s need to be re-invigorated…

          By all means – let me panic ! First ones out beat the gridlock !

        • jec jec

          Nuclear waste water releases into the oceans from ALL countires need to be compliled and ADDED up. Think the results would be scary.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    ….ahhhh.they threw a little military top brass..
    ….say…. tough guy…why don’t you try getting the US out of your country…..na…your kind…. settled for occupation years ago…

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    So Commander…Commander?…you command nothing..put your hands on your desk (next to Jaczko’s)…if you mess up…school marm Hillary….
    ..will come hit them with a ruler…or… if you look at Libya… maybe much much worse……

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Damnit…I wish they still painted “yellow stripes”.

  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    Hi all, do you know what would happen in case of a serious accident at a nuke plant near you? Let’s say there’s a major fire – who comes to help? Firemen? Army? If Army, where do they come from? Does it take them a 3 hour drive?
    I made this request here in my town a while ago – it turned out that in the end all I thought to be responsible were pointing at each other in circles – while the reactor would melt down.

    • or-well

      Good question B&B,

      All I’ve considered is wind direction and escape routes, on the assumption of worst-case scenario and useless response.

      To be a displaced refugee in ones’ own country…there’s lessons aplenty for planning.

      • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

        Hi or-well, when I asked here, I naively assumed there was something like an emergency plan – how wrong could I be! Our nearest nuke is in France, 20 miles away.
        I asked how we in Germany would be informed in case of an emergency. Believe it or not, they said: “The French will send a fax.”
        Let’s hope someone’s in the office at 4 AM when it arrives and speaks French.
        The iodine pills for our town are stored 100 miles away. Asked how they would be distributed then, they told me: “Someone will drive and get them. But they’re only for children and pregnant women anyway.”

        It’s an absolute mess – beyond imagination.

    • HamburgGeiger

      Hi BreadAnd Butter,

      you are right. One would think that in germany everything is double checked and secured, but it is not when nuclear is concerned – just as in japan.

      There are very interesting videos on youtube – unfortunately in german language only – where journalists researched around the “Krümmel” nuclear plant near Hamburg – more then a million people in risk when things go wrong. Start here and watch all 4 parts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koiQ6rpoXqI&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

      It turned out that nobody knew what he has to do in the case of an emergency. There are iodine pills, but nobody knows where they are stored, who is responsible and who will give them out to pubilc under which circumstances.

      Whenever the questions got interesting the interview partners finished the interviews…

      Directly in the plant everybody claimed that everything is save and well organized, but in reality they can not hide that nobody knows what to do, and the plant itself is so complicated that no one know how to operate it. I case of an emergency they all search in superbig user-manuals and pray…

      The same everywhere. They asked in a kindergarten some miles from the plant. First answer as always: “Everything is organized and well prepared.” Then it came out that nobody knows what to do. They all hope for the next one to know. The only thing they knew, if I remember it correct, was, that they have instruction to not let the children go. They would be transported in an organized way to nobody knows where. I don`t think that parents are aware of that…

      And so on and on. They all rely on old papers with instructions that are buried in the lowest drawers, and they hope for orders from higher levels of bureaucrazy, and they hope that nothing ever happens. In case it does we are all finished – same as in japan. Hamburg with one million people is just half an hour away. One would think, they are better organized, but they really aren`t.

      So SHUT…

    • jec jec

      9 miles from a nuclear plant. Emergency response plan is missing a little items. The Iodine tablets, at the health department, went out of date–they were tossed, not replaced due to costs. Earthquake monitors in areas of the plants, were reomoved decade ago–to expensive to update/repair. So no meters to see if a threshold has been reached..

      Evaculation areas..the schools..and they seem okay..with water washdowns and such..BUT in the case of radiative releases..water could be contaminated. but at least THAT plan is in place..the schools however can handle a few hundred people-when the exacution routes tunnel some of the 2 Million people who live in the local area..to the facility. This just goes on and on. Plus tests for possible radiative contamination in the lcoal drinking water..ss done by NRC/EPA. They are NOT testing at all since 2009. Downhill from here..

      So a few comments on local preparations–the plans are there..and have been practiced. Just dont have anything to provide to the citizens to help prevent rad affects…But am sure everyone thinks all is ready. Sounds familar.

  • HamburgGeiger