Crucial cooling systems restored, Tepco says — Local official: “We don’t believe Fukushima disaster is under control” — NYT: “Impossible to independently assess conditions at plant”

Published: March 19th, 2013 at 6:44 pm ET
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AP: Cooling systems were restored for four fuel storage pools at Japan’s tsunami-damaged nuclear plant, more than a day after a power outage halted the supply of fresh cooling water and raised concerns about the safety of the facility, which still relies on makeshift equipment. [...] “We don’t believe the Fukushima disaster is under control,” said Yuko Endo, chief of nearby Kawauchi village, part of which remains restricted because of radiation contamination, keeping hundreds of residents away from their homes. Officials are struggling to make the area livable again, but people cannot return home unless they feel confident about the plant’s stability, he said.

NYTimes: Crucial Cooling Systems Restored at Fukushima Plant, Company Says [...] The latest problem raised new fears about the continuing vulnerability of the plant, which suffered a triple meltdown two years ago and still relies on makeshift equipment. [...] The latest troubles also underscore the continuing worries about the safety of the plant [...] In particular, experts have warned that the makeshift cooling systems could be knocked out by another large earthquake. [...] With the company as the only source of information, it was impossible to independently assess the conditions at the plant, which sits in a contaminated zone that is closed to the public.

Published: March 19th, 2013 at 6:44 pm ET
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54 comments

Related Posts

  1. Power still not restored at Fukushima Unit 3 fuel pool and Common Fuel Pool — No fresh cooling water for over a day — Tepco: Extremely sorry it took so long to announce blackout March 19, 2013
  2. Kyodo: Terror drill at Fukushima nuclear plant — Fears about ‘highly fragile’ cooling systems May 11, 2013
  3. Japan Author: Fukushima disaster “impossible to control” — Senior Scientist: The sheer number of things going wrong… they’ve never solved any problems — Mutual Fund: Officials never regained control at plant December 3, 2013
  4. Kyodo English: ‘Problem with electric power’ at Fukushima Daiichi — Cooling systems suspended at 3 fuel pools March 18, 2013
  5. Asahi: High radiation levels at reactors preventing Tepco from even preparing for start of decommissioning work — ‘Many uncertainties could easily derail timetable’ May 28, 2012

54 comments to Crucial cooling systems restored, Tepco says — Local official: “We don’t believe Fukushima disaster is under control” — NYT: “Impossible to independently assess conditions at plant”

  • Nice, the pumps are on trucks several km away and the switch box is on another truck. This is what keeps us from disaster. See AP article.


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  • norbu norbu

    Did they really fix all of the power problems? Please prove it to the world, other-wise I do not buy there story. Tepco tell the truth no matter how bad, please.
    N


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  • nuknomore nuknomore

    How is it, that the WHOLE world is at risk..Yet NO ONE outside of a few official's here and there have any say in this?
    Wouldn't this be, at least , by now.. The business of every single country, man and woman and child on the planet???
    I am frustrated that the whole world and especially those in the northern hemisphere.. Are to just sit and HOPE these guys know what they are doing..
    Where is the involvment of other countries? And why ?
    We are worried that Korea is testing nukes..Yet we sit and ignore this horrendous disaster???
    It boggles the mind.


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    • We Not They Finally

      The Japanese turned down international scientific help after the meltdowns. And even the World "Health" Organization covers for them by saying that the millions of health-endangered Japanese are "safe." This is more than just Japan. Japan is just the sore thumb sticking out for public view. That whole industry is freaking corrupt and insane.


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      • PavewayIII PavewayIII

        "…The Japanese turned down international scientific help…"

        No, TEPCO turned down scientific help. They can't have outsiders running around Daiichi and reporting lead-covered dosage badges, dead contract workers, and leaky decontamination plumbing. Censorship is all they have left.

        Their lackeys in the Japanese government don't need to do anything to protect TEPCO. They just do nothing. It's cheap and easy.

        The Japanese people themselves won't ask anyone for any kind of help. They're pretty quiet when they're being victimized, and are forced to rely solely on criminally insane TEPCO's good graces for help.

        Nothing special about the Japanese people though except for the 'quiet' part. Americans make a lot more noise when they're being victimized, but – same as the Japanese – rely entirely on the timing and desire of the criminal corporations to fix anything.


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  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    We've been hoping since Three Mile Island, only to witness, and to be victims of more nuclear plant disasters. Nuclear will end someday, for sure, because it will destroy man.


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    • We Not They Finally

      We should have started hoping way before Three Mile Island. Twenty years earlier, the 1959 accident at the Rocketdyne facility at the Santa Susana Labs in Simi Valley, CA, was about 240 times worse than TMI. (See enviroreporter.com.) It was covered up to protect the MILITARY. Really, the whole "Atoms for Peace" (slogan promoted by Ike)has been a sham from the start. What nuclear plants do is to enrich uranium. Electricity is just a convenient side-product at an astronomical cost.


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  • weeman

    Tepco it is not a sin to ask for assistance, surly you are not that arrogant to believe your engineers do not need assistance and there is nothing to be gained by networking etc.
    Since we are all effected by your ineptitude and this will have a direct effect on every single one of us, we have a right to know and I urge you to allow independent assessment, no I demand it, now make it so or your ansestors will not be amused with you as you dishonor them and their values.


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    • VanneV anne

      I suspect that TEPCO has gotten plenty of advice, but no donations of money to implement much. I think the situation was helpless from day one. Everything cosmetic is done to make it look like something positive is being done. But no one in the world in charge is going to admit how hopeless the situation is, for the nuclear industry worldwide is responsible for all the failures, but they have no vision or care for anyone today or twenty years or more into the future.

      Please shut down all nuclear reactors worldwide. Making a hopeless situation even more hopeless while taking subsidies which are bankrupting all economies is extremely immoral.

      The problem is that those on top love all the money thay have managed to steal, and they won't admit to the theft, nor do they acknowledge the plight of the poor.


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  • nedlifromvermont

    where oh where is little GE .. the boy? man? corporation? once so enamored of the nuclear gambit … that he paid to corrupt the whole world in this pursuit?

    Oh where oh where can he be?

    In his little jet plane … breathing deadly radiation he just had to make money off of ..

    oh where oh where could he be?

    peace …


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  • ftlt

    Keep your eye on the ball.. This was always going to end this way… This has had "contrived event/story written all over it…

    Why??? Could be a bunch of reasons… But, I would follow the free funding paths first… Money is the big issue now…

    Who and how this is going to be paid for by going forward???

    It ain't going to be Tepco… Japan????

    The thing I remember most after the first reports of the diaaster was the Obama Admin warning about saving confidence in Tepco's stock…

    Follow the money!!!


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  • 21stCentury 21stCentury

    A solution to contaminated water at Fukushima…

    KULLUK is a Shell Oil offshore drilling rig that is currently being transported to Singapore from Alaska for repairs.

    The Kulluk should be used to reinject contaminated Fukushima water deep near the subduction zone offshore nearby.

    A deep well can be drilled and 2000 tons of graphene in aqueous suspension can be pumped down the well first, thus creating a nukewaste trap holding the radioactive particles in place.. the graphene will let the purified water escape leaving the nukewaste trapped 12,000 feet deep underground.

    http://news.rice.edu/2013/01/08/another-tiny-miracle-graphene-oxide-soaks-up-radioactive-waste/

    Graphene is made out of Graphite, and Alaska has 280million tons of Graphite.

    Many injection wells can be drilled and we have plenty of graphene to use as nukewaste trap.
    All the runoff and groundwater flow can be suctioned off around the Daiichi plant and pipelined thru a ocean outfall pipe to the pump-barges anchored over the injection wells.
    This design is capable of moving a tremendous amount of washdown water.
    Relief wells can be drilled at a distance to release the purified water and test for badrad-bypass.

    A similar process is needed at Hanford.

    http://www.mxak.org/community/kulluk/kullukmore.html
    ==~~


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    • 21stCentury 21stCentury

      It's important to understand how graphene traps nuke particles..
      and understand geology enough to know that the rate of subduction and the convective cycling of magma exceeds the concentration and decay rate of nukewaste..

      It's a lot better solution than:
      just letting it sit there and fester and spew..
      shooting it into the sun with rockets..
      digging up half of Japan and giving it to North Korea or Mongolia..
      or shipping it all to Hanford.

      Nuke weenies don't seem to realize how much totally natural actinides are present in the topsoil in varying concentrations worldwide..
      yes, we evolved over millions of years cohabiting with sometimes dangerous concentrations of uranium-oxide and thorium.

      Waste management is always about engineering reduced risk..
      if you want ZERO-risk I suggest you get yourself a lot of morphine and start looking at another website for less stressful entertainment, be careful of your fragile health.

      The high level nukewaste must be annihilated with molten salt reactors, funny how it will still make zillions of gigawatts before it finishes it's total decay cycle..
      ..just don't build WAMSER's on the beach, or in an earthquake zone.
      Wamsers are best built in deep 3.2billion year old stable bedrock, better than Yucca Mtn.
      http://transatomicpower.com/company.php


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    • We Not They Finally

      Checked out the Rice U. website. This sounds interesting (God knows, NO ONE has had any solution to date), but we humans seem to do poorly with deep drilling. Like BP drilled right into the sea, and we only have a small measure of that catastrophe flooding onto us thus far. And the Rice U. website seems fine with fracking, which is horrendously dangerous — in fact, they seem to think that this would just make it CHEAPER to do and that that would be a GOOD thing. So no, I'm not a geologist, but I'm suspicious. Well, at least someone is thinking of doing SOMETHING.


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    • Usefulbreather

      It seems to me the only real permanent solution to the problem would be to use giant tunnel boring machines to create a massive cavern beneath the site. Set an explosion to create a cave-in and allow the entire site to fall into a man-made sinkhole. Then, use graphene, boron, cement, earth, lead and any other material to bury this once and for all. There will never realistically be a dismantling of this plant before a major earthquake takes it all down. By then it will be too late. We have squandered two whole years spraying water on a tilting shell of a building. Meanwhile, the bleeding gets worse by the day.


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      • 21stCentury 21stCentury

        http://www.hitachizosen.co.jp/english/pickup/pickup008.html

        Interesting idea.. but your tunnel machine is headed the wrong direction right now, sorry !!

        Yes, tunneling might do the trick if you could get it to swallow it down hard and deep in an instant.
        A thorough understanding of the geology there is important.
        Hopefully it won't trigger any more quakes causing further damage to the other nuke reactors on the east coast nearby..
        they should be dismantled first also.

        Megaproject engineers have many tricks…
        Aerial Cable Cranes, for example..
        http://www.asia.ru/images/target/photo/51611932/Steel_Wire_Rope__Used_on_Radial_Cable_Crane_.jpg

        Yes, much bigger machinery is needed to handle this mess.

        USA has plenty of practice making huge underground caverns with nukebombs, they have punched hundreds of holes in Nevada, which is easy to see in GoogleEarth.
        Some of the nuke-bombs detonate clean enough to allow human entry within a few weeks.

        We would want to try to remove as many of the fuelrods as possible first and process them offsite in a WAMSER..
        then to a thorough washdown, disposing the radwater in graphene wells..
        then the remaining clutter can be dumped into the deep basement tunnel/cavern.

        …thankyou for taking an interest in my idea.


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  • I'm not sure who said Why don't they ask for help? Because then they would have to level with someone. Although with Army bases still stationed in Japan since WW2 I'm sure US is well briefed on the situation. Just no media coverage please. They were built by GE wern't they?


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  • We Not They Finally

    And two years from now, five years from now, ten years from now (assuming we have that long — a big assumption!), will it just be said that Japan is a great economic power who just happens to have a "mysteriously ill" population? Well, Obama did manage to whisk his own family to South America "coincidentally" when that first really bad radioactive plume came in. Yet he floated the name of First Daughter Caroline Kennedy to be the new Ambassador to radioactive Japan. Some things one doesn't, cannot, forget. Money and morality don't seem to be a very good fit….


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  • karaa karaa

    "but people cannot return home unless they FEEL CONFINDENT about the plant’s stability…"
    this is what an official person says.
    Oh, so this is just about propaganda and feelings?
    I see, the problem can be quickly resolved, I am relieved.


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    • We Not They Finally

      The Japanese pull this crap on their own all the time. When people first started showing up at emergency rooms with radiation sickness, at least a quarter of them were branded "psychiatric." Then they told everyone to "just smile and the radiation won't hurt you." The culture has gotten sort of nuts. They've installed denial as a way of life.


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      • PavewayIII PavewayIII

        Not really. They're not even the first.

        It was American Army doctors that suggested a lot of delayed radiation sickness symptoms were actually due to 'loss of spirit' in the Japanese people at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The U.S. banned all reporting on injuries from the bombs at the time and their observations remained classified for thirty years.

        After atomic testing in the Marshall Islands, the U.S. told the natives that they shouldn't worry about radiation. The worrying was making them sick.

        The 1950-60 Nevada atomic tests caused radiation sickness in the downwinders. The Atomic Energy Commission suggested many of the symptoms were due to 'Houswife Hysteria'.

        After Chernobyl… well, you get the idea.


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      • A smile confuses an approaching frown. ~Author Unknown

        People seldom notice old clothes if you wear a big smile. ~Lee Mildon

        A smile is a curve that sets everything straight. ~Phyllis Diller

        Smile. Have you ever noticed how easily puppies make human friends? Yet all they do is wag their tails and fall over. ~Walter Anderson, The Confidence Course, 1997

        The world always looks brighter from behind a smile. ~Author Unknown

        Start every day with a smile and get it over with. ~W.C. Fields

        Before you put on a frown, make absolutely sure there are no smiles available. ~Jim Beggs


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  • japan guinea pig

    Listen to this !! This is so f…ing funny !!. Im watching NHK news in Japan, and TEPCO are saying that a "RAT" or some kind of rodent caused the lastest cock-up at Fukushima by chewing through the cables or something!!. People our fate could have been decided by a RAT !! .TEPCO is a MOFOing Joke !!….James Cagney comes to mind !!.


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  • WindorSolarPlease

    Is any of this really under control!?

    I feel like this is a runaway train, and we are just waiting for the crash.


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  • The New York Times must be secretlly monitoring us now:

    Fukushima Blackout Hints at Plant’s Vulnerability

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/20/world/asia/blackout-halts-cooling-system-at-fukushima-plant.html?_r=0

    "This week’s blackout did not affect the cooling systems for the three reactors, according to Tepco. Still, much of the continuing concern about the plant has focused on the fuel pools, which contain far more radioactive material than the reactors and were built with less shielding.

    The four pools affected by the latest blackout contain more than 8,800 highly radioactive fuel rods, Tepco said, enough to cause a release much larger than the original accident, which forced the evacuation of some 160,000 residents in northeastern Japan. However, experts say that as the rods have aged with time, they are producing less heat, reducing the prospect of a catastrophic fire or melting.

    With the company as the only source of information, it was impossible this week to independently assess the conditions at the plant, which sits in a contaminated zone that is closed to the public. On Tuesday, the company was criticized for waiting three hours before revealing the power failure to the public.

    Tepco said a faulty switchboard might have been to blame in the latest power failure. Though the company has backup generators at the site, it appeared to have been unprepared for a switchboard failure."


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    The rumor here is that this was just a ruse to draw the attention away from a false flag that is being set up somewhere else in the world.
    Rumor aside..
    Let's see ..there is not enough back up power generation to run the emergency switchboard..so it is evident they do not have enough to cool the SFPs.
    I personally don't believe any of TEPCO's temperture readings.

    SHUT THEM ALL DOWN.


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Lose power to a nuclear power plant due to a swithboard ?
    They dance on our graves.


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  • Au Au

    I hope it is "fixed" for now. A hearty THANK YOU to whoever found that and fixed it. We'll never know your name but thank you just the same.


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  • weeman

    Put a critter camera on the rats and send them in to reactor and not four legged rats, put the cameras on the rodents that got us in this predicament, yes it was predictable.


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  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    Any event that brings Fukushima Diiachi NPP to the attention of the public is positive. This non-serious event was perfect, in that it brought Fuku to public attention, and exposed the amateurish and inadequate systems put in place by TEPCO.

    Where are Coriums1,2,&3, TEPCO?
    Certainly not within Containments1,2,&3.
    Certainly not within Units1,2,&3.
    The earthquake and tsunami were not Japan's fault.
    But the ongoing and never-ending mess at Fuku most certainly is Japan's fault.


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  • andagi andagi

    Dear PhilipUpNorth,
    Youbetcha!! Sad but so very true, sir!
    http://tootallfritz.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/happydance_snoopy.jpg
    Folks, keep reading, posting, sharing ENENews -generating change worldwide, 24/7!!
    Thanks Admin and all for doing your best ALL this time!
    We're making a difference!
    Aloha Always.


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Hi..andagi..nice to see you here.

    OFFICIAL – Somewhere Over the Rainbow 2011 – Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_DKWlrA24k

    Aloha..indeed.


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