Former Top Official at Hearing: Told that all 6 Fukushima reactors would ‘explode’ if workers left plant — Entire eastern Japan might be lost

Published: May 18th, 2012 at 11:27 am ET
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Subscription Only: Ex-industry minister blasts Kan’s handling of nuclear crisis
AJW by The Asahi Shimbun
May 18, 2012

Banri Kaieda, the industry minister during the early stages of the Fukushima nuclear accident [spoke May 17] before the Diet’s Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission […]

Kaieda said on May 17 that [Tepco Chairman Tsunehisa] Shimizu told him on the phone that TEPCO would evacuate from the Fukushima No. 1 plant to the Fukushima No. 2 plant. […]

Kaieda asked industry ministry officials what would happen if all TEPCO employees deserted the plant. Kaieda said he was told: “It would be disastrous because not only the No. 1 to No. 4 reactors but also the No. 5 and No. 6 reactors would explode.”

Kaieda then discussed the issue with other Cabinet ministers who were at the prime minister’s office. He said they reached the conclusion: “A (total) withdrawal would lead to a disaster, in which the entire eastern Japan might be lost. We have to ask workers at the plant to hang in there although we feel sorry for them.” […]

Published: May 18th, 2012 at 11:27 am ET
By

30 comments

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30 comments to Former Top Official at Hearing: Told that all 6 Fukushima reactors would ‘explode’ if workers left plant — Entire eastern Japan might be lost

  • Wreedles Wreedles

    "in which the entire eastern Japan might be lost."

    It's so interesting to watch how they frame things. The implicit statement here is that the heroic workers acted in time, and that the entirety of eastern Japan was not lost.

    Wrong.

    I would re-write every instance of 'the world's worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl' to 'the world's worst accident.' Similarly, I would rewrite the above to 'despite their efforts, Japan was entirely lost.'

  • Sharp2197 Sharp2197

    I think it would effect much more than eastern Japan. Understatement of the year.

  • The difference here is between levels that we have now, which cause a whole lot of disease, death, and genetic damage… but cause them over time, and in ways that are difficult for the public to see (especially if they don't WANT to see). If we had indeed seen the full withdrawl of plant workers the situation would be impossible to cover up and obvious to even the most pro-nuke audience. If they had pulled out and the fuel pools all burned (a threat that stills hangs over us if anything goes wrong or a large quake happens) the Japan would be a ghost town, and the whole planet would be as contaminated as Japan is now, and worse in many places.
    That said, you are correct that the tone is that we avoided the disaster, when in reality the disaster is still happening, much poison escaped and still escapes, and if we don't get more good luck it will get MUCH worse.

  • Tumrgrwer Tumrgrwer

    I don't think it's only greed we are dealing with.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9AexiRyPc0

  • norbu norbu

    say what? I thought they did leave for a while on vacation? come clean Tepco for all living thing's on EARTH.

  • What-About-The-Kids

    Speaking of exploding reactors: I'm reposting this here, as I posted it late last night on another thread and it got buried:

    Not sure if this was discussed elsewhere, but just in case…Did you see Ex-Skf.blogspot.com's post yesterday about the next planned TEPCO press tour of Fuku?

    The post also includes tweets from an actual worker at Fuku, who says he is equally concerned about all the SFPs and reactor buildings, not just #4.

    Ex-Skf says:

    "The worker who tweets from Fuku-I thinks the reason why Goshi Hosono is coming may be to dispel the rumors circulating around the globe about Reactor 4's building "listing" (leaning, about to collapse, whatever). Bad choice, as Goshi Hosono would be the last person that people would believe. But that aside, the worker doesn't seem particularly worried about Reactor 4 (he never has). From his tweets (here and here):

    "People in the world are making a fuss about Unit 4, but I think the other reactor buildings would be the same as Unit 4 if an earthquake hits. Other units also have spent fuel, and what's worse there is still fuel inside the reactors. Units 1 and 3 also exploded but they haven't been reinforced. There has been several earthquakes with seismic intensity of 5, but luckily they were OK. I was scared a bit…."

    (continued below)…

    • What-About-The-Kids

      (continued)…

      "It's not that I am optimistic. No one knows what will happen if an earthquake with seismic intensity of 7 hits. But it's not just Unit 4 that is dangerous. They are all the same. They will start removing the spent fuel from Unit 4 in the fall of next year, but it hasn't been decided when the spent fuel in other Units will be removed."

      @ W-A-T-K: I guess it's just a matter of degree? Maybe he doesn't realize the seriousness of the issue of #4 having a full load of fresh fuel which was to be loaded into the #4 reactor? Or the sheer amount of assemblies in #4 which purportedly contained a much greater amount of them than the other pools?

      Or perhaps he does know about the MOX in #3? (But we all saw those explosions…how can there be anything left there? And what does he mean fuel in the other reactors? I thought even TEPCO admitted they all melted through?)

      So it looks like he's saying we should be concerned about the danger posted by the vulnerability of ALL and ANY of the SFPs at Fuku1…

      Does anyone have any links to recent statements by TEPCO or others about the state of SFPs at Reactor #1 or #2? Are they being monitored?

      Here's the link to Ex-Skf's post:
      http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2012/05/fukushima-i-nuke-plant-third-tour-for.html

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Oh, yes. Hosono's stated mission is to "quell unfounded rumors."

  • He failed to mention what would happen if the common fuel pool exploded.

    He also failed to mention what would happen if quantum nuclear entanglement took place between between multiple facilities…

    Do tell eh.

    • What-About-The-Kids

      Ah yes, forgot to mention that little issue of the Common Spent Fuel pool. Anyone with updates on that little guy (filled with tons more spent fuel than the other pools)?

      As far as "quantum nuclear entanglement" goes…woah, that one is probably beyond my "payscale" as they say. The folks at physicsforum.com would be the ones who could most likely comment on that issue.

      But do tell, Tacoma! Whatever it is, I'm sure it wouldn't be pretty… 😉

      • AFTERSHOCK AFTERSHOCK

        @What-About-The-Kids: emailed your avatar-graphic to enenews' administration. Ask if they can get it from their gmail inbox and plug it in for you. If there's any problem getting it from them, I'll email it directly to you. You should make sure you're using a non-personal email account. I won't bother putting mine up here unless admin has a problem getting the graphic to you.

        Must run…back in an hour…

        • What-About-The-Kids

          Thanks, Aftershock. If Admin can email it to me first, for my review and approval, that would be great.

          Or alternatively, you could upload it to dropbox.com, or Google Docs, both are free, and you could just post the download link to it here. Either way would be fine. 🙂

          Thanks again!

          • AFTERSHOCK AFTERSHOCK

            @What-About-The-Kids: hopefully they'll email it to you. If you approve of it (and I know you will when you see it), I can forward the source file in EPS/AI format for your archives. Again, let me know if you have any problem getting it from admin and I'll email it to you…

            • ENENews

              ok i'm going to email it to you WATK

            • What-About-The-Kids

              Thanks, Aftershock!

              • AFTERSHOCK AFTERSHOCK

                @What-About-The-Kids: you're more than welcome. Felt obligated for all the intelligent posts you put out here. Thanks admin. Speaking of which: feel free to kill this OT thread…

                • What-About-The-Kids

                  Aw, shucks. Thanks, Aftershock! 🙂

                  Yes, we can go ahead and delete this OT thread. Thx!

                  • AFTERSHOCK AFTERSHOCK

                    @What-About-The-Kids: hope you like it. Just in case you're not familiar with the process, you'll need to upload the graphic within your account profile. I haven't tested it online, so I'm not sure how well it renders online. Let me know if there's any problem. And if you don't like it, I'll come up with something else…

                    • What-About-The-Kids

                      Hi Aftershock! I really appreciate you thinking of me. 🙂 I have thought a bit more about it, but I think what I'm looking for is an image of kids, something that really depicts what I'm all about. I'm not sure how you fit a picture of kids inside such a little box and make it readable and meaningful, but that's what I'm shooting for, anyway. 😉

                      Please let me know if you have any suggestions. This is tougher than I thought! Thanks again! 🙂

                    • AFTERSHOCK AFTERSHOCK

                      It's modern iconography, which features a guardian leading a child across the landscape. If you don't like, I'll try to create something else. Being that it is a unique design, I'll retain rights to it for someone else.

    • Tumrgrwer Tumrgrwer

      A very big worry indeed, without any coverage what so ever.

    • Sam Sam

      Quantum Nuclear Entanglement.

      love that phrase. is it not already happening
      with the coriums from 1, 2 and 3.

      the next act are the SFP's

      The Devils Dance in HELL. .

      • What-About-The-Kids

        Yes, Sam. From the looks of the emissions we keep seeing on the Web cam emanating from all over the Fuku Daichi plant, it sure looks like they might be somehow affecting each other, "interacting" in some strange quantum dance which science has never heretofore witnessed (or ever hoped to witness) previously.

        Or it could just be my imagination. 🙂 Who knows?

  • So they need a constant supply of suicide workers for the next 100,000 years?

    • Sam Sam

      The great Nuclear minds did not care about this.
      No concern for the future of the Human Race.
      An ice pick to scrambled their gray matter.

      "No degree of prosperity could justify the accumulation of large amounts of
      highly toxic substances which nobody knows how to make 'safe' and which
      remain an incalculable danger to the whole of creation for historical or even
      Geological Ages"

      "To do such a thing is a transgression against life itself, a transgression infinitely
      more serious than any crime ever perpetrated by man"

      Ef SChumacher 1973 Small is Beautiful Ch.4.

      • What-About-The-Kids

        Truer words were never spoken. Thanks, Sam. But since most of the original perpetrators of the crime are long gone, it seems justice could never be fully served, even if some sort of crimes against humanity tribunal would be set up…