Fukushima 3/11 Tapes: It’s time to make a “geezers’ suicide squad” — “We’ve exhausted our options” when discussing evacuation

Published: October 14th, 2012 at 2:09 pm ET
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(Subscription Only) Title: INSIDE FUKUSHIMA: How workers tried but failed to avert a nuclear disaster
Source: THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
Author: Toshihiro Okuyama, Hideaki Kimura and Takashi Sugimoto
Date: October 14, 2012

[...] Personal radiation dosimeters worn by workers in the central control room of the No. 3 and 4 reactors began to beep every three seconds. This meant only one thing: Radiation levels were rising rapidly. [...]

“This is not good at all,” Yoshida muttered, 23 minutes later. “This is especially bad news for the No. 3 reactor, given what’s been happening there. And since we probably should anticipate a hydrogen explosion at the No. 2 reactor, I’ve ordered all workers to evacuate.”

“The No. 2 reactor’s seawater injection line is still not working,” he said. “To go there and get the line working again takes tremendous courage. But since we now know that the safety-release valves can be opened, I was just discussing with my people that it’s time to put together a ‘geezers’ suicide squad.’”

At 5 p.m., it was reported that the No. 3 reactor had white vapor rising above it. [...]

At 11:01 a.m., an explosion occurred at the No. 3 reactor building. [...]

At 7:20 p.m., the technical team at the Fukushima No. 1 plant predicted imminent damage to the No. 2 reactor. [...]

Senior TEPCO officials began seriously discussing evacuation. “You’ve got to start setting the conditions for evacuation,” Komori said. [...]

Takahashi was sitting beside TEPCO Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata. “We’ve exhausted our options,” Takahashi said.

“What?” Katsumata exclaimed, obviously not expecting this. [...]

Published: October 14th, 2012 at 2:09 pm ET
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