“It’s Leaning”: Japan nuclear engineer concerned about collapse of Reactor No. 4 — Oxidation must have weakened building material… MORE

Published: January 3rd, 2012 at 7:46 am ET
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Tweets by a former nuclear plant engineer @cmk2wl, Jan. 2, 2012:

Translation by Fukushima Diary

Tweet #1

From the picture of Tepco, they are removing the brace of reactor 4. If another earthquake hits the plant now, it can’t stand the horizontal oscillation.

Tweet #2

[Fukushima Diary: He also points out the pillar for the pool may weaken the building itself.]

About reactor 4. The pillar might help to support the spent fuel pool but might add too much weight to the building.

Tweet #3

It’s rational for them to take away the ceiling truss, but they look like they are taking out even the horizontal joist. Without a proper reinforcement, it is almost like a gamble. If another earthquake hits the reactor 4, it could collapse the building.

Tweet #4

Considering the explosion, radiation, heat and humidity, the constructional material must have been so weaken because of oxidation. and it’s leaning. If Tepco outsource it all to a construction company, they might not take those risks into consideration.

Read the report here

Published: January 3rd, 2012 at 7:46 am ET
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58 comments

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  2. Book: Reactor No. 4 deformed in front of our eyes, says Fukushima worker — Walls morphed like special effects from movie — No large explosion, yet building destroyed April 16, 2012
  3. Koide: Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 “was caused to tilt” after the explosion, worried about great danger from pool falling down — NISA: “We confirmed it was not leaning, we think there is no problem with the building” (VIDEOS) May 8, 2012
  4. Nuclear Expert: “Unit 4 is looking more and more like the leaning tower of Pisa right now” (VIDEO) December 20, 2011
  5. Journalist: Tepco whistleblower says Reactor 4 “very unstable and dangerous” — More people are concerned about situation February 4, 2012

58 comments to “It’s Leaning”: Japan nuclear engineer concerned about collapse of Reactor No. 4 — Oxidation must have weakened building material… MORE

  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    Yes. And after dsharmasyd noticed on the webcam thread that something looked strange at unit 4 around 20:10 on the video, the fast forward version of that particular hour has still not been uploaded on youtube 50 minutes later, which is very uncommon.


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  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    On the livecam it looks ok from a distance, though
    http://lucaswhitefieldhixson.com/lucaswebcamwatch.html


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    • moonshellblue moonshellblue

      It looks like both reactor 2 and 4 are sinking but perhaps it is the camera position. I don’t know but I have been checking the live web cam since the beginning, as many of you have, and it really looks like the entire place is sinking. Ahh, probably just my eye sight.


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  • jackassrig

    It looks like it’s leaning to me. IMO. I don’t see how removing steel is going to help the situation. Who am I to question the gods of nuclear.


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    • ion jean ion jean

      Less steel, less oxidation…this is consistent with
      TEPCO IAEA LOGIC

      (We can’t just blame Japan anymore…this is a global industry issue)

      They are maybe thinking like kindergarteners knocking down the wooden blocks…just to see them fall??? Didn’t need more of a reason than that when they injected plutonium into healthy Americans in secret experiments

      So when we accept what radiation and water do to steel, why can’t the truth be stated about what it does to biological life?

      I say: let’s sprinkle cinnamon on it (that’s what I use for oxidative stress from fallout irradiation)!


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  • jackassrig

    Maybe the corium is undermining the whole GD mess.


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  • moonshellblue moonshellblue

    Yes I wonder if the corium and just the shear mass of material is weighing things down, so to speak. Things that make ya go hmmm.


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  • moonshellblue moonshellblue

    Also seawater, fire, isotopes, water, etc. I’m not sure what they can do to shore up these buildings or if it is even worth the effort vs removing the spent fuel and placing it in a dry casks. I know the radiation is too high for humans to get near but if they can remove material from Reactor 4….just thinking thoughts.


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    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      I think to remove the fuel from the pool (or what’s left of it) will be a much more delicate operation than tearing down parts of the structure…I read about the famous “roadmap” recently, saying that they plan to start removing the fuel during the coming 2-3 years. For me, it would be some sort of miracle if the whole mess would keep standing / leaning for another 700 to 1000 days!

      In general, I think Japanese engineers should be capable of calculating the statics and set the guidelines for the companies tearing the structure down.


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  • jackassrig

    This thing is beyond figuring. You just can not model this monster. Programs assume straight columns and beams. This is twisted and bent mangled mess. You might be able to make a physical model and study the strains but the number crunching is over.


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  • jackassrig

    There was a genius named George Beggs who solved indeterminate structures with models. In fact the Golden Gate Bridge was analysed using his method. TEPCO does not have much time. They had better giddy up if they are to save this thing.


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    • jump-ball jump-ball

      And what procedure can they now use to ‘save it’, and why wasn’t that done months ago? Now they will need a Chernobyl-like arched dome both above and below the reactors: Tepco’s or any other solution is now an idea whose time has passed.


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  • aigeezer aigeezer

    “It is almost like a gamble”. The various tweets seem so hesitant and tentative to my non-Japanese eyes. Is this a cultural thing?… Nothing bad can be said directly?… or is he giving specific strident warnings embedded in a cultural blanket?

    I’m not pushing one view over another. I’m genuinely curious as to what the message is.

    Old joke: employee comes out of the corner office and says to his co-workers “Wow, I thought the boss was going to fire me but he just asked me to clean out my desk.”


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  • dodge

    Spent pool 4, is a crisis battle presently. Ideally, they need a new storage pool (water cooled) and close enough to move without to great a risk. There is way to much spent fuel for dry cask storage, much to much risk to allow to spill, or run dry, the melting will restart runaway meltdown, and there is grave danger from allowing radioactive water to escape into the environment. I wish them success in their battle. Ideally moving any in tact rods into existing storage, in many different “safe locations” might be their best approach. Tragically, the rest of the world sits ignorantly idle, while their own spent fuel storage risks grow. While we might be a grave risk of loosing this battle at spent pool 4, we dare not lose the war on the multitude of waste storage sites all around the world. Nuclear waste risk has clearly made nuclear power no longer economically viable. There is no way to declare bankruptcy and walk away – we must deal with the existing dangers. Keep talking to your neighbors, its a problem that belongs to all of us.


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    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      Hi dodge! As a lot of the fuel in the SFP is actually not spent, but fresh, I think it would be impossible to put it in dry casks now – at least the fresh fuel which was about to be put into the reactor will need proper cooling for years and years to come (decades even, i think). :-(

      I agree with you on the worldwide spent fuel situation. They pile the stuff uo no matter where without even having an idea for long-term storage. Criminals altogether.


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    • ion jean ion jean

      At least Jaczko is pushing for dry cask storage and that’s a start.

      There’s a lot of nuclear waste we have no hope of ever recovering or storing…first few years of atom bomb making, they just dropped the cans into the oceans, like flushing a toilet…much of it today still ends up in the toilet, for humans are the ultimate isotope recyclers…we’re cheaper and more disposable and actually pay doctors and utility bills and taxes for the privilege of doing so…

      From a government prospective, that’s a win-win situation!


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      • ion jean ion jean

        Oops, that’s perspective, not prospective…time for more coffee…hmmm, wonder what my mountain spring water’s radioactivity is today…I will be sure to drink it with lots of joy and cinnamon (very high antioxidant units)


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        • or-well

          @ion jean, joy, immune-supportive definitely! Seems to be mostly a local “commodity” these days…outside the reach of bankers etc., available for trade among individuals…


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          • ion jean ion jean

            @or-well: like that “available for trade”: profound…let’s add for those who are worthy and you’re right: bankers and those who are ruled by money never touch THIS precious commodity, well, maybe in prison they start to see their holy-spirit-buddha-nature, their joy machine


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            • or-well

              ion jean, I believe there are some emotionally dead to either joy or sorrow, (both transitory waves on the sea of ego-intransience), so they are incapable of empathy and compassion and a sense of responsibility for their actions.

              Or something like that :-)


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      • HoTaters HoTaters

        Sure, just add some nuke puke to your fertilizer, leak and vent some here and there, make some armor penetrating weaponry, dump some in the ocean, bury some in shallow trenches and don’t tell anyone where it is, and so on ad nauseum ….


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  • I’m getting a bad feeling about this one.

    It’s in a very major earthquake zone, and the clusters are ongoing – all around Fukushima.

    I do believe the world ought to get cracking (excuse the word) on this one.

    Russia? China? U.S.? India? Time for a meeting folks. No need to worry about balance of power anymore – your future, or lack thereof, is at Fukushima.


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  • or-well

    Why isn’t every major multinational engineering firm and radiation-remediation company participating?

    Japan can’t meet their price?

    Non-interference in “sovereign affairs”?

    Watching a competitor collapse?


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    • ion jean ion jean

      Because engineers know that Fukushima is a failed “Idiot Test”…build 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 nuclear reactors in a row?!?!

      All vulnerable to the same forces of nature (or man?) At the same time.

      DUH? No wonder I quit college…I was a bio major, might have worked for decades on R&D before finding out that ALL science AND medicine is flawed when it does not factor in our internal and external radioactive contamination!


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      • truthseek truthseek

        @ion jean, Great points you mention, about the equations being essentially incomplete. I am convinced the sustained, building and additive exposure throughout our lifetimes IS A PART OF MOST ILLNESS or breakdown and aging, what have you. I beleive that, “there is no cure for cancer” or limited ways of controlling cancer development due to these unreasoned influences.

        With exception… Anti-angiogenesis and the role of certain peptides at abating (existing) cancer. But outright preventing it SEEMS an impossibility, given the dimensions of toxicity of our poor planet Earth…


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        • ion jean ion jean

          @truthseek: exactly, I marvel and scream this to anyone who will listen, that we talk about “cures” for cancer while chillingly silent on the “cause”

          Avoid the cause and the cure is not needed, but yes there are many forms of natural substances that assist DNA repair, ie: rosemary, adaptogenic mushrooms and plants, etc

          I think a spark of wisdom came with antioxidants and ways to manage stress, increase joy. I observe a 40/60 rule like with heavy metals…60% of the population won’t be bothered by it, but 40% will

          That’s enough medical reason for me to say STOP IT


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    • aigeezer aigeezer

      Interesting questions, or-well.

      Add to the list:

      They don’t know what to do either?

      Unacceptable risks to their resources?

      More profitable to go in after it blows?

      They believe the cold shutdown blarney?

      Their theologians tell them everything will work out fine?

      Nobody has provided the proper forms to fill out?

      They want to study “lessons learned” from Fukushima?

      They are busy diversifying into non-nuclear alternatives?

      The Empire has advised them to stand by for orders?

      They ARE participating, but there is a news blackout “to prevent unnecessary panic”?

      They are monitoring the situation closely and will leap into action Real Soon Now?

      They are all bankrupt?

      … and on and on. Tick, tick, tick.

      Whatever the reasons are, it’s sure puzzling from where we sit.


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      • or-well

        or, aigeezer, they’re employees have said “I’m not going!”.

        or “face” prevents a gaijin presence,

        or they don’t want to be involved in an effort they think will fail…

        Puzzling indeed.


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      • ion jean ion jean

        All of the above and once again our nuclear agencies are caught in an embarrassing situation: how to come clean on something irresponsibly underplayed and not loose credibility…

        Governments are just kidding themselves if they think they have any credibility left for The Nuclear (Elite) Gangsta Party!


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    • NoNukes NoNukes

      This is happening with the knowledge and support of United States.


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    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Tepco is technically bankrupt. Control of the company is being contested between the Japanese govt. and Tepco. Until the leadership and finance issues are solved we can expect NOTHING, no action, zip. Think of it as the perfect storm of a natural catastrophe, an engineering scientific catastrophe, a catastrophic lack of planning for equipment/plant failure, regulatory failure, greed, and now further regulatory and management failure. It couldn’t get much worse than this, could it?


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    • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

      You have to wonder.. just like what we saw in the Gulf… where are the other players? You would think the industry would at least attempt to occur to be helping..saving itself if you will.. but, as we saw with BP.. they are on their own, with no real plan, or idea what to do.. they even tried the ole throw garbage at it plan..


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  • ueda_jiro ueda_jiro

    Im my opinion they don’t want any help.

    Its all down to pride, if they ask for help they will look incompetent and lose face in the eyes of the japanese people and the world.

    Not to mention disclosure of what secrets they may hold there, stolen/copied technology etc – the japanese are good at that.

    They would rather go down with the sinking ship than accept help and with a japanese as the head of the IAEA to cover for them they might just get away with it.

    Only a forced intervention might work, but as yet I believe, they have the world leaders fooled, the japanese are good liers to as history shows.


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    • aigeezer aigeezer

      Perhaps, ueda_jiro. I think you may be right about issues of pride, and I find your idea of “secrets” interesting. I’m not yet convinced of your position on lack of intervention. Here’s why, in brief:

      “Under the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan, the United States is obliged to defend Japan in close cooperation with the Japan Self-Defense Forces for maritime defense, ballistic missile defense, domestic air control, communications security (COMSEC), and disaster response operations.”

      Quick source:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Forces_Japan

      Apparently, by treaty, the United States is not only free to get involved in disaster response in Japan – it is obliged to do so.
      It could barge in any time it wanted. Heck, it demonstrates daily that it can barge in anywhere, anytime it wants. Yet it holds back for Fukushima. Odd?


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    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Yes, loss of face is an important issue.


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  • ueda_jiro ueda_jiro

    Hi algeezer, and thanks for your response.

    I won’t go into my other points as we are off topic really and it would take awhile.

    But to address your point of why no US intervention and the presumption that they HAVE to intervene as you have proven, then maybe the US fears all the radioactive bodybags that would have to be flown home – just a thought.


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    • Misitu

      Yes, a while back I did a quick thought game here and considered that Japan’s nearest neighbours, having a deep interest in potential contamination from a variety of sources, had observed that same calculation.

      Why no forced intervention?

      In blunt terms, all the North Pacific Rim nations of any large size are – could be – leaving the Japanese to their fate.

      For the two most powerful of these the emotional basis is not difficult to ascertain.

      The one on the right hand side you could categorise, as said, simply as body bags.

      The one on the left, ? – old enmities last forever , and/or ? trade competition.

      If you were in such a squeeze, maybe you WOULD try to find some friends, ANY friends, at ANY price, and you would see a way out. But maybe this is where overweening self belief and misplaced pride have caused the poor nation of Japan to stumble – and FAIL.

      Sorry.


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  • Can someone do a recap on why SFP 4 is so dangerous, compared to Units 1,2,3. Or, pretend 1,2,3 don’t exist and remind me of/link-me-to repercussions should SFP 4 fall.

    (I was away for a while, doing a university course).

    I’m trying to counter this idiotic article:

    Japan Earthquake 2012: Fukushima Okay, but Government Urges State Control of Nuclear Plant
    http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/275643/20120103/japan-earthquake-2012-fukushima-okay-government-urges.htm


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    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      Hi Pu, real quick:
      - pressure vessel of 4 was empty on 3/11 (maintenance)
      - the fresh fuel from the vessel was temporarily put in the SFP for that reason
      - the EQ happened
      - fresh fuel (“hotter”) in the SFP is more likely to burn, harder to cool down than spent fuel…..
      - grand merde if the SFP falls


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      • Thanks B&B,

        Your last sentence says it all. I know Arnie said somewhere it’s “get out of Dodge” time if she goes – I think he was referring to all of Japan. Same for those on the West Coast of the U.S./Canada.

        Very depressing. Otherwise, I think the U.S. response, among others (Canada too) is absolutely appalling, unimaginably so. Luckily I have New Zealand citizenship.

        Why They Can’t Bury It

        http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-sci-japan-quake-nuclear-20110319,0,4568019,full.story

        Attempting to encase it in concrete could create massive problems.

        Either workers would have to build some type of structure to support the concrete tomb or run the risk that the added weight of any extra concrete and sand piled onto the building would cause the top floors to crumble, allowing the fuel rods to break free.

        Encasing the fuel rods in sand and concrete, furthermore, would trap heat and allow them to get much hotter than they are now, potentially enabling them to burn through the concrete and escape from their tomb.

        Because the fuel rods and the reactors are so hot, the concrete would undergo a phenomenon called flash-set, in which it would solidify extremely rapidly.

        But the result would be a material with a consistency much like gravel rather than stone.

        “My gut feeling is, it’s a bad idea,” Lewis said.

        Officials at Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency on Saturday said it was highly unlikely that workers could use massive amounts of sand or cement to smother the super-hot fuel inside the reactors or storage pools at the Daiichi plant any time in the near future.

        “We believe it is not a realistic option,” said the agency’s Hidehiko Nishiyama.


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      • HamburgGeiger

        And there is so much fuel in SPF 4. If it fails the amount of fuel released since March 2011 doubles! And I read that the new fuel for SPF 4 is also MOX, although recently nobody mentions this anymore here on enenews. Don`t know if it is true.


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    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Always plutonium in the spent fuel; not necessary in fresh fuel unless MOX. New fuel assemblies which weren’t yet loaded into a reactor therefore “hotter.” MANY tons of spent fuel.

      Here’s an interesting brochure from JAEA discussing the fuel cycle, and, interesting, the history of the Tokai plant. Note the U.S. govt. involvement with personnel from the Idaho lab.

      http://www.jaea.go.jp/english/04/tokai-cycle/images_shared/brouchre.pdf

      A bit off topic but discusses plutonium extraction from spent fuel.


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  • Imagine, the NRC is now acceding to environmental group requests:

    NRC to review Oyster Creek vents
    http://www.app.com/article/20120102/NJNEWS/301020066/NRC-to-review-Oyster-Creek-vents


    More than 750 metric tons of radioactive waste is stored in the plant’s fuel pool.

    “If that fuel pool ignites, say goodbye to the Jersey Shore,” Tauro said. [located in New Jersey]

    Also, interesting that this story was covered by RawStory:
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/03/25/oldest-us-nuclear-reactor-a-disaster-in-waiting-2/

    Just a note, we bought GE lightbulbs recently which burnt out in less than a month. Had to go and buy some Sylvania light bulbs. I feel ripped off.


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    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      Hi Pu, suggestion: go to GE facebook page and let them know publicly. My only purpose being on FB is that. I’m posting stuff around on pronuke pages and Nestlé (special friends of mine).


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  • Aloha

    After reading all the comments I must ask…
    Do I need to get the heck off this rock (Oahu, Hawaii) as in yesterday? Seriously people. I’ve been very concerned since April. No one is talking about any of this here in Hawaii. We have a very large Japanese community. I had seen the YouTube video about the nuclear scientist who was alerting people last spring to move to South America and that Hawaii would be completely contaminated in very short order.

    Does anyone have any links on updates that might show if (and how bad) Hawaii will be contaminated further by this mess?


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    • HamburgGeiger

      Hi Aloha, I have no links for you, but Hawaii has been hit badly and that is ongoing. In addition you soon get the radioactive debris on the beaches.

      I can`t imagine what it means to evacuate and leave home, but living on Hawaii that may be a good thing to consider.


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    • For multiple reasons I am leaving this rock (Oahu),
      You know we got dosed with uranium at 2600% over background level in March? And almost for sure plutonium too.

      Did you hear about that?

      http://nukepimp.blogspot.com/2012/01/uranium-in-air.html

      Now…do you think the gov and the media will protect you is the SHTF even harder?

      In the event of SHTF, nuke, financial crisis, social unrest, there will be no place worse than Hawaii to be. At least in places like Philippines or Guatemala, the corruption is open and you just pay a fee to work within the known system. In Hawaii, the corruption is slightly hidden and operating under the pretense that we actually live under the rule of law and the Constitution. That is far worse. Yes its time to go.


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    • Radiation spread models and simulations are always somewhat questionable unless you can cross test them with good data, and the good data is being withheld by gov sources, so in other words, you are not going to find a holy grail model that will “make the decision for you”.

      You need to look at the information available, read between the lines, and make important life decisions that are not easy to implement. Even in Japan, i would say 70% know their gov is lying through their teeth, and usually Japanese will support their gov 100% without question.


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  • bleep_hits_blades

    To some extent we here at enenews seem to go ’round & ’round in our comments… ‘why don’t they’ do this, that, or the other?

    No disrespect intended, & this is a good group here, with a lot of bright people – so to an extent I’m just ventilating.

    Weeks, months ago, astute observers (don’t need a doctorate to do the math here) saw that the situation is beyond fixing, beyond remediation. Pandora’s box is wide open.

    That long ago, someone summed it up – if it’s too lethal to get close to, how you gonna fix it? Even machinery, electronics go haywire at these levels of radioactivity, so robotics are out.

    We’re like a patient given a terminal diagnosis by a doctor but who just keeps ‘hoping against hope’ that ‘there’s gotta be a way…’

    Arnie, I guess, said it… Yoichi Shimatsu on rense.com said it… if spent fuel pool 4 goes, that’s all she wrote, guys.

    And spent fuel pool 4 is probably gonna go. Seems to be going, right now.

    Re Yakuza ties with Japanese govt. & nuke power industry… Well, dog my cats, whoda thunk it…fact is, that is just SOP pretty much everywhere. Like, the CIA & the mob bringing the drugs – kept illegal to keep profits high – into the USA (& same in other countries, almost beyond a doubt). Government IS organized crime. Ditto big banks & corporations. They write the laws, & the laws don’t apply to them. They control the ‘enforcers’. They’ve made it their business to get where they are now, at the top of the power heap. & they play a fast & loose game.(many of them drinkers,on drugs,sociopathic)

    We the sheeple have had the blinders on way too long, just haven’t wanted to face facts. Now the facts are increasingly in our faces – & we is – just SO shocked!

    I speak with bitterness because I have been one of voices cryin’ the wilderness for a long time. Decades. And I have been dissed & dismissed & ignored by many – including many Ph.D.s, etc.

    It’s wake up time – and waking up is hard to do.


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