NYTimes: Fukushima plant unstable says official, concern another accident can’t be prevented — “Vulnerable… Very dangerous”

Published: April 11th, 2013 at 12:54 am ET


Title: Fukushima Nuclear Plant Is Still Unstable, Japanese Official Says
Source: New York Times
Date: April 10, 2013

[…] a series of recent mishaps — including a blackout set off by a dead rat and the discovery of leaks of thousands of gallons of radioactive water — have underscored just how vulnerable the plant remains.

Increasingly, experts are arguing that [Tepco] cannot be trusted to lead what is expected to be decades of cleanup and the decommissioning of the plant’s reactors without putting the public, and the environment, at risk. […]

“It’s become obvious that Tepco is not at all capable of leading the cleanup. It just doesn’t have the expertise, and because Fukushima Daiichi is never going to generate electricity again, every yen it spends on the decommissioning is thrown away. That creates an incentive to cut corners, which is very dangerous. The government needs to step in, take charge and assemble experts and technology from around the world to handle the decommissioning instead.” –Muneo Morokuzu, a nuclear safety expert at the Tokyo University Graduate School of Public Policy

“The Fukushima Daiichi plant remains in an unstable condition, and there is concern that we cannot prevent another accident.” –Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority

See also: [intlink id=”tepco-losing-faith-in-leaking-fukushima-tanks-but-we-dont-have-anywhere-else-to-put-the-radioactive-water” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: April 11th, 2013 at 12:54 am ET


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  1. AP: Water situation “on verge of collapse” at Fukushima Daiichi — “Highly vulnerable… Extremely unstable” — “Doubts about whether plant can stay intact” — 8 incidents in last 3 weeks April 11, 2013
  2. Japan Expert: “All I can do is pray nothing goes wrong” at Fukushima Unit 4; Concern over “dangerous chain of events” — TV: “At least evacuate nearby residents” — NYTimes: No external supervision of Tepco; To start within 10 days (VIDEO) November 11, 2013
  3. Tepco: Plutonium is in Unit 4 fuel, it can be leaking out from holes and cracks in rods — Former Fukushima Engineer: State of plant is “hopeless”; Unit 4 vulnerable, “very dangerous” November 21, 2013
  4. Nuclear Engineer: So many different ways to destabilize Fukushima reactor buildings and melted cores, hard to predict exactly which one — Japan Academic: Facilities at plant very unstable, Unit 4 fuel rods very vulnerable (VIDEOS) October 12, 2013
  5. Pro-Nuclear Engineer: Potential for “a very, very serious accident” when unloading Fukushima Unit 4; “The thing that keeps me up late at night” — Expert: Concern over “positioning of fuel rods” in pool — Tepco: It’s not ‘particularly dangerous’ November 8, 2013

63 comments to NYTimes: Fukushima plant unstable says official, concern another accident can’t be prevented — “Vulnerable… Very dangerous”

  • Lion76 Lion76

    You don't say?????

    Wow, color me surprised. Surely, we're all shocked by this news.


      point is Lion76, they're going on record with-what we've been calling for. Though a 'tad' on the late side, this – is – good news…

      • 16Penny 16Penny

        I wouldn't be surprised if this was part of a strategy to discredit our types in the end.

        Publish assumptions, publish mountains of contradictory findings, call supporters loony.

        I could see it happening.


          part of the 'game' 16Penny. It might be valuable to others if one of 'our' better researchers put-up some information that clarifies what this movement is about: it's history and objectives.

          With so many coming onboard lately and our divergent backgrounds, it would be beneficial if positions and objectives were more clearly defined. Such effort would offer for some exciting and hopefully constructive dialog and should explore current issues, environmentalist philosophy, politics of activism…the whole can of worms…

  • timemachine2020 timemachine2020

    And I quote "we cannot prevent another accident.” -Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority

    How reassuring, I feel all warm and cozy now……….
    Tepco is not, never has been, and never will be a qualified nuclear accident abatement company. Why in the hell is it taking so long for a multinational consortium to take charge and take more drastic and urgent action, and or atleast do a better job of containment? Up till now it's been a total homer simpson 3 ring bullshit circus sideshow 🙁
    Their whole damn country is protesting and demanding nuclear abolition and it seems to have little effect. This is and has been a world major problem for over two years now, and needs to be dealt with on an internationsl level. Gundersen, Busby, and Helen Caldicott would be a great start along with the brightest nuclear scientists on the planet. After all, their families lives are at stake just like ours are. The longer they wait, the less chance we have of survival. WTF already – its only the end of the world at stake here! GEEZ………

    • Jebus Jebus

      I'm sorry TM2020,
      That is not going to happen, Remember "it's their disaster".
      They can't because that would confirm to all that it is more than fear to fear.
      They know it's bad and they will not go near it. Only disposable humans are allowed there.
      These chicken shit nucleocrats talk the talk but, when it comes to cleaning up their deadly mess, the cower in fear as they should.
      You won't catch any of the brightest nuclear scientists on the planet anywhere near there. They know…

      "brightest nuclear scientists on the planet"

      hahaha! that gave me a good laugh. I can not process that phrase.

      • m a x l i

        "brightest nuclear scientists on the planet"

        I found that phrase remarkable, too. timemachin2020 means well, but those "brightest nuclear scientists on the planet" would have to undergo a psychologic evaluation to see if they are fit for the mammoth task, and it will turn out that hardly a handful would pass a test looking for leaders for ANY task.

        Anyone born with the normal set of human traits like empathy, honesty, normal logic reasoning…. must have turned his back to this line of business at some point or have been kicked out the door by the rest of the crowd.

    • KDM KDM

      Homer Simpson, I was thinking more like Beavis and Butthead.

      • 16Penny 16Penny


        • We Not They Finally

          WHAT is so funny here???

          • 16Penny 16Penny

            Well for starters, the request for Tepco to wipe a bunghole with illustrates a potentially useful application of their organization and their press releases. It also speaks to the expected longevity of their usefulness. Apply to backside and dispose.

            We Not They Finally, I respect you and think you are upset by my comment. I apologize.

            I needed to get the image out of my head of Beevis running around the FUKU coast with his shirt pulled over his head and arms raised, pushing buttons on the switchboard and gnawing on wires as he is "tweeking his balls off" on some elderly ladies prescription alertness pills.

          • Wreedles Wreedles

            It's a take-off on a skit by Beavis and Butthead.

    • japan guinea pig

      Timemachine2020….You said it all !!. Full stop, period !.

    • eatliesndie eatliesndie

      yep. agreed 100%

  • Fukushima really is an accident just waiting for another accident to happen.

    “The Fukushima Daiichi plant remains in an unstable condition, and there is concern that we cannot prevent another accident,”
    – Shunichi Tanaka

    He said… IS CONCERN.

  • redwing redwing

    Don't be fooled by the coverage thinking the media is waking up or anything. I'm looking at the NYT website now and not only is the story not on the front page, you have to scroll down to the 14th story on the international section to see it.

    Hilariously, a story about Auschwitz makes it to the main page in the same edition. That shit is over sixty years old now, but is still treated like breaking news, whereas the likely end-of-the-world ANY DAY NOW goes way below the fold… page A10!

  • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

    we protested, peacefully and with logical argument; Nuclear could never be safe. The pro nuclear responded; "oh ye of little faith and even less understanding, its not like rats are going to chew through the wiring, or radioactive waste will be stored in plastic lined ditches in the field." The group laughed in contemptuous derision.

  • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

    why you worly? Powa Prant already in code shutdown!

    I like it; after an apparent collapse of the pacific ocean ecosystem, experts start to argue if Tepco can handle the cleanup.

    Proof the creator has a twisted sense of humor

  • The Chinese restaurant up the road, in regular contact with Hong Kong, has spent weeks there back on holidays, couldn't believe Fuku wasn't wrapped up 2yrs ago – knew nothing of the ongoing….
    In a way, another quake under a plant or a runaway core with massive immediate deaths might stop the Nuke nutjawbs….but then we've had so many already and they don't even recognise the deaths or contamination in the press.
    What's the chances of the 3 coriums going critical and blowing the Japan fault. Would make the last 2 yrs look like a picnic.

  • We Not They Finally

    They are correct that any expense put into safety, decontamination or decommissioning will not result in a cent for TEPCO because the plant will never again generate electricity. (Even the uranium they were undoubtedly enriching is not recoverable.) And without pressures and penalties, they will do nothing right. So they have not put them out of business and seized their assets WHY?? At the very least it should have been that a panel of nuclear engineers who receive NO funding or profit from the industry runs whatever containment and/or clean-up can be done, and TEPCO pays or it, WHATEVER the cost. Including the cost of EVACUATIONS. More people will eventually die for every day they keep them there.

  • eatliesndie eatliesndie

    Dear TEPCO board,
    Let go now you bunch of utter wankers. Your honour would be best served if you handed this disaster over and admitted defeat. You really do need a lot of help on this one. It is over for you. QUIT!

  • PurpleRain BeachGirl

    It really disgusts me to realize that they even thought for one day that they could keep those plants or ever bring them all back up to running again. That right there proved that they people have no realistic-perspective at all of what they've been dealing with. My stomach is sick reading about this…and my heart just breaks for all the children and wildlife and animals that are STUCK there. It is just so incomprehensible. argghhhhh.

  • eatliesndie eatliesndie

    ***UPDATE to previous post***
    Dear TEPCO board and executives,
    Let go now you bunch of utter loosers. Your honour would be best served if you all admitted defeat and killed yourselves in true, honourable, Shinto fashion. You really are beyond help on this one. It is over for you. Repent and die.

  • nedlifromvermont

    Yakuza crime syndicate don't read enenews; we don't need to turn over no money making nucrear mess to no Yankee hick!!!

    There is nothing here for you to see. Run along now …

    Go back to watching your burrshit ploglamming on high quality Japanese TV.

    You will see who won the war!!!!


    • timemachine2020 timemachine2020

      How bout this for a twist. With the way they are constantly changing prime ministers and the tepco missmanagement staff,and once this fukumonster was discovered to be beyond control and for the most part,killing the entire country like chernobyl did to the Soviet Union but way way worse with 5 out of control coriums burrowing to the core,over 10 million living in otherwise mandatory forced evacuation declared areas because of high readings, stuck in place as the government cannot wrap their hands on how to evacuate them all and where to, and the tokyo area ground samples equivalent to nuclear waste in US standards with no end in sight. Who's to say the yakuza or someone in power with a grudge about hiroshima and or nagasaki at this point knowing that nothing can be done to stop the devastation and continual contamination isn't intentionally allowing heavy releases when the jetstream patterns favorable to the easterly winds piggyback ride straight to the USA,and closing the valves somewhat as the winds turn back in their direction. After all I can remember not that long ago when this country and these people were our mortal enemies.If your country was nuked twice before, and now again via defective reactors from the same country, which will probably destroy your country forever, wouldn't you want to get as many shot across the bow while you could if you knew you were about to go down? We have been repeatedly told that there are yakuza among the workers. Are we under attack?

  • ruppert


    I can appreciate your humor as I remember when visiting my nephews when they were younger how a lot of kids their age watched Beavis and Butthead and that was a part of the glorification of being an idiot in our culture.

    Think how many people know what is meant by "DOH"
    and how more people know who Homer Simpson is than who their senator is.

    Homer Simpson, Beavis, Butthead and the list goes on were just part of the "Great Dumbing Down". They would imitate Cornholio and everybody thought it was funny to see the children act like morons.

    I saw you were not laughing at the situation but it is a sad commentary on the culture that we will be depending with these serious problems in the future.

  • ruppert

    Right after I posted my comment I remembered that Homer Simpson's job was working at a nuclear plant and all the "humor and gags" and the making of working at a nuclear plant on the same level of working at a McDonalds.

    Very ironic

    • KDM KDM

      That's crazy, I forgot about him working there. Very fitting indeed.

      • lickerface lickerface

        Nuke plant was depicted in the Simpsons, Tepco style. Also the 9/11 event was in the Simpson. Fox could foretell the future? Perhaps other clues exist.

  • saltyfishlvr

    "every yen it spends on the decommissioning is thrown away" – That attitude is killing the planet, and putting ALL life on it in serious jeopardy.

  • Sickputer

    Yes it is long past time for the military to step in and replace Tepco workers. Actually the army (Japanese) will just subcontract it to the same Yakuza workers. The only difference is they will invoke martial law over the island and that will mean no live video and carefully scripted onsite visits by reporters and dignitaries to report on their "successes".

    Any positives for that scenario? Hmmm…

    When a patient has two severed legs a finger bandaid won't stop the blood loss.

    Fukushima NPP is out of control and even a million new workers won't stop the radiation flow to the ocean. You might have a chance with unlimited manpower and equipment, but this fairly invisible enemy below the wrecked ruins does not register at government levels as an authentic World War III opponent.

    Japan is quickly becoming a populated nuclear waste site without equal. This scenario will happen again in other countries who dabble in the Dr. Frankenstein dark arts of nuclear energy.

    Nuclear energy is a reckless gamble where you catch a ride on an atomic bomb and hope you survive the trip.

    In Japan they gambled and lost.

    • DannieJ DannieJ

      "In Japan they gambled and lost."

      Presumably they thought they could get fast-breeders working. Also, they needed to be able to build nukes within a week. It's hard to blame them, we've all seen the difference between little people and players.

      The weak are meat, and the strong do eat.

      What pisses me off is the MOX fuel and the above-ground fuel pools.

  • Cisco Cisco

    Interesting…some of us have been waiting for the big event to occur and close the site to humans…like the rupture of SFP #4. It may be these leaks that do it before #4 happens. The site is rapidly being contaminated with higher and higher counts of radioactivity from the cooling water.

    There will come a point when humans will not be able to tolerate these higher radioactive conditions. They will have to abandon the work and the site. With no one there to manage the Rube Goldberg fixes, the SFP's will go dry and a radiological firestorm of epic proportions will ensue.

    Currently technology can not stop or arrest this. When the Denver airport fills with military and VIP arrivals, that will be your notice that Fuku is lost. You won't hear it from the MSM, they'll be too busy trying to get to Denver with the rest of the MOU who supported this terminal clusterf#@k.

    • many moons

      Cisco I value your posts, your insight and knowledge are amazing. I think you make a very good point here…..we have waited to go out with a bang but the fizzle is what may well get us.

      • Cisco Cisco

        Some long time ago, George Carlin responded in an interview that he had sidelined his anger and frustrations about the demise and destruction of civilization that was unfolding, and had positioned himself, or had become a spectator like being at the circus.

        Those were not his words, but I think I've captured his meaning, certainly fatalistic but not depressing…making the best of a bad situation. There are things that cannot be fixed. Fukushima is a good example, and it is the last one most of us will ever know.

        That's where I am and it's pretty exciting from a scientific prospective, (like Carlin I've had to put aside the emotional and depressing aspects) to be a witness to the beginning of the end of an advanced civilization. Think how historic! I don't wish/want this to happen, but I like all of us aren't driving this train.

        To me it's like learning that you have terminal cancer. You deal with what you're dealt, accept it, but go forth doing all the best you can for yourself and all those people to whom you are connected while you're still here.

        • nedlifromvermont

          beautifully put …

          peace …

        • 16Penny 16Penny

          Right, I am reminded of a movie I watched in my childhood called Dark Crystal. The "good" guys just kept going, step after step even after some of their own passed on, walking patiently towards their destiny, towards the task only they can do, the task they must do. Resolute, calm and confident.

        • Cisco Cisco

          And as I offered before, I wish I could be around when those in charge come out of their bunkers because they've exhausted their food and water and they are greeted by a few that survived outside, ready to eat them.

    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      SPF #4 is long gone, Cisco. The CSFP, too. Nothing at Fukushima except a few workers waiting to die, and the source of the extinction of all life on this planet.

  • We reached for the stars, and now we have a pile of rubble with four or more slowly cooking stars sinking into the firmament below it, steaming, stinking, and spewing hot waste into eternity. We aren't sophisticated enough to create our own stars, and we don't deal well with waste streams. As Japan's economy collapses, they're becoming a society of nuclear hillbillies, with steaming junk decorating the neighborhoods.

  • TruckerDaveusa TruckerDaveusa

    I'm so grateful to all you folks that post here. You all do the thinking for me which leaves me more time to think about the hereafter which is coming on quickly. OM TAT SAT

  • mungo mungo

    TEPCO reports another water leak

    Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, says more radioactive water has leaked at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The trouble occurred on Thursday during work to transfer contaminated water.

    TEPCO said about 22 liters of water leaked through a pipe joint and seeped into soil covering an underground storage pool but did not flow into the nearby sea.

    The firm estimated that substances with more than 6.3 billion becquerels of radioactivity leaked with the water. http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20130411_40.html

  • The plant is unstable and another accident can't be prevented. arguably 120 tons of spilled radiated water is a serious accident. When TEPCO says no water has reached the ocean we know that is spin.

    But that is not the accident they are talking about. What tepco has to do is maintain the cooling systems of the spent fuel pools for a very long time. There is no money to be made in this enterprise. So they lined the tanks on the cheap and now radio active water is leaking in the ground. Looks like finally it is dawning on everyone how serious this is and the story is still in msm 2 years later.

    Spin will not change the crisis. And you really can't fool all of the people all of the time. But it looks like the government will have to take over the disaster clean up. Just like big oil and others, they download the pollution onto us. Its welfare for the rich.

  • Red Cloud Red Cloud

    "…have underscored just how vulnerable the plant remains."

    That should read: ".. have underscored how serious a constant threat to our vulnerable ecosystem the plant remains

    Every nuke plant regardless how stable it is quoted remains vulnerable. (natural disasters, human errors, corruption, the self destructive nature of the whole picture)

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Ya..anything than admit..control of the plant and its contents… was lost from the the moment of the earthquake damaged the reactors.

    • Sol Man

      HotR, I believe that control was lost way long ago, when the nucleocrats dreamed of the income stream as they saddled their faulty technologies onto the backs of the taxpayers/ratepayers with the help of the paid (off) politicians and injected into the war efforts. The spread of d.u.on battlefields resulted from this, too.
      Some humans show no redeeming qualities.

  • Spirit Wings Spirit Wings


    Great idea that we post our backrounds; I would add that it would be helpful if we gave our area as well.

    I have a doctorate in International Politics as well as degrees in philosophy and psychology and holistic wellness. I live in the U.S. southwest, adjacent to CA where I have family– whom I have kept informed from day one, e.g., plutonium in the public LA water supply.

    Thanks again to all the awesome enenewsers, and to admin for making this community possible,

    Spirit Wings


      @Spirit Wings: appreciate your attitude but the nature of these issues preclude many from 'coming out'. I've also discovered that some of this site's most productive contributors come from humble backgrounds. And as we're discovering that the majority of modern societies most honored members are 'complimenting' their personal achievements with self aggrandizing behavior, where one is from is no longer as important as where they are going. That said, I sincerely look forward to your insights and contributions to this awesome venue…

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Other countries have contributed equipment and expertise, but this problem is too large. And they all know it.

  • fill er up

    one more 9 point earthquake and tsunami in japan and fukushima itself could wash up on the west coast

  • stopnp stopnp

    I remember saying this two years ago