Asahi Shimbun, June 12, 2014: [Cabinet Secretariat councilor] Kenichi Shimomura was shocked by the paucity of information available [at the start of the Fukushima crisis]. As it turns out, updates were pouring in, but [TEPCO] was reluctant to turn them over. [...] “It was a major shock for me when I realized TEPCO headquarters had been receiving information” [...] [On March 15, 2014] radiation levels at the Fukushima No. 1 plant site reached alarming levels [...] He was suddenly awoken by a phone call and told: “TEPCO is saying it wants to pull its workers (from the Fukushima No. 1 plant).” [...] In his notes, Shimomura wrote: “Leaving the plant site will never be allowed. We cannot have the eastern half of Japan covered in nuclear waste! [...] Those 60 and older should be prepared to die” [...] Shortly before 7 a.m., TEPCO officials handed out a document titled “On moving the main office function.” [...] Shimomura records Tetsuya Nishikawa, who was then assistant chief Cabinet secretary, yelling at TEPCO executives, “Don’t you ever think that you are all right just because you are here (at TEPCO headquarters).” [...] Around 7 a.m. on March 15, while Shimomura was at TEPCO headquarters, about 90 percent of the workers at the Fukushima No. 1 plant temporarily fled to the Fukushima No. 2 plant about 10 kilometers away [...] the earliest that workers returned to the No. 1 plant was about noon.
More from Shimomura notes: [He] recalled feeling fearful when he learned that fire had been confirmed at the No. 4 reactor at 9:38 a.m. Seventeen minutes later, Shimomura wrote that TEPCO reported: “The fire is out of control.” It was only at about 11 a.m. that the blaze had burned out by itself.
See also: Japan Official: Bottom of reactor vessel suspected to have "broken off" at Fukushima Unit 2 after the explosion, called "catastrophic development... very grave" -- Top US Expert: It's inconceivable how melted fuel could be extracted (VIDEO)
Published: June 13th, 2014 at 11:14 am ET