Tepco Makes “Critical” Admission: Fukushima Unit 4 quake testing “does not take horizontal shaking into equation” — Claims it can withstand a “6+” quake only apply to VERTICAL shaking

Published: September 5th, 2012 at 1:19 pm ET
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64 comments


Follow-up to: Tepco: No. 4 reactor building can withstand 6-plus intensity quake -Asahi

Title: TEPCO Soundness Report On Unit 4 Admits Larger Failures
Source: SimplyInfo
Date: Sept 5, 2012

[...]

TEPCO vaguely cites the ability to resist “6+” on the Japanese seismic scale. We received a first hand report from someone who attended a public meeting with TEPCO that this is not the full extent of the story on seismic stability. When pressed TEPCO admitted the “seismic 6″ is only vertical shaking and not horizontal shaking. They also admitted they do not have a staged plan to deal with the potential for a fuel fire in the spent fuel pool if it were to devolve to the point where water could not be used. TEPCO’s statement was that they had a water crane standing by. There was no mention of having any other fire fighting substances. Gundersen also cites this issue of no alternative fire fighting for unit 4, in a recent video where he spoke with Green Action Japan.

The admission that the quake testing does not take horizontal shaking into the equation is critial [sic]. The west wall already has issues with stability and the building supports to the west of the spent fuel pool are destroyed. These two issues make horizontal movement an issue.

[...]

See also: Appalling: Tepco admits there's no prepositioned chemicals at Fukushima plant in event water drains from fuel pool after quake -- "They had not even considered it" (VIDEO)

Published: September 5th, 2012 at 1:19 pm ET
By

64 comments

Related Posts

  1. Tepco on risk at Unit No. 4: Spent Fuel Pool can withstand up to a lower-6 intensity quake without collapsing May 11, 2012
  2. Tepco: No. 4 reactor building can withstand 6-plus intensity quake -Asahi August 31, 2012
  3. “Ability for Unit 4 to withstand another seismic event is rated at zero” -Nuclear Watchdog May 4, 2012
  4. Kyodo: Concern about condition of Fukushima Unit 4 — Fuel rods may get dumped onto ground and burn up in quake — Tepco ‘hastening’ removal December 3, 2012
  5. UM nuclear professor makes presentation on Fukushima Unit 4 pool indicating “Damage to Rack?” — “Handles not visible?” (PHOTOS) December 31, 2011

64 comments to Tepco Makes “Critical” Admission: Fukushima Unit 4 quake testing “does not take horizontal shaking into equation” — Claims it can withstand a “6+” quake only apply to VERTICAL shaking

  • aSpadeisaSpade aSpadeisaSpade

    What!!!! Even an elementary student, age 12, would know that the horizontal component is extremely critical in determining how the building integrity would be compromised!

    Can someone, somewhere just execute these morons before their idiocy executes all of us?!!!


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    • Sirius

      I believe it's already too late. Sorry.
      I'm in Belgium (which is almost on the opposite side of the Northern hemisphere, and I've seen, what I believe, mutated dandelions and other flowers just in front of my house this year. The mutation seems to be different from what can be seen in Japan (large dandelions stems). In my case, the stems are a lot longer (5+ foot tall dandelions), the leaves were gigantic and instead of single flower, or let say 2 or 3 flowers max per stem, there are dozen of them.
      My amateur guess is that the mutation is not from the same radioactive elements than on Japan soil (heavier elements probably over there).

      People around here don't f…ing give a sh.t (sorry, I'm a bit irrated by all this)about what I tell or show them. They are all busy with their day to day business and personnal problems.


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    • takedake

      Two thoughts:

      First, the Japanese earthquake measurement system specifically includes the sideways shaking as it's main component, IIRC, so that TEPCO hasn't any excuse for this–not that that has, or will, stop them from BSing everyone.

      Second, having lived in Japan for many years, what to us outsiders seems like unbelievable lying is just part and parcel of Japanese society; if you're in a position of power, as TEPCO literally and figuratively is, or at least was, then no one is likely to question anything you say. It gets to be such a habit with higher ups in Japan that they lie like they breathe–one sees that in the US, too, as the gap between the ruling class and the rest of us widens.

      The only saving grace to that is that occasionally these pumped-up primadonnas overplay their hand and speak their minds thinking they can say anything without repercussion. Similar hubris was demonstrated by that asslick Tony-something who was or still is the CEO of BP.

      Fine if this were just affecting Japan, they made their radioactive bed and now they can lie in it. But Japan is currently irradiating much of the N. Hemisphere and IMO it's past time to force their hand—of course the how of that is beyond me since our gov't probably doesn't want to get involved since it will implicate at least GE if not US gov't people from the 60s when they foisted this defective reactor design on the gullible Japanese.


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  • Maggie123

    No account for horizontal shaking from a quake-experienced nation — beyond belief. And while I'm at it – just so I make sure I'm clear … vertical shaking would be side-to-side (back and forth across a vertical axis) and horizontal would be up-down?

    I've had almost no quake experience of consequence but a couple of years ago a fracking-induced (or similarly induced) quake centered quite near me brought NO side-side but steady "roiling" of a more up/down rumbling sort. The power woke me from a sound sleep and held me spellbound/paralyzed for what seemed about 5 minutes. I'd experienced seeing things sway from light quakes – but the power of this particular "rumbling/roiling" with not a single object swaying went on long enough for me to know it could eventually "take down stone walls". (In fact, a 1900's built large stone building in town was condemned when foundation cracks were later discovered, although to be fair, farther from the epicenter, many people reported swaying so the building likely had multi-directional forces at work.)

    I must be missing some understanding about the report of not taking horizontal shaking into account. "Experts" can't be *that* mindless … can they?


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    • Maggie123

      "jackhammer" effect — there's a reason someone invented a device to repeatedly "pound" in order to destroy structures!


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    • aSpadeisaSpade aSpadeisaSpade

      Vertical shaking is vertical movement, i.e. up and down. Horizontal shaking is side-to-side.


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    • jec jec

      Vertical is UP and DOWN shaking. Horizontal is SIDE to SIDE (most EQ do side to side!) or even a wave like motion. Makes a person wonder on the parameters used in ALL the modeling being done for reactors! Garbage in Garbage out….


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      • Maggie123

        jec – Many Thanks! My constant confusion on this is why I never 'flip' images correctly when working with graphic images. I've always thought movement above/below an imagined 'horizontal line' described up/down; and movement across an imagined 'vertical line' was side/side. I need to re-train my imagination to "see" 'sliding up/down along a vertical line' and 'sliding sideways along a horizontal line'. I will work on the re-training until it 'sticks'… and still have no comprehension as to how science/math trained EQ modelers would leave out *any* possible forces!


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        • Radio VicFromOregon

          Maggie123, I still have to review which way is which. And, i keep thinking that TEPCO had a fairly high rate of resignations just after the calamity and i don't think that they've rebuilt their work force save for bringing in unskilled laborers to move debris, patch leaks, etc. Most everything is now being handled through two different subcontractors that have historically been in competition with each other in the past and tend to not communicate so well with one another for fear of giving the other the upper hand or an advantage. Yes, the thought is scary, isn't it? It is conceivable that EQ experts are not the ones who modeled the most recent SFP 4 earthquake test, but, rather a group of technicians that did a bit of figuring with the pre Fukushima testing data. There are still some engineers, but, i think not many. Those that remain are probably running around crazy doing what they can and signing off on the work of others. Then, everything has to go through the TEPCO heads and the PR department. My guess is that those nuclear engineers that didn't flee Japan are currently employed at all the other facilities in various states of disrepair that require extra hands and have a chance to come back on line. Fukushima, now declared a loss, will not have priority to receive extra hands. That is why they tend to work with a minimal crew.


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      • Time Is Short Time Is Short

        "Makes a person wonder on the parameters used in ALL the modeling being done for reactors!"

        Yes, this is key. There needs to be an independent seismic review of the the construction of all the NPPs worldwide. This is completely unforgivable.


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  • moonshellblue moonshellblue

    You can never predict what Mother Nature is capable of doing, She tends to throw in a wild card now and then like 3/11.


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Able to withstand horizontal and vertical shifting as well?


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  • weeman

    Someone has to step in and take over, these people are out of their league and have no credibility left and I would not trust them to install a water heater never mind decomission a nuclear plant.

    If we can not shut all nuclear reactors down permanently, only governments should run nuclear reactors, not corporations who only want to make money for shareholders, theirfore maintenance and R and D is neglected.
    Recipe for disaster.


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    • m a x l i

      Chernobyl was run by the government. In the Soviet Union, there were no private companies, no profits, no shareholders. Another recipe for disaster!


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      • Atomfritz Atomfritz

        maxli, the Commies weren't actually bad.
        The Chernobyl accident has been caused by human error, and such happens in communist like in capitalist societies.
        Just look how swiftly and efficient the Soviet government reacted, compared with that chaotic US puppet Japanese government!


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        • Time Is Short Time Is Short

          That's pretty accurate, AF. Hard to imagine what little the US government cares about all life on this planet. And with a Democrat in office, no less. You might expect this from a Republican.

          Just goes to show no one in authority gives a damn how many people die. They're all sociopaths.


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        • m a x l i

          Your comparison Soviet Union-Japan is probably correct. They had much faster and stricter evacuations, for instance. And I don't think they force-fed their school children with radioactive food or undertook anything to deliberately spread the radioactivity over the whole country. But 1.4 million death over 25 or so years is still bad. And I think it would have been much worse with anyone but Gorbachev on the rudder. Lucky circumstances!

          And don't explain to me the "commies"! I was one of them – or at least would have been labelled as such from the perspective of certain countries. Damit wäre das auch geklärt!


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        • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

          Actually, 26 years later, the radioactive cesium levels haven't gone down around Chernobyl. The Soviets moved a lot of people from neighboring countries into the exclusion zone. And Mayak is horrible. There is so much radioactive nuclear waste all over Russia and dumped into the Arctic and other oceans. If you want to say how wonderful the Communists are, why aren't you living in Beloruss and sharing their wonderful mutant lives and poor health. The population of Russia and Iran are in sharp decline because of all the radiation all over these countries, both from Chernobyl, nuclear bomb testing, nuclear waste, and many other nuclear accidents.

          The people around all the nuclear dump sites are also an experiment in Russia and are drinking and eating radioactive food and water.

          Your pro nuclear disinformation won't keep you or your children alive any longer than any one else's. Sad, sad, sad. Grief, grief, grief. What goes around comes around. Wake up and at least live a moral life for what is left of life.


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          • AFTERSHOCK AFTERSHOCK

            @anne: in agreement on your take here. Curious about two things: the reference to Iran and their problem. Forgive the ignorance but is this due to proximity to Russia? Second question regarding the "…pro nuclear disinformation…". Curious if that's aimed at someone in particular…

            Oh yeah. It's true, the Soviets were more efficient in their emergency response to the Chernobyl catastrophe. They simply ordered-in thousands of troupes to do what was required. Doubtless, they're all history by now. I recall seeing film of these poor bastards running into the plant, dressed in chemical-warfare suits with shovel in one hand, bucket in another and a stopwatch dangling from their belts. It's a good bet that those suits, shovels, buckets and watches were being passed-back to the next waiting 'hero'. So much for the glorious worker's state…


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          • m a x l i

            @anne, you said:"The Soviets moved a lot of people from neighboring countries into the exclusion zone."

            I never heard that before. Firstly I doubt they moved anyone into the exclusion zone. (Very few elderly people moved on their own account back into their former houses in the exclusion zone in recent years – long after the soviets were history.) Secondly I doubt the soviets did or even could move any number of people from neighbouring countries to any place, radioactive or not – at least 1986 or afterwards. (With maybe one exception: they were in a war in Afghanistan at that time). If I missed something I would be grateful about more specific information.

            Your statement regarding Russia and Iran needs more explaining too.


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          • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

            +1000, anne. People need to stop praising the Russian regime for its "great response" to Chernobyl. Men with shovels, whole villages still not evacuated (but under strict medical surveillance), nuclear subs and fuel inventories dumped in the Arctic (Norway is not too happy with them right now), nuclear waste stored open air, I mean come on!
            The Russian nuclear System is well out of control.


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          • Atomfritz Atomfritz

            Anne, surface cesium levels will not go down, but increase for the next few centuries in spite of the decay.
            The reason is simple: vegetation will pull up the cesium in the soil again and again, keeping the contamination in the biosphere.

            Workers get additional bonuses for accepting work in contaminated zones. Nobody is forced to do so.
            Forced labor has substantially decreased in Russia, even though young mothers still are sent to forced work camps, if they break tabooes, for example. (google "Femen" and "Pussy Riot")

            And it's quite natural that pioneering people (re)populate abandoned lands. Nothing wrong with this imho.

            The musulmanic Techa River guinea pigs are one of the exceptions. For more information on Mayak read here: http://www.bellona.org/subjects/1140454477.64


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    • Anthony Anthony

      I feel like they are playing with our heads now. Not until now, but now its the only thing that makes sense.


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  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    The elevated spent fuel pool design is not unique to this power station.


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    • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

      isn't there 23 nearly identical NPP's with even larger quantities of spent fuel aboard equally precarious elevated SFP's here in the USA??`


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      • Radio VicFromOregon

        @Johnny Blade – "equally precarious"? Well, yep, there are definitely overstuffed, poorly designed, elevated SFP's all over the place, especially in Japan and the US, and any and all have the potential to fall under certain extraordinary circumstances They are hazards waiting to happen. But, for me, nothing compares at the moment to SFP 4 who already had an extraordinary circumstance and can't withstand another as an immediate threat to so many, save, perhaps Hanford in Washington State, USA. Let's hope the 23 you mention draw some much needed attention.


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  • Sol Man

    From Chernobyl 1 million deaths. Fukushima is 50 times worse! So that translates to 50 million deaths! When will Interpol and the World Court in the Hague start rounding up the genocidal maniacs?!
    How many lives are at stake?


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    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      All lives are at stake. Your 50 'times worse estimate' is off by about, oh, I don't know, ALL LIVING THINGS ON THIS PLANET ARE GOING TO MUTATE THEMSELVES TO EXTINCTION, OR DIE TRYING.


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    • Radio VicFromOregon

      Here's the problem with going after these guys. Everyone who pays an electric bill knows nuclear reactors, oil rigs, natural gas lines, burning coal have negative health effects. We all know this, if we just stop for one second and consider. But, all societies who use such energies have calculated that the benefits outweigh the risks. More people will live better, longer, more abundant lives than those who will live poorer, shorter, unhealthy lives. So, the people pay these guys to make the energy. We all let a certain amount of people die each year from radiation, or asthma, or fracted well water. These societies can't now come back and say that the providers of the energy are criminals just because the process is dangerous. Everyone has already accepted that. What must be proved is that certain people took certain actions that were illegal within what is normally expected in the system. That is very, very hard to do. Not impossible, but quite difficult.


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      • lovehopefaith

        THAT DON'T CUT IT, MACFLY!

        <<<We all know this, if we just stop for one second and consider. But, all societies who use such energies have calculated that the benefits outweigh the risks. More people will live better, longer, more abundant lives than those who will live poorer, shorter, unhealthy lives. So, the people pay these guys to make the energy. We all let a certain amount of people die each year from radiation, or asthma, or fracted well water. These societies can't now come back and say that the providers of the energy are criminals just because the process is dangerous. Everyone has already accepted that. >>>


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      • lovehopefaith

        WHAT IS WITH THIS, "We", MACFLY?!!

        <<<We all let a certain amount of people die each year from radiation, or asthma, or fracted well water. These societies can't now come back and say that the providers of the energy are criminals just because the process is dangerous. Everyone has already accepted that. >>>

        I'm calling HORSEHOCKEY!


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      • lovehopefaith

        EDUCATE THE PEOPLE!

        <<<Everyone who pays an electric bill knows nuclear reactors, oil rigs, natural gas lines, burning coal have negative health effects. We all know this, …But, all societies who use such energies have calculated that the benefits outweigh the risks.>>>

        HAVE YOU BEEN PAYING ATTENTION, MACFLY?!?!?

        If the MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE in society actually REALLY knew what solar energy could have provided all of these years, instead of being CAPTURED by a TOXIC CRIMINAL GREEDY CABAL, then maybe the MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE would be less tolerant of having to breathe the toxic air that is SPEWED WILLY NILLY in the cities to the detriment of the the MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE's health!


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        • Radio VicFromOregon

          I am saying that WE put OUR money into all of this. This is OUR money SUPPORTING these technologies. It is common knowledge that "technological progress" is measured by how much it is perceived to do good over harm. That conversation may not happen as publicly as you or i would like, nor nearly as honestly as we'd want, but, it is up to us to raise it, is it not? Who else will? I might be a victim of nuclear power radiation, but, i also had to fight against it for many years in my own neck of the woods so that i wasn't also paying for it. Oregon used to have a reactor, Trojan, and the public got it shut down. That was in 1993. The dangers of nuclear power are not new to anyone. I buy expensive green energy and go without. That's my choice. I don't blame TEPCO for my desires to flip a switch and have electricity. I blame them for the actual acts they did that would make an unsafe technology even less safe, i blame them for withholding important information, i blame them for being in denial. But, TEPCO and every other reactor weren't the only ones choosing nuclear power. The public chose it. They chose it either by agreeing with it, purchasing it, or not questioning it.


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      • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

        The assumption is that people KNOW the dangers. They DONT. Corporations spin and deceive most people and they do NOT know the truth. They think oil, gas, coal and nuclear are 'clean' fuels, with no consequences.

        Most people also believe the corporate propoganda that solar, tides, and other renewable energy sources do not work, are too expensive and are financial boondoggles when the opposite is actually true.


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    • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

      Comparing Contaminated Zones Around Chernobyl And Fukushima Ocean Radiation Released; via A Green Road http://agreenroad.blogspot.com/2012/05/comparing-contaminated-zones-around.html

      What really happened at Fukushima? via A Green Road http://agreenroad.blogspot.com/2012/02/what-really-happened-at-fukushima.html


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  • Atomfritz Atomfritz

    Actually I am not surprised much.

    If you looked at the former press photos of the pillars (inside of the building, not outside!), you would have been aware that they already were cracked and displaced.

    Thus the inner core of the building, comprising the equipment pool, the reactor well, and the SFP has to withstand torsional forces it wasn't designed for. And it is already completely cracked horizontally at the floor 5 level, which can be easily confirmed by everybody who cared to look at the photos I mentioned.

    Luckily the cracks aren't dangerous by themselves, as long as the pool liner stays intact.


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    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      "Luckily the cracks aren't dangerous by themselves, as long as the pool liner stays intact."

      As long as the cracks aren't in the support structure. The SFP liner isn't going to keep the pool intact if the supports fail.


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      • Atomfritz Atomfritz

        I hope that the displacement of the building's core (extending its cracks) will be so low that it doesn't shear open the liner, if there is a new large earthquake to occur.
        As it's strongly reinforced concrete, I hope the displacement will be only a few millimeters or centimeters, which the liner possibly could withstand.
        Let's hope they used ductile construction steel that is some elastic and doesn't break apart so easily.


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        • Time Is Short Time Is Short

          With all the corners we now know they cut, I wouldn't bet on the strength of any concrete or steel onsite.

          And how many corners were cut on NPPs elsewhere? It was fudged data that screwed San Onofre. $800 million dollars wasted on new steam generators that failed pretty quickly. Just an incredible waste of money.


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          • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

            Not to mention that as these plants age and are exposed to radiation the metal becomes weaker, and more brittle to the point where any small stress can punch a crack or hole in it.

            Better get some duct tape and baling wire ready; oh wait, they already did that.


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  • Sol Man

    Oh. Above, I guess I slipped into my normal sunny view. Yes, I know that absolutely everything is going. I was in the solar business long ago. There are no words.


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  • RichardPerry

    Tepco has no cash to buy fuel and supplies, I thought nuclear reactor make big money, most people have $25,000.00 or more line of credit, not one person in management would buy the fuel. This is unbelievable in a crises every one thinks of themselves. It speaks loud what workers think of the company.


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  • irradiatedinbako

    These lies and deceptions again grossly cross the line of humanity's ignorance and gullibilty .. it is frightening.

    If one child molester harmed one child in such a manner and as criminally as Tepco and governments and PTBs who turn away .. have done to countless folks in the world, accountabilty would be demanded.

    It is unacceptable that this goes on without international support and intervention. It *is* a crime against humanity.

    I could be more graphic .. does it take a maniac shooter .. dismemberment psycho .. face eating drug crazed perv ..

    To get MSM attention ..

    When Fukushitty threatens the world??

    I will make some politcal rep phone calls again this week .. a pathetic spit in the wind endeavor I pray will bear fruit.

    Peace.


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  • kalidances

    @irradiatedinbako two words for you: the Vatican. People will always allow someone else to do the important things and stressful tasks if possible.
    People say that people "trust" too easily but that's not it. In America people think they are too important for mundane tasks such as periodically making sure their local nuclear power plants are not lying to them about critical health matters.
    Laziness, selfishness, and inattentive behaviors are killing us all.
    Right this minute my family is more concerned about the democratic convention than the fact that every single American is literally breathing in cancer. People are delusional. They still think that someone in some government is going to rush in like Superman and help. Politicians are rich. They don't care. They can move from danger or take a morphine shot and leave here in peace.
    Everyone is going to have to watch a nuclear plant explode and watch loved ones to die in agony before they act.


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    • irradiatedinbako

      @ Kali

      Thanks for writing. I wish like hell I could say you are wrong .. but you aren't.

      It is up to a very few here in the minority to speak up about something that disturbs the comfort zone of the masses who are indoctrinated by the machine.

      It doesn't seem there is much reward to buck that system ..

      Except for that nagging of the heart .. some ancient old brain stem relic of right and wrong ..

      God forbid Mankind loses that.

      Peace.


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  • RichardPerry

    TEPCO must have requested this as anyone in the testing business would automatically tested for horizontal shaking. The authorities should round up and put on trial those involved for endangering the public and environment.


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