Time: Fukushima nuclear struggles “would be the stuff of comedy” — “It’s not funny, not really” — “Not sure things could be much worse if Wile E. Coyote were Tepco’s CEO”

Published: May 1st, 2013 at 11:54 am ET
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Title: Japan: Why the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant’s Cleanup Is Faltering
Source: Time.com
Author: Bryan Walsh
Date: May 01, 2013

Honestly, if the consequences weren’t potentially so dire, the ongoing struggles to clean up the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in northern Japan would be the stuff of comedy. [...] I’m not sure things could be much worse if Wile E. Coyote were TEPCO’s CEO.

But it’s not funny, not really, because the consequences of the meltdown and TEPCO’s mismanagement are very real. [...] More than two years after the tsunami, TEPCO is still racing against time — and just barely staying ahead.

[...] the fact that the company is still running the Fukushima cleanup seems like a worse idea with each passing day.

[...] As the groundwater debacle demonstrates, TEPCO has been making things up as it goes along since the beginning — and the Japanese government has let them.

[...] And while Japan is unique, collusion between the tightly closed nuclear industry and the government elsewhere isn’t.

More from Time’s Bryan Walsh: Time.com: Fukushima dangers "may not be as grave as we first feared" -- Only 10 people surveyed had high levels of radiation, says study -- Only 10% of Chernobyl release

Published: May 1st, 2013 at 11:54 am ET
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25 comments

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25 comments to Time: Fukushima nuclear struggles “would be the stuff of comedy” — “It’s not funny, not really” — “Not sure things could be much worse if Wile E. Coyote were Tepco’s CEO”

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Can't measure the level of management because this is new territory for the nuclear industry. Other countries are involved here, but they cannot lower the radiation. Nobody can.


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    • Jay

      Talking about 'The Big Picture' , let's take a cold shower and realize that the number of people aware and who are keeping track of the Fukushima events is a small one .

      The 62.7 % of the Japanese voters that brought Abe in the Office this year tells the story of awarness in Japan , no wonder TEPCO and the government that now owns it , can run amock !

      The day , if ever , when the ABCNBCCBCCBS,ETC will start showing Fukushima daily or weekly like ENEnews or EX-SKF does , we'll see another public attitude .

      The Big Picture is scarry , the ammount of ignorance is colossal and makes for a Text-book example of playing-with-a-faulty-deck : the Monkey Genes that we don't want to get rid of … not even our 'scholars' !

      If Galileo , Newton , Mozart , Rick James , Michelangelo , Tesla DID exist as they were , it means that those Genes are Available !!!! … and ALL of us CAN have them !!!

      Is this the Planet of the Apes or just a movie set ? Oh look , Abe in a TANK !!!! That speaks Volumes ! :

      http://ex-skf.blogspot.ca/2013/04/farcical-japan-more-ldp-cosplay-and.html


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  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    New physics is also at work.
    How does zirconium cladding and melted fuel react with seawater?
    Did zirconium and cesium vapors combine to produce the explosions?
    What is the energy of corium?
    How deep and how far did the corium go?
    What is the state of the corium at present?
    Thus far, the nuclear industry has frustrated all attempts at an after-event study
    of the important issues raised by the Fukushima Calamity.
    Perhaps it fears that if the truth of what has happened comes out,
    the nuclear industry will be shut down.
    News for you nukers:
    The truth is already coming out.
    The entire nuclear industry is about to be decommissioned.


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    • moonshellblue moonshellblue

      Seawater and melted fuel makes buckyballs of nasties and I think the corium is deep in the ground and possibly some of it is in the Pacific? Cyanobacteria is alive and well and the World Nuclear Association is alive and touting the benefits of nuclear energy. So I don't think the nuclear industry will be decommissioned anytime soon, sad to say.


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  • pcjensen

    "just barely staying ahead" .. only if the race is being run backwards I suppose…


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  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    The news is starting to hit the MSM.

    Personally, I don't care either way. We here know what's going on, they know what's going on, and the reality is, give this another year or two. As more NPP's fail, and it appears they are starting to fail in increasing numbers, there will no attempt at containment/repair – anywhere. Any manpower effort will be to protect the 0.01% that gave us this death-dealing machinery.

    Things are going to get really ugly. Prepare accordingly.


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    • pcjensen

      exactly, perhaps, after all, those DUMBS will be required, no matter how much we detest them and their creators. Find the doors, demand entry if you have to. Don't let the elite shut themselves in by themselves. Seriously… topside life will be no life.


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  • Eventually the company will have to run out of money? Nobody will ever want to invest in a nuclear power plant after seeing how instead of abandoning broken machinery you are left with a mess that you must spend billions on for the next 100 years with no possible return of your money. The spectre of a radio actively ruined Pacific especially the north eastern coast of Japan goes against Japanese culture of abundance of sea food. Eventually that damage won't be easy to hide.

    By the time serious law suits happen Tepco could be disolved. I wonder what the restructured agency responsible for the final clean up will look like?


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    • We Not They Finally

      I will probably look like the NRC or the IAEA. It won't look pretty.


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    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      Soon the world will run out of money. Or rather, the money they print will be worthless, no matter how much is printed.

      From here on out, there will be little to nothing spent on any further nuclear accidents. They're going to run them till they explode, then walk away.

      They are more than willing to forsake their own families, let alone us, for personal gain today.


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  • fill er up

    when's the american spring coming? americans are too soft,spoiled,complacent and lazy to rise up, never mind. too spoiled to boycott, too in debt for work stoppages and too afraid of cops on horses. good thing the govt was behind the grass roots movements, the tea party and occupy, americans wont have to form their own grass roots movement, that would'nt be stopped.


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  • VyseLegendaire VyseLegendaire

    The writer of this article is far too relaxed, and taking things too lightly. He also has a major problem with grammar that makes it hard to take him seriously. Writers should be much more resolute with their statements, and resounding with their warnings than these casual fatheads.


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    • HoTaters

      The follow up comments (footer in article) also mention the Fukushima releases weren't that serious and only measured about 10% of the Chernobyl releases. Which we all know was debunked a long time ago.


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  • RADS

    While Wile E. Coyote, is not the CEO of TEPCO, but he sure did a hell of a job designing a mark 1 reactor. Must be a really long time delay of a ACME bomb.


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  • We Not They Finally

    They are "staying ahead of the race against time" HOW?? Even the authors of that article must know that that is garbage.


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  • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication

    This author does not know what he is talking about! The picture he uses is of last year. "The latest threat comes from nearby groundwater that is pouring into the damaged reactor buildings." This water is leaking (gushing?) from their tanks into the Pacific Ocean and contaminating all oceans. They don't need the Japanese government's approval to do this…it just happens. Doesn't he know that?

    The article is filled with misinformation.

    Personally, I think Wily E. Coyote could have done a much better job than TEPCO. I'm glad I don't subscribe to TIME.


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  • dosdos dosdos

    The Japanese sense of responsibility will insure that TEPCO is never replaced as cleanup managers. It was deemed TEPCO's fault that it happened, therefore TEPCO must take the responsibility and be the one to clean it up. Now underneath this honor system is the deceit that tells TEPCO to do the cheapest job possible while publicly showing the honorable acceptance of responsibility. This is because it would be a total loss of face if TEPCO gave someone else access to evidence of their long history of dirty little secrets. It is the ultimate hypocrisy, and the world continues to pay for it.

    From the full article, "TEPCO argues that its workers know Fukushima best" shows how reluctant they are to let anyone else see the true condition of the plant outside of quick in and out tours that are designed to give the appearance of openness and honesty. and the government supports this because the world finding out the truth about Fukushima would also cause the government to lose face far worse than they have already. They are partners in deceit, and protecting their image is far more important to them than protecting the people of Japan and the world.


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  • Sickputer

    +311 dosdos

    You said it…I thought it.


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  • ruppert

    I was with a few people in their thirties who are completely oblivious to Fukushima and think I'm nuts because "it's not on CNN". In a small way I think I'm jealous of being so clueless as in knowing this stuff does put a damper on one's future outlook.

    I'm not talking about idiots but people that are so caught up in their lives (as most are) that they only get their news from 1 or 2 places and anyone thinking outside of that bubble is a crazy conspiracy lunatic.

    I saw somewhere about a reference to the "Samson Option" where he is said to have pushed the pillars away and brought the whole temple down upon himself, killing himself as well as the "enemy". I'm quoting the "idea" not the bible here. I don't care about the .01% or whatever percentage they use these days as they will go down as well as Joe six-pack.

    They would truly have to be psychopathic or reptilian aliens to go through all this to live underground with their "wealth".

    You can stockpile all the food, guns and gold you want but there will be an ice age (or 2) before the radiation level comes down to a level that will be liveable at the rate we are going.

    I just feel like the Earth is a car teetering on the edge of the Grand Canyon with TEPCO (and others) behind it pushing it.

    It's just all so surreal


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