Weekends off at Fukushima: Not one plant worker could be seen says Asahi — Operational equipment lay idle — A cold eerie quietness

Published: February 27th, 2012 at 12:14 pm ET


Title: Aerial photos of Fukushima nuke plant an eerie sight
Source: Asahi
Date: February 27, 2012

A cold eerie quietness envelops the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. There is no activity among the snow-dusted buildings, and reminders of the devastation caused by last year’s Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami are everywhere.

That was the scene that greeted an Asahi Shimbun team that flew to the site on a company helicopter on Feb. 25 […]

Because it was the weekend, there was no activity. Not one plant worker could be seen and operational equipment lay idle. […]

It was an eerie sight, made bleaker by the undisturbed thin carpet of snow covering the ground.

Read the report here

Published: February 27th, 2012 at 12:14 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. Worker confirms Tepco taking weekends off at Fukushima Daiichi August 2, 2012
  2. Multiple deaths at Fukushima nuclear plants – Worker dies after plunging over 30 feet into water tank – Another killed from severe head injury after caught in equipment – Tepco warned last week about soaring number of worker injuries January 20, 2015
  3. Fukushima worker concerned about ground settlement at plant — What will happen when Tepco starts pumping up 100s of tons of groundwater? May 22, 2012
  4. Asahi: White blood cell count spikes in Fukushima worker — 3,000+ may not have used dosimeters at plant just after 3/11 September 4, 2012
  5. Fukushima Daiichi worker thinks ground at plant causing construction delays and Tepco giving false explanations June 16, 2012

45 comments to Weekends off at Fukushima: Not one plant worker could be seen says Asahi — Operational equipment lay idle — A cold eerie quietness

  • Bobby1

    Radiation never takes the weekend off.

    • I bet it is a new 'save the virgin snow' program being put out to attract the tourists.

      No one wants to see dirty snow, or snow with people and tire tracks all over it.

      The govnmnt ordered the contractors to quit walking and driving around the site, so they could take some pretty pics for the press releases.

      Come to Fukushima; virgins… ahem, throat clearing, ….

      lots of virgin snow for your skiing pleasure, cesium enhanced to make it slipperier.

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    Been gone. See THIS? Evacuate Tokyo and All US Forces From Japan
    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2012/02/25/evacuate-tokyo-and-all-us-forces-from-japan/ Mochizuki, Publisher of the highly respected Fukushima Diary

  • Bones Bones

    There will be no end to this accident. (Duh, we already know that. lol) If the government would just admit the truth, many lives would be saved and get the healthcare they need. TEPCO knows this or else there would be teams there around the clock. Expect radiation levels to continue to rise as this disease factory festers.

    I guess I shouldn't be shocked they have "weekends off." I don't know how many people are at the plant on weekends, but realistically what can they do? There is no solution to this mess. All they are doing is circulating coolant and that's it. When is the construction team coming to seal these reactors with some super dome. Well, I guess they can't if they are right by the ocean. The ground can't be too stable for such weight. I don't know if it is possible or not for a nuclear "cacoon" to be built, but they have to do something. Where is godzilla when you need him? lol

  • blackbeer blackbeer

    Well, there you go, see, there is nothing wrong just a bit of mess. And we all thought there was a hellatious problem. Just goes to show you how easily we fall into the fear factor. I had a bit of a light bulb go off in my head this morning. Even though there will be no sign of our existence 5 or 10 thousand years into the future at least the death of our planet will be measurable to geologist ET's because of the amount of radiation present.


  • Anthony Anthony

    This has always been about maintenance. Without big moves what else can really be done until it stops?

  • openeye openeye

    HI ALL,

    Yes, thanx, Whoopie, I was just about to paste that–will do it again:


    It has good links to other news re the level of radiation in Tokyo.

    Dharmasyd, thanx so much to you for noticing the year-old date on the report about radiation in the Phillipines–it eased my mind (not that there isn't still a danger of course).

  • Sickputer

    They were only working about 2-3 hours a day anyway for about 9 months and then it was probably never more than 50 workers per one hour shift. Too hot from the sun for their little paper zoot suits and their masks (which interfered with smoking so one hour shifts were the maximum anyway. Also too radioactive hot, and no solutions in sight.

    They are just watering the smoking ruins and trying to collect some of the radioactive hot waste water in the storage tanks. Some debris removal which is complicated by the heavy radiation and congealed masses of hot fuel chunks. They dump the rod chunks and the cesium-contaminated water into the ocean I would be willing to bet. Nobody will know anyway… The workers are dead men walking and the yakuza keeps them in line. This daily routine could go on a very long time indeed unless a big corium eruption occurs or the Big Momma Earthquake returns to finish off the megaplex.

    • chrisk9

      Why are you attacking the workers? These are people just like anyone else trying to earn a living. For many years I was one of them and did radiation protection work. It takes 30 minutes to dress up in those white suits and they are hot inside especially when you wear a respirator. They work short shifts mostly because of the radiation dose everywhere on site. Many are risking their health to feed their families. Put on one of those white suits and a respirator and do some heavy work for an hour or two.

      They are not picking up hot chunks of fuel or they would be sick or dead within minutes. They are not getting anywhere near rod chunks and not dumping them in the ocean. That would be completely impossible without a fifty foot boom. There are most likely very few chunks you could even see with the naked eye, most being just flakes.

  • James2

    I don't think the photo accompanying the article was taken on February 25th. I think it was taken a month earlier.

    Look at R4. In late January, a fire/explosion occurred which blew off another 1/3 of the top "layer " of the building, leaving it only half intact. In this photo it appears to be 80% intact – which it hasn't been since prior to that event.

    Therefore the photo is not as described.

  • James2

    So why would they all the sudden release photos of the plant taken from a helicopter – when they haven't allowed any for 7 months?

    And those photos turn out to be fakes?

    Good question: let me tell you. In all the reporting about the "authorities" (I use that term lightly) they have been concerned about SFP4 – in the latest NRC FOIA documents, they feared that Tokyo had to be evacuated if SFP4 went down. The prime minister himself spoke about the fact that that pool could not be allowed to collapse, and they spent untold millions reinforcing it.

    many men have likely lost their lives fighting for SFP4 not to fall. Well, I think it has fallen, and is burning right now – and if they tell the truth, all hell breaks loose in Tokyo .

    So they have to create fake reports and fake photos showing it more intact than it is now…

    • With the current Big Propaganda campaign in the US and Britain doing "historical documentaries" – PBS a couple of weeks ago and again tomorrow on FRONTLINE, BBC with two installments in the next couple of weeks – of course it's coordinated to release "Brand New" photos that aren't at all new and show things NOT as they actually are. It's all over. History. Full Steam (and nukes) Ahead!

      Link to the FRONTLINE piece @ Enformable…


      • James2

        To see the ill-preparedness of this industry and total inability to effect any kind of control on the nuclear plant at Fukushima is simply astoundingly terrifying.

        However to see the spew of BS, lies, deception, cover-up get packaged up and spoonfed to the public on a day-to-day basis, on a coordinated global scale.

        I see a nuke sub catch fire for 5 hours in a dock in Russia – all over the news. I see Fukushima #3 burn for 12 weeks straight spewing radiation that will kill hundreds of thousands of people into the air- not a peep….

        it is mind blowing..

        Every day I sit here and wonder – How many total scams have been played on us over and over again just in my lifetime…. Is it any wonder the average person can't believe this.?

        • No, it isn't any wonder at all. Denial probably has some survival value on an individual level in relatively 'normal' circumstances. Even if just so you don't have to think about the homeless people you avoid on the walk from the bus stop to work every day. It's not very useful when the PTB's are trying to kill you, though.

  • aigeezer aigeezer

    Some musings: I speculate that "weekends off" is one way to deal surreptitiously with a desperate lack of job applicants. I'm intrigued that the site isn't crawling with conscripts of some kind, military perhaps, 24/7.

    One possibility is that everything is fine – cold shutdown – no big deal. Just a few people needed to pick up rubble. (Hah!)

    The phrase "company helicopter" caught my eye. Does it mean Tepco's or Asahi Shimbun's machine? Either way, why did they suddenly become curious about the site after all this time? What kept them from doing this earlier? What changed in their world?

    With some analysis, we might be able to infer from their actions and inactions what they actually fear and what they do not fear and then compare that to our own notions of what they should or should not fear.

    Perhaps we are being set up for an "anniversary theme" which features "cold eerie quietness". Glad that's over – just like Chernobyl – what's for dinner?

    • aigeezer aigeezer

      Hmmn – they don't turn off the bright lights at night on the weekends, do they? That's odd, if no workers are there. Perhaps electricity is cheap and easily squandered if you're Tepco.

      • lokay5 lokay5

        They're powering thier lights with electricity generated at one of their nuclear power that's still operating, because as we all know, it's




        Too cheap to meter

  • sonnen.blum.239 sonnen.blum.239

    James2, I would believe you are spot on. No end in sight to cover up.

  • Save the earth? what, we need a weekend off….

    Sheesh, if they got 40 years of cleanup, they better get on it now.

  • enoughalready45 enoughalready45

    I agree something is wrong with the photograph. James2 I'm praying your wrong about #4. Are there more photos, I only see the one linked to the article.

    There are 4 reactor buildings in a row but the picture only shows 3. So which 3 are we seeing?

    On the right side of the picture is reactor #1 with it's tent built over it after the roof blew off. That one is correct.

    One building to the left from there should be an intact building for reactor #2. I do not see the building. Is reactor #1 building blocking it?

    The next building, that is a damaged building, would be reactor #3.

    The damaged building after that (furthest on the left) would be reactor #4.
    That IS NOT a current picture of reactor #4. Last I saw it was in much worse shape with most of the North Wall, shown in the picture, having been removed or collapsed.

    This seems like a good discussion for those who watch the video cameras. Maybe look for more analysis on the Web Cam Discussion. I will pose the question there and asked for comment.

  • PattieB PattieB

    #1 building is stepped-back closer to shore.. so is hideing #2 but as much of the north wall of #4 was left in place as a rad-shield… that's not conclusive but the roof… this photo is old one… as top of #4 has been long ago removed for instalation of new rod-mover crane.

  • James2

    Also part of the tent on #1 burned off.

    The tent roof is too pristine to have been sitting there being radiated for six months.

  • nuckelchen nuckelchen

    i wrote about that in the webcam-fried:
    February 25, 2012 at 4:45 pm · Reply

    evacuating of sfp nr 2 to keep the coming crises with the core not to big?
    whats wrong with japan?
    evacuating the old fuels but not the peoples around.
    the atomic thing is pretty pervert isn't?!

    it looks to be the new problem to bring the stuff fast enough away enough from reactor 2.
    all workings on other places should had stopped, include the eva from sfp 4, the other hotspotsoup there.
    the new problem is that they haven't enough workers for evacuating sfp2, because of the high dosis inside the building from nr 2.
    also it must be an extrem klima inside beneared the pool, hot and wet, so that only absolut 100% body-fitness allright workers were told to go inside, "otto-normal" ones wouldn't be able to come back.

    hardcore !


    February 25, 2012 at 4:56 pm · Reply

    we talk about 3.000 workers per day and the problem to bring the hot old fuels outside of the building without to much releases on radio nukes?
    sounds like if there will so much nukes in the room-air from building reactor nr 2 that a simple cracking of the wall to get the fuels out would be triggering a new worldwide alert.


    NHK said that record was taken on sunday:


    we can see that we will see nothing, ergo= 3.000 workers are acting on the sfp inside reactor nr 2 like we can read in the first link here in these post.
    strange cloud making sequenzes above nr 2:

    i hope that all will be explain the situation a bitly.
    but i'm not been updated on today:
    not to know what they write but good to know what they talking about.

  • Pallas89juno Pallas89juno

    There is no end to this under the status quo. 250,000 years of increasing radiation just beginning w/periodic underground (+ above-ground fires, incineration, further explosions here or elsewhere increasingly) nuclear explosions. Even w/o earthquakes an increasing percentage of the world's civilian nuclear power reactors and at least 6 north Atlantic sunk submarine nuclear power plants are inevitably going to fail without fundamental and complete administrative, that is decision making power, changes. We need 100% civilian oversight over it all.

    As a loosely related aside, I'm retaking U.S. history, and California state history at a local university. Things are far worse now than they were before in terms of corruption, and transparency, though the reverse appears the case at face value, oddly, to so many. Over the past 4 or 5 centuries in the New World mostly greedy Europeans (ruling) seeking rights to establish extreme profiteering off the backs of others in the psychosis of instant profits, damn the future. Our modern U.S. "left" is mostly a wan pot-addled farce recently! Pacifism is a pathology now in the U.S., an escape–just an extension of the greedy, do nothings enraptured with fawning love for the celebrity and wealthy that has been the cultural norm in the U.S. from the beginning. Even the Quakers were slave owners and ultimately screwed over the indigenous Americans after William Penn's death. His own sons were at fault in that one.

    Read Loewen's "Lies My Teacher Told Me". You'll finally get,if not there already, understanding of the true nature of U.S. culture in its distillation. I make this suggestion, so we understand what we're all up against in terms of what prevents real change. We will have pretty near zero influence as one cannot change a problem without honest self appraisal and, unfortunately, this is not an American (U.S.) strong suit, and is decreasingly a strong suit in any other bourgie materialistic Global North culture.

    • PoorDaddy PoorDaddy

      Hi Pallas…..
      Another great history book – A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn. US history from regular folk's perspective. Not just corporate/USA = #1 propaganda, or American Exceptionalism as it's called today.

    • StillJill StillJill

      Yes Pallas,…as much as I hate to agree,…the US has the backbone of a jellyfish! 🙁

      Try getting the average "Joe" to defer gratification, or limit him/herself!

  • James2


    Take a look at this video from the Nuckelchen vault from a couple days ago. I had heard they recoreded video but hadn't seen it yet.

    OK, pause this video at exactly 49 seconds.

    At that exact point, you can see clearly that a lot of burning has taken place in SFP 4. That's what the "handlers" are allowing you to see…

    But that is not what I want you to see.

    Look behind unit 4. If you've stopped exactly at the 49 second mark, you will be able to see between the crane boom and the side of the #4 building – THERE YOU WILL SEE THE SPENT FUEL POOL RIVER I'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT FOR TWO MONTHS – SPILLING OUT THE BURNED OUT SPF3 AND OVER THE SIDE WALL.

    I've caught a glimpse of it twice before – and of course I've been telling all of you about #3SFP burning for quite awhile – to the great skepticism of most and the ridicule of some.

    Proof of such a horrible thing does not prove anything except the sad state of affairs we are in now.

    • 8thandLamar 8thandLamar

      Enviroreporter has begun to use the word "goo".

      At first I felt it was too simplistic but as the article expertly went on; and each release was called a "goo",I started to see that it was a great way to communicate the nature of radioactive contamination TO EVERYBODY ELSE.

      Too many words and too many BIG NEW words can freeze, intimidate or just plain lose people when they are new to this subject. I think the word "GOO" could actually get through to those with significant denial and psycho-intellectual numbing!

      LET'S HEAR IT FOR GREAT AND GLORIOUS "GOO" …..beats cussing, anyway.

      Peace for now.

  • Alice Alice

    I really doubt they can find enough workers. I mean, seriously, would anyone in their right mind work in a toxic environment like a nuclear power plant?

    Personally, I'd rather eat tofu although that's going to be contaminated as well.

  • fiz654

    With the entire Northern Hemisphere in grave danger, should a crippling earthquake occur and collapse or break open the #3 or #4 SFP, they are working just a few hours a day just 5 days a week? If 130 tons of spent fuel goes up in smoke, the US and Europe will see high contamination from long-lived radioactive particulates. When one compares the radioactive tonnage with the comparatively "tiny" amount in a nuclear warhead, then one realizes the gravity of the situation. They should be working seven days a week to fully stabilize the buildings and rid those fuel pools of all spent fuel. Import migrants from US border south or around the world if needed. Just hurry up before a bigger catastrophe should strike.