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Apr-28-2012 21:27printcomments

Reporting by Fukushima Local Newspaper: Root Cause of the Fukushima Accident

Head in the sand?

Inside Fukushima
From: 'World Exclusive Photos Inside Fukushima (Dead Zone)' Our special thanks to rense.com

(FUKUSHIMA Prefecture) - Fukushima Minpo, the local Fukushima paper, has a very interesting series on the background of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident. Looking back 10, 20 years or more, the paper tries to identify the root cause of the accident on the local level, on the prefectural level, and the national level through the eyes of the local or prefectural government.

I haven't read the whole series (9 articles so far) myself, but I want to share the snippets that are still astounding after all that has happened since March 11, 2011, and point to the mentality that may have still existed when the accident happened, which may be uniquely Japanese.

For the national government, a nuclear power plant was not supposed to have an accident and therefore an accident would never happen and there would be no need to train the residents for emergency that would never happen. For the prefectural government, there was no such word as "severe accident". If they didn't mention the word, it wouldn't happen.

Head in the sand? I would like to think of it as "kuroko" in Kabuki. "Kuroko", meaning literally "person in black", comes on the stage dressed in black to help with the changing of costumes for the actors, and operates tools for theatrical effects. He is there for anyone to see, but as an audience you are not supposed to see him even if you do see him. It is an unspoken rule that he doesn't exist, even if he does exist.

From Fukushima Minpo Series "Preparedness Turned Upside Down" No.7:

平成元年7月、県生活福祉部長に就いた新妻威男(77)は、11月に予定されていた原子力防災訓練の計画案を修正するよう部下に指示した。

In July 1989, Takeo Niitsuma, newly appointed as the general manager of the prefecture's life and welfare department, instructed his subordinates to modify the plan for the nuclear emergency preparedness drill scheduled in November.

「原発立地地域の人たちが入らない訓練には意味がない。住民が避難を体験する内容を盛り込んで計画案を作り直してほしい」。生活福祉部は防災や消費生活、福祉対策などの県民の暮らしに身近な分野を担う。新妻は部の責任者として県民の立場に沿った訓練を求めた。

"The drill is meaningless without the participation of people who lives in the area where the nuclear power plant is located. Create the plan that allow the residents to practice evacuation." His department is in charge of disaster preparedness, consumer protection, welfare, and other areas that are familiar to people in the prefecture. As the general manager of the department, Niitsuma wanted the drill that would take the residents into consideration.

訓練を担当する消防防災課の職員は、通産省(現経産省)や科学技術庁(現文科省)に新妻の考え方を伝えた。ところが、国の担当者から思わぬ言葉が返ってきた。「原発は事故を起こすはずがない。住民を参加させる必要はない。いたずらに不安をあおるだけだ」

The staff member in the fire and emergency section that was in charge of the drill conveyed Niitsuma's thinking to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (today's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) and the Science and Technology Agency (part of today's Ministry of Education and Science). But the word from the national government was totally unexpected. "It's impossible for a nuclear power plant to have an accident. There is no need to have the residents participate in the drill. That would fan unnecessary fears."


Isn't that interesting. Dr. Haruki "Detarame" (falsehood) Madarame told then-Prime Minister Naoto Kan on board the helicopter on the way to Fukushima I Nuke Plant on March 12, 2011, "Don't worry. It's impossible for the reactor to blow up. It's structurally impossible."

Another snippet from Fukushima Minpo Series "Preparedness Turned Upside Down" No.8:

「シビアアクシデント(過酷事故)に対応する訓練にしたい」。10年ほど前、原子力防災を受け持った県職員は県の主な部局に相談を持ち掛けた。

"I want to have the drill that deals with a severe accident." About 10 years ago, a staff member in charge of nuclear emergency preparedness asked the major departments in the prefectural government.

ところが、一部の部署から予想もしなかった答えが返ってきた。「そんな言葉はない」。過酷事故が起きるという考え方が、原子力行政の場で公に語られることが少ないころだった。

But he received an unexpected answer from some departments. "There is no such word [as "severe accident"]." It was when the idea of having a severe accident was not publicly discussed in the nuclear energy administration.


The paper is a local paper in Fukushima Prefecture, so there may be a bias toward portraying the prefectural government as having tried hard to persuade the national government to do the right thing. It was unfortunate that officials in the prefectural government were the ones who deleted SPEEDI simulations that came, didn't use simulations that came from the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency and from TEPCO.

About EXSKF and coverage of Japan Earthquake of March 11

I am Japanese, and I not only read Japanese news sources for information on earthquake and the Fukushima Nuke Plant but also watch press conferences via the Internet when I can and summarize my findings, adding my observations."
http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2012/04/reporting-by-fukushima-local-newspaper.html

This article was first published by EXSKF





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stephen April 29, 2012 8:36 am (Pacific time)

I am not one to jump to conclusions without alot of evidence. When the BP in the gulf disaster happened, there were many articles about the end of the world, I didnt buy it. I knew it would hurt the environment, fish and so forth, but not the end of the world. Fukishima is a differnt story. I am greatly concerned. If that reactor thats hanging by a thread falls, well, its not good for the entire northern hemisphere. In fact, we are already getting higher doses of radiation than we should be.. I believe this is very serious. And the powers to be simply dont care. I am sending rain water samples to Portland to be tested for aluminum and baride (chemtrails), and celsium 134 and 137 (fukishima), I will get back to ya all on the results.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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