Day 499 “Bungled operation” and “botched initial handling of the crisis”

Fukushima disaster caused by human error that could have been prevented: gov’t panel

A final report released July 23 by a government panel investigating the ongoing nuclear crisis in Fukushima has concluded that the disaster could have been prevented.

The Investigation Committee on the Accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Stations of Tokyo Electric Power Company zeroed in not only on the missteps of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the operator of the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, and the Japanese government following the onset of the nuclear disaster, but also on pre-disaster efforts and the organizational and societal backdrop against which the disaster broke out.

What has emerged, as a result, is the conclusion that the disaster was not caused by tsunami of unanticipated proportions, but by human error.

The committee placed its emphasis not on pinpointing who is responsible for the disaster, but on preventing future incidents to draw out honest testimony from those involved. Because of this, the panel’s final report differs from that of the Diet’s Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC), in that it refrains from using the term “jinsai,” or man-made calamity.

Other phrasing in the report also betrayed the panel’s cautiousness, including: “It is difficult to assess whether the hydrogen explosions could have been prevented if the cooling capacity of reactors had been restored at an earlier time.”

Despite such circumspect language, however, in bringing up the plant’s bungled operation and the administration’s botched initial handling of the crisis, the report hints at the likelihood that much of the damage could have been prevented if the main players had acted differently.

The report elaborates upon the fact that TEPCO officials had failed to take precautionary measures even though they had been aware of the possibility of massive tsunami hitting the plant. But such a pre-disaster approach was not limited to TEPCO. It extended to the way nuclear regulatory bodies took — or failed to take — on their roles.

In June 1993, the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan (NSC) compiled a report on station blackout (SBO), which refers to a state in which a nuclear plant has lost power. However, according to the investigative panel’s findings, the report had been based on a write-up by TEPCO on why a long-term SBO was implausible, a document the NSC itself had requested.

The panel viewed this as problematic, stating in the report: “While the NSC did not completely copy off of TEPCO’s response (to its request), the content remains similar. Requesting a document from a power company was inappropriate action for a regulatory body to take.”


Meanwhile, the reactivation of two reactors at the Oi Nuclear Power Plant this month brought Japan’s non-nuclear period to an end after two months. Both the government and power companies say they’ve taken the measures necessary to prevent a crisis similar to the one still unfolding in Fukushima. However, the Oi restarts have taken place before completion of probes into the slapdash manner in which fault screenings were conducted where nuclear plants currently stand, and before the Oi plant’s quake-proof administrative buildings — which would serve as command and restoration headquarters in the case of an accident — were ready for operations.

July 23, 2012(Mainichi Japan)

Read the entire article at:

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Government Commission’s Final Report on #Fukushima Nuke Accident Blames Government, Experts, TEPCO

The investigation commission on the Fukushima accident set up by the Cabinet Office of the government has just issued its final report.

You can download your own copy from this page, but the main report in English has to wait.

This commission conducted the investigation and carried out interviews with people involved since the start of the nuclear accident in March last year in private, unlike the National Diet commission who also released its final report recently.

Some have criticized the government commission for not making its sessions open to public. I don’t think it is necessarily a bad thing. The National Diet commission should be applauded for its openness and its highly critical final report (anyone reading?), but in some of the public testimonies of the commission that I watched it was rather a place for the expert commissioners to display (or show off) their expertise and knowledge of the nuclear issues in general.

So, will there be information only obtainable in the closed sessions? We’ll find out, but someone at Jiji Tsushin has clearly been assigned to read the voluminous report, and he/she has been putting up short articles. Judging from these articles, the government investigation commission is just as critical, if not way more, as the Diet investigation commission. Some of the points from Jiji articles (7/23/2012, here, here and here, in Japanese):

Article continues at:

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Government panel issues Fukushima accident report

A government panel investigating the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant says the operator of the plant lacked a sense of crisis and imagination for possible tsunami. It says Tokyo Electric Power Company should realize that Japan is prone to natural disasters and change its attitude toward disaster-preparedness.

The panel of government-appointed experts submitted its final report on Monday.

The report criticized the way the utility handled the accident at the Daiichi plant.

Article continues at:

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★7.29 Human Chain Action Against The Diet Building For A Nuclear Free World

Encircle the Diet on Sunday, July 29 2012.

More info at:



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Nuclear accident report calls for better administrative system after patients’ deaths

A government panel investigating the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant has criticized a lack of communication between authorities that resulted in evacuation delays and insufficient medical treatment for patients at a Fukushima Prefecture hospital, ultimately leading to many patients’ deaths.

Article continues at:

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¥150,000,000 (€1,583,593; £1235216, $1,919,655).

To preserve a dead TREE??????????????

‘Miracle pine’ preservation plan questioned over ¥150 million cost


RIKUZENTAKATA, Iwate Pref. — A plan by Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, to preserve the “miracle pine” that survived last year’s tsunami has sparked controversy over its ¥150 million cost.

News photo
Still standing: The only pine tree to survive the tsunami that hit the scenic coastline of Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, in March 2011, is shown on May 25 the same year.YOSHIAKI MIURA

In the Takatamatsubara pine forest, a coastal sightseeing spot in the city, only one tree survived the gigantic waves of March 11, 2011. It was later confirmed dead this May after saltwater rotted its roots.

To preserve it, the city plans to cut it down, treat it with preservatives, insert a metal core and put it back where it stood. The work is scheduled to begin in late August and to end by March 11, 2013, the second anniversary of the quake and tsunami that devastated Tohoku’s coastline.

About ¥3.5 million has been donated to the city government for the project.

Article continues at:

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From ENENEWS at:

Japan Gov’t Officials: “Infinite” damage can be caused by a nuclear power accident -NHK (VIDEO)


Title: Lawmakers in Japan outline denuclearization bill

Source: NHK World
Date: July 22, 2012

Former Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan and other governing party lawmakers have announced an outline of a bill that would end Japan’s reliance on nuclear energy by 2025.

The draft outline says nuclear power generation could lead to infinite damages in the event of an accident. It adds that lack of final disposal measures will end up leaving future generations piles of radioactive waste.


The secretary general of the governing Democratic Party, Azuma Koshiishi, has been asking Kan to compile a plan on future energy sources.


More on the Draft

  • Reducing the number of operating nuclear power plants to zero
  • Promotion of solar, wind, and other sources of renewable energy to cut carbon dioxide emissions
  • Mandates the central government to create jobs in communities that host nuclear plants

Watch the video here

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More stories from ENENEWS:

‘Growing concern’ over worker shortages at Fukushima Daiichi by gov’t and Tepco -AP

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Japanese Journalist: “Do they want to kill children? I can’t forgive — Adults in Tokyo are insane — I can’t let it happen”

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AP: Fukushima radiation cover-up “believed to be part of a widespread practice at the plant”



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Video from 2011…

Nuclear Worker: There’s been some people dying, young guys, of some weird cancers (VIDEO)

Interview with former General Electric nuclear plant inspector Kei Sugaoka
Uploaded by laborvideo
Filmed May 5, 2011
Uploaded Jun 6, 2011
Emphasis Added

At 35:45 in

Sugaoka: My friend the contractor, he works as like an assistant HP at the plant, one of the things he was telling me was he says, ‘Kei there’s been some people dying, young guys, of some weird cancers.’

And I says, ‘You know maybe radiation is [?] as safe as people think it is,’ I told him.

We were going back into Taipei [Taiwan] for dinner, and he says, ‘You know Kei don’t bring that up with Michael Chang, Michael Chang is the head of the division of the HP section… at both units.’

I said, ‘Don’t worry I won’t bring that up, but thanks for letting me know’… (Shrugs Shoulders)

I can’t say for sure, ‘Yes that person died of radiaton,’ but when he tells me its puzzling him thatnormal healthy people are dying at a young age, maybe radiation effects their genes differently.

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Some great photographs of the protests on July 1st against the restart of the Oi NPP over at FukushimaDiary:



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