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Nearly 16 months after a monster earthquake off the coast of northern Japan led to extreme conditions in at least 6 of 10 nuclear reactor units on the coast of Fukushima province [Fukushima Daiichi and Daini], an independent investigation commissioned by Japan's parliament has released its report.

The report focused on the most publicized of the facilities, the 6-unit Fukushima I, a.k.a. Daiichi. Which suffered total meltdowns, explosions and melt-throughs in 3 units - including one using MOX plutonium fuel - plus explosion and fires at one that had its entire core in its spent fuel pool during maintenance when the earthquake occurred.

Daiichi further suffered total loss of coolant flow to 4 of 7 spent fuel pools loaded with more than 1500 tons of ridiculously radioactive spent fuel accumulated over 30+ years, and the situation is still quite far from being what could be considered "under control." The MOX unit [#3] is still so grossly contaminated that recovery workers and even robots can't get near it, while the #4 unit's spent fuel pool, which contained the reactor's current core at the time of the accident, is tilting, leaking, and barely held up with glorified house jacks 30 meters above the ground even as seismic activity in the area has increased ten-fold since March 11 of 2011.

The New York Times offers this summary in its lede paragraph:

The nuclear accident at Fukushima was a preventable disaster rooted in government-industry collusion and the worst conformist conventions of Japanese culture, a parliamentary inquiry concluded on Thursday.
Moreover, the report also concluded that the facilities at Daiichi may have been irreparably damaged by the earthquake itself well before the resulting tsunami arrived to take out the Emergency Diesel Generators providing backup power to vital systems.

In the introduction to the report, commission chairman Kiyoshi Kurokawa wrote…

"It was a profoundly man-made disaster that could and should have been foreseen and prevented. And its effects could have been mitigated by a more effective human response."
BBC offered more from Kurukawa's intro…
"Although triggered by these cataclysmic events, the subsequent accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant cannot be regarded as a natural disaster," it said.
The report further concluded that the disaster "was the result of collusion between the government, the regulators and Tepco" due to corruption leading to the failure of regulatory systems.

The report directly contradicted previous investigation findings, suggesting that the #1 reactor in particular "may have" been so damaged by the earthquake that its fate was sealed before the tsunami hit. This was of course reported many times since 3-11-11 by workers (including GE engineers on site when the earthquake occurred) and governmental whistleblowers, but this report makes it as 'official' as anything ever gets in Japanese culture. Even while placing blame on that very culture. Sigh. Only in Japan does such obvious criminal collusion generate polite 'suggestions' instead of scathing indictments.

Meanwhile, two of the reactors at Ohi were restarted last weekend despite massive protests in Tokyo, and ample, longstanding evidence that these GE reactors are so badly designed they are guaranteed to blow in any accident involving melted fuel.

This is the current update on nuclear happenings in Japan, as of today: July 5, 2012. And don't forget - the United States has 30 of these GE reactors in operation around the country, also guaranteed to blow in any accident involving melted fuel. It's inevitable that such a disaster will occur somewhere during the 20-year extensions to operational licensing the NRC has been passing out willy-nilly to these and all other plants operated by the U.S. nuclear industry. Is there a nuke within 50 miles of you?

…and if so, what do you plan to do about it?

Links:

CNN: Japanese parliament report: Fukushima nuclear crisis was 'man-made'
NYT: Commission Calls Fukushima Nuclear Crisis a Man-Made Disaster
BBC: Japan panel: Fukushima nuclear disaster 'man-made'
VoR: Flaws in US General Electric Reactors: Japan starts up after Fukushima

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Comment Preferences

  •  The nuclear industry (33+ / 0-)

    will fight tooth and nail against The Truth. That means we the people have to stand firm, find a way to shut the beast down in the interests of the future. Waste deadly for at least 10,000 years is already our bequeathment to our progeny, and they will not thank us for it. Let's not leave them a bigger mess...

  •  !6-ish months ago I read/learned a lot of that (10+ / 0-)

    here 1st via. Dkos diary authors and comment contributors.  (go figure)

    "Four more years!" (Obama Unencumbered - The Sequel)

    by jwinIL14 on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 01:42:17 PM PDT

    •  To all who got it right, take a well deserved bow. (6+ / 0-)

      "Four more years!" (Obama Unencumbered - The Sequel)

      by jwinIL14 on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 01:45:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks, jwinIL14. (11+ / 0-)

        It sure as heck hasn't been easy, as the concerted coverup of actual conditions at Fukushima was aided and abetted by the entire world's incestuous nuclear industry and all their pet regulators - our NRC/industry very much included.

        They are still very much included and backed by tens of millions of dollars' worth of pure PR throw-away funds. Thus guaranteeing that we will inevitably suffer major meltdowns, resulting public health effects and loss of valuable territory (essentially forever) when it happens here. And it will. Our NRC just decided in May that nuclear facilities, local and state governments no longer have to plan for public evacuations or do any training toward that end. Really.

        ...that means that when it DOES happen here, you and your family - along with your home and your land and whatever else you've got to your name - get sacrificed to the gods of Nuclear Corruption and Almighty Dollar.

        I sure as hell can't figure out how come all of us haven't yet risen up to overthrow this unholy cabal and all its equally sleazy energy tentacles in order to secure for ourselves and our progeny a future that might be worth living. Sigh.

        •  For emphasis: (7+ / 0-)
          Our NRC just decided in May that nuclear facilities, local and state governments no longer have to plan for public evacuations or do any training toward that end.
          One correction, I think, is that is wasn't in May the decision was made. It was last December, per the Seattle Pilot.

          It was in May, if I'm not conflating two separate actions by the NRC, that the AP, in the course of researching a series on nuclear safety, found out about the rulings, as the NRC had not issued any public notification as to the changes. The Nuclear Industry is as corrupt here as it is in Japan, it's all about the profits.

          Without fanfare, the nation's nuclear power regulators have overhauled community emergency planning for the first time in more than three decades, requiring fewer exercises for major accidents and recommending that fewer people be evacuated right away.

          Nuclear watchdogs voiced surprise and dismay over the quietly adopted revamp — the first since the program began after Three Mile Island in 1979. Several said they were unaware of the changes until now, though they took effect in December.

          In other words, the people who live around nuclear plants, especially the ever-more-embrittled ones given extensions past their planned lifetimes, can go fuck themselves.

          The non-press release alone is a proof of the corruption of the US arm of the business.


          The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

          by Jim P on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 02:37:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for that (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            randallt, Jim P

            correction, Jim. You know, I've got a link straight to the NRC daily incident reports and action notices that I check at least once a week, and I missed it last December. Probably too distracted with the D.C. Kabuki theater Issa and the gang were putting on with Jaczko.

            I really wanted to like him. But damn. He played his role well, so at least he was a good actor...

            •  But the NRC didn't post anything in Dec. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Joieau

              so you didn't miss it. They just instituted the change and didn't bother to tell the public! AP stumbled over it.

              We live in a time when King Corruption is not only out to do us in, it seems, but eager to do himself and the kids in as well.


              The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

              by Jim P on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 06:07:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It had to have been (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                freshwater dan, Jim P, nathanguy

                entered into the the record, or AP never would have discovered it. So yeah, I missed it. Distracted by Kabuki, I should have picked up on it long before AP did. Ah, well. Can't be everywhere all the time (reminds me of Firesign Theatre, which provided quite the 'secret language code' for nukes back in our Boomer days...

                How can you be in two places at once if you're not anywhere at all?

                The timing of this tells us something very significant about "lessons learned" - and actually acted upon - from the disaster at Fukushima. They certainly aren't ordering immediate retrofits and re-design to make our nukes more earthquake resistant, despite the science that demonstrates ALL our nukes are in much greater danger than previously believed. They're not shutting down GE Mark I and II rustbuckets now proven hideously dangerous. They are not allowing their own people on-site to monitor and act upon releases to the air and water, all that is done by the utility and NRC must accept their data unquestioned. They have not ordered EDG retrofits or replacements, increased battery capability, or even required spent fuel pool makeup/circulation or containment vent systems to be powered by EDG/battery power in the event of station blackout. Even though all these weaknesses were dramatically spotlighted by Fukushima. Instead, the shills staged a coup d'etat against Greg Jaczko and played it out on C-Span in full Technicolor 3D just before Christmas.

                If there's an accident in your neighborhood, you won't be told about it. Damned thing could melt and spew a mushroom cloud hundreds of feet into the sky and you'll still be told there's "no danger to the general public." The focus of attention these days isn't on terrorist dangers from abroad or at home. It's not about natural or man-made disasters. WE are the 'enemy' now. It's all about keeping us placidly corralled and duly drugged into submission, and if that can't be universally enforced they can always strip-search us and sexually molest our children when we [try to] travel.

                They don't mind if we die. The fact that so many of our nukes are built right next to major population centers is one big shrug. We, our children, our futures, our land, our homes, everything we have or ever hoped to have are all expendable for the corporate good. The sooner we come to terms with that reality, the sooner we can act to change it across all aspects of our lives.

                Don't look now, but it's getting dark outside. We don't have much time...

                •  That's about right. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Joieau

                  I joke that the preoccupation of the various elites is, no matter what they say in public, buying seats on the Earth-Escape Spaceships being built in an undisclosed location.

                  But I don't laugh.


                  The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

                  by Jim P on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 11:09:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Just wait, the next step will be to try to ban (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Joieau

                  the possession of geiger counters by the average person like was proposed in Japan (though never acted on)  Oh, and if you are thinking of getting one remember that they work best on beta (and alpha, if you get the right kind) radiation and are much less sensitive to gamma and x-rays (and nearly useless for neutron radiation).  Also don't forget to RTFM.

                  There is no saving throw against stupid.

                  by Throw The Bums Out on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 12:57:49 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Have a 35-year old Geiger (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Throw The Bums Out

                    that works pretty well, surprisingly enough, except for the clicker and alarm light. D batteries. Also have a desktop RM14 low level beta/gamma detector with pancake probe - plug-in.

                    I haven't gotten to play with any of the new model cell phone size b/g electronic detectors, don't know if they're as or more accurate than ion chamber models, but none are really all that accurate. Especially not for alpha.

                    Here in a sheltered, lee-side of the Blue Ridge, cut-off mountain cove, we were getting ~.15 mr/hr at 1 meter height, two to three times that at ground level from March 20 through April last year, triple that in the rain. That's not a terrible level if you aren't camping out in it, but knowing it was mostly iodine plus cesium/strontium convinced me to forego harvesting my spring crops. Fallowed most of the rest of the terraces, let the weeds absorb what they could and the rain take it out the drainage pathways down the mountain. 'Normal' background is low enough to factor dose only per month or year, clay shale here rather than granite so there's little radon. Some spots along the drainage are still relatively 'hot', I'll plant horseradish there one of these days to soak it up. At this point cesium/strontium, it'll be there for 300 years if I don't get it out. No hurry, really, no young children around.

                    But the very fact that fallout was measurable here that would present a real issue as constant exposure is... obscene. This wasn't from a 'rogue state' bomb test. It was from TEPCO's nukes in Fukushima. RadNet monitors in Oak Ridge, Charlotte and Raleigh pegged out, so EPA took them off-line. That's even more obscene.

        •  Great diary, Joieau. (8+ / 0-)

          Gee, where's the nuclear apoligists?  You know who.

          For those of us who understand the true devasation of Fukushima, it is no less soothing for the 'officials' to admit their failures.

          The NRC could quite frankly give a crap about you, me or the environment.  Apparently they must have some alter-planet for their off spring to inhabit someday.

          20 year extensions for nuclear plants designed w/30 year life spans that have recently reached that 30 year life.  The NRC is nucking futs.  Is there a problem with 1 year extentions?  5 yr?

          Oh, right, stupid me.  Profits would suffer.  And Nuck You investors demanding returns.

          My head is exploding.  Insane world.

          I'll be taking a break.  

          Love your work, J

          It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

          by War on Error on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 02:39:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I am so fortunate (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            War on Error, randallt

            that someone like you - and so many others here - do truly care, and know or will fearlessly find out what's wrong with this industry and all its support apparatuses in government and finance.

            Honestly, once you start tracing the overall corruption back from the tentacles to the very heart of the beast, it's clear exactly when it began and how it became cancerous. That heart is black as night - and it's nuclear.

            Thank you!

        •  30 miles down wind from GE Mark I (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis, Joieau, randallt, jeanette0605

          Our evacuation route has us driving directly to within a few miles of the Pilgrim reactor, just recently re licensed for ANOTHER TWENTY YEARS!

          Brilliant.

          Or, we can jump in the Atlantic and try to swim to safety.  

          Both options clearly suck.

          It has always seemed strange to me...The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. - John Steinbeck, Cannery Row

          by ovals49 on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 02:53:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I hear you! (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ovals49, randallt, jeanette0605

            We had a long, sordid and storied struggle with nukes in the wake of our investigation of TMI2 that took big bites out of our lives. Worse, not all of us lived to tell the tale. Then, just as we were finally starting to get back on our feet, our only son died horribly and we lost all heart.

            Left the city for these friendly mountains we've always loved so much, for healing, spiritual rejuvenation, and yet another episode of starting over. Now, since the ISS article for TMI 30th anniversary went viral a few years ago, and then Fukushima, we had no choice (really, given who we are) but to once again throw caution to the wind and jump right back in. For what it's worth...

            Which in the end has always been our own souls, not anybody else's. We're old now, don't have that much longer to play games on this planet. If ever I have to look The Man/God in the face and account for my life, I want to be able to at the very least say - in all heartfelt honesty - I tried.

            Our place is as remote as you can get in this country from a nuke if you don't want to live in some obscure corner of the midwestern plains. Still, we're just over a hundred miles downwind of Oak Ridge, about 200 miles downwind of Browns Ferry (that one's gonna blow first, I'd bet money), and 150 miles downwind of Savanna River. The Power has arranged things thusly, and we're all pretty much stuck. That's why we need to get together and put an end to it.

        •  many at DKos contributed to the coverup (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joieau

          the writers who insisted there was no meltdown,

          the writers who insisted containment was preserved

          the writers who insisted this must be hysteria because
          the NYTimes didn't publish this.

          the writers who insisted the Japanese government was
          doing the right thing.

          the writers who insisted the US Govt was doing the right thing

          the writers who said any criticism of Tepco or Noda was racist.

          •  In truth, nathanguy, (0+ / 0-)

            you sort of have to grok the mindset and worldview of the True Believer. And the insular culture of nuclear energy (all levels) is really almost monastery-like in its exclusivity. They are all True Believers or they couldn't participate in the rites (have jobs). It's been that way since the beginning, of course, though there was a period there when the 'recruits' coming fresh out of Rickover's Navy - during a period of draft and a dirty war some who lost student deferments escaped by joining Rickover's Navy - weren't really as trustworthy to be actual True Believers as might have been hoped by the priesthood. For some, it was just a job in a tight market when they got out. And on the level of worker and public health/safety, some of 'em took THAT way more seriously than they ever took the golem itself.

            It can be difficult to let go of a faith, even when reality smacks you right in the face with its falsehood. Humans are nothing if not King Self-Justifiers. We don't really change much unless we have no other choices. Some won't even do it then. Harlow Shapely defended the Steady State Universe with considerable ruthlessness right up until he couldn't defend it anymore because the young bucks weren't buying it. Big Bang then took over and has pretty much ruled ever since, but Shapley died believing. Humans can be that stubborn. Nukes display this quality (or deficit) as well.

            I think some defenders here were defending in good faith their own misconceptions and reluctance to Face the Beast in all its horror. They aren't hopeless, they are simply having a hard time adjusting to the ugly truth. I do have some pity for that, hope you do too.

            ...though it doesn't make them less wrong. They will adjust their worldview or not. I try to deal with them as human when I can, and humans are not anywhere close to perfect.

      •  I appreciate all that the bloggers here have done (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joieau, randallt, leu2500, nathanguy

        to keep us informed about what is really going on in Fukishima and about the danger to us here in the U.S.  I live just on the edge of the fifty mile radius of a nuclear power site and if it was not for the bloggers here I wouldn't have a clue about how much trouble we could be in should something go wrong.

        The shrill and frantic tone of the pro nuclear posts has convinced me more than anything about how bad the nuclear industry is.  I have watched some of you be attacked over and over when you try to get the word out.  I know it's been hard on you guys but actually it's a validation far more than a repudiation.

        Thanks.

        •  Thank you so much, jeanette! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jeanette0605, leu2500

          What you say is so true, yet overlooked so often. Sort of like we're blinded to the most obvious things (there's a Higgs/mass/gravity allusion here somewhere, I'm sure). So much a part of the "way things are" that we never think to even ask.

          If the nukes were truly as smart as they wish everybody believed they are, they'd have figured it out long ago. Strangely enough (or not), I doubt they ever will.

  •  I want to add my thanks to the bloggers. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau, jeanette0605

    I have learned much reading about the Fukushima situation and about the nuclear power industry. I  appreciate you, Joieau, and all of the others.

  •  We need to shut down every last damn Mark 1 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau

    reactor in the country.

    Next we need to shut down Vt. Yankee, San Onofre, Dibalo Canyon, and Indian Point.

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