Cherry Blossoms, in some parts of Japan no one will see them for a long time
Follow the pictures to see the type of nuclear reactor that is causing the problems in Japan



Photographs from helicopter after the tsunami hit the coast and the nuclear reactors at Fukushima Daiichi


SINGAPORE | Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:22am EST

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The company at the center of a nuclear reactor crisis following the biggest earthquake in Japan's recorded history has had a rocky past in an industry plagued by scandal.

The Japanese government said on Saturday that there had been radiation leakage at Tokyo Electric Power's (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi plant following an explosion there.

The blast came as TEPCO was working desperately to reduce pressures in the core of a reactor at the 40-year-old plant, which lies 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo.

In 2002, the president of the country's largest power utility was forced to resign along with four other senior executives, taking responsibility for suspected falsification of nuclear plant safety records.

The company was suspected of 29 cases involving falsified repair records at nuclear reactors. It had to stop operations at five reactors, including the two damaged in the latest tremor, for safety inspections.

A few years later it ran into trouble again over accusations of falsifying data.

In late 2006, the government ordered TEPCO to check past data after it reported that it had found falsification of coolant water temperatures at its Fukushima Daiichi plant in 1985 and 1988, and that the tweaked data was used in mandatory inspections at the plant, which were completed in October 2005.

And in 2007, TEPCO reported that it had found more past data falsifications, though this time it did not have to close any of its plants.
(Written by Jonathan Thatcher)


Comments by the editor of this site are in green.

These nuclear reactors were built about 13 years before the Chernobyl nuclear reactors and it is 25 years since the horrors of Chernobyl became known to the world. One would think that Chernobyl would have been a lesson to everyone.

No one would think that either of these accidents were made purposely. But there must have been factors that contributed to these horrors. In Japan's case it may have been only the tsunami that was the final cause. Look at Japan in relation to the junction of the Pacific Plate, the Philippine Plate, the North American Plate and the Eurasian Plate.

Why would anyone build a nuclear reactor near the sea shore in a place so subject to earth quakes and tsunamis? Financial greed, ignorance, stupidity—take your pick but be assured that whoever made these decisions will not be amongst the ones who suffer, among the thousands, the tens of thousands or the millions of people who will suffer for years or die.



Fukushima 'much bigger than Chernobyl', says Russian nuclear activist

From: AFP April 02, 2011 7:27AM

Source: The Australian

JAPAN'S unfolding nuclear disaster is "much bigger than Chernobyl" and could rewrite the international scale used to measure the severity of atomic accidents, a Russian expert says.

"Chernobyl was a dirty bomb explosion. The next dirty bomb is Fukushima and it will cost much more in economic and human terms," Natalia Mironova said.

Ms Mironova is a thermodynamic engineer who became a leading anti-nuclear activist in Russia in the wake of the accident at the Soviet-built reactor in Ukraine in 1986.

"Fukushima is much bigger than Chernobyl," she said, adding that the Japanese nuclear crisis was likely to eclipse Chernobyl on the seven-point international scale used to rate nuclear disasters.

Chernobyl, which a 2005 report by UN bodies including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) called "the most severe in the history of the nuclear power industry", was ranked a seven on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES).

But Japan's ongoing crisis, triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami three weeks ago which took down the main electricity and back-up power supplies needed to power cooling systems at several reactors at Fukushima, could be "even higher" on the INES scale, she said.

"Chernobyl was level seven and it had only one reactor and lasted only two weeks. We have now three weeks (at Fukushima) and we have four reactors which we know are in very dangerous situations," she said.

Japan's nuclear safety agency has maintained its rating of the Fukushima accident at four, while a French watchdog has upgraded it to six.

Chernobyl's death toll is hotly debated. UN agencies estimate up to 9000 people could be expected to die as a direct consequence of the accident, and the disaster will end up costing hundreds of billions of dollars.

Environmental groups such as Greenpeace say up to 100,000 people could die.

Ms Mironova is touring the US with other Russian anti-nuclear activists, including Tatiana Muchamedyarova and Natalia Manzurova, who worked as a "liquidator", or emergency clean-up and recovery worker, at Chernobyl.

Their visit was originally planned to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl meltdown, which occurred on April 26, 1986.

But in the wake of the disaster in Japan, Ms Mironova and her colleagues rewrote their presentations to compare the accident at Chernobyl with Fukushima.


The following statements are replicas of the sentiments expressed by Russian authorities.

March 12th, 2011 Written by Shane Connor

'For everyone, though…they risk unnecessary panic that could become even more widespread than the fallout itself.'

This statement by a reporter was promulgated to his considerable profit. He quotes no expertise in the field, perhaps he Googled it, but it was used by the following:

Newspapers: NYTimes, Wall Street Journal, USAToday, Washington Post, Boston Globe, SF Chronicle, Newsday, WND, IEEE Spectrum, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, National Defense Magazine, TIME Magazine.

Telivision: CNN, FOX, CBS, CNN.

Radio: NPR.


Another reporter.

Radioactive Fallout From Japan


Date: 03/18/2011 Written by: Jon Barron.

Fear is the Mind Killer

'Since I first wrote about the nuclear disaster in Japan, many things have changed—and yet little has changed. By that I mean there have been countless breaking news stories and changing events appearing hour by hour. Panic is spreading. There has been a worldwide rush on iodine supplies. Stories have broken that workers have fled the nuclear plants. Then stories appeared saying that was a mistranslation of Japanese press releases. Then we learned that workers have returned to the nuclear plants, fighting to regain control of the situation. Today we learned that alert levels have risen from Level 4 to Level 5. And television broadcast after television broadcast informs us that radioactive death clouds have rolled across the Pacific Ocean raining terror down on confused citizens in the US.'

May God forgive you both



Perhaps we would do well to read a poem written by an observer of the Chernobyl explosion, a Russian resident in Pripyat whose name is Lyubov Sirota. She is very ill now.

Here is a photograph of her, taken not long before the Chernobyl 'accident'.


Is this only—a fear of radiation?
Perhaps rather—a fear of wars?
Perhaps—the dread of betrayal,
cowardice, stupidity, lawlessness?
The time has come to sort out
what is—radiophobia.
It is—
when those who've gone through the Chernobyl drama
refuse to submit
to the truth meted out by government ministers
('Here, you swallow exactly this much today!')
We will not be resigned
to falsified ciphers,
base thoughts,
however you brand us!
We don't wish—and don't you suggest it!—
to view the world through bureaucratic glasses!
We're too suspicious!
And, understand, we remember
each victim just like a brother!…
Now we look out at a fragile Earth
through the panes of abandoned buildings.
These glasses no longer deceive us!—
These glasses show us more clearly—
believe me—
the shrinking rivers,
poisoned forests,
children born not to survive…
Mighty uncles, what have you dished out
beyond bravado on television?
How marvelously the children have absorbed
radiation, once believed so hazardous!…
(It's adults who suffer radiophobia—
for kids is it still adaptation?)
What has become of the world
if the most humane of professions
has also turned bureaucratic?
may you be omnipresent!
Not waiting until additional jolts,
new tragedies,
have transformed more thousands
who survived the inferno
into seers—
Radiophobia might cure
the world
of carelessness, satiety, greed,
bureaucratism and lack of spirituality,
so that we don't, through someone's good will
mutate into non-humankind.

Translated from the Russian by Leonid Levin and Elisavietta Ritchie

Comments by Elena Filatova on Fukushima catastrophe - Link