The "more political thread" besides "Japan Earthquake: nuclear plants" scientific one


by jlduh
Tags: scientific
jlduh
jlduh is offline
#1
Mar31-11, 09:07 AM
P: 468
As agreed with PF Mentor Borek, i start this new thread which intends to be a complement to the big and permanently updated "Japan Earthquake: nuclear plants" thread (which started here: http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=480200 ).

This new thread is created so anybody can posts messages, infos and reflexions about what can be described as more "political bits" around the technical and scientific discussion which will continue to take place in the other thread. So everything of interest which can be considered as a little bit to political with the risk of adding confusion on the other thread can have some place here, with moderation still existing of course.

Political doesn't mean in my mind it is intended to become a mess with unpolite or irrelevant "trolling": it is supposed to stay as respectful of any intervention as long as they cite sources of informations and express in polite ways the opinion of everybody, whatever these opinions are. The aim is to build a source of infos on the "arounds" of the accident development and hopefully, considering the importance of the event in Japan, develop a real constructive (even animated!) debate. Subjects can be around the way Tepco, or autorities, release infos (on measurements, upcoming events...), and take some decisions (for example about evacuations related to risks elements, management of the situation...). It can also be around the implications for nuclear industry, in terms of safety or future development, about decisions made by governments on this matter. And i think on even more subjects! PLEASE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN DOCUMENT YOUR OPINIONS, AND SOURCE THE INFOS OR NEWS YOU GIVE (link to source). Visions from "insiders" or "outsiders" of nuke industry are welcome. Visions from INSIDERS FROM JAPAN are also welcomed of course!

The usefulness of this thread is to keep concentrated on facts and analysis of scientific matters on the other thread while having a place to discuss, as i said, more about the "big picture" around the accident in Fukushima (and this can and will also involve scientific and technical matters of course!).

You will find below my first post on this thread (I'm french so excuse my english if you see some mistakes!), which explains also why this "Big Picture" might have an influence on more analytical scientific work, which obviously is based mainly on released elements from Tepco and authorities, and this "material", at some point will (and maybe already has) some political elements in its content or in the way it is released or presented by the sources.

I'll be absent for two weeks starting this Saturday so if you don't see me it doesn't mean that i don't care but just that i will not have access to the net for 2 weeks (so I'll have 100 pages to read coming back!).

I just want to add that these threads about the accident have a second very important usefulness in my opinion, which will appear with time: it will become a quite complete and comprehensive diairy, hours after hours and days after days, of the events, of the data, of the articles and links, of the declarations and official releases, and this will be of even a bigger usefulness with some time because it will help people to draw an "after the fact picture" of "what happened" in the Fukushima accident and around it...

It will show also the possible (understandable or less understandable, time will tell) errors, misconceptions or contradictions, made by Tepco, authorities and... us as we write as contributors here! And this will be also important after the facts to see the "evolution of the film". Don't misinterpret my wording which is only a style figure: i know this has nothing to do with a movie for those on the ground of course... But let's hope the "film" will not be a bad ending story and that it will be not to long- but i doubt a bit on this last one...

PRACTICAL ADVICE:

PLEASE SOURCE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN WITH LINKS. IF A COMMENT IS RELATED TO A POST ON THE OTHER SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL THREAD ABOUT FUKUSHIMA SITUATION, PLEASE LINK TO THE SPECIFIC POST NUMBER (the link to individual posts is obtained by clicking on the number of the specific post, for example this one is #1 on the top right part of the subject: click on it and the new page that opens with the post will give you the direct link to copy for reference). This will help cross reference between the two threads!
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jlduh
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#2
Mar31-11, 09:11 AM
P: 468
As I saw in the last days that some contributors (ok, including me!) in the main Fukushima thread are getting a little more "political" in their comments even those who have had strong scientific approach until now, i would like to comment on some recent remarks and infos:

1) Yes, the way autorities communicates is strange, unclear, misleading. The subject of evacuations is and will become more and more controversial as other infos like those from IAEA about evacuation criterias arrive in the game... Put you into the shoes of somebody leaving, for example, in the area of Litate villlage and i think you could have this impression too. To me this seems to show that there is lack of cooperation between them (IAEA and TEPCO and some japanese autorities), and also probably some gap between their positions (not to say there may be rising tensions). I see Anne Lauvergeon (CEO of Areva) is going to Japan, and all this let me think that the all industry (so also IAEA) is smelling, day after day more, the "bad smoke" that is going around this accident. There is huge money and interests behind this desaster, and this will add for sure to the confusion and possibly tensions between various interests and actors (because in addition there is also competition within the industry!). AT some point, i think conceivable that if the smoke smells really bad, cooperation could really turn to conflict between the japanese (Tepco and japanese autorities) and international players, for the simple fact that if the accident becomes a "very bad accident" -whatever you define it- in the mind of more and more public opinions, a possible option by the nuke industry will be to put the blame on TEPCO and japanese autorities for their lack of transparence, reactivity and even for bad decisions, so to show that this a Japanese responsability if this becomes worse. Remember what has bee told with the Tchernobyl catastroph (we are different, they were russians an that explains the mess). I foresee possible trend towards something similar if "smoke" is getting smelling really bad. And i think this has to be also debated here because we don't have access here on pure scientific infos to do the analysis (think so would be a myth!), we have mainly access on bits of infos officially released by one or another player, this is completely different! So knowing how and possibly why those players are saying this or that is important to properly do the analysis here, and to put some "uncertainty factor" into them...

2) Yes, this question of recriticality (major or even local) is also fuzzy and yes it is strange that 3 weeks after the beginning, there is not a clear statement based on quite basic measurements about this. I see expressed by IAEA experts the concerns about radioactive Chlorine showing possible re-criticality, and i must admit that this forum is SEVREAL DAYS AHEAD that kind of statements, as very quickly, based upon LIMITED INFOS, some specialists here put some strong elements together to say that something like that was probably occuring at some point!

I think that when science leads to some conclusions and that these conclusion seem to appear only later on in official statements, or appear in misleading or uncomplete terms, or don't even appear, then I think even real scientifics can adress this and become a little bit political without "trolling"?

Then, this is not political opinions based only on smoke, this is political based on the analysis of smoke with an eye opened on the possible "big picture"!
jlduh
jlduh is offline
#3
Apr1-11, 02:40 AM
P: 468
Again, this gives an idea of the level of unpreparation for a major accident. If it a question o cost of investment this is silly (these dosimeters are costless in comparison with what we talk about of course). The second problem is that they endanger the safety of their workers and did it against the standards ad the regulations, ONCE AGAIN. THis gives a highly unprofessionnal image of their management... and TEPCO is one of the World Leaders of energy producers, especially in nuclear plants.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/01_24.html

TEPCO reprimanded over sloppy radiation checks
Japan's nuclear safety agency has reprimanded Tokyo Electric Power Company over its failure to ensure the safety of workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant due to shortages of radiation monitors.Friday, April 01, 2011 13:30 +0900 (JST)
Does somebody know how this new dosimeter affair came to the ears of the Japanese Safety Agency (the article doesn't say it). It is not said that Tepco told them, so I wonder if this was again hidden by Tepco and for some reason revealed after the fact?

To me this is unbelievable to see such hidden practices, especially when we know the amount of frauds Tepco did in the last 10 years.

jlduh
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#4
Apr1-11, 02:57 AM
P: 468

The "more political thread" besides "Japan Earthquake: nuclear plants" scientific one


Ok a little bit more info on this below. Now we know that the revelation came from one worker (who maybe called the NHK?) who explained its worries: “I do not know how much I was irradiated and I told TEPCO about my worries.”

Every day 180 workers did not have any dosimeter (not clear from when to when, though)!

http://www.majiroxnews.com/2011/04/0...-nuke-workers/

Investigation: Did TEPCO Endanger Nuke Workers?
04/01/2011 By majiroxnews


Up to 180 TEPCO workers per day were not provided with radiation dosimeters. There were only 320 dosimeters out of 5,000 available after the earthquake and tsunami. TEPCO gave one to each group leader.

Kazuo Yamanaka, section chief of TECPCO, said, “We apologize to those people who were axious about being exposed to radiation.”
This gives by the way a better idea of the conditions in which workers were operating on site after the accident. I woudn't be surprised that a fair number of these workers were from subcontractors, as we know that in the first days this has been also mentionned against Tepco to use mainly subcontractors for the first operations.

And recent info confirm this is an ongoing management scheme:

http://www.blindbatnews.com/2011/03/...-even-now/2162

Kyodo News reporting that sub-contracting, and even sub-sub-contracting, is rampant at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, and is playing a major role in the problems there.

Kyodo News interviewed one of the workers that was sent to the hospital with Beta Burns last week. It turns out the worker is a sub-sub-contractor. He said the reason they didn’t have protective gear is the fact that TEPCO has a lack of communication with its sub contractors. Tokyo Electric calls its sub-contractors ”associate enterprises.”
For those interested, an old documentary NUCLEAR GINZA (1995) about some aspects of nuclear industry structure in Japan (pyramidal structure with sub-contractors hiring poors at the bottom). Did it evolve is the question.

http://www.sott.net/articles/show/22...clear-industry
jlduh
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#5
Apr1-11, 04:20 AM
P: 468
More on the real life of these workers, here:

http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2011/03/81697.html

FOCUS: Courageous workers at troubled nuclear plant endure tough conditions
FUKUSHIMA, Japan, March 29, Kyodo

Each of the employees of Tokyo Electric Power Co. and other workers engaged in containing damage at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is given 30 survival food crackers and a 180 milliliter pack of vegetable juice for breakfast after getting up just before 6 a.m.

Around 400 workers including subcontractors are working there and are given just two meals per day, according to Kazuma Yokota, an official of the government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

Yokota stayed at the nuclear power plant damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami for five days through March 26 to check on progress in the ongoing operations.==Kyodo
jlduh
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#6
Apr1-11, 04:55 AM
P: 468
About decisions of japan nuclear watchdog not to evacuate further (20kms ordered, 20 to 30kms volunteerly) despite the recent IAEA statements...

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/31_34.html
Nuclear watchdog defends its decision
Japan's nuclear safety watchdog says it sees no reason to change the zone for which the government advised residents to stay indoors or evacuate voluntarily.

The Nuclear Safety Commission made the remark to reporters on Thursday, following reports by the IAEA that radiation levels twice as high as its criterion for evacuation were detected in soil at a village outside the zone.Thursday, March 31, 2011 19:37 +0900 (JST)
jlduh
jlduh is offline
#7
Apr1-11, 05:22 AM
P: 468
Tepco announces that "all data on radiation leaked from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant" will have to reviewed because of "mistakes in the program"!

I won't comment to much, but for sure, scientific analysis can only lead to reliable conclusions IF source data are reliable. Which obviously some of them are not, for various reasons.

It starts to be an addition of a lot of "mistakes" for one of the 4 world leaders of Energy industry...

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/01_28.html

Program errors force TEPCO to review all data
Tokyo Electric Power Company says it will review all data on radiation leaked from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, citing errors in a computer program.

The utility says it found errors in the program used to analyze radioactive elements and their levels, after some experts noted that radiation levels of leaked water inside the plant were too high.
jlduh
jlduh is offline
#8
Apr1-11, 05:28 AM
P: 468
A big thanks to CAINNECH for its first posting on the forum (on the main scientific PF thread), he found the original and complete article from Kyodo News that is cited above about the declaration of workers about the reality of subcontractors on the site.

I post it here also:

http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2011/03/82005.html


FOCUS: Subcontractor questions safety management at Fukushima nuclear plant
TOKYO, March 30, Kyodo

A worker who engaged in efforts to regain control of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has questioned safety precautions taken by the operator for workers, citing, for instance, a lack of supervision of radiation monitoring when three workers were exposed to high levels of radiation last week.

In a recent interview with Kyodo News, the man, hired by a sub-subcontractor of plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co., expressed surprise about the three workers who were working with their feet submerged in contaminated water, saying, ''We don't normally work in water.''==Kyodo
Evo
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#9
Apr1-11, 10:10 AM
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P: 25,944
We already have a thread on this in Politics and World affairs.

http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=480017
rasherz
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#10
Apr1-11, 11:58 AM
P: 8
For those of us living in Japan, this thread is invaluable, thank you. There's so much hype on one side and so much down play by people in the nuclear industry (not all of them), that we really don't know what to think any more. Sorry Evo, but I think this needs a dedicated thread, considering what's happening. Can everyone please try to keep scare-mongering to a minimum and stick to facts though? I understand this is a scientific forum, but things are a little corporate and political right now too.
GUS
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#11
Apr3-11, 09:49 AM
P: 42
This is a request for help from Mayor of Minami Soma City:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70ZHQ...layer_embedded

Personally , despite the fact that radiation isnt off the scale in the city yet, I find it unbelievable the government isnt helping them especially after the IEAAs recent report that radiation levels were at unsafe levels over 40 km away from Fukishima and this city is only 20km away.
The sense is very much is that the Japanese government is in denial of the figures, refuses to enlarge the evacuation zone (to save face ????????) or acknowledge the extent of the problem and has basically abandoned these people . Extrodinary behaviour and possibly illegal ?
rasherz
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#12
Apr4-11, 10:04 AM
P: 8
Quote Quote by GUS View Post
This is a request for help from Mayor of Minami Soma City:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70ZHQ...layer_embedded

Personally , despite the fact that radiation isnt off the scale in the city yet, I find it unbelievable the government isnt helping them especially after the IEAAs recent report that radiation levels were at unsafe levels over 40 km away from Fukishima and this city is only 20km away.
The sense is very much is that the Japanese government is in denial of the figures, refuses to enlarge the evacuation zone (to save face ????????) or acknowledge the extent of the problem and has basically abandoned these people . Extrodinary behaviour and possibly illegal ?
This was linked in the main thread but it leaves a lot of questions unanswered about the handling of the crisis
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/04_10.html
jlduh
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#13
Apr26-11, 01:51 AM
P: 468
NHK is revaaling this info that none at the government knew of any risk of hydrogen explosions at the reactors buildings before it happened at nį1 (should be a good political subject to revive this specific thread and post other political subjects!):

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/26_10.html

Hosono said he was not aware of a single nuclear expert who warned of the risk of a hydrogen blast following the venting operation. He said nitrogen inside the reactor container was supposed to prevent such explosions.

Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company also told reporters that hydrogen is supposed to be processed within the containment vessel, and that such an explosion is not assumed in a reactor building.
That's a very strange statement to say the least...
AntonL
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#14
Apr26-11, 03:19 AM
P: 521
Quote Quote by jlduh View Post
NHK is revaaling this info that none at the government knew of any risk of hydrogen explosions at the reactors buildings before it happened at nį1 (should be a good political subject to revive this specific thread and post other political subjects!):

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/26_10.html
Hosono said he was not aware of a single nuclear expert who warned of the risk of a hydrogen blast following the venting operation. He said nitrogen inside the reactor container was supposed to prevent such explosions.

Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company also told reporters that hydrogen is supposed to be processed within the containment vessel, and that such an explosion is not assumed in a reactor building.

That's a very strange statement to say the least...
Not so strange they are just defending themselves against russian nuclear scientist allegations that the disaster was predictable

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/natio...na023000c.html
Danuta
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#15
Apr26-11, 02:23 PM
P: 100
Meh. More disillusion with the industry.

In Japanís Nuclear Nexus, Safety Is Left Out

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/27/wo...collusion.html
sp2
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#16
Apr26-11, 08:23 PM
P: 46
Quote Quote by Danuta View Post
Meh. More disillusion with the industry.

In Japanís Nuclear Nexus, Safety Is Left Out

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/27/wo...collusion.html
I was about to post that story, but you beat me to it.

I posted, a couple of weeks back, to the effect that the Japanese regulators were obviously in the pocket of the Japanese utilities, and that the people of Japan --not to mention the rest of the world-- were paying an awful price for that sickening corruption.

Moderator Borek deleted my post, as he thought it was out of line.

I don't know how anybody who reads this story (really, anybody who reads, *period*) could possibly disagree with that assessment.

This is the price of 'Regulatory Capture.'

Ugly.
Danuta
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#17
Apr26-11, 08:43 PM
P: 100
sp2, I had a post deleted today by someone also. I'll have to chalk it up to the one line I wrote being out of line.

Corruption, it is everywhere.

edit: oops, my last new line reads iffy. I mean that about the TEPCO fiasco.
MiceAndMen
MiceAndMen is offline
#18
Apr26-11, 10:27 PM
P: 276
New article up at the New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/27/wo...pagewanted=all

Collusion flows the other way, too, in a lesser-known practice known as amaagari, or ascent to heaven. Because the regulatory panels meant to backstop the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency lack full-time technical experts, they depend largely on retired or active engineers from nuclear-industry-related companies. They are unlikely to criticize the companies that employ them.
More and more reports are surfacing now about the level of corruption surrounding Japan's nuclear industry. They have a lot to hide.


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