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

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/genpatsu-...927/index.html The Cabinet's investigation committee was officially disbanded as of 28 September. As unclear points are remaining, in its final report (1) it said the investigation must go on. It is viewed that the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) will play a central role, but no concrete framework has been decided yet. It is necessary to urgently decide one.

(1) http://icanps.go.jp/eng/final-report.html Full English translation now available.

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 Quote by tsutsuji http://naiic.go.jp/wp-content/upload...ort_lo_res.pdf 19/88: "Others were forced to move multiple times, resulting in increased stress and health risks—including deaths among seriously ill patients." (also quoted by the BBC at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-18718486 ) http://naiic.go.jp/wp-content/upload...ort_lo_res.pdf 38/88 : "60 patients died in March from complications related to the evacuation"
The Cabinet's investigation committee provides two counts of patients confirmed dead upon reaching evacuation destination:

http://icanps.go.jp/eng/05IVfinal.pdf Chapter IV, (d) Rescue on March 15, notes 49 and 50, p. 277:

 49 A total of 54 patients transported by the integrated mission unit and the 12th Brigade Medical Squadron, after the screening, headed for Fukushima Prefectural Medical University Hospital in private-sector buses arranged by the Prefecture Nuclear Emergency Response Center. As the hospital refused to accept them, the patients were then carried to the Date Fureai Center at around 1:00 on March 16. At the time, two of the patients were confirmed dead. 50 After the screening, these rescued patients were transported to Kasumiga zyo Park and Azuma Sports Park in private-sector buses arranged by the Prefecture Nuclear Emergency Response Center, but five of them were confirmed dead upon arrival there.

 Quote by tsutsuji because this exposes the denial/forgetfulness by the IAEA, ANS, NRC, WHO, and others:
Yes - these organizations (and the industry) lose credibility when they dismiss the deaths of elderly and ill because they had to be evacuated. I don't think a few 100 (or 1000s) latent cancer deaths should be minimized either. Those folks trusted the government and industry to ensure such an accident wouldn't happen.
 Recognitions: Gold Member http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/genpatsu-...1720_50km.html In its 3 October meeting, the NRA studied a draft revision of nuclear disaster countermeasure guidelines which proposes to expand evacuation zones from 10 km around plants to 30 km, and to plan distribution of iodine pills within the 50 km range. This would put the number of cities and villages included in an evacuation zone from 45 in 15 prefectures to 135 in 21 prefectures. According to the draft, Offsite Centers should be installed within the 30 km range (instead of 20 km), and excluded from the 5 km range, with several backup institutional sites being secured outside the 30 km range and in different directions. The NRA plans to hear the opinions of local governments in its next meeting. http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/genpatsu-...003/index.html Fukushima Daiichi will be designated as "Special nuclear facility". While at present the decommissionning work plans are proposed by Tepco and approved by the government, under the new status, it will be possible for the NRA to become involved in the planning of the decomissionning work. NRA president Shun'ichi Tanaka said "In order to secure Fukushima Daiichi's safety, we must be actively involved". The NRA will not only propose action plans for example regarding stable cooling or preventing contamination spreading, but will also give orders to modify or improve the advancement of works or of technical development. During the press conference, president Tanaka said: "While it can be said that the disaster has been brought under control, I am well aware that an accident happened and that it is unstable. I want to secure safety by regulations that look far ahead, toward a 30 year long decommissionning work".
 Recognitions: Gold Member http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/genpatsu-...005/index.html In response to a request by news organizations, Tepco is publicly releasing another compilation of the teleconference videos, consisting of 161 sequences put together and edited in order to hide people's names for a total of 6 hours (the raw footage for the 5 first days after the accident consists of 150 hours). In this new video, it is possible to see on 13 March before dawn how plant manager Yoshida is trying to get in touch with the prime minister's office [is it not the other way round, the cabinet's office trying to get in touch with Yoshida ?], revealing interference from outside hampering onsite crisis management. The video also shows the discussions in the night of 14 March about unit 2, where the Tokyo main office says things like "open that valve quickly!", without sufficiently knowing the onsite situation, and being argued in response by Fukushima Daiichi "Will you please stop disturbing ?". The teleconference videos of the first month after the accident will be available to journalists next month at the earliest. http://sankei.jp.msn.com/life/news/1...5460011-n1.htm On 5 October, Economy and Industry minister Yukio Edano said the Kaminoseki nuclear power plant will not be built, in exact application of the "no new NPP construction principle". [ There is a good article on the Kaminoseki NPP project and the debates among the inhabitants here: http://www.japanfocus.org/-Martin-Dusinberre/3805 ]. See also http://mainichi.jp/english/english/n...na016000c.html "The government is planning to urge power companies to voluntarily withdraw plans to build new nuclear power plants whose construction has not started, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yukio Edano has revealed in an interview with the Mainichi Shimbun."
 Recognitions: Gold Member http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/1...89B0XK20121012 "Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco), the operator of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, said on Friday it could have dealt better with the plant's meltdowns if broad preparations were taken, reversing the previous management's view that the disaster was unavoidable due to an unexpected force of nature." http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp...1806_1870.html Press Release (Oct 12,2012) Document Related to the First Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee Meeting:The attached is a document created by the Nuclear Reform Special Task Force(Naomi Hirose: TEPCO president, director and the chairman of the Nuclear Reform Special Task Force) and used at the first Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee Meeting. http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp...21012e0101.pdf Fundamental Policy for the Reform of TEPCO Nuclear Power Organization, October 12 2012, (English, 32 pages) [Is it a coincidence, or is it related to the fact that Junichi Matsumoto, who had been a constant defender of the former view, doesn't seem to appear any longer at press conferences ? ] As a change from Mr Ono, today's conference is done by Mr Fukuda (12 October press conference as reported by http://genpatsu-watch.blogspot.com/2...0-1-apdf4.html ) Mr Ono (at October 11 press conference : http://genpatsu-watch.blogspot.com/2...0111730-1.html ) Junichi Matsumoto on his last press conference (11 September 2012: http://genpatsu-watch.blogspot.com/2...129111750.html) he had been doing the press conference spokesman job since April 1 2011.
 Admin I attended a presentation by Kiyoshi Kurokawa who was chair of NAIIC. I agree with what I heard from him. He has written some comments and given other talks on the NAIIC report http://www.kiyoshikurokawa.com/en/20...c-10-talk.html http://www.kiyoshikurokawa.com/en/20...-9-contin.html One has to search his blog for the various talks. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012...shima-disaster

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 Quote by tsutsuji http://naiic.go.jp/wp-content/upload...ort_lo_res.pdf 38/88 : "60 patients died in March from complications related to the evacuation"
The full English translation of the Diet's investigation report is now available at: http://warp.da.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/...ort/index.html

Here is an exerpt concerning the 60 deaths :

 b. The sixty lives that could not be saved According to our investigation, at least 60 people died in the seven hospitals and in long-term care health facilities by the end of March 2011. The numbers of hospitalized patients who died between “the time after the earthquake and before the evacuation” and the “completion of transferring the hospitalized patients to different hospitals” were thirty-eight from Futaba Hospital, four from Futaba Kosei Hospital, three from Imamura Hospital, and three from Nishi Hospital.[56] The people admitted to the longterm care health facility affiliated with Futaba Hospital evacuated together with the hospitalized patients in Futaba Hospital, ten of whom died. More than half of the deceased people were elderly people 65 years or older. It is apparent that Futaba Hospital, where more than 40 people died by the end of March 2011, experienced the severest evacuation situation, since it was relatively slow to secure evacuation shelters with medical equipment and transportation for evacuation; in addition it had a large number of hospitalized patients. http://warp.da.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/...apter4_web.pdf page 30/115
 One hundred twenty-nine seriously ill patients were left behind in the hospital,[59] to whom only six medical professionals at most, including the employees of the adjacent long-term care health facility affiliated with Futaba Hospital and the doctors who returned to the hospital, provided medical treatment and nursing care over the three days it took to complete the evacuation. There were shortages of both daily commodities and medical supplies, and they only had candles for lighting. Although the doctors provided the best possible medical treatment they could at that time, four patients died in the hospital by March 15, 2011. http://warp.da.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/...apter4_web.pdf page 32/115
 Three patients died in the vehicles during the evacuation and an additional 11 patients died at the high school by early morning the following day (refer to Figure 4.2.3-3). http://warp.da.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/...apter4_web.pdf page 33/115
 Recognitions: Gold Member http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/genpatsu-...103/index.html Tepco is going to install a new office, called "Fukushima main office", in Fukushima prefecture with a main office function. It will have a 4000 workforce, including hundreds moved from Tokyo, the personnel that has been in charge of compensation payment, and a vice-president-level top management. The purpose is to better reflect the needs of Fukushima prefecture inhabitants and local government bodies, in response to remarks that it had been insufficient.

 Quote by tsutsuji The full English translation of the Diet's investigation report is now available at: http://warp.da.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/...ort/index.html
Thanks for this. I get tired of people claiming that no-one died because of the accident.
 Recognitions: Gold Member My opinion at this point is that: People died. Tepco was not aware of the tsunami threat. SBO studies, like the 1993 Japanese one were supposed to be "top of the notch" : http://www.physicsforums.com/showthr...ic#post3943942 Tsunami science is a young science. Nothing comparable with nuclear physics, which is an old, mathematical science, with largely predictable results when given a realistic set of causal predictions. Almost nobody was really aware that nuclear plants relied on other sciences beyond nuclear physics. Three Miles Island and Chernobyl were nuclear physics gone wrong. Fukushima was not. Fukushima was tsunami science gone wrong. The November 2010 IAEA-supported Masao Takao presentation, based on the Chile tsunami of 28 February 2010 saying that "we assessed and confirmed the safety of nuclear power plants" http://www.jnes.go.jp/seismic-sympos...sionB/B-11.pdf 24/25 , was wrong. Even the groups that are most critical about nuclear plants such as Greenpeace didn't care about scientific presentations like the one by Toshiaki Sakai (Tepco) in a public event in Miami in 2006 : http://www.asmedl.org/getabs/servlet...ifs=Yes&ref=no "we still have possibilities tsunami height may exceeds the determined design tsunami height due to uncertainties regarding the tsunami phenomena". Yet, regardless the uncertainties about the 869 Jogan tsunami, the Kamtchatka tsunami of 1952 should have been regarded as relevant for Japan. Even non-specialists like you or I should have known about the Kamtchatka tsunami. Everybody should have known about the Kamtchatka tsunami. Everybody should have understood that Japan was just as vulnerable to tsunamis as Kamtchatka. This was not so difficult to understand. Just look at a map. Just look how similar Japan and Kamtchatka are.

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 Quote by tsutsuji My opinion at this point is that: People died. Tepco was not aware of the tsunami threat. SBO studies, like the 1993 Japanese one were supposed to be "top of the notch" : http://www.physicsforums.com/showthr...ic#post3943942 Tsunami science is a young science. Nothing comparable with nuclear physics, which is an old, mathematical science, with largely predictable results when given a realistic set of causal predictions. Almost nobody was really aware that nuclear plants relied on other sciences beyond nuclear physics. Three Miles Island and Chernobyl were nuclear physics gone wrong. Fukushima was not. Fukushima was tsunami science gone wrong. The November 2010 IAEA-supported Masao Takao presentation, based on the Chile tsunami of 28 February 2010 saying that "we assessed and confirmed the safety of nuclear power plants" http://www.jnes.go.jp/seismic-sympos...sionB/B-11.pdf 24/25 , was wrong. Even the groups that are most critical about nuclear plants such as Greenpeace didn't care about scientific presentations like the one by Toshiaki Sakai (Tepco) in a public event in Miami in 2006 : http://www.asmedl.org/getabs/servlet...ifs=Yes&ref=no "we still have possibilities tsunami height may exceeds the determined design tsunami height due to uncertainties regarding the tsunami phenomena". Yet, regardless the uncertainties about the 869 Jogan tsunami, the Kamtchatka tsunami of 1952 should have been regarded as relevant for Japan. Even non-specialists like you or I should have known about the Kamtchatka tsunami. Everybody should have known about the Kamtchatka tsunami. Everybody should have understood that Japan was just as vulnerable to tsunamis as Kamtchatka. This was not so difficult to understand. Just look at a map. Just look how similar Japan and Kamtchatka are.
Let's start by assuming every point you made is correct. They surely seem to be correct based on what has been discussed here. The only point I disagree is that noone knew that more than one science was involved.

People should understand that very little in life can be treated has a single scientific or engineering basis. Dependence on other engineering disciplines apart from nuclear physics is nothing new. Pressure Vessel engineering depends on mechanical engineering that learned from steam boiler explosions. Corrosion and flow-related erosion pipe failures have led to improvements in chemistry and metalurgy. Natural Gas pipeline explosions still happen. Computers and mathematics have evolved drastically since the days when slide rule accuracy was a limitation that required massive margins for safety. The Verazzano Narrows bridge collapsed. Seismic design and geology have applications beyonf nuclear power plants with the same sort of uncertainties as tsunamis. Meteorlogy is another science that Hurricane Sandy just tested. We could go on and on. Anything as complicated as a nuclear power plant involves almost every scientific field you can imagine.

So I move back to your post. What conclusions do you derive from the facts/opinions you list? Can mankind learn from disasters? If you conclude we need to drop the nuclear option, is it even possible to significantly reduce risks by closing nuclear plants? Even after TMI2, Chernobyl, and Fukushima over the last 50 years, the number of deaths and finasncial damages from other hazards is much worse. Consider Hurricanes and Typhoons. Consider the deaths in Japan from the Tsunami that had nothing to do with Fukushima. Pipeline accidents and mining accidents have killed more people. Warfare has killed millions and resulted in destruction beyond imagination. Transportation accidents (auto, aircraft, ships) still occur and result in loss of life and property. If we only consider the relative risk from nuclear power against the risk of mosquito-borne illnesses, the risk from nuclear doesn't even register on the same scale.

I understand that the huge impact to Japan and the disaster-related deaths are staggering, but absent a firm understanding of the impacts of the alternatives to powering our future, what should we be doing differently? I believe much of the redesign and lessons-learned underway in the nuclear industry is fully justified. So the strawman that I think doing nothing is acceptable won't wash. I am not arguing with your list, Tsutsuji, I really would like to hear how we can reduce risk other than learning from every science we have. Can we survive as a modern society if we retreat every time there is an accident?

 Quote by NUCENG If we only consider the relative risk from nuclear power against the risk of mosquito-borne illnesses, the risk from nuclear doesn't even register on the same scale.
Ukrainians who still pay for the Chernobyl area maintenance and who lost thousands of square kilometers of land - still not safe for habitation for years to come - are disagreeing with you.

 what should we be doing differently?
Who are "we"? Humanity as a whole?
I'd like to (again) identify a much smaller "we": the nuclear industry. If "you" (nuclear industry) want "us" (the unwashed masses) to support you, you MUST stop causing Chernobyls and Fukushimas, short of truly disastrous events beyond any control and prediction (asteroid impact etc). Tsunamis in Japan ARE NOT beyond prediction.

 I believe much of the redesign and lessons-learned underway in the nuclear industry is fully justified.
I see that in Fukushima some of Chernobyl "lessons learned" weren't in fact learned. This is a very troubling sign.

 Quote by nikkkom Ukrainians who still pay for the Chernobyl area maintenance and who lost thousands of square kilometers of land - still not safe for habitation for years to come - are disagreeing with you.
You are mistaken.
We have built several nuclear power plants after the disaster and plan for the future to build another 2 blocks
But Japan, by this time, no more than 10 percent of what was done in the Soviet Union after the disaster.
When we talk about the lessons of Chernobyl, we speak of a "culture of safety."
This is the second reason for the disaster in Japan after the tsunami.

Excuse my English, I use a translator

 Ukrainians who still pay for the Chernobyl area maintenance and who lost thousands of square kilometers of land - still not safe for habitation for years to come - are disagreeing with you.
 Quote by a.ua. You are mistaken.
LOL. You don't realize that I *am* an Ukrainian. :)
I am mistaken about what exactly?
Ukrainian budget does not allocate \$ for Chernobyl maintenance??
Chenobyl zone is not closed for habitation??

 We have built several nuclear power plants after the disaster and plan for the future to build another 2 blocks
How is that relevant to what I have stated?

 But Japan, by this time, no more than 10 percent of what was done in the Soviet Union after the disaster.
True. Japanese did not send people inside ruined reactor units to pick up melted fuel rods with bare hands, as was done in Chernobyl.

You know, I am *happy* they did not do anything like that. Post-accident cleanup in Fuku looks better that Chernobyl.
 Recognitions: Gold Member http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/genpatsu-...015_odaka.html The Namie-Odaka NPP project is canceled, Tohoku Electric announced. Fukushima Daiichi units 7-8 excepted, it is the first time a Nuclear Plant project is canceled in Japan since the accident.

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