The Kan Administration set up a fact-finding commission in late May to figure out what went wrong at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant that led to the catastrophic accident, even if the accident is still ongoing as of August.
There were many critics who said "First thing first", which was to stop the emission of radioactive materials from the broken reactors and do whatever possible to reduce the amount of the contaminated water, and .. (list is endless). But the government, who is always eager to paint a positive picture that everything is according to schedule and going well, wanted the commission to "investigate" the accident to learn from the mistakes.
What better way to give the impression that the accident is over, than to form a commission to investigate the accident?
Still, the commission led by a Tokyo University professor (emeritus) and including 3 attorneys (one of them a UN committee member fighting for equal rights for women) and one novelist, has been interviewing (or "interrogating" is the word used in the Japanese press) TEPCO managers at Fukushima I Nuke Plant, and part of their findings have apparently been leaked to Mainichi Shinbun. The commission meetings are not open to the public.
From Mainichi Shinbun (2:31AM JST 8/17/2011), what TEPCO managers at the plant is saying:
About the explosion of Reactor 1 building at 3:36PM on March 12:
TEPCO was preoccupied with the condition of the reactor and the Containment Vessel, and didn't think of the risk of hydrogen explosion. "There was no one who could have predicted the explosion."
There was no manual for the vent operation. They figured out the procedure by studying the blueprint [of the reactor and Containment Vessel]. After station blackout, they started to collect equipment for the vent, but since there was no detailed information as to what type of equipment was necessary, a wide variety of equipment was brought in, and they wasted time choosing the right equipment.
Then, as they prepared for the vent, some of the equipment was delivered by mistake to Fukushima II Nuclear Power plant (10 kilometers south of Fukushima I) or to J-Village (20 kilometers south of Fukushima I), and someone had to go there to get the equipment. One TEPCO employee at the plant said "There was not enough support from the TEPCO headquarters."
General Manager of the Plant Yoshida and his men planned the accident countermeasures, but they weren't aware that the isolation condenser (IC) that cooled the fuel core of Reactor 1 had stopped temporarily. Yoshida said to the Commission, "It was a huge mistake not to have had this vital information."
Prime Minister Kan's visit March 12:
"We have no idea why he came."
As to Prime Minister Kan's question of "What's going on?", "it was not the atmosphere where we could speak frankly and give detailed explanation."
About Self Defense Force helicopter dumping water on the Spent Fuel Pool:
"We were grateful, but we felt it was not efficient. Most of the water didn't seem to go into the SFP."
Well, the dumping of water from the SDF helicopter was just for the visual effect to impress Americans, as it would look as if the government was actually doing something. That, along with having its soldiers irradiated and injured when the Reactor 3 building blew up, is said to have alienated the SDF from the administration.