Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tokyo Shinbun: "#Fukushima Prefecture Deleted SPEEDI Emails"

It is just unbelievable.

Tokyo Shinbun reports that an unnamed official in the Fukushima prefectural government deleted emails that were received between March 11 and March 15, 2011 which contained SPEEDI simulations.

Why? Because, as this official claims,

  1. He didn't notice there were such emails;

  2. The emails were taking up too much space in the computer.

The excuses may have been somewhat believable in the early 1990s. I guess it is possible that the Fukushima prefectural government is still using Windows 3.1 on a stand-alone PC, dial-up internet connection, and a hard disk with a few megabyte storage.

If not, it is amazing the official got away with what he said.

From Tokyo Shinbun (3/21/2012):

福島県が拡散予測消去 当夜から受信5日分

Fukushima Prefecture deleted the dispersion simulation data it received from the day of the accident for 5 days


The Fukushima prefectural government had the dispersion simulation data of radioactive materials from the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident from the evening of March 11, 2011 in emails, but lost the data up to the morning of March 15, 2011, our reporter has uncovered by speaking with the people involved. There were explosions at Reactors 1, 3 and 4 during those 5 days, but the prefectural government hasn't shown the simulation data to the municipalities around the plant. The person in charge at the prefectural government says, "The data took up too much space so I deleted it."


The Nuclear Safety Technology Center in Tokyo is commissioned by the Ministry of Education and Science to operate the SPEEDI system which predicts the dispersion of radioactive materials. According to the Center, upon being instructed by the Ministry of Education, it started the simulation on the day of the disaster at 4:40PM on March 11, 2011 with the assumption that radioactive iodine was being released at 1 becquerel per hour rate from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. The Center sent the simulation data every hour to the Ministry of Education and Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.


The data was to be sent to the Off-Site Center in Okuma-machi in Fukushima and to the Fukushima prefectural government, but the dedicated lines were destroyed in the earthquake/tsunami and the Center couldn't send the data.


However, they found out they could send the data via email. Late that night on March 11, 2011, upon request from the Environmental Radioactivity Monitoring Center of Fukushima located next to the Off-Site Center, the Nuclear Safety Technology Center sent the graphic images of the dispersion simulation. The Center started sending the data to the Disaster Response Headquarters of Fukushima Prefecture in the middle of night on March 12, and kept sending them hourly updates.


However, the person in charge at the Fukushima prefectural government says he didn't notice the emails until the morning of March 15, 2011, and that he deleted the emails.


The Fukushima prefectural government decided "the simulation is of no use", and never publish the data sent nor notified the municipalities.


Separately, the prefectural government received the dispersion simulation by fax from the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency at about 10:30AM on March 13, 2011. Since the data was from March 12 to the early morning of March 13, the prefectural government did not publish the data as "past data and not accurate".


The official in charge explained, "The data was for the 20-kilometer radius, and the residents inside the radius had already evacuated. The data should have been published by the national government. But as the result [of our withholding the data] the residents were exposed to radiation, and that is true. We should have let them know sooner."

In addition to the SPEEDI simulation from the Ministry of Education, Fukushima Prefecture also had in their possession the simulation from the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, and the simulation from TEPCO via fax. The prefectural government of Fukushima chose to sit on all of them, and started complaining about lack of information out loud.

It is equally unbelievable that the official in charge continues to work in the Fukushima prefectural government, instead of being thrown in jail.

Well I keep forgetting that Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has preemptively exonerated anyone from any blame or responsibility when it comes to the Fukushima nuclear accident.

It's hard for me to believe that Fukushima Prefecture didn't know about the emails that contained SPEEDI data. Tellurium-132 was detected in Namie-machi, Okuma-machi, and Minami Soma City from early morning till early afternoon of March 12, 2011, well before TEPCO attempted the vent and Reactor 1 had an explosion (Asahi Shinbun, 6/3/2011). The entity that measured tellurium, I think, was Fukushima Prefecture. If they were in the dark as they claim, what were they doing in the early morning of March 11, 2011, collecting dusts to test for radioactive materials?


JAnonymous said...

Guess what, he might be writing a very serious scientific article that requires him to sit on all kind of data.

Another idea, he might have been asked by some professor Y to make sure that enough people are exposed to radiation in order to get those juicy guinea pigs he desperately needed for his world-class all-level radiation lab and more very serious articles.

As a long dead person once said, Science without conscience is the soul's perdition.

Now back to the topic. How clueless are these people, to take some time removing the mailbox clutter while the prefecture is on the brink of chaos ? I am amazed. Some boss must have been very happy to come back and see a neat mail folder, with no unread mail pending. Move on, nothing to see here. Business as usual.

kintaman said...

Treasonous act. Severest punishment required.

Anonymous said...

Leave the poor guy alone. After all this minor blip in the lucrative business of nuclear power had no effect on human life and the reports of massive releases of radioactivity turned out to be baseless rumours. Nobody has died. There are no reports of still births, deformities, cancers, or any other illnesses that could be attributed to radiation exposure. Except of course some crazy woman claiming hair loss, sores etc due to radiation when infact a doctor categorically stated that it was womens stress. This man is very lucky that there were no severe consequences due to this over blown event or he just might have found himself pushed into a corner,ostracized and bullied until he couldn't take anymore and was forced to leave. Yes. A very lucky man to be still working in Fucku. Keep smiling!

Anonymous said...

They are making up this story to try to avoid being blamed. It is so obvious. Do you really believe such a ridiculous lie?
Send an IT inspector over there and he will find out that this email was never deleted but treated in very special way. This special way is what these idiots and criminals are trying to hide. My daughter makes better lies than these fool.

Anonymous said...

Technically, it is not possible to know that the email was deleted without knowing who deleted it. Who received the email?
If it is not in his mail box than he deleted it.
It is that easy. This person has an email record. It will give information about who he sent the email to.
And what the heak, if people are so stupid that Nuclear Energy is just impossible, that's it. NO Nuclear energy. Finished. Kaput, game over pro nuclear idiots, you are just too imbecile and incompetent and full of ten millions of excuses that kills people that we will remove this from you hands filled with blood.

Chibaguy said...

My great grandpa said that "real men clean the house while it is on fire.". Ok, I made that up. How in the wide world of anything could such statements be taken seriously. Need to clean inbox before ship sinks.

Anonymous said...

I hope anon 5:32pm 's comment was meant sarcastically...

Actually it is important to get after all the small supporters and willing minions. As long as the big bad guys are supported by these little minions, you can not get the big ones. So crack down on the small ones, that other small willing minions do not dare any more due to a too high risk of loosing everything. This is the only way how you can really get to the big bosses in the background.

It is imperative that especially governmental administration has to be held accountable, otherwise the gates are wide open for misconduct and criminal behaviour (bribery...)

Anonymous said...

It's not amazing that the offical got away with this. It's amazing that the Japanese people let any official get away with anything in this matter.
There should be an outcry, demonstrations, lawsuits, protest. There should be "blood in the streets".
But the ( majority ) Japanese just politely get cancer or worse and that's about it.

Anonymous said...

This is what the good people of Iitate, Okuma,Namie etc-who no longer have homes or livelihoods-paid their taxes service the pockets of some dip shit government yakuba worker, pay for his bonus and sayonara salary. What a lark this country is for the civil servants.

Nobody is responsible or accountable for jack in this country...unless it has a script and a bowing performance and a white envelope afterwards.


Atomfritz said...

You know, data storage is scarce, as all hard disks are seized for export to get valuta.
As the porn collection of the officials needs every byte that can be spared, everybody will have an understanding.

Well, the data is "deleted" now, and so it it's plausible it cannot be published.
Everybody understands and accepts, nobody to blame, business as usual.

(For Gods' sake, please don't be a spoiler, don't damage Tatemae, and don't embarrass the sender by asking to resubmit the email. He probably also needed the valuable storage capacity for more important purposes.)

Anonymous said...

Then again its amazing American people let Jon Corzine away with $1.2b. There should be executions. But the (majority) Americans just politely get poor or worse, and that's about it.

Atomfritz said...

@ anon 1:40
Just by chance, Jon Corzine opposes death penalty. I think he knows why :-)

Anonymous said...

laprimavera, can you confirm that tellurium was detected off-site on the 12th? This simple fact could turn the accepted theories about what happened (and the official accident timeline) into so much fantasy literature.

Nancy said...

This whole story stinks like week old fish in August. WHO is the "government official" who did this. Is this the Governor? Is there some prefecture manager that is "in charge"? Someone should be able to figure out who this is. In this situation I don't have a problem with naming names. This is criminal.

It should be pretty easy to determine who deleted this and when. If the files were on their email server there should be a log file showing it. One of the articles mentioned says the data went to a specific email address of one of the offices so checking that email account might even show who and when it was deleted.

The biggest question is WHY. WHY did they sit on it and then delete it while chaos was breaking out and local mayors were begging for guidance and help. None of the excuses add up. BTW the prime minister's disaster manual says SPEEDI is supposed to be given to local govt and emergency responders so they can help evacuate people so his claim that the National govt was supposed to make it public isn't true.

I suspect the national govt. told them to sit on it and then to delete it. Who or why? METI? Kan? Someone else? I did a write up on this today with more information from other media in Japan so there is more claims from the prefecture office in it.

Someone needs to investigate this. Find out the actual deal with the emails and get phone logs too. Find out who was calling the higher ups at the main offices in Fukushima over that week.

Atomfritz said...

Good writeup Nancy!

Maybe you should add that the Speedi stations in Fukushima all went "under servey" (sic) on the public Speedi web site practically immediately after Fuku-I people told the govt that they got a serious problem.

Would also be interesting to know whether this was done due to an explicit order or whether this was part of the governmental emergency procedure manual.

"This simple fact could turn the accepted theories about what happened (and the official accident timeline) into so much fantasy literature."

Could be one of the smoking guns that indicate that the reactor(s) could have been damaged by the earthquake itself.
Really worth to be investigated more.

Nancy said...

@Atomfritz, There is other proof the reactors were in trouble, or at least unit 1 right away. Workers said a tank exploded and a number of pipes including cooling pipes broke as workers were fleeing the building. One said they saw white smoke coming out of the building as they ran and also a crack in the building. We have a photo of a fissure in the ground that goes up to unit 1 and was later filled in with gravel.

I forgot about the Speedi data being "under survey" for half of forever. We were bemoaning the lack of info early in the disaster and how suspicious it was.

The US EPA shut down a number of radiation stations here in the US. They claimed they malfunctioned and turned them off. Each one that was turned off had rising readings right before it was shut down. The network in the US has lots of stations down or partially shut off. It isn't properly maintained and dumped off on a private contracting company. My rambling point being I think the US would do the exact same thing in an accident here. We all need citizen monitoring networks. They are a good safety net against irresponsible govt. actions.

BTW if anyone hears more on this cover up with the prefecture offices say something.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@anon at 5:13AM, here it is:

Tellurium was detected in the morning on March 12, 2011 in Namie-machi, Okuma-machi, and Minami-Soma.

Anonymous said...

Just smile and radiation not come to you, i tried it and i beleive the government im so happy clappy ...

Anonymous said...

Well, we shouldn't be so upset. I recall the press conference clearly in which the national government declared that there was no Speedi data anyway since it was malfunctioning. So whatever was deleted didn't exist in the first place. (And yes, I am being sarcastic.)

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