Monday, April 23, 2012

Photos of Reactor 4 at #Fukushima I Nuke Plant with Senior Vice Minister of Cabinet Office

It looks like the government's PR effort to show that the Reactor 4 spent fuel pool and the top floors of the Reactor 4 building are not toppling over.

Vice Minister Ikko Nakatsuka is a DPF politician elected from Kanagawa Prefecture. He is also the Vice Minister of the Reconstruction Agency.

From TEPCO's Handout for Press, 4/23/2012:

Support structure underneath the Reactor 4 Spent Fuel Pool, on the 2nd floor. The vice minister is on the left (his name is on the Tyvek suit):

Reactor 4 Spent Fuel Pool on the 5th floor (I suppose it is buried under the white plastic sheet):

Reactor Well:

The worker who still tweets occasionally from Fukushima I Nuke Plant is saying they are removing the columns on the top operation floor of Reactor 4.


Majia's Blog said...

Has anyone listened to the NRC audio recording. Perhaps read the transcript?

I find the audio recording to be most enlightening

Here is the latest steam release

Anonymous said... looks like they're fishing!

If this ground zero zone is so "hot" then, why are these workers just strolling around the place?

Oh, I didn't know that plastic sheets could repel high concentrations of deadly radiation!

Anonymous said...

lolo, only 1 comment'R

Anonymous said...

The top picture shows a recently constructed wooden box with a "window" up against the concrete side of one of the pools or support pillar.

2nd picture shows what must be the most damaged pool covered in plastic. Notice the yellow tank and green crane in the background at a less damaged pool.

3rd picture ,looking the other way across 2nd pool,a lot more damage evident in background.

Anonymous said...

The yellow tank is NOT a tank. It is the reactor vessel head, NOTICE ALL THE BOLTS FOR SECURING IT TO THE VESSEL. It was off the reactor for refueling. The round pool is over the reactor vessel and is where the head is normally located.

The green item is actually the refuel bridge and is not a crane, although it is used for spotting and moving fuel.

(rectangular)would be under the plastic if it still exists. The plastic would be floating on top of the water.

Anonymous said...

The rectangular pool is the refuel pool.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't 4 under decomission? already

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Reactor 4 was in the maintenance, and they were in the process of exchanging the core shroud.

Anonymous said...

Laprimavera, as usual, it's interesting that you approach TEPCO press releases with so little skepticism. Surely there is something in there that doesn't completely pass the sniff test. No?

Then again, it seems you reserve your highes level of hyper-scrutiny for the posts that you write about nuclear industry critics like Robert Alvarez, Hiroaki Koide, Arnie Gundersen, and former senior Japanese officials Akio Matsumura and Mitsuhei Murata.

In posts about them, you applied yourself mightily to warn the world that these guys were unreliable because: Murata got Koide's first name wrong; Alvarez said the Rokkasho reprocessing plant is South, rather than North, of Fukushima; Gundersen said people in Tokyo might pick flowers from radioactive soil in the cracks on sidewalks whereas you thought they wouldn't; etc., etc., etc. These are nit-picking details that are, apparently, meant to divert attention away from the substantive content of their various reports.

At least try to spread the nit-picking around more evenly. Come on now, drill down on those TEPCO press releases, surely they're making some errors and/or omissions that are a graver threat to the world than nuclear industry critics.

Anonymous said...

@ anon at 12:27: I'm a little surprised about your criticism. I've been reading this blog since day one, and I was rather under the impression that laprimavera is more critical towards TEPCO than most anyone and is most of the time quite thorough.

In any case, I'm a technical writer myself and have a little bit of appreciation for how much time it takes to read and research everything that is available. Given that laprimavera does all this not as a job, but instead of a job (if I understood it correctly), your criticism again is surprising to me.

Of course, everyone is entitled to his/her opinion. Just my 5 cents' worth of that. I, for one, am entirely grateful for laprimavera's work and the valuable information he gathers together for us and someone like me who neither speaks Japanese, nor has the time to follow up on all the various sources.

My thanks to laprimavera for making staying informed so much easier.

Anonymous said...

@anon (mscharisma) at 3:44

I've also been reading this blog since day one. I read it daily for a few months and resumed reading it more closely a couple of months ago.

I'm perceiving a significant change of agenda here at Ex-Skf. In a nutshell: Laprimavera has become far more disapproving toward reports from critics of the nuclear industry than he is toward TEPCO press releases. More to the point: Laprimavera now subjects nuclear industry critics to an absurd level of nit-picking scrutiny, while putting the best possible face on the 'progress' TEPCO claims to be making at the Fukushima site.

These days, much of Laprimavera's reporting has a distinct emphasis on radiation findings. On the other hand, there is a striking lack of emphasis on the thoroughly FUBAR condition of the reactors, the spent fuel pools, the threat posed by ongoing/escalating seismic activity, etc. Moreover, Laprimavera has pretty much waged a one-man campaign to understate the severity of the problems with the spent fuel pool of reactor #4.

The comment section is especially defamatory toward critics of the nuclear industry, while nary a word is said about TEPCO's crooks and liars. You may recall earlier today, both you and Laprimavera expressed appreciation for an upbeat "expert" review of TEPCO reports from a completely anonymous person in the comments section. Which is all the more perversely ironic, given that a notable public figure like Robert Alvarez was being slagged right and left by other anonymous commenters who were shitting on his credentials.

You see what I mean? This joint has gone to the dogs. Or maybe it's just gone back to being an econo blog that's intent on protecting TEPCO stock prices.

Anonymous said...

@anon at 7:01PM, just go away. You are just anonymous as "anonymous" people you criticize so much.

- from another anon.

Anonymous said...

@anon at 7:01: Thanks for further explaining your view point. In a way, I can see what you mean as far as the type of articles and/or the focus of the blog is concerned. I personally am not convinced, however, that pro-nuclear bias (for a lack of a better term) and/or an agenda can be assumed, which you seem to suggest.

Admittedly, however, I had little time in the last few months (continent to continent move) to pay attention to what's going on and barely managed to keep up my routine of reading the ex-skf blog. So I may very well simply lack the background information, if you will, to be alert and critical enough myself.

I just the more appreciate you having explained your view point further. It's certainly something to watch out for. For the moment, however, and until I have more time to pay closer attention, I can't say your arguments - although very well presented - convinced me.

Maybe there's simply not much noteworthy going on in the TEPCO press releases? Maybe, since the FUBAR condition of the reactor 4 building is more or less common knowledge, how many times can one write/comment on it? Maybe, since news sources are far and few between despite the seriousness of the situation, there's not a lot of information around for laprimavera or anyone to sink ones teeth into?

I don't know, but at least for now I still lean way more towards giving laprimavera credit for hard work and voicing any kind of criticism than assuming or perceiving an agenda of some sort.

Maybe I will change my mind. We'll see.

Anonymous said...

It is ludicrous to insist one has to adore Gundersen and Alvarez without questioning their assertions. They exert disproportionate influence on people as TEPCO and JP gov are simply not trusted by anyone any more.

Anonymous said...

P.S.: And I have to admit that I even appreciate if an incorrect name of someone is pointed out since I, as a westerner, have trouble with remembering Japanese names. Or if the incorrect location (south rather than north of Fukushima) of something is mentioned since I'm not familiar with Japan and often get easily lost over a detail like that. But I simply wouldn't go as far as to suggest "ulterior motives" or for it to be overly critical of nuclear-critical voices.

Anonymous said...

Arevamirpal's wish-washing attitude should not be in the least bit surprising when you consider his libertarian-esque world view. No other group, outside the nuclear industry anyway, is capable of holding such a contradictory doctrine together.

If you think you're confused by the seeming juxtaposition just imagine how confusing it must be to actually BE libertarian. A pro-antinuke, anti-renewable, rabid-free marketer blogging on a free global medium about irresponsible lack of regulatory oversight, who is concerned about the humanitarian effects of the Fuku disaster but only to where the taxpayers are assured not to feel a pinch... I don't think the roller coaster ride is going to end any time soon.

And speaking of adoration I don't see the logic in some folks there who seem to have a perception that arevamirpal was somehow conjured from the ether in the midst of 3/11 to embody an unskewed perspective of what the rest of the upper social eschelon would like us all to forget about. Neither should we hold experts like Gundersen in this regard, one should be reminded that he was an insider for decades, his conscience apparently got the best of him, and now he spends a lot of time airing out the industry's dirty laundry. You always need to ask a question of motivation when you consider what someone is telling you.

Anonymous said...

@anon at 4:57:
"You always need to ask a question of motivation when you consider what someone is telling you."
Could not possibly agree with you more on that.

"A pro-antinuke, anti-renewable, rabid-free marketer ... not to feel a pinch"
I'm not sharing your assessment here, but if presumed to be accurate, I'm actually more on laprimavera's side on that one, although I don't perceive his voiced opinions as rather anti-nuke. As for libertarian stance vs. more government oversight but not more taxes, I would actually consider myself a libertarian with exactly that opinion. The government and oversight is necessary as otherwise those in power and with the financial means are totally in charge. The government is needed as the representative of (all) the people for balance. Taxes are (a) necessary (evil) to some degree, but excessive taxes not justifiable if it is those with power/money who have created the problem in the first place and that at a great profit for themselves.

Hope that makes sense to some degree as far as conveying my opinion goes. Don't want to write an essay on this. ;)

Bottom line: I'm still not with you on the criticism of laprimavera.

Anonymous said...

@anon at 4:57 AM

Hello and amen. Btw, I'm the anon commenter who initially complained, upthread, about Laprimavera's messed-up priorities. So, You say Laprimavera is a "rabid free-marketer/libertarian". Now I see why his overall take on the Fukushima nuclear crisis lacks internal consistency and coherence. In particular, it helps explain his growing antipathy toward critics of the nuclear industry and his relatively benevolent attitude toward TEPCO. I always wondered about the vested interest that would have motivated the author of an econo blog to make an immediate, and total, switch to exclusive coverage of the Fukushima crisis on 3/11/11. Common sense would suggest that concern about money would still be something of a priority, if not the overriding priority. It also makes sense that Ex-Skf's pro-market agenda would become more manifest as the crisis has lengthened and deepened. Well, well.

@anon (mscharisma) at 5:22 AM

You're quite the charmer. I'm not surprised to hear that you are on Laprimavera's side. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to find that you ARE Laprimavera.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

>I always wondered about the vested interest that would have motivated the author of an econo blog to make an immediate, and total, switch to exclusive coverage of the Fukushima crisis on 3/11/11. Common sense would suggest that concern about money would still be something of a priority, if not the overriding priority.

I have family members in the high-radiation areas in Tokyo, friends in the high-radiation Chiba, relatives in Tohoku. Money? If I care about money I wouldn't have done what I've done. I'm typing so furiously it's amazing that the keyboard doesn't break. I don't think I need to take an insult like this any more.

Anonymous said...


Thank you for sharing a few personal details about having family members in Tokyo, friends in Chiba, and relatives in Tohoku. That does shed a different light on things and I see how you must be tremendously concerned for the health and safety of those who are dear to you. I hope you will keep us updated on their welfare.

I would like to believe that we are all concerned for the people of Japan, and for the fate of the planet, as this disaster enters its second year with no assurance that the worst is already behind us. No doubt, we agree that there are far too many who would prefer that the crisis be kept out of sight and out of mind. However, critics of the nuclear industry have been highly instrumental in focusing media attention on the issues, and they have vigorously sought to inform the public that the event is far from over. Of course, none of these individuals are perfect and, as humans, it is absolutely certain that we will all err.

It is, nonetheless, quite disconcerting to find that countless commenters on your blog have repeatedly charged that a number of widely-respected nuclear critics are all motivated by monetary greed and are no more trustworthy than TEPCO and government officials. I have never seen you take issue with any of those comments. And, I have never seen you make any other comment of your own to indicate that you believe anything different. Perhaps, you have said something to the contrary and I've missed it.

Within this highly charged context, and given the background here at ex-skf, I don't believe the comment @8:10 PM is altogether out of the blue: "Common sense would suggest that concern about money would still be something of a priority, if not the overriding priority".

As written, the comment suggests, pointedly, that you may have some of the faults that are so freely, and frequently, pointed out in others who are also working tirelessly to mitigate this global crisis. Nerves are frayed all around.

I would prefer to see a spirit of solidarity; wherein all of us who care more about people than profit would cease to cast doubt on each others motives. I believe you can help make that happen, by example in your editorials and comments, and by advising those of us who comment to do likewise. All the best going forward.

Anonymous said...

My suspicion is on both sides these days, pro-nuke experts and anti-nuke experts. Fukushima accident has been excellent for both sides. Their books are selling well.

Anonymous said...

@anon at 8:10 - Thanks for the double compliment (charmer + I might be laprimavera himself). However, unfortunately, I cannot claim the credit for his hard work and I'm also female. So I'm very sure that we're not the same person. ;)

@anon at 11:24 - "I would prefer to see a spirit of solidarity; wherein all of us who care more about people than profit would cease to cast doubt on each others motives."


Anonymous said...

@anon at 11:41 PM...

Here we go again. Another commenter who says that "pro-nuke experts and anti-nuke experts" are equally dangerous to the world; and both are profiting equally from the Fukushima disaster -- from sales of their books. Who are these authors? What are their books? What sales revenues are you talking about? Yeah, for sure: BOOK SALES is where the REALLY BIG MONEY is in the realm of world energy supply. What facile horseshit. You must be another free-market libertarian, like Laprimavera, right?

@anon (mscharisma) at 6:18...

You're too modest. And if you are Laprimavera's "female" side, I like it better than his other sides.

Anonymous said...

@anon 10:15 - Hahaha, I can think of worse things than being called "too modest." Thanks, also for the subsequent compliment. Nice to see that some people still take the time to say something nice rather than only focus on negative things. Enough negativity around that indeed requires focus, i.e., Fukushima. Let's all get back to that, each in whatever way he/she chooses to be right for him/her.

Anonymous said...

Calling someone untrustworthy because they simply take or earn money in something related to some opinion they have is not a valid arguement. It's like staging a legal defense stating that the prosecutor, the expert witness, even the judge, bailiff, court reporter and jurors are being compensated for their presence, and the fact that these people don't just show up out of the goodness of their hearts is proof that the proceeding is biased against the defender who incidentally (often) paid someone to show up and represent their case.

In other words, only an idiot is swayed by this arguement. To anyone else paying attention, well, you're the idiot.

And anyway, just because someone IS doing something out of the "goodness of their heart" doesn't neccessarily mean their true motivations are pure. And there is ALWAYS a motivation in what a person does. I thought it was pretty obvious from the beginning that arevamirpal, who had declared he was japanese, had made the decision to refocus his blog based on personal ties to Japan and people there although it was my first impression that he may not actually reside there. I never sensed any ulterior motive, only a personal dedication to attempt synthesis of as much new, useful information as possible amid an almost unprecedented cover-up of a massive, cataclysmic, and characteristically unprecedented even in the history of nuclear power, and industry as a whole. Watershed events in history tend to have a powerful influence on people's motivations.

Above all in arevamirpal's more recent attitudes conveyed in his posts, I believe, are products of long-haul fatigue in tracking the endless outflow of bullshit still pouring from this crisis, probably intensified by sub-conscious stress over the fate of loved ones and others wordlwide, and there is always an overarching air of questioning and second guessing any authority which I think is a part of the named's actual personality, a trait which I can relate to.

Don't get me wrong, I don't hold the same apparently libertarian slant on many issues as arevamirpal, nor other views, and although I view his comments through this lens it is undeniable that his contributions since the beginning of the crisis have been largely selfless and with a great emphesis on completeness, any editorializing notwithstanding.

This is after all, his blog. If you're really that upset I suppose you could go out and make your own blog?

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