So that was the occasion for the "blank" videos that TEPCO uploaded two days ago. I didn't pay much attention until I saw the tweets today by Mr. Hiroshi Kawauchi, former DPJ member of the Japanese Diet Lower House from Kagoshima Prefecture who lost in the December 2012 election along with many of his party.
As per previous offer and agreement from TEPCO while he was still a member of the Diet, Mr. Kawauchi went inside the Reactor 1 building at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant on March 13, 2013, accompanied by TEPCO (or affiliate company) workers. They had a video camera, which was to record whatever Mr. Kawauchi wanted, as he directed. The problem was that the tape that was used to protect the camera got partially detached, and stuck on the camera lens. So the lens cover closed, leaving only a small hole in the center. (For TEPCO's report (in Japanese only) on the incident, see here.)
Mr. Kawauchi is not too happy, and says another trip will be arranged with TEPCO.
In the meantime, he has tweeted what he found on his March 13, 2013 visit to the Reactor 1 building. He now thinks it was on the 4th floor of the building that a hydrogen explosion took place, not the top 5th floor as has always been assumed. The 4th floor is where the Isolation Condenser (IC) is located.
Report on my visit to Fukushima I Nuke Plant Reactor 1 building. What's been revealed [to me] in this visit is that the hydrogen explosion of Reactor 1 may have happened not on the top 5th floor but on the one below, on the 4th floor where the Isolation Condenser is located. I'd like to submit two reasons why I think that way. Between the 4th and 5th floor - in other words the ceiling of the 4th floor which is the floor of the 5th floor, there is a huge hole to bring large equipment through.
This opening is 5 meters square (5 x 5). When it is in use, handrails are installed to prevent falls, as required by the Industrial Safety and Health Law. When not in use, the opening is covered with the steel plate weighing 1.5 tonnes. In other words, presence or absence of the handrails would indicate whether the opening was open or closed [when the explosion took place]. So, which was it?
On the 4th floor and looking up at the ceiling, I saw the 5x5 opening open. How about the handrails? There were no handrails. No handrails means the opening was closed with the steel plate. Why wasn't the steel plate there? Is it because it was blown off by the hydrogen explosion on the 4th floor?
It is natural to think this [steel plate covering the] opening on the 4th floor ceiling which is the 5th floor floor to carry large equipment through was blown upward by the hydrogen explosion on the 4th floor, therefore it is open now. In fact, in a testimony in the National Diet accident investigation commission, the person in charge of the work testified that they had closed the opening with the steel plate. In my visit, this testimony was confirmed.
Another reason why I think the hydrogen explosion took place on the 4th floor. The main steam pipe runs vertically right next to the Isolation Condenser on the 4th floor. Extremely thick covering material around the main steam pipe is severely turned up. Same thing with the covering material around the steam line of the Isolation Condenser. Taking together the severe destruction of the 4th floor...
... I believe this turning up of the covering material is definitely from the explosion. It makes more sense to think the hydrogen explosion of the Reactor 1 building happened not on the top 5th floor but on the 4th floor where the Isolation Condenser is located. Recall the video of the explosion, which spread in horizontal direction. TEPCO workers who accompanied me admitted that the possibility couldn't be denied.
There are other things I saw and confirmed in person that I need to report to you, but that has to wait until next time. However, if the hydrogen explosion did take place not on the 5th floor but on the 4th floor, we have to figure out why hydrogen had accumulated on the 4th floor. That cannot be explained by the explanations so far by the government or TEPCO.
What difference does it make at this point, you may ask? That is indeed the rhetorical question some of the tweets to him ask.
After more than two years since Reactor 1 blew up, we still don't know how that happened. Many details of the accident are still not clear (and not many are interested in knowing), and many influential experts, journalists, bloggers base their pronouncements on the accident or the radiation contamination on assumptions and hearsay.
Without knowing and understanding exactly what happened and how, I don't believe there can be a "recovery". People in Japan will simply repeat a one-issue mantra of "beyond nuclear", without knowing and understanding exactly what has happened to them and their land because of that "nuclear".
The video of Reactor 1 explosion on March 12, 2011 does show, after the initial puff upwards, lateral spread of smoke and/or steam (as Professor Takashi Tsuruda of Akita Prefectural University (his specialty is combustion) thinks there was an explosion in the Suppression Chamber of Reactor 1):
It was good that Mr. Kawauchi was able to go inside the reactor building. It would be even better if he could bring along an explosion expert like Professor Tsuruda.
According to my own post on that day;
At 3PM 3/12/11, about 30 minutes before the explosion took place, TEPCO (the power company) announced that it was successful in relieving the pressure in the fuel core container.
The fuel rods are half-exposed, due to lower water level.
Cesium and Iodine have been detected in the atmosphere near the plant. [Both are products of nuclear fission.]
4 people were injured.
As to the destruction of the 4th floor of Reactor 1 near the Isolation Condenser, see this video (if you haven't seen it yet) from October 2011: