Monday, March 11, 2013

Former Prime Minister Naoto Kan Still Selling His Version of #Fukushima Nuclear Accident After Two Years

He continues to insist that such a huge earthquake and tsunami had never been anticipated. He continues to take full credit for preventing TEPCO from "withdrawing" (撤退), which was in fact "taking shelter" (退避).

Mr. Kan says he was invited to speak at a symposium by Dr. Helen Caldicott on March 11, 2013 in New York City commemorating the Fukushima nuclear accident, but he couldn't come in person, thus the video.

Here's the link to the English transcript, for those of you who'd rather read.

My Experiences as Prime Minister during the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster from Cinema Forum Fukushima on Vimeo.

Mr. Kan remains a hero for many people for saving Japan and the world from a nuclear accident which could have been far worse, and a champion for renewable energy proponents. There are also many who hold him to be criminally liable for what happened.

"Countdown, Meltdown", the book by Mr. Yoichi Funabashi, president of the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation that did the first large-scale investigation of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident, depicts how Mr. Kan and his cabinet ministers reacted to the accident in the early days. Mr. Kan and Mr. Goshi Hosono, then Mr. Kan's personal adviser, according to Mr. Funabashi, were in mortal fear that Japan would be taken over and occupied by a foreign power (the United States, most likely) if they accepted the foreign help in dealing with the unfolding nuclear disaster.


Anonymous said...

Considering Kan-job had a technical science background he surely DID KNOW that for Japan to have nuclear reactors is crazy but given the Nuke Mafia runs things here he could not have ascended to PM without going along with it. To his credit he did take a strong anti nuclear stance after the disaster and was removed by the Nuke Mafia because of it. I'm not saying the guy is perfect but it seems pretty obvious that his anti nuclear stance is why he was removed, replaced by the more pliable Noda, followed by right wing war hawk nuclear psychopath Abe (planned programming). Or have I drunk the Kookaid regarding what a hero Kan was? Please respond to my assessment below based on an artticle by Roger Pulvers. But I have since come to be more suspicious of writers like Jeff Kingston and Roger Pulvers of the Japan Times-- anyone writing for the mainstream clearly has some kind of agenda...

Anonymous said...

Yes you've drunk whatever the media feeds you.

Anonymous said...

I like what Funabashi said about "elite-panic" during the early days of the accident and the way the Kan cabinet handled the crisis and the information during the first weeks after the accident was disastrous.

I appreciate his later position stopping Hamaoka and demanding the creation of the Nuclear Regulation Authority (that that was Noda too though) before stepping down, which at this point seems to be the main obstacle the nuclear village is having in their attempt of restarting the reactors (despite Tanaka Shunichi being a member of the nuclear village through and through.)

kintaman said...

He quickly went into damage control to cover his ass....doing his best to go from destroying Japan to saving it.

He, personally, held up the efforts of TEPCO in the early stages of the disaster so he could visit the site. Idiot.

Anonymous said...

Kouta Kinoshita tweeted yesterday that he tried to persuade Dr. Caldicott not to invite Mr. Kan, but she didn't listen.

Anonymous said...

No, I'm talking about ExSKF responding, not meaningless off handed remarks from some coward/liar/idiot/mole/troll/corporate hack/dumb librul/sayanim dipshits that hides behind their keyboard and posts anonymously or with a silly moniker.

ExSKF has never made a strong case as to why Kan was so bad, he was on watch when the disaster happened. You have to compare how other leaders have handled such situations in history (not many to compare with).

While I have my differences with Jeff Kingston at least he laid out in extensive detail his case for Kan's efforts, including all of Kan's failures (and overall done one of the best jobs of exposing Tepco's crimes). ExSKF has never given us a comprehensive critique other than to bad mouth Kan. Believe me I am not one to rush to the aid of politicians.

- Richard Wilcox

Richard Gaines said...

Lets see, on which band wagon shall I chime. It's hard some times avoiding the parroting of prominent sentiments at the expense of ones own thoughts. I believe it is true that this disaster came very close to being unbelievably and exponentially out of control (not that we are out of the woods or to minimize the extent of this disaster which as of yet is not fully understood or realized). The potential for the nuclear dominoes to begin a cascade is truly ominous. It is actually a potential that still exists around the world where ever the dominoes lie and the underestimated but real potentials for natural (and un-natural) catastrophes loom. We are only at the moment further from the dominoes edge. No matter what you know or think about how Kan performed in this disaster and what his shortcomings are, and given that the BBC is still placing marginally equipped reporters up next to highly degreed nuclear pundits who bluntly state that the Fukushima disaster is not so bad and that its time for the evacuees to return back home. It is reassuring that he has clearly defined his position in regard to nuclear issues. As far as I can tell Obama is still on the other side of the nuclear energy and munitions line. As what Kan said suggests; at the very least we should address and solve the nuclear issues that already exist before considering other steps in that direction. Lets try to address fix the current issues and in a hundred years (if there is any money left) we take an other look at what the nuclear potentials are. As I have tried to communicate to a accomplished but otherwise short sighted and fairly arrogant Los Alamos nuclear physicist, "What's the hurry?"

Stock said...

Japan is most worried about 2 millennium of wars with China. Thats why they build build infrastructure to handle a 9.0 quake.

Not the nukes though...different economics and bribes there.

Anonymous said...

And what about this heartening news:

Anonymous said...

This documentary is currently free to watch. Sad, powerful and moving:

Anonymous said...

what is the difference between retreating (撤退) and taking shelter (20 km away, at Daini) in the context of the Daiichi disaster? Daichi was without electricity and they had to operate valves manually; one of the fire trucks pumping water into a runaway reator was found to have run out of fuel by someone walking by. How would have they done this from 20 km away?

The fine distinction between retreating (abandoning I would say) and taking shelter is only useful to Tepco to save face, or whatever is left of it.

Futhermore, Kan flew to Daiichi while Tepco wanted to retreat, Kan shut down Hamaoka while Noda started Oi and Abe wants to restart any npp that is declared safe on paper. At least for this he should be able to take a little credit.


Anonymous said...

“So who is to blame for the three meltdowns at Fukushima? The nuclear village tried to shift blame onto PM Kan, spreading erroneous information about his visit to Fukushima Daiichi to the effect that he forced TEPCO to stop venting and subsequently alleging that he ordered the halt of pumping of seawater to cool the reactors and spent fuel rods stored in adjacent pools...but this was TEPCO’s responsibility and had nothing to do with Kan’s visit on March 12....TEPCO retracted its allegations against Kan, but not before damaging Kan’s reputation....Scapegoating Kan served many purposes, especially diverting attention away from TEPCO’s, NISA’s and METI’s responsibility for the accident and woeful crisis response....

The third party panel that investigated the nuclear crisis...was harshly critical of TEPCO and the government, pointing out that the utility was ill-prepared for a crisis and that its’ workers made critical errors....workers and their managers were inadequately trained to cope with an emergency situation....Their mishandling of emergency procedures contributed to the crisis.

The investigations also pilloried TEPCO and the government’s mishandling of the evacuation of residents living near the plant, in many instances evacuating people to places where levels of radiation were higher than those where they had left....The panel confirmed that data generated by the System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information (SPEEDI) on radiation dispersal was available and could have been used to evacuate residents at greatest risk to safer areas, but this information was not provided to the Prime Minister’s crisis management center until March 23....[O]ne month after the original evacuation, the government used this SPEEDI data to move evacuees out of harms way, meaning that many had been subjected to substantial doses of avoidable radiation exposure.

TEPCO and its regulators...failed to act on fresh and compelling evidence about tsunami risk, a blind spot that left the plant needlessly vulnerable....Telltale warnings began accumulating over the decade prior to 3/11....Clearly, there is no basis to TEPCO’s claim that the scale of the 3/11 tsunami was inconceivable; the utility chose to ignore centuries of geological evidence and repeated 21st century warnings from modern scientists, including in-house researchers....Inexcusably, TEPCO did not make safety its ethos while lax oversight by the government allowed this culture of complacency to persist long after it was obvious that TEPCO was cutting corners to cut costs” (Op. cit.).

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Beppe, I would say "taking shelter", even at Daini, when the radiation levels after the explosions (Reactor 3, and non-explosion explosion of Reactor 2) spiked to 1000 millisieverts (or 1 sievert)/hour. You wouldn't be able to patrol the plant compound with that kind of radiation.

撤退 (withdrawal, retreat, pullout, not to return) is very much different from taking shelter.

bluesapphire48 said...

It may be true that the Japanese "nuclear village" including the government, or TEPCO did not anticipate an earthquake the size of the Tohoku earthquake of 311, but that's NO EXCUSE because THEY SHOULD HAVE. They were warned by geologists of the Jogan Sanriku earthquake of July, 869 a.d. with an estimated 8.6 magnitude on the surface wave magnitude scale. If TEPCO chose to listen to the siren songs of capitalism and not the warnings of sober scientists, they have only themselves to blame for the catastrophe and should pay for every stick of wood broken in the disaster, and every life lost. Death by firing squad is too good for these thieves and liars.

Anonymous said...

Hey, if the former American president can get away with, "I don't think anyone could have known that they would fly planes into buildings ..."

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Hey mscharisma, good to see you back!

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Just a lot of "stuff" going on for me right now. But I keep reading. ;)

Anonymous said...

ehm, actually mine was a rethoric question... during those days NHK was talking about 撤退, not 退避. I am relying on my memory only but I would be surprised to be mistaken.
During those days "taking shelter" at Daini meant abandoning Daichi to its fate and the whole country with it, probably. We owe it to Kan, and to the brave men who did not abandon the ship, that someone stayed at Daiichi.
As far as I can see "taking shelter" is just the expression Tepco uses now when trying cover its back.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

TEPCO managers were using that word back then, or at least it was in the teleconference video from March 2011.

U.G. said...

首相官邸が「重要 な時間を無駄にしただけでなく、指揮命令系統の混乱を拡大し」「事故の進展を止められず、被害を最小化できなかった最大の要因」であると。

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...


U.G. said...

Gregory Jaczkoなどと肩を並べて原発の安全に関する

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