Thursday, November 28, 2013

TEPCO Drops Video Camera into #Fukushima Reactor 3 Spent Fuel Pool by Accident, and Other Japanese Et Cetera


Feel like rolling our collective eyes and saying "Whatever...", or "WTF?" (take your pick)?

Here we go...

1. Ever-clumsy TEPCO drops a video camera into the Reactor 3 Spent Fuel Pool.

From Kyodo News (11/28/2013):

東京電力は28日、福島第1原発3号機の使用済み核燃料プールで、水中のがれき撤去に向けた準備作業中、誤って監視用のカメラをプール内に落としたと発表した。カメラは重さ約5・5キロで、落下による燃料損傷の恐れはないとしている。

TEPCO announced on November 28 that a monitoring camera was dropped into the Spent Fuel Pool of Reactor 3 at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant by mistake, during the preparation work for the removal of debris inside the pool. The camera weighs about 5.5 kilograms, and the company says there is no danger of fuel damage from the drop.

東電によると、28日午前11時すぎ、監視用の水中カメラを遠隔操作で引き上げたところ、ケーブルが切れ、数メートルの高さから落下した。ケーブルを巻き上げすぎたことが原因で、巻き上げを止める安全装置も作動しなかったという。

According to TEPCO, when the workers pulled the monitoring camera out of the water via the remote control, the cable snapped, and the camera dropped from the height of several meters. The cable snapped when it was wound up too tight, and the safety mechanism to prevent the tight winding failed to work.


Unlike Reactor 4's operating floor, Reactor 3's operating floor is too radioactive for humans (and for robots, probably) with one location above the shield plug exceeding 2 Sievert/hour air dose rate.

2. The 33rd Ministry of Justice human rights essay contest for junior high school students has been won by a student in Miyagi Prefecture who wrote not buying Fukushima's peaches because of radiation fear was the same as him being "discriminated" against by his classmate for being a Chinese national.

Refusing the Fukushima produce because of radiation fear is tantamount to racial discrimination, according to the student and the Ministry of Justice who selected his essay as the best of the best this year. (The essay in PDF here, for those of you who read Japanese.) Not buying Fukushima produce, as the government tells you to? You're racist (or, transliterated into Japanese as "reishisuto" with "r" pronounced like "l")!

3. Perishable food price in Japan shot up 16.6% compared to a year ago, with overall consumer price (including food and energy) up 1.1%, according to Reuters Japan. BOJ's Kuroda seems happy that his "QE from another dimension" (or I'd call it Twilight Zone QE) is working, the media paints it as evidence that "Abenomics" (or "Avenomics" ) is working. Good luck, working class citizens of Japan.

4. A citizen was forcibly removed from the balcony in the Diet where he was observing the debate of the State Secrecy Protection Law in the Lower House on November 26, 2013, as he shouted his opposition to the passage of the law. His mouth was stuffed with cloth so that he couldn't shout any more while being removed by several guards against his will.

(From Tokyo Shinbun, 11/26/2013, via this tweet)


What's even scarier to me than the man being forcibly removed by the guards is people sitting near him. They just sit there as if nothing is happening. They are not even looking; the one in the same row even looks away.

5. While the above citizen was being hauled away by security guards, the Representatives in the Lower House in the supposedly tense and heated debate over the State Secrecy Protection Law were anything but tense and heated, according to Nikkan Gendai (11/27/2013).

Nikkan Gendai claims a Representative from Democratic Party of Japan, a hawk who has more in common with LDP and Prime Minister Abe, gave a speech voicing his "opposition", sat down, and started checking emails on his cellphone. The photo shows some "Mama" praising him for the wonderful speech:

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Still sounds like the same kind of shit as everywhere else. I'm certain I've read of identical situations from the West (eg. the US).

Well, except for the camera thing. That's pretty damn sad. Then again, it's more surprising that they bothered to tell us about it.

What to take away from this?
"To be stupid is human", I guess.

Anonymous said...

I can't recall the exact examples of people being dragged off by cops with bystanders doing nothing, but this comes to mind:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7dfkZKjWSo

I think it's not so much that "Japanese people are cowardly", but that younger people are more likely to help because they are more impulsive, less disillusioned by society, and have less to lose. They are much more likely to fight for what they believe is right, without considering consequences.

Older people have to think about their family and so forth, and so are hesitant to put themselves at risk for others. "See no evil, hear no evil" and all that. Sadly, it's usually the older people who have the power to do something, yet they do not.

I really respect any person who does put themselves at risk to save others and do what is truly right.

Hikarius said...

"radiation fear was the same as him being "discriminated" against by his classmate for being a Chinese national"

China is a country with neither independent judicial system, "constitution" which comply the definition of constitution, nor citizens in the sense of civil society so you cannot expect her parent(s) can teach her anything about "discrimination" but take the Chinese characters of the Japanese phrase at its face value, which means "differentiate the difference".

Anonymous said...

At anon @ 11:18:
It is one thing to help a child on the street as in the linked youtube video (one can and should, at a minimum, call 911, i.e., get the police involved) and quite another to take action against security or law enforcement personnel. In the latter case, I can understand that no one moves. I cannot, however, understand the lack of interest. Nothing ensures proper conduct of police etc. as citizens watching closely!

I don't know anything about Japanese laws, but the gagging with cloth would in many other countries certainly not be considered acceptable conduct.
*mscharisma*

Anonymous said...

And then one could try to handle disruptive people like this:
http://www.ktvu.com/videos/news/raw-video-pres-obama-responds-to-heckler-during/vCJ8BZ/
*mscharisma*

Anonymous said...

Good to see that Tepco doesn't have the sole monopoly on 'stupid' in Japan

Marushka said...

WWII minister recounting that when the Nazis came for the gays, Poles, Jews, Catholics, he did not speak up...
and when they came for me, there was no one left....
that's what this reminds me of.

Vyse Legendaire said...

That's nothing. In America, the mafia-tied judges can actually order hits on obnoxious litigants who they have a distaste for.

See Sonny Shu:

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/06/sunny-sheu-murdered-for-investigating-ny-foreclosure-judge-joseph-golia.html

Anonymous said...

147,000nSv/h at Fukushima Daiichi on 11/30/13. Is anyone following this: http://jciv.iidj.net/map/EN

Anonymous said...

That 147,000 is always that high or even higher. Its turned off sometimes during fuel transfers it looks like. Its right in the middle of Fukushima Diiachi Nuclear Power Plant. Its also called 147,000 on the NETC.com radiation tracking system. Nami is also a bit high at 7K nanoS/hr.

Anonymous said...

Please stop scaring people with the big number like 147,000 NANOSIEVERT, which is 0.147 millisievert or 147 microsievert.

Anonymous said...

"turned off during fuel transfers" is as scary as 0.147 mSv/hr -- not to mention Tepco failing to be more transparent

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Please stop scaring people with the big number like 147,000 NANOSIEVERT, which is 0.147 millisievert or 147 microsievert.

I have a right to be scared. I live and work 80 miles from this shit. I have small children. Are you in the same situation?

Anonymous said...

There is an SFP 3 to drop a camera into?

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Yes, contrary to the popular belief, there is an SFP in Reactor 3. It even has water. TEPCO has been dropping all sorts of things in this pool in the past year as they remove the debris around it using remote-control cranes.

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