Sunday, January 12, 2014

Nikkei Shinbun's Interview of Haruki Madarame (2/7): "I Didn't Know What Was Going On in the Room, I Couldn't Call for Help Because My Cellphone Didn't Work in the Basement"


Part 1, Part 3, Part 4
========================

(Continued from Part 1, from Nikkei Shinbun: Testimony of Dr. Madarame, in the third year of the accident: "Worst case scenario was possible for Fukushima" by Junichi Taki, editorial board member)

「海岸近くにある冷却系施設が津波で壊れているはずだから、(炉心で発生する)熱の捨て場がない。熱を捨てるには炉心に水をぶち込んで、水蒸気の形で熱を空気中に出すしかない。熱の捨て場を確保する目的で、ベント(排気)をしてくださいと進言した。この時点では炉心が溶け始めているとは思っていなかった」

"I assumed that the cooling system near the ocean had been damaged by the tsunami; there was no place to dump the heat (generated in the reactor core). To remove the heat, the only way was to pour water in the reactor core, and release the heat into the air in the form of water vapor. So I suggested that the vent be done in order to secure the space to remove the heat. At that point, I didn't think that the reactor core would start melting."

「また周辺住民の避難に関して、私が3キロ圏の避難を進言したことになっている。ここは記憶があいまいなのだが、国際原子力機関(IAEA)の予防的措置範囲(PAZ=Precautionary Action Zone)が3~5キロだと承知しているので、3キロではどうかと問われれば、それでよい、国際的な考え方からも予防的に避難させるべきだと答えたに違いない。すでに福島県が2キロ圏内の避難を指示していることもおそらくそのときに聞いたはずだ」

"About evacuating the residents in the surrounding areas, it is supposed to be me who suggested the evacuation within the 3-kilometer radius. My memory on this is blurry, but I knew the IAEA's Precautionary Action Zone to be between 3 to 5-kilometer radius. So if I had been asked whether the 3-kilometer radius was OK, I must have answered that it was OK, and by the international standard the residents needed to be evacuated as a precaution. I must also have heard at the same time that Fukushima Prefecture had already instructed the residents within the 2-kilometer radius to evacuate."

「後から振り返れば、私はこのとき部屋で行われていることが何かわかっていなかった。原発事故の際には保安院の緊急時対応センター(ERC、経済産業省別館)で指揮がとられることになっていた。ERCでは指揮がとられていて、私は政治家の人たちに解説をすればよいのだと思っていた。ただ矢継ぎ早の質問に対し、私は何の資料も原発の図面すらなく、ただ記憶だけで答えていた。11日の夕方には原子力安全委員がオフィスに集まり始めていたが、官邸地下の危機管理センターからは携帯電話がかけられず、助けを得られなかった」

"In retrospect, I didn't know what was going on in the room. In a nuclear accident, NISA's Emergency Response Center (ERC, in the Ministry of Economy Annex building) was to be the command center. I assumed the ERC was doing the job, and I was there at the Prime Minister's Official Residence to explain things to the politicians. But I was answering a barrage of questions from my memory, without any reference material, not even a blueprint of the plant [reactors]. Commissioners [of Nuclear Safety Commission] started to gather in the office in the evening of March 11, but I couldn't make a call on my cellphone from the Crisis Management Center in the basement of the Prime Minister's Official Residence to get their help."

班目氏の行動(3月12日)
0:55 1号機格納容器の圧力上昇の情報 電源車到着するが、電源復旧できず、電源盤損傷の疑いを抱く
3:00ころ 2号機の隔離時冷却系(RCIC)運転の情報を確認(危険なのは1号機と判断)
5:00ころ 首相の現地視察への同行依頼を受ける
5:44 10km圏内の避難指示
6:14 菅首相に同行しヘリで官邸を発つ(機内で首相に水素爆発の説明)
7:11 福島第1原発へ到着(到着後、ベント未実施を知る)
8:04 福島第1原発を出発
10:47 官邸に帰着し安全委オフィスに徒歩で戻る
12:08 原子力災害対策本部の会議(11:35呼び出し受ける)
13:00ころ 福島県選出国会議員への説明(13:30ころ以降は首相応接室に滞在)
15:18 1号機のベント成功の情報。その後、海水注入の問題点を議論
15:50ころ 1号機で白煙発生の情報
17:00ころ テレビで1号機爆発を確認、水素爆発と直感。その後、菅首相の求めで久木田委員長代理を推薦
19:30ころ 安全委オフィスに戻る
22:05 原子力災害対策本部の会議(再び官邸)
24:00過ぎ 帰宅

Dr. Madarame on March 12, 2011
0:55AM Pressure inside the Containment Vessel of Reactor 1 rising; power supply cars arrived, but the power couldn't be restored; [Madarame] suspected the damage of the power control panel
3:00AM confirmed operation of Reactor 2 reactor core isolation cooling (RCIC), decided it was Reactor 1 that was in danger
5:00AM asked to accompany Prime Minister on the on-site inspection
5:44AM evacuation instruction to 10-kilometer radius areas
6:14AM leaving PM Official Residence on a helicopter with PM Kan, explaining about hydrogen explosion to Kan on board the helicopter
7:11AM arrived at Fukushima I NPP, learned that vent hadn't been done
8:04AM left Fukushima I NPP
10:47PM arrived back at PM Official Residence, and walked back to the office of Nuclear Safety Commission
12:08PM Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters meeting (Madarame was asked at 11:35AM to attend)
1:00PM met with Members of the National Diet elected from Fukushima (stayed in the prime minister's reception room from 1:30PM on)
3:18PM news of successful vent of Reactor 1, discussion of issues concerning seawater injection [into the reactors]
3:50PM news of white smoke rising from Reactor 1


His cellphone didn't work in the sub-basement... I don't know if it ever occurred to Dr. Madarame to go outside and make a phone call. Is he trying to tell us there was no landline telephone available at the Crisis Management Center?

NISA was indeed doing the job at the Emergency Response Center that day. They had their own computer simulation done on the spread of radioactive materials and drawing up the evacuation plan that was based on the simulation. It was NOT the stupendous concentric circles like Mr. Edano and Mr. Kan came up with on their own.

But what did NISA do? Or rather, what did Director-General of NISA do, who was at the Prime Minister's Official Residence and was in the position to tell the irascible Prime Minister Naoto Kan that his organization was getting a better handle on the situation and in fact coming up with the evacuation plan? Director-General Terasaka was shouted at and scolded by Kan, and he went home, never to return to the Prime Minister's Official Residence for the duration of the initial crisis. (He was the one whose excuse was "because I was liberal arts major.")

NISA's Deputy Director-General, after his boss left the building, had to deal with Prime Minister Naoto Kan, which he apparently did very poorly. He was a science major, but in electrical engineering.

Dr. Madarame in the book published in December 2012 (pages 39, 40):

15条通報を受け、午後5時40分頃、官邸に向かいました。到着すると、まず官邸五階の総理執務室に通されました。
「助けて下さい」
私を出迎えた保安院のナンバー2である平岡英治次長がそう懇願しました。いったい何事かと思いました。だいたい、本来この場にいるのは保安院トップの寺坂信昭院長のはずです。ところが、姿が見えない。

After receiving the Article 15 notice [ECCS failure in Reactors 1 and 2], I headed for the Prime Minister's Official Residence around 5:40PM [on March 11, 2011]. When I arrived there, I was led to the Prime Minister's Office on the 5th floor.

"Please help me."

Eiji Hiraoka, Deputy Director-General of NISA pleaded with me. I wondered, what was going on? To begin with, it should be the Director-General of NISA, Nobuaki Terasaka who should be there. But he was nowhere to be seen.

後で聞いたのですが、菅さんに原発の状況を聞かれたのに、寺坂さんはまともに質問に答えられなかったようです。それを厳しく叱責されたため、官邸を辞した後でした。その後、私は官邸内で寺坂さんにお目にかかった記憶はありません。

I heard it later that Mr. Terasaka couldn't answer the questions from Mr. Kan regarding the nuclear power plant. He was severely scolded, and left the building. I don't remember ever seeing Mr. Terasaka inside the Prime Minister's Official Residence.

寺坂さんは、経産省の事務官です。大学では経済を専攻し、経済はともかく、原子力はずぶの素人でした。ところが、どうしたことか、技術に精通しているべき保安院の院長に就いていました。寺坂院長が答えられなかったので、次は平岡次長が菅さんに詰問されました。平岡次長は技官ですが大学では電気を勉強していて、原子力には詳しくない。

Mr. Terasaka is an administrative official at Ministry of Economy. He majored in economics in college. He may know economics, but when it comes to nuclear energy he was a rank amateur. But for whatever reason he was the director-general of Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, who should possess intimate knowledge of the [nuclear] technology. Since Director-General Terasaka couldn't answer, Deputy Director-General Hiraoka was grilled by Mr. Kan. Deputy Director-General Hiraoka is a technical official, but his major in college was electrical engineering and he didn't know much about nuclear energy.

日本の不運か、菅さんの悲運か、こんな時に、適任者が適切なポストにいない、とはまさに痛恨の極みです。平岡次長の「助けて」は、そういう理由だったのでしょう。

Was it Japan's misfortune? Was it Mr. Kan's ill fate? In the time like this, a qualified person wasn't in the appropriate position. A cry for help from Deputy Director-General Hiraoka could be understood in this context.


Or someone who could shout back at Mr. Kan and tell him to shut up.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

No surprises here. The devolution of the crisis is an entirely predictable result of the deeply engrained corruption and incompetence accross the entire Japanese political and business society. Amakudari means 'descended from heaven'. Do the Japanese have a word for 'descended into hell'?

Anonymous said...

"Do the Japanese have a word for 'descended into hell'?"

Yes. It's called "zaibatsu".

"Come work for us at the zaibatsu. Come, greet our Human Resources dept. and begin your coolie descent into our barracoons."

They did say that, didn't they?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coolies

sangell said...

PM Kan certainly had a lot of issues on his plate in the immediate aftermath of the 3/11 earthquake. The loss of life from the tsunami was enormous and the need to help rescue survivors would have been paramount. That he wasn't getting good information from government officials is really not surprising. TEPCO were the people who had the actual facts on the status of their nuclear power plant but their CEO Masataka Shimizu was in hiding. PM Kan was criticized for helicoptering out to the plant but what was he to do? No one was giving him good info on the actual situation at the power plant. I think Shimizu was the real problem. He should have been getting real time reports from the managers of that facility and passing that info on directly to the PM's office.

Anonymous said...

sangell,

How is Shimizu's conduct not entirely reminiscent of the Emperor's granted pass at the Tokyo war crimes trials?

Granting of fantasy-land status to pivotal characters.

Anonymous said...

Apparently Daiichi was not the only place having a meltdown. This memoir exudes confidence in all things concerning nuclear science.

"Sir, 3 out of 6 reactors at Daiichi are melting down and out but if we erect circus tents over them and charge admission, no one will be the wiser and maybe we can recoup some of our losses."

Anonymous said...

TEPCO demanding compensation money back, Abe plundering the middle class' savings.

There is no difference.
Each a meltdown of understandings.

Anonymous said...

Some sharp comments here - bravo!

Anonymous said...

"Some sharp comments here - bravo!"

Complementing yourself because you wrote all of them?

Anonymous said...

Madarame is using the words "I assumed" way too often, both in this and in the former installment.
Tepco has a long history of hiding information (including falsifying maintenance records), so it is naive to expect its top managers to volunteer information about the unfolding crisis.
This is why you set up a regulatory body: to have independent and professional advice. Obviously the NISA was not up to expectations. Furthermore, my impression is that NISA membership was just a way to give extra money to otherwise incompetent bureaucrats and therefore make sure no control function was performed.

Beppe

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that one of the main concerns of a politician facing a crisis is his legal liability. Hence Kan asking Madarame about the legal basis of declaring a nuclear emergency in installment 1 and the basis of the 2-3/5 km evacuation radius recommended by Madarame in this installment.
By the way, does anyone recall that the radionuclide dispersion simulations computed by the Japanese Metereological Agency (which correctly predicted the area most affected by the fallout) were not disclosed to the public and we had to rely on the German Metereological Agency forecasts?

Anonymous said...

In the land of the earthquake, Japanese are expert in forecasting quakes but ignore previous marker stones that dot the coastlines warning of past tsunami heights. A calculated risk? Or incompetence? Just how did they expect large tsunamis to be generated?

Anonymous said...

In English "calculated risk" is spelled g-r-e-e-d: save the few pennies a higher wall would cost betting that a tsunami occourring every several hundred years will not hit during the 40 years life of a npp.

Anonymous said...

"Complementing yourself because you wrote all of them?"

An old joke here: "nukelubing" yourself as your anxiety/angst reinforces itself via "complementation" while complimenting others on their intelligence for noting it?

Heh.

Anonymous said...

Anon@4:32

Firstly the English lesson... The word you should be using is complimenting, your use of the word complementing is nonsensical.

Next, your rather sad and shabby comment is to what end? To persuade others that the bed of sh1t you find yourself in doesn't stink?

It does stink. It stinks to high heaven. And all the seemingly outraged self righteous apologist blather can't hide the stench of a bloated, corrupt-to-the-core, nation dying at hands of its' amakudari 'Demi-gods'.

Anonymous said...

8:27 AM, thanks for the lesson. No, I did mean COMPLEMENT, as in you posting multiple comments one after another seemingly adding to (something) in a way that enhances or improves the whole. I thought you'd get it, you being an English major as well as a troll.

But, let us imagine you are right and my use of the word COMPLEMENT is a typo and does not make sense. At least it is only one word, in contrast with whole paragraphs in your posts that are nonsensical, if not the whole posts themselves, illustrated by the display of histrionics in your last post above. This is what happens when proper English grammar and spelling meet psychosis.

Anonymous said...

@anon 12:32
So you want to stick to your multiple comments accusation...
You are wrong - well on the road to being dead wrong.

Face the fact that others are equally outraged and become more so at blatant attempts to sweep the disgusting status quo under the carpet.

Anonymous said...

What others are equally outraged? You mean your aliases? As for anyone here (other than you or your aliases) attempting to sweep the status quo under the carpet, I haven't read anything of the sort. Now you are seeing things along with suffering from a reading comprehension problem. I know it's difficult keeping up with all your hammy characters on all the blogs so maybe your eyesight is suffering???

Anonymous said...

"This is what happens when proper English grammar and spelling meet psychosis."

We'll take your word for it, 12:32, for both your grammar and spelling suggest Psychosis.

And didn't you have a typo, you did mean to use "meat"? Like your mind "meats" yourself?

Anonymous said...

Anon@3:05
You are right. No others are outraged at all. It's just me posting millions of times across websites and blogs around the world.

It's not a disaster at all, just a figment of one man's paranoid delusion.
There was no meltdown, the govt of Japan is not antiquated and corrupt, all is well in the land of the rising sun.

Tout seul en fou my friend.

Anonymous said...

Areva, so, it IS YOU trolling your own blogs. My congratulations.

"Tout seul en fou my friend." Indeed.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous gentlemen,
let's stop talking more nonsense than Madarame, please...
Beppe

Anonymous said...

I agree, Beppe, it is finally time.

Was JEdgar "out" or simply "of it"?

haha
hahaha

J. Edgar Hoover: Gay or Just a Man Who Has Sex With Men?
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/edgar-hoover-sex-men-homosexual/story?id=14948447&singlePage=true

/flippancy

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