Saturday, March 19, 2011

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Japanese Government Has Had Near-Real Time Footage of the State of Nuke Plant, and Has Been Sitting On It

In my previous post on the SDF's helicopter measuring the temperatures, I said:

I believe the US military has been flying unmanned drones over the Plant and collecting data. They don't seem to be sharing the data with their Japanese counterpart. Or are they, and the Japanese are simply not telling?

Well, it turns out it is the latter. An article in the Mainichi Daily English reveals that the Japanese government has been sitting on the air reconnaissance video taken by the US military drones, even though it has a permission for public release from the US Air Force.

Mainichi has this article in English on its English site and the original Japanese article on its Japanese site. However, they are both buried deep somewhere and don't appear on their front page. I happened on the English article by googling "US military flying drones over Fukushima".

Mainichi Daily English (3/19/2011):

Japan reluctant to disclose footage of power plant taken by U.S. drone

The Japanese government has in its possession video footage of the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant taken by a U.S. military reconnaissance drone, but has yet to release the footage to the public, sources have revealed.

The footage taken from an RQ-4 Global Hawk drone was passed on to the Japanese government with permission for public release from the U.S. Air Force. U.S. military sources said that the decision to release the footage -- or not -- was up to the Japanese government.

The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is equipped with a high-performance camera that, according to the U.S. Air Force, takes "footage so clear that even automobile license plates are visible." Nearly real-time footage of the internal state of the power station is said to be captured, which is likely to assist experts in analyzing the situation.

The U.S. Air Force has been flying the state-of-the-art UAV based in Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, over quake- and tsunami-ravaged areas since March 12 -- a day after a massive quake and tsunami struck eastern Japan -- in response to a request from the Japanese government.

Because Japanese Self-Defense Force aircraft have trouble flying over the stricken Fukushima power plant due to large amounts of radioactive materials detected in the air, the Global Hawk has been filming the area around the clock. Footage is transmitted via satellite to a U.S. Air Force base in California, and is also supplied to the Japanese government. The Japanese government, however, has yet to disclose the footage, which is being analyzed by nuclear power experts and others at the California base.

Paging Hackers Anonymous, paging....

When will they learn? Information, any information, wants to be free.


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