Monday, February 27, 2012

BBC Documentary "Inside the Meltdown"

The documentary includes footage from early days of the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster that started on March 11, 2011 that I've never seen before - weather camera video when the tsunami hit the plant, a video shot by a plant worker as he tried to escape uphill. The fact I wasn't aware at that time - there were people in Okuma-machi (where the plant is located) on March 12 when they did the vent, looking for their family members lost in the earthquake/tsunami.

People interviewed include a current TEPCO employee at the plant, a former plant inspector, farmers and fishermen in Fukushima, and Naoto Kan, who has been very busy spinning the story ever since he finally quit so that he is portrayed as a "hero", foiled by the scheming bureaucracy.

BBC obliged. But it is still a very good documentary.


Chibaguy said...

Thank you for posting this. Good documentary for now but it doesn't cover the truth. This is BBC's version of a cold shutdown. Anyway, nice to see some half truths for once aside from PM Kan. His overall tone is this was finished under his watch and did impact the world. Nothing is over and the jet stream carried all of this crap everywhere.

I will not go on a rant, but thank the people that risked their lives to do something. These people are heroes no matter what the outcome eventually becomes. I am not quite sure what the worst scenerio was though. I think we are still going through it.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating video coverage with the great voice of UK actor Rupert Graves (the second detective in the V for Vendetta movie). Interesting tidbits I learned about events like the car battery usage to help in emergency power for the control panel systems. Heart-rending tales of family members killed by the Great Earthquake and tsunami.

I was surprised to see so much anti-nuclear sentiment coming from a nucrocracy country sponsored video, but in the sly little slanting and innuendos Big Brother hammers home his reassuring words that all is now well in the Nippon empire.

Summed up admirably by the classic misinformation at the very end (camera is lowered by Tepco into Reactor 1 and the concrete slab has amazingly held its ground againt the demonic runaway core.)

Experienced Fukushoma watchers know runaway corium issues are far worse and there is no closure of containment. Bioaccumulation worsens every day in Japan, the Pacific Ocean, and radioactive fallout plumes that fill the sky around the world constantly recharged by the many damaged fuel piles still burning atomically at Fukushima. Just because there are no flames does not mean a damn thing. Atomic fires are often just invisible deadly plumes and that we see at Fukushima Daiichi as the "normal" clouds flowing overhead the plant are melted like magician's magic by the intense radiation heat soaring upward into the jetstream. There is no safe haven anywhere in Japan in my the entire archipelago. Some areas are not as polluted far north and in Okinawa, but they are catching up fast.

As a longtime sorter through the concerted misinformation the Tepco/nuclear cabal foists on an illiterate public...I found most interesting to me personally in this film the one-track focus of Tepco on the megaplex issues. The film shows heroic worker efforts directed against a single reactor (never mentioned in most segments) as if there was just one bad building doing all the nasty radiation business. So that just shows how bad it is really because they can't multitask at Fukushima Daiichi. They have devoted too few men and too few resources to the 6 reactors and 7 spent fuel ponds. All dangerous and yet Tepco has no plan other than to focus on the ugliest issue of the day.

Totally unprepared on March 11, 2011 to save the megaplex and a year later still totally unprepared to deal with the consequences of this game-changing nightmare. The nuclear industry is trying to push aside Fukushima's problems and say all is getting better, but misinformation can't make it better.

They need a trillion dollars worth of onsite resources IMMEDIATELY...and tens of thousands of workers if not hundreds of thousands. Also honest discourse with everyone affected worldwide.

Not likely to happen, but the consequences will be grave down the line and we're not talking 5-10 years. There is a pandemic in progress in Japan that will make the European Black Death of the 1300s pale in comparison.

There needs to be an awareness cold shutdown means one thing only...that there is no need to pour water haphazardly on the mangled reactor buildings and the radiation emissions are stopped. Period. No more mind games from Tepco/Diet. I hope they will soon feel much more wrath than just from three brave city mayors in Fukushima Prefecture.


Anonymous said...

what he says, +1

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

To many Japanese (I have this video on my Jp blog), it is a sheer surprise. Some of the footage in the video they've never seen before - plant right after the tsunami hit, firemen laying down the hose at night in 100 millisieverts/hr radiation. Or things they've never heard in the MSM in Japan - after Reactor 3 explosion, radiation level went as high as 1 sievert/hour.

Anonymous said...

This "documentary" was very stilted and filled with a lot of blather, fluff, and pointed misinformation. It is comparable to that pathetic whitewashing by, oh I forget the female anchor, it aired in US last summer, featured similar "human stories" involving crew of the sea shepard who didn't pass within fifty miles of Fukushima. Utter garbage that also served to implant a past-tense view of the (ongoing, progressing) accident into the public consciousness.

Notice the standard placing of blame squarely on the tsunami despite evidence the earthquakes themselves probably caused at least some damage. The flooded generators pegged as the fatal design flaw athough the plant's equipment to feed these emergency pumps with water were completely destroyed, rendering even a hundred generators useless. Minister Kan plays a lot of deniability cards but nobody confronts him on the fact that his administration was not questioning safety and appropriate responses, but blindly trusted that Tepco was in control and everything would work out alright.

Did anyone else notice that in talking about the endoscope images the narrator actually seems to refer to the water drops ("white flashes" I think they are described as) as GAMMA RAYS!? Did the fact checkers simply check out for the last fifteen minutes of the script, or did the fucking morons who concocted this farce actually think you would be able to see a gamma ray as it moved across frame on camera? Totally apalling that this even passes for journalism. It is also typically sensationalist that they presented video footage in what I think was a manipulative way, intermixing firefighter footage with videos taken by plant workers both during and well after the first days of the accident (unit 1 inspection videos last fall cut in amongst apparent film of the venting attempts) and scrambling them together chronologically so as to make the story they tell almost meaningless. I realize that we are not all nuclear scientists, and I don't expect journalists to have to qualify in this way. However getting the facts straight in a story as important as this one is paramount to everything else.

It's unsurprising to me that media based from the same nation that spawned Rupert Murdoch, who have created in the Irish Sea the most heavily radioactively polluted body of water on the planet (pre Fukushima anyway) and who actively profit from the perpetuation of nuclear power would try to present the scenario as one of a forward-looking attitude towards how to make the nuclear industry safer amidst a horrible, unimagined disaster. But the reality is, this is an effort to rewrite history as they see fit, to confuse and confound the dimwits who were oblivious to what was happening around them in the immediate aftermath of 3/11, those who obviously fell for the early calls of "everything's fine, no problems here, don't mind that black cloud over my shoulder as this is simply a level four, oh maybe five event unfolding behind me..." Also, did anyone else notice that after incessant repeat playing of unit 1's explosion in media outlets like The Weather Channel, the explosion at unit 3 occurred and all of a sudden the story dropped off the radar, and by the time the fallout had landed in California two weeks later Radnet was all but offline, even as headlines were touting the meager radiation detection system as our frontline defense and our best indication that the events in Fukushima has "no immedate health risks" to the American population.

arevamirpal, I respect the work you've done in covering this story but I would urge you to re-watch this production possibly with a more critical eye as to me this is precisely the carefully crafted drivel designed to numb a mass audience back into complacency. It should be fairly obvious that anyone with money ties to the nuclear industry simply cannot be trusted to be forthcoming with anything besides spin and lies.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

I still think it is a good documentary, unlike other BBC documentary on the subject. It is valuable particularly to the Japanese viewers who never seen the actual footage, or heard that the radiation level after the Reactor 3 explosion was 1 sievert/hour.

It is gamma rays, by the way, that you saw in the endoscope video.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

as well as water drops.

Anonymous said...

Again, no, this documentary was poorly done and here is an illustration of the problems this sort of toxic spin causes.

Quite simply there is not one single gamma ray "visible" on the video. You see a multicolored snow-type distortion which is an effect caused by the bombardment of the CCD camera by gamma radiation. Elementary physics says that gamma rays travel at light speed and as such travel a distance many exponentials greater than the field of view of the camera, even the entire length of the containment, in a fraction of a second. More advanced physics tells us that individual, discernable "gamma rays" don't actually exist, they aren't individually observable as particles; only their effect is. The bottom line is the concept of catching images of gamma rays in a visual context is ridiculous.

Anyone with a high school education should be capable of reasoning this. But it is apparently beyond the writers of a supposed factual account of the highly complex events at Fukushima.

Quote at 51:50
"The flashes of white are caused by gamma radiation"

This is a deliberately misleading statement. They don't even mention water drops because they don't want to call attention to the fact within the containment are rainforest-like conditions which are being maintained by melted fuel which continues to boil water. No, it is much more reassuring to know that inside the containment gamma rays are bouncing around willy nilly like little white comets, flashing and whizzing past a camera but thankfully not escaping out the hole they shoved it into.

This is not the first time I've seen what is clearly falling water described as flashing gamma rays. It makes me want to scream at the irresponsibility of those sourcing this bad information. Statements like this contort and twist real physical phenomenon into nebulous fantasy and it's not long before we're up to our asses in a muddle of specific terms that get applied ever more broadly.

Pretty soon nobody's sure what the difference is between a fuel melt, and a fuel rod melt, and a core melt is, or if any of these are actually a "meltdown". Or whether Fukushima was a LOCA or LOUH or station blackout (look! Carefully crafted term widely spread in the early days in order to confuse Google searches for "fukushima media blackout") or whether they are now, ever were, or ever will be in a cold shutdown, or "cold shutdown"-state, or if we can even make any assumption about the condition of the fuel based on what little information we have. Or whether we are measuring radiation in Bq or TBq or Gy or REM or whatever we're using this week, if we're even using a sensitivity of measurement that allows us to measure anything accurately as the video makes no indication of how the supposed measurement of 1 Sv per hour radiation was measured, if it actually exceeded the range of the meter or any other circumstances.

To sum up, sloppy facts and nuclear powerplants mix about as well as sloppy safety practices and nuclear powerplants. This should be a red flag to the general public who should realize that when anything so intellectually inacessable to normal people (through fault of education I say) is promoted by a group who's main response is "don't worry, it's safe" the right answer must always be a resounding NO.

Anonymous said...

whatever. your beef with BBC seems to go way beyond this particular documentary, and your criticism is sloppy by deliberately reading too much into things presented and blowing out of proportion.

They didn't say falling water drops were gamma rays. It's your invention.

Anonymous said...

1:59 PM, gosh I'm having a bit of a hot meltdown myself reading your stuff. You are almost as smart as me but that's not really just thinking it might be is making me quite faint...

You are correct. You can't observe "gamma rays" with a conventional camera. That's just not possible also.

Marita said...

Seems like someone is mad at the BBC.

You can't see "Light Rays" either , but somehow I manage to get through the day just fine using light.

You detect Light , Gamma and X_Rays by the "effect" on the medium they impart their energy into. So the "seeing" they are doing is an accurate way of speaking about it.

Overall I'd give the BBC a well done on the video.

Sure there were some "Pushing the Limits" in their presentation but EVERY video/blog/news article does the same.

Anonymous said...

Here's another version of this 'look back at what happened':

So, why are the BBC and MSN finally admitting that Fukushima exists or was serious? Oh they can say it isn't serious anymore? Did I get it right?

Anonymous said...

BBC British Bullshit Company

Anonymous said...

enenews is a good site.
It looks like someone has attacked/hacked enenews.
Is there a back up site/alternative site where people from enenews can gather together?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this video.
Only tiny bits of truth are presented though.
If I'm not mistaken, the scope video was recording inside reactor #2.
I'm thankful that the Japanese didn't evacuate the site completely.
I keep reminding myself that this situation could be worse.

Just remember to consider the sources of the information (BBC, Japanese Gov., TEPCO). All of which have low credibility and reliability.

I hope they don't experience another massive quake & tsunami. Then the entire N Hemisphere and possibly the planet will be doomed. At least the surface-dwellers.

Much love to all. Peace. Thanks again for posting the video.

David said...


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