Saturday, March 23, 2013

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant Reactor 3: Those Blank 6 Hours of No Water Injection on March 13, 2011 May Have Been 12 Hours Instead, TEPCO's New Analysis Shows

So instead of just past midnight on March 13, 2011, the water may have stopped 6 hours earlier, on the night of March 12, 2011, a few hours after the Reactor 1 building blew up in an hydrogen explosion (which may have happened on the 4th floor instead of the 5th, top floor).

From Yomiuri Shinbun (3/24/2013):


Water injection into Reactor 3 may have stopped for 12 hours, analysis to be redone


It has been revealed by analysis by TEPCO and others that the blank in water injection into the Reactor 3 RPV may have been 12 hours in March 2011 in the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident.


The blank in water injection into Reactor 3 is said to have been for 6.5 hours starting in the early hours of March 13, 2011. However, the data on water levels recorded by the operator at that time surfaced in fall last year, which shows the water injection may have stopped max 6 hours earlier, on the night on March 12, 2011.


TEPCO's current analysis shows the core melt of Reactor 3 started in the morning of March 13, 2011. The company plans to redo the analysis based on the new condition that the water injection may have stopped earlier. Depending on the result of the new analysis, it is possible that the conditions to estimate the dispersion of radioactive materials will change. Regarding TEPCO's investigation [of the accident], the independent accident investigation commission set up by the Cabinet Office pointed out in the final report issued in July last year that "the investigation of the accident is not enough, and there are issues and data still to be studied".

All I can say is that the investigation commission is correct.

Even though there was no MOX fuel in the Reactor 3 Spent Fuel Pool at the time of the accident, it was in the Reactor Pressure Vessel, being used in generating power.

Back in May 26, 2011, Mainichi English reported that TEPCO admitted the pipe connected to the High Pressure Coolant Injection system (HPCI) for the Reactor 3 probably broke during the earthquake (see my post on that day).

On March 13, 2011 at 12:55PM, TEPCO discovered that 1.9 meter of the fuel rods in Reactor 3 were exposed, and at 1:12PM they started to pour seawater into the RPV (see my post that day). Well, that 1.9 meter exposure was false, in retrospect.

Earlier that day, the emergency battery power ran out for the High Pressure Coolant Injection System, and the system shut itself down at 2:44AM. At 4:15AM, the fuel rods started to get exposed as the water in the container started to boil and water level started to go down. Nuclear emergency was issued on 6AM. (See my post from that day.)

Now, TEPCO is saying the water may have stopped much earlier than 2:44AM on March 13, 2011 when the HPCI stopped. Or are they saying the HPCI itself stopped much earlier? Or are they saying water ran out (as the pipe to the HPCI had been broken in the earthquake) before the HPCI stopped?

I'm looking forward to TEPCO's new and improved analysis. I want to know the true timeline of events, which is clear as mud after more than two years since the start of the nuclear accident.

Whether you like it or not, TEPCO remains unfortunately the only source of information when it comes to Fukushima I Nuke Plant.

Friday Humor from Idiosyncratic Japan: Government May Make English Proficiency Test (TOEFL) Mandatory for Career Bureaucrat Exam, to Prepare for TPP Negotiations

For those of you inside and outside Japan who don't know, TOEFL is an English language proficiency test for non-English speakers who want to study at colleges and universities in English-speaking countries.

It's basically a test to see if the prospective students can make conversations with classmates and teachers, read not-so-difficult textbooks and newspaper articles and write more or less grammatically correct sentences - English ability enough to get accepted at a college and enjoy a college life in English-speaking countries.

But as Tokyo Shinbun reports, the Japanese government under the Abe administration thinks it may be THE tool to select career bureaucrats who can battle it out with foreign counterparts in difficult and complicated international treaty negotiations, like the one for TPP.

I can't figure out whether Tokyo Shinbun is making fun, or they seriously believe what they've written.

(God save Japan. Or God demolish Japan ASAP...)

From Tokyo Shinbun (3/23/2013):

官僚は英語交渉力を 国家公務員試験にTOEFL 政府が義務付けを検討

Bureaucrats must have negotiation skills in English - government may make TOEFL test mandatory as part of Civil Service Examination

外国と渡り合える人材を求む-。政府は二〇一五年度の国家公務員採用試験から、英語運用能力テスト「TOEFL」の受験を義務付けることの検討を始めた。環太平洋連携協定(TPP)の交渉参加表明などを受け、将来的に対外交渉能力の強い官僚の育成が急務となっていることも背景にあるようだ。 (大杉はるか)

Wanted: People who can cross swords with foreigners. The national government is considering making TOEFL mandatory as part of the Civil Service Examination for the fiscal 2015. The government has formally expressed intention to participate in the negotiation of Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), and may be feeling an urgent need to promote bureaucrats with strong ability to negotiate with foreign countries.


TOEFL is an English proficiency test targeted at people whose mother tongue is not English, and it is used primarily when one applies to study in English-speaking countries. The idea of mandatory TOEFL [for Civil Service Examination] came from commissioners in the Industrial Competitiveness Committee set up by the government, and Tsuneo Hara, president of the National Personnel Authority, has agreed to consider. Details will be discussed later, including whether they use TOEFL only, or whether the TOEFL score become one of the criteria for hiring. According to the National Personnel Authority, only 16% of people who passed the Civil Service Examination (career) in the fiscal 2012 had TOEFL test.


However, as of now, there are already an increasing number of occasions where the bureaucrats [must] study the situations in foreign countries when planning [government policies]. The Japanese government intends to expand international economic alliance in addition to TPP, and the language capabilities, particularly that of English, are indispensable for the bureaucrats in charge of negotiating with other countries.


It is not likely that ability to negotiate can be acquired by making TOEFL mandatory, but there's a possibility that it will lead to the change in the way Kasumigaseki (career) bureaucrats think, who tend to be "inward-looking" and "hierarchical".

So they think TOEFL will prepare bureaucrats for the treaty text like this (US-Korea Free Trade Agreement, Article 11.2):

2. A requirement by a Party that a service supplier of the other Party post a bond or other form of financial security as a condition of the cross-border supply of a service does not of itself make this Chapter applicable to measures adopted or maintained by the Party relating to such cross-border supply of the service. This Chapter applies to measures adopted or maintained by the Party relating to the posted bond or financial security, to the extent that such bond or financial security is a covered investment.

I don't think so.

Besides, English language skills and negotiation skills are two totally separate things, but that apparently does not occur to most in Japan.

Japan has its own, strange English proficiency test called "Eiken". Native English speakers have told me they had a hard time understanding the questions.

They all say "communication", or "komyunikehshon" in Japanese in Japan. And that remains the most elusive thing in Japan, to communicate with others beyond their border. It will remain elusive as long as they think it is a matter of speaking English.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

#Radioactive Japan: Number of Food Items to Be Tested for Radiation Will Be Reduced by 25%, First Major Revision Since the Start of Nuclear Accident

It looks like the nuclear accident is so behind them in Japan, rat or no rat. Ministry of Health and Labor announced that the radioactivity testing for food items will be scaled down significantly, by exempting 34 items from testing.

That's 25% of food items that have been regularly tested since the start of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident.

They have been testing only 132 food items to begin with.

What's puzzling is that certain fruits that have consistently been found with elevated amounts (if not exceeding the safety standard of 100 Bq/kg) of radioactive cesium are going to be exempted - peaches, apples, and pears.

From Kyodo News (3/19/2013):

食品のセシウム検査縮小へ 厚労省

Testing for radioactive cesium in food to be scaled down, Ministry of Health and Labor says


On March 19, the national government announced that certain leafy vegetables, fruits, and certain kinds of fish will be exempt from the tests conducted by the municipalities for radioactive cesium, starting April. The number of food items to be tested will be reduced from the current 132 to 98. It is the first time that the radiation test for food has been significantly revised.


The reason given by the ministry is that radioactive cesium is not detected any more in increasing number of food items.


For example, the items to be excluded from the testing are spinach, lettuce, cabbage, daikon, potatoes and others for the vegetables, peach, apple, pear and others for the fruits, young lancefish, sardine, mackerel, yellowtail and others for the fish.

Well, as you know, peaches, apples, pears and persimmons from Fukushima will be sold to Thailand as "gourmet fruits" for the rich. JETRO just announced that Malaysia will no longer require the radiation test certificates for the food items from Japan. Rich Malaysians will get to eat those "gourmet fruits", too.

Information at the website of Ministry of Health and Labor is as clear as mud. You can't readily tell which vegetables, fruits and fish have been exempted by the Nuclear Disaster Response Headquarters. You have to know exactly what they have been testing (132 items) to know what will be exempt, as the ministry's press release only confirms what are still to be tested.

Idiosyncratic Japan: ANA Ad (Horror) Continues...

And today, Zero Hedge has another version of ANA ad for me - "Find Your Angle".

In addition to the top banner, there is also a square banner on the right side, with a young girl with a blank face with color-contact-lense-augmented blank eyes in a maid costume.

For those who don't know about "maid cafes" in Japan that have cropped up in the past 10 years or so, they are outfits where customers can engage in a conversation, play games with young girls (as young as high school students) and women dressed as maids who work at these outfits. Some cafes offer alcohol beverages. There are "maid cafes" specialized in giving hand and foot massages. Some apparently give more than hand and foot massages.

Maid cafes like this one in Akihabara say "We're waiting for the return of our masters".

I personally find it very insulting and demeaning for girls in particular, but if you read Japanese commentaries on the subject, you'll find these cafes are lauded as empowering for young girls and women.

(And they wonder why women don't marry and the birth rate is low in Japan?)

These "maid cafes" have totally ruined my favorite town Akihabara, as far as I'm concerned, which used to be just the place for tech geeks of all ages.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Idiosyncratic Japan: "Let's Do Japan - Manganizer" Ad by ANA

Speaking of clicking ads...

Zero Hedge is one of the sites I regularly go for financial news. The site uses Google AdSense. Today, the top banner is this creepy ad from All Nippon Airways (ANA) displayed especially for me:

WTF? I clicked it, costing ANA a few cents and benefiting Zero Hedge and Google. This is where I landed:

Then I remember the pledge by the Japanese national government to promote "Cool Japan" (a fine example of Japlish, the meaning of which is only known - no, actually guessed at - by the Japanese). ANA, I believe, is doing the bidding of the government by launching this ad campaign which is possibly being paid for by the government.

Come to Japan, the land of manga, on ANA's Boeing 787 Dreamliner which may or may not catch fire...

And Akiba Cafe....


(OT) "Hacked PCs falsify billions of ad clicks", according to Financial Times

Financial Times article (3/19/2013) says the so-called "botnet scheme" highjacked 120,000 residential computers in the US, simulated the mouse cursor movements as if there were viewers who actually visited the sites, and generated 9 billion impressions every month across over 200 sites, costing the advertisers about $6 million a month.

Built on a tower of sand...

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant Power Failure Aftermath: A Small Animal (Rat?) Found in the Temporary Switchboard

No further information such as:

  • What the animal was;

  • Whether the animal was singed or burned;

  • How the animal died; or

  • Whether the wiring had been damaged (by the animal).

What we do know is the animal is about 15 centimeters long, or 25 centimeters including the tail.

Asahi's "Hodo Station" news apparently made a decision on its own that the animal was burned to death, and reported as such. But from the TEPCO's afternoon press conference on March 20, 2013, there was no reference to how the animal, which does look like a rat, died.

From TEPCO's Photos and Videos on March 20, 2013:

3/4 M/C (A) Switchboard box on what looks like a trailer bed:

Workers inspecting 3/4 M/C (A):

The bottom compartment looks fine:

But above, the terminals look burned:

And the compartment wall is sooty:

And here's the animal, at the bottom of the compartment (photo taken from above):

From my personal experience, there is no way to prevent rodents from entering any enclosure and build nests. You have to be very vigilant and monitor regularly, and remove the first bits of nesting materials or shit as soon as you see them. If this switchboard enclosure has been there on the the trailer since March 18, 2011 without regular inspection, I would be surprised if there were no rat's nest.

"TEPCO" stands for Tokyo Electric Power Company. It should know very well how these critters behave.

On second thoughts, such knowledge was probably held by TEPCO's subcontractors, not by TEPCO.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Power Restored at #Fukushima I Nuke Plant, TEPCO Still Don't Know What Went Wrong

TEPCO still doesn't know what caused the power failure and how, therefore does not have measures in place to prevent any future power failure. Pressure from the national government was clearly on the operator to just start cooling and not worry about minor details like what caused the failure.

Ad hoc has been the name of the game for the past two years. Why change now?

Asahi Shinbun (3/20/2013; part):


The power outage this time was the most severe since the start of the accident. However, the cause of the outage hasn't been identified. According to TEPCO, there was no visible sign of abnormality in the temporary switchboard that is connected to Reactors 3 and 4, where a trouble that led to the power outage was thought to have started. The company had initially planned to identify the cause, install measures to prevent future problems, and then turn the power back on. However, restoring the power was given the priority, and the cooling systems were connected to a different switchboard, circumventing the temporary switchboard.

The particular temporary switchboard is "3/4 M/C (A)" (M/C stands for "metal clad"). The location (or connection) of the switchboard in the overall electrical system looks different in the two different diagrams below. Either way, I don't quite understand why Reactor 1 should be affected by the failure of this switchboard, as the Reactor 1 cooling system does not appear to be connected to this switchboard.

As TEPCO's spokesman Ono explained it (via Ryuichi Kino),


[The trouble at "3/4/ M/C (A)"] had the ripple effect on Plant-wide common M/C (2A)(2B)

(I don't have a clue as to how that could happen.)

3/4 M/C (A) (in blue circle that I added), in the diagram provided by TEPCO in the press conference on March 19, 2013, via Ryuichi Kino:

3/4 M/C (A), in the diagram from March 2012, from then-Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA, also from Ryuichi Kino:

Cyprus Utterly Rejects EU Demand for Deposit Haircut, ECB Says It Will Still Help "Within Certain Limits"

Whatever that means. The stock market algos liked this help "within certain limits", and Dow Jones Industrial ended up 3 points up for the day.

The amended "deposit tax" would have exempted accounts with less than 20,000 euros but taken money from all else. (More at Reuters.)

Cypriot Parliament vote on "deposit tax" (AP, 3/19/2013):

In favor: Zero
Against: 36
Abstentions: 19

Abstentions were from the ruling party.

ECB's comment (Reuters, 3/19/2013):

After Cyprus vote, ECB says ready to offer liquidity within rules

BERLIN (Reuters) - The European Central Bank said on Tuesday after Cypriot lawmakers overwhelmingly rejected a key element of a proposed bailout that it was in contact with its IMF and EU partners and remained committed to providing liquidity within certain limits.

"The ECB takes note of the decision of the Cypriot parliament and is in contact with its troika partners," the bank said in a statement. "The ECB reaffirms its commitment to provide liquidity as needed within the existing rules.

By the way, I think I know now why the reporting on the deposit confiscation in Cyprus has been very much subdued and equivocal in Japan. Japan is about the only country in the world that instituted the one-off, much more punitively progressive tax on wealth including bank deposits successfully, right after the World War II under the US occupation (GHQ) in 1946.

Anyone with the accumulated wealth (not necessarily in cash, but in goods and real properties) of 100,000 yen (probably today's 100 million yen, or about US$1.05 million) got 10% of it taken by the government. Unlike Cyprus, it was progressive, and the highest bracket was 90%. The 90% confiscation of one's wealth was justified by GHQ as "punishment" for profiting from the war. It didn't matter to them that most people whose wealth were confiscated had nothing to do with profiting from the war.

Roosevelt "New Dealers" in GHQ must have felt very righteous doing it, who went on to take away farmland from the large land-owning farmers in 1947 for the sake of "fairness". (Never mind that not all farmers wanted to be the land-owning farmers...)

Monday, March 18, 2013

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Power Back On, Cooling of Reactor 1 SFP Resumed

(UPDATE-2) Common Spent Fuel Pool cooling is scheduled to resume at 8AM on March 20.


(UPDATE) Jiji Tsushin reports that TEPCO hopes to resume cooling of the SFPs of Reactor 3 and Reactor 4 at about 8PM (Japan Time). (It's about 3:45PM in Japan now.)


Information from NHK Kabun (Science and Literature) tweet, about 20 minutes ago:


At about 2:20PM on March 19, power was back on at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. Cooling of Reactor 1 Spent Fuel Pool resumed.

No information about other Spent Fuel Pools or other facilities. No details as to what caused the power failure to begin with.

Chief Cabinet Minister's Word on #Fukushima I Nuke Plant's Power Outage: "There Is No Worry, In a Way"

Totally incomprehensible remark from Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga during the morning press conference on March 19, 2013.

As Jiji Tsushin reports (3/19/2013):


Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said during the press conference in the morning of March 19 about the power outage at Fukushima I Nuke Plant, "Since we are going to thoroughly prepare for the alternative methods of cooling, there is absolutely no worry, in a way."

Here I thought the redundant methods of cooling, not to mention the redundant power supplies, had long been installed at the plant. Maybe Mr. Suga meant the alternative methods of cooling by the new LDP administration under Mr. Abe.

What he means by "in a way" is totally lost on me.

Power is not back on yet, and the TEPCO spokesman says they haven't identified the location of the problem though they are narrowing down. The temperature of Reactor 4's SFP is 30 degrees Celsius, up 5 degrees since the power outage. The spokesman seems to be regurgitating what he was told to say without understanding any of it, and it is evident by the way he tries to answer questions from the reporters.

Needless to say, Chief Cabinet Secretary doesn't seem to have a clue of what he's saying, either.

And as usual, there are people on Twitter spreading wild information like "They've been doing the vent! It's dangerous!" and people retweeting anxiously.

I guess nobody has a clue.

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant Cannot Cool Spent Fuel Pools, Cause Unknown

(UPDATE-4) As of 2:20PM on March 19, 2013, cooling of Reactor 1's Spent Fuel Pool resumed. No information about other SFPs and facilities affected by the power outage.


(UPDATE-3) The temperature of Reactor 4's SFP is 30 degrees Celsius, up 5 degrees since the power outage.


(UPDATE-2) More than 15 hours after the power outage (Japan Time 10:30AM on March 19), there is still no power. TEPCO is having a press conference right now. The new spokesman who croaks is not very good at explaining things in a straight-forward way. (My guess is that he doesn't know well what he is talking about, unlike his predecessor Matsumoto.)

In June 2012, cooling of the Reactor 4 SFP stopped for about 30 hours when the pump of the secondary cooling system burned out.


(UPDATE) Jiji Tsushin says the water temperature of Reactor 4's Spent Fuel Pool (the "hottest") is about 25 degrees Celsius. The safety standard for the SFP temperature is 65 degrees Celsius, and it is estimated it will take about 4 days without power to reach that temperature. In the Reactor 4 SFP, both used and new fuel assemblies are under 7 meters (23 feet) of water. Fuel assemblies are 4-meter (13 feet) long. According to the plant operator (announcement from May 2012, in Japanese only), it takes about 3 weeks for the water 5 meter deep (i.e. still leaving 2 meters of water above the fuel assemblies) to evaporate.

The common pool has old fuel assemblies whose decay heat is already very low.


It took three hours for TEPCO to announce the power outage at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. (Same old, same old...)

From Kyodo News (3/19/2013):

福島第1原発で停電 使用済み燃料プール冷却が停止

Power outage at Fukushima I Nuke Plant, cooling of spent fuel pools stopped


TEPCO announced on March 18 that there was a power outage at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant slightly before 7PM. Cooling systems for the spent fuel pools in Reactors 1, 3, 4 has stopped, and as of 12:25AM on March 19 there is no knowing when the systems will be back. Power went out also in Anti-Seismic Building temporarily but it came back on quickly.


According to the Nuclear Regulatory Agency, there is no problem in injecting water into the reactors. Cooling of the common spent fuel pool, which contains 6,377 fuel assemblies, has also stopped.


According to TEPCO, the problem could be either the switchboard or the cables connected to the switchboard. Both the Nuclear Regulatory Agency and TEPCO have been unable to identify the cause. TEPCO announced the power outage after 10PM, three hours after it had taken place.

The plant receives its electricity from Tohoku Electric Power Company. There is no problem receiving this external power.

(H/T reader Beppe)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Ex-Representative Kawauchi Went Inside #Fukushima Reactor 1 Bldg, Says Hydrogen Explosion May Have Happened on 4th Floor, Not 5th (Top Floor)

So that was the occasion for the "blank" videos that TEPCO uploaded two days ago. I didn't pay much attention until I saw the tweets today by Mr. Hiroshi Kawauchi, former DPJ member of the Japanese Diet Lower House from Kagoshima Prefecture who lost in the December 2012 election along with many of his party.

As per previous offer and agreement from TEPCO while he was still a member of the Diet, Mr. Kawauchi went inside the Reactor 1 building at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant on March 13, 2013, accompanied by TEPCO (or affiliate company) workers. They had a video camera, which was to record whatever Mr. Kawauchi wanted, as he directed. The problem was that the tape that was used to protect the camera got partially detached, and stuck on the camera lens. So the lens cover closed, leaving only a small hole in the center. (For TEPCO's report (in Japanese only) on the incident, see here.)

Mr. Kawauchi is not too happy, and says another trip will be arranged with TEPCO.

In the meantime, he has tweeted what he found on his March 13, 2013 visit to the Reactor 1 building. He now thinks it was on the 4th floor of the building that a hydrogen explosion took place, not the top 5th floor as has always been assumed. The 4th floor is where the Isolation Condenser (IC) is located.

福島第一原発1号原子炉建屋視察報告。今回の視察で分かったことは、1号の水素爆発は最上階の5階ではなく、ひとつ下、非常用復水器のある4階で起こったのではないか、ということ。そう考える根拠を2つあげたい。4階と5階の間、即ち4階の天井5階の床には、大きな機材搬入の為の穴がある。(tweet link)

Report on my visit to Fukushima I Nuke Plant Reactor 1 building. What's been revealed [to me] in this visit is that the hydrogen explosion of Reactor 1 may have happened not on the top 5th floor but on the one below, on the 4th floor where the Isolation Condenser is located. I'd like to submit two reasons why I think that way. Between the 4th and 5th floor - in other words the ceiling of the 4th floor which is the floor of the 5th floor, there is a huge hole to bring large equipment through.

この大物搬入口は、5メートル四方。作業時には、労働安全衛生法上の義務として、転落防止の為の手摺が設置される。作業時以外は、重さ1.5トンの鉄板で塞がれている。即ち、手摺があるかないかが、搬入口が閉じていたか、開いていたかの判断の分かれ目になる。では、実際にはどうだったのか?(tweet link)

This opening is 5 meters square (5 x 5). When it is in use, handrails are installed to prevent falls, as required by the Industrial Safety and Health Law. When not in use, the opening is covered with the steel plate weighing 1.5 tonnes. In other words, presence or absence of the handrails would indicate whether the opening was open or closed [when the explosion took place]. So, which was it?

原子炉建屋4階から天井を見上げると、五メートル四方の搬入口が、パックリと空いていた。肝腎の手摺はどうか?手摺は、無かった。手摺が無いということは、鉄板が閉まっていた筈。同行した東電社員も確認した。では、なぜ鉄板が無いのか?即ち、4階の水素爆発で吹き飛ばされたのではないか?(tweet link)

On the 4th floor and looking up at the ceiling, I saw the 5x5 opening open. How about the handrails? There were no handrails. No handrails means the opening was closed with the steel plate. Why wasn't the steel plate there? Is it because it was blown off by the hydrogen explosion on the 4th floor?

4階天井、5階床の大物搬入口。4階での水素爆発で下から上へ吹き上げられた、だから現在は、パックリ口を空けているのではないか、と考えるのが自然。実際、国会事故調のヒヤリングでも当時、現場の作業責任者が、大物搬入口の蓋を閉めた、と証言している。今回の視察で、その証言が裏付けられた。(tweet link)

It is natural to think this [steel plate covering the] opening on the 4th floor ceiling which is the 5th floor floor to carry large equipment through was blown upward by the hydrogen explosion on the 4th floor, therefore it is open now. In fact, in a testimony in the National Diet accident investigation commission, the person in charge of the work testified that they had closed the opening with the steel plate. In my visit, this testimony was confirmed.

もうひとつ、4階で水素爆発が起きてたのではないか、という根拠を示す。4階非常用復水器のすぐ横を、主蒸気管が垂直に通っている。この主蒸気管の、物凄く分厚い被覆材が凄まじい勢いでめくり上がっているのだ。非常用復水器の蒸気ラインの被覆材も同様だ。4階の凄まじい損壊の状況も合わせ考えると(tweet link)

Another reason why I think the hydrogen explosion took place on the 4th floor. The main steam pipe runs vertically right next to the Isolation Condenser on the 4th floor. Extremely thick covering material around the main steam pipe is severely turned up. Same thing with the covering material around the steam line of the Isolation Condenser. Taking together the severe destruction of the 4th floor...

この被覆材の捲れは、爆発の影響以外の何者でもない。1号原子炉建屋は、最上階の5階ではなく、ひとつ下の非常用復水器が設置されている4階で水素爆発が起きたと考える方が、水平方向に爆発していた爆発映像も考えあわせると、自然である。同行した東電社員も、否定できない、と認めていた。(tweet link)

... I believe this turning up of the covering material is definitely from the explosion. It makes more sense to think the hydrogen explosion of the Reactor 1 building happened not on the top 5th floor but on the 4th floor where the Isolation Condenser is located. Recall the video of the explosion, which spread in horizontal direction. TEPCO workers who accompanied me admitted that the possibility couldn't be denied.

現場を実際に、自分で確認し、私が知り得たことで、皆に報告をしなければならないことが、まだ他にもあるが、次回に回す。しかし、水素爆発が5階でなく、4階で起きていたとすれば、何故水素が4階に溜まったのかを解明しなければならない。これまでの、政府や東電の説明では説明できないからだ。(tweet link)

There are other things I saw and confirmed in person that I need to report to you, but that has to wait until next time. However, if the hydrogen explosion did take place not on the 5th floor but on the 4th floor, we have to figure out why hydrogen had accumulated on the 4th floor. That cannot be explained by the explanations so far by the government or TEPCO.

What difference does it make at this point, you may ask? That is indeed the rhetorical question some of the tweets to him ask.

After more than two years since Reactor 1 blew up, we still don't know how that happened. Many details of the accident are still not clear (and not many are interested in knowing), and many influential experts, journalists, bloggers base their pronouncements on the accident or the radiation contamination on assumptions and hearsay.

Without knowing and understanding exactly what happened and how, I don't believe there can be a "recovery". People in Japan will simply repeat a one-issue mantra of "beyond nuclear", without knowing and understanding exactly what has happened to them and their land because of that "nuclear".

The video of Reactor 1 explosion on March 12, 2011 does show, after the initial puff upwards, lateral spread of smoke and/or steam (as Professor Takashi Tsuruda of Akita Prefectural University (his specialty is combustion) thinks there was an explosion in the Suppression Chamber of Reactor 1):

It was good that Mr. Kawauchi was able to go inside the reactor building. It would be even better if he could bring along an explosion expert like Professor Tsuruda.

According to my own post on that day;

  • At 3PM 3/12/11, about 30 minutes before the explosion took place, TEPCO (the power company) announced that it was successful in relieving the pressure in the fuel core container.

  • The fuel rods are half-exposed, due to lower water level.

  • Cesium and Iodine have been detected in the atmosphere near the plant. [Both are products of nuclear fission.]

  • 4 people were injured.

As to the destruction of the 4th floor of Reactor 1 near the Isolation Condenser, see this video (if you haven't seen it yet) from October 2011:

Germany's Angela Merkel on "Great EU Bank Robbery": "Those Responsible Will Contribute in" the Cypriot Bailout

The problem, Ms. Merkel, is that depositors and savers in Cyprus are NOT responsible for the banks' failure.

But with her domestic election consideration to appeal to German savers, she quite willingly throws foreign savers under the bus. Nice. I suppose those German expats and retirees in Cyprus would be more than happy to be run over by the bus to do their fair share.

So much for the EU solidarity.

The UK's Daily Mail says the UK government will compensate 3,000 British military personnel for the haircut but 60,000 other Britons who hold accounts in Cypress are on their own.

From Mail Online (3/17/2013):

The great EU bank robbery: British taxpayers to bail out victims of outrageous raid

UK taxpayers will have to compensate thousands of Britons hit by a shock raid on bank accounts in Cyprus.

The debt-stricken island, which is home to around 3,000 British military personnel and civil servants, is being given an £8.7billion EU rescue package.

But – in a move condemned as ‘robbery’ – Germany says it will not fund the emergency deal unless every saver with a deposit account contributes via a bank tax.

...In response to cries of outrage, Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades was last night trying to amend the bailout tax to limit the pain for small depositors.

But Angela Merkel insisted it was right that all depositors in Cypriot banks should share the responsibility of bailing out the state.

Addressing an election rally, the German chancellor insisted: ‘Anyone having their money in Cypriot banks must contribute in the Cypriot bailout. That way those responsible will contribute in it, not only the taxpayers of other countries, and that is what’s right.’

(Full article at the link)

Germany's Commerzbank suggests Italy be the next, skipping the periphery.

Japan's Nikkei opened Monday over 200 points down, and are staying down at minus 264. The US Dow futures is down 127, the UK's FTSE futures down 110 points.

By the way, Nikkei Shinbun calls this theft very mildly as "surcharge" (課徴金).

Nikkei down 324. Ouch.