CONTINUED FROM PART 1
brain-dead people still believe the most important thing in fighting the
disaster is just coming together to form a monolithic social milieu and political climate where no criticism is allowed. To them, the last thing they should do in an emergency like this one is pointing a finger at Prime Minister
Naoto Kan, his right-hand man Yukio Edano, Tokyo Electric Power Company,
the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency under the jurisdiction of the Ministry
of Economy, Trade and Industry, and the mainstream media.
Yet another Harvard-educated idiot Hidehiko Nishiyama is
the spokesman of the Nuclear and industrial Safety Agency.
The bastard is a household name now.
In my March 15 post, I wrote the Japanese government, media and general
public should strictly avoid wishful thinking
and always be prepared for the worst case scenario. It seemed to me that they didn't have the slightest idea of what crisis management is all about. Now, four weeks into the crisis, they remain unchanged.
Because of, rather than despite their misplaced optimism and the false sense of unity, the NISA had to raise its severity rating yesterday to Level 7, the highest on IAEA's International Nuclear Event Scale (INES.) The agency virtually admitted that the government and media have turned the not-too-colossal natural calamity into a largest-ever man-made catastrophe. Things are beyond control now.
Mr. Ryuichi Hirokawa's Geiger counter was pegged when he stepped into a village close to the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Now that the INES instrument was pinned at 7, you never know how hopeless the situation actually is; maybe it has already reached Level 10.
It's really stunning that Edano still keeps repeating his signature line that people should keep calm because there are no "immediate" threats, while Kan is reiterating that now is the time for the 128 million hearts to beat as one and look to the "bright future."
The media also stress that Fukushima is no Chernobyl, quoting Nishiyama (photo) as saying: "The total amount of radioactive materials emitted thus far roughly equals 10% of that released in the Chernobyl accident." Why, then, did the NISA belatedly raise the alarm level?
From the beginning, the Kan administration has been constantly politicizing the disaster as if it were a blow of kamikaze. That is why the media don't give a damn about the inconsistency.
This past weekend the ruling Democratic Party of Japan suffered another stunning setback in local polls. Now it looks obvious that Kan won't last many more months. But it is also obvious that Kan's resignation won't bring about change simply because the Japanese will most probably remain unchanged forever.
My take on these things is that the Japanese are going through their final test now. I don't know; perhaps it's already a makeup exam. But I am reasonably sure they are flunking out.
Under the circumstances, it's really astounding that the Westerners, especially Americans, have been giving prodigal praise to the Japanese for their perseverance in the face of the crisis. In the postwar era, the Japanese people were fantasizing about America where they thought freedom, prosperity and justice prevailed. In 1970, Herman Kahn wrote: "It would not be surprising if the 21st century turned out to be the Japanese century."
If Kahn was just a stupid "futurologist", today's Americans are all idiots because 20 years after the burst of the bubble economy, they still cling to the ridiculous myth that the Japanese are innovative, well-disciplined, hard-working, persevere, polite, hospitable and clean people. For a very obvious reason, they don't want to look at reality. Although the mainstream media here have hushed it all up, the matter of the fact remains that looting, rape, charity-swindling, and all other types of crime are rampant not only in the afflicted area, but also other areas across the country.
Maybe it's a total waste of time to introduce the thoughts of Messrs. Ryuichi Hirokawa and Takashi Hirose to American morons, but I thought there can be a handful of people out there who still remain awake even in these twilight years of the American century. That is why I have pulled myself together to resume the abridged translation of their presentations.
Slide 17: As shown here, reactors No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 of the Fukushima No. 1 Plant and reactors No. 1 to No. 4 of the adjacent No. 2 Plant, which had been in operation, were all "scrammed" the moment the quake hit. But ....
Slides 18/19: Take a look at this logarithmic chart for a reactor whose electrical output is 1,000,000kW and thermal output is 3,300,000kW. This shows how its thermal output declines exponentially after the reactor gets scrammed. As you can see here, thermal output, called "decay heat" in this case, comes down to the vicinity of 10,000kW in a matter of 24 hours from the scram, which is almost equivalent to the total output from a thermal power station. The problem lies with the fact that it levels off there forever unless some extraordinary steps are taken.
Slides 20/21: I think you are familiar with this illustration because you have already seen it dozens of times on TV. But beware; these self-styled experts always oversimplify the mechanism to release the decay heat into the ocean. It's much more complex.
Slide 22: Inside the reactor, there are innumerable valves, pipes, cables and many other things. Even TEPCO operators know practically nothing about these things. Now I'm operating this PC. I'm sure you guys also operate your PC at home. Most of you drive your cars, too. But what if your computer or car gets broken? Can you fix it all by yourself? Of course not. By the same token, the reactor is a real black box to TEPCO operators. They made a serious mistake when they thought they didn't need an onsite help from Hitachi, Toshiba and Mitsubishi. This is the very reason the situation has been quickly exacerbated.
Slide 23: Look at this picture of the guts of the reactor. You can't tell what is what.
Slide 24: The same thing can be said of this diagram. This is where these guys are pouring seawater in a haphazard way.
Slide 25: It used to be said a core meltdown occurs when the temperature of the fuel rod reaches 2,800 degrees Celsius. But two years ago I learned that was not true when I was watching a French documentary broadcast by NHK. In that film, a French nuclear engineer was saying that the reactor core starts at 600 degrees Celsius.
Slide 26: This slide illustrates how what we call the suppression chamber works to cool water vapor, liquefy it and reduce pressure. The chamber is also equipped with the Emergency Core Cooling System.
Slide 27: Let's take a look at the abbreviated chronology of the damages inflicted on the reactors in the No. 1 Plant. It says that at 15:42, all the AC sources went dead, 3 minutes later, all the oil tanks were swept away, 1 hour later, the ECCSs for reactors No. 1 and No. 2 became disabled, and so on. From the series of event, you can tell exactly when, where and how it all started. As to "why," I've already told you tsunami caused all this. The "unprecedented" jolt had nothing to do with these damages.
Slide 28: I have drawn this graph based on fragmentary information given by the Asahi Shimbun daily. It says the maximum height of tsunami assumed for the Fukushima reactors at the design phase was only 5m. Now we know the tidal waves that washed the Fukushima power plant were as tall as 15m. To put it bluntly, the designers are at fault for the disaster. Moreover, Fukushima is not alone; the same is true with practically all nuclear power plants located in coastal areas of this country.
Slide 29: On the night of March 13, Masataka Shimizu, president of TEPCO, said at a press conference: "The tsunami of March 11 was way beyond our prediction. And yet I believe our assumptions were as valid as they could have been because they were based on our careful examination of historical data." Give me a break! Did he just overlook the 38.2m tsunami that hit this country as recently as 115 years ago? It's incredible that such a bastard is the head of the leading power company of Japan.
I know I'm still in the middle of Mr. Hirose's presentation, but for now let me stop here to take a rest.