As I write this - and as you read it - Japanese officials up and down the direct line of responsibility for the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are scrambling like rats, making excuses to cover their butts. Like Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, the initial reports of “all is well” will soon be replaced by increasingly dire reports. We will learn of structural and procedural failures, poor judgment and massive releases of radioactive energy into the air.
They are now evacuating 50,000 people from the area, although as Japanese Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano says: “We are evacuating people just as a precaution. There is no risk to inhabitants of the area.”
Oh really. No risk?
One of the largest earthquakes ever recorded has knocked out your cooling system, your reactor risks a run-away thermal event, a huge explosion in the midst of the plant is seen by viewers around the world and aftershocks could further damage an already weakened structure at any minute… and Japanese officials say there is “no risk”!?
When this is all said and done, we will find that excessive radiation escaped from these facilities – much more than we were initially led to believe – that damage was much more extensive than reported, and that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people were directly in harm’s way. There will be deaths and sickness directly related to this incident.
“We’re going to try to use sea water to cool it,” they announce. Do ya think? You’re right next to the ocean. Who’s the genius that just figured that one out.
The smell of fudge cooking in Japan is unmistakable. They are fudging it right and left. As Energy Ministers and construction foremen try to calm the nation by declaring that today’s explosion was “only excess hydrogen in the cooling system” or that it “only knocked down an outer wall,” the real story is still building and will eventually be told.
And like the earthquake, tsunami and resulting aftermath, it won’t be pretty.