I’m sick. When I’m sick I get grumpy. When I’m sick and grumpy I tend to lie on the couch and watch TV. The worst thing a sick, grumpy person can do is watch Japanese news programs and that’s what I did the last few days and saw a very interesting new report that made me become even more grumpy. No, make that furious.
It concerns the Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO for short, and how they released information at the time the problems were occurring at the Dai Ichi Nuclear Plant in Fukushima. When TEPCO first released information about radiation levels at the plant after the earthquake and tsunami, the data they released looked like this.
Looking at the chart is seems like they reported radiation amounts every two hours on March 16, 2011 and it seems to have been holding steady at between 20 and 30 microsieverts per hour. Okay.
As you can see someone put some question marks in the gaps between the two hour spans in which radiation levels were reported. Well TEPCO, I’m assuming because they were forced to, released the information for the gaps. And here is what the chart looks like.
Holy crap! Between 9:40 AM and 9:50 AM the levels of released radiation reached almost 90 microsieverts per hour. At that time the plant looked like this.
Fuck you, TEPCO! You don’t think this kind of thing is important?!
This isn’t the first time TEPCO has done this sort of thing. Last year they released video taken from their various offices and command centers filmed in the days following the earthquake/tsunami.
However, at various times throughout the released videos the audio is removed leaving one to wonder what was being said. There is even a section of video wherein then prime mininster Naoto Kan rushed into the TEPCO headquarters to demand that they stay on site and deal with the problem rather than abandoning it which was an idea apparently being discussed. Fuck you, TEPCO.
(TEPCO’s official logo.)
(Version created by less than happy citizen.)
And while we’re on the topic of the Japanese government’s involvement in the mayhem let me vent a bit more concerning how the Japanese government reacted to Kan inserting himself into the problem. Of course, opposition parties said that Kan should have stayed out of the situation and that he just caused more confusion and delay. Really? Really?! Do they realize that TEPCO had actually ordered the Plant Manager to stop injecting sea-water into the plant because they wanted to wait to hear from the Prime Minister if that was acceptable. So let me get this straight TEPCO, for some reason, needs the Prime Minister’s permission to inject sea water to cool the plants and hopefully prevent a full meltdown but Kan shouldn’t be involved when it comes to dealing with the disaster?! Kan is the Prime Minister of a country that was at the time dealing with an unprecedented nuclear problem 200 kilometers from one of the largest cities on the planet and home to 20 million people and he shouldn’t be involved?
Fortunately for those 20,000,000 people (myself and family being included in that group), the Plant Manager at the time of the disaster, Masao Yoshida, spoke to his subordinates and said, “I will order you to stop the water injection . . . but do not listen to it,” before instructing them to stop the seawater injection. I owe you gratitude, Yoshida-san.
And FUCK YOU, Japanese Government! While we’re on the topic of them mishandling things, let’s take a minute to look at how they handled the reconstruction budget. About a quarter of the 148 billion dollar budget has been spent on unrelated projects! Here’s part of an article.
“Among the unrelated projects benefiting from the reconstruction budgets are: road building in distant Okinawa; prison vocational training in other parts of Japan; subsidies for a contact lens factory in central Japan; renovations of government offices in Tokyo; aircraft and fighter pilot training, research and production of rare earths minerals, a semiconductor research project and even funding to support whaling, ostensibly for research, according to data from the government audit released last week.
A list of budget items and spending shows some 30 million yen ($380,000) went to promoting the Tokyo Sky Tree, a transmission tower that is the world’s tallest freestanding broadcast structure. Another 2.8 billion yen ($35 million) was requested by the Justice Ministry for a publicity campaign to “reassure the public” about the risks of big disasters.”
Roads in Okinawa?! Subsidies for a contact lens factory?! Promoting the Tokyo Sky Tree?!!
You’ve got 325,000 displaced people who need to determine how and where to get on with their lives so you build roads in Okinawa?! Fuck you, Japanese government! To make matters worse, the remainder of the money that has not been spent is sitting idle in a bureaucratic quagmire while the government tries to determine how it should be spent. Why not build houses for those people who now don’t have them?
Now that I’ve voiced my disdain I feel somewhat better. But I’m still sick. And still grumpy. Fuck you, TEPCO.