TEPCO accused of blocking probe into nuclear crisis

TOKYO —

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) falsified video evidence in order to prevent an on-site check of its crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, a former Fukushima plant designer and later a member of the Diet committee tasked with investigating the nuclear crisis claims.

According to Mitsuhiko Tanaka, TEPCO falsely claimed that an inspection was impossible. Pointing to video evidence supposedly shot inside the No. 1 reactor before a cover had been placed on it, TEPCO claimed the structure was now too dark and dangerous to permit inspection. However, Fuji TV reported Friday that it was later discovered the video had been taken after the cover had been installed.

Tanaka, who has a history of exposing corruption in the nuclear industry, has made written requests to the chair people of
both houses of the Diet, asking that the planned inspection be carried out in the light of the revelation. Tanaka told reporters that “they were afraid of the committee uncovering inconvenient truths, so they blocked the investigation,” Fuji reported.

TEPCO says it did not intentionally lie about the conditions inside the structure.

According to Japanese media, Tanaka once helped conceal a manufacturing defect in the steel vessel installed at the Fukushima Daiichi No. 4 reactor while working for a unit of Hitachi Ltd in 1974. After he blew the whistle on corruption in the nuclear industry, the government refused to investigate his claims, saying that TEPCO’s denial was satisfactory.

Japan Today

  • 11

    Harry_Gatto

    Tepco's behaviour is criminal and needs to be dealt with as such.

  • 2

    ikemen

    FOr those who don't know who this guy is, read this and weep.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-23/fukushima-engineer-says-he-covered-up-flaw-at-shut-reactor.html

  • 7

    nandakandamanda

    Why focus simply on the cover-up? JT is doing what NHK did yesterday. The object of the investigation, ie what was being covered up is really the problem here, not the cover-up so much. Why is that part omitted in the article? It was all over the news yesterday.

    TEPCO did not want the investigating committee to look at the gravity-feed back-up cooling system on the 4th floor of reactor #1. It was probably destroyed, leading to the meltdown, but not by the tsunami, because the tsunami did not reach that high. If it got out that the earthquake caused the meltdown, this would be the first break in TEPCO's and the government's position that the tsunami did all the damage and therefore all Japanese NTTs are adequately quake-proof.

  • 3

    zichi

    Not good but the radiation levels inside reactor buildings 1-3 is way too dangerous for anyone to go into them. Even a couple of robots have been fried inside No 2 building.

  • 2

    Disillusioned

    After he blew the whistle on corruption in the nuclear industry, the government refused to investigate his claims, saying that TEPCO’s denial was satisfactory.

    Cut from the same mold! Tarred with the same brush! Two peas in a pod! You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours! Birds of a feather flock together!

    Every dog has its day! And, your day is coming TEPCO!

  • 4

    smithinjapan

    "TEPCO says it did not intentionally lie about the conditions inside the structure."

    Ah, so it was one of those accidental lies then.

    Harry: "Tepco's behaviour is criminal and needs to be dealt with as such."

    Unfortunately so is the government's, and hence nothing will be done. Read the last line of the article (not that you need any proof, but hey): "... the government refused to investigate his claims, saying that TEPCO’s denial was satisfactory."

    Nothing's changed since then.

  • 3

    FightingViking

    @Disillusioned

    And, your day is coming TEPCO!

    Let's hope so... but I'm not holding my breath...

  • 4

    cramp

    so long as the jpn govt stand behind tepco, their cojones will stay huge..

    and they know they'll continue to get blown by the govt or else expose even more failings on both sides

  • 5

    zichi

    Out of the three reactor buildings 1-3, No1 has the highest levels of radiation which I think is why TEPCO covered it. Something did happen inside that reactor building on Mar 11 and before the tsunami struck the plant. A radiation alarm sounded 1.5 km from plant just after the earthquake but before the tsunami. On the morning of Mar 12, the radiation level in Futaba, next to the plant was more than 10 microsieverts per hour, that was before the first explosion happened.

    I don't see how he could enter the No1 reactor building to inspect anything without exposing himself to high radiation levels.

  • 1

    gogogo

    Just like the video with half missing and no audio.... total curruption from them and no one is in jail

  • 3

    herefornow

    Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) falsified video evidence in order to prevent an on-site check of its crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant,

    Many posters here, including myself, have said many times that Japan Inc. is rotten to the core and will stop at nothing to protect itself and that the real safety and well-being of the public is not even a consideration. This is proof positive. And now the LDP, the great collaborator in this decades-long conspiracy, is back in power, with Abe clearly intent on re-starting as many nukes as soon as possible. Sad state of affairs.

  • -2

    habibu

    if they are really good just accept their mistake and lead the nation. other voice in history not for-give them....

  • 0

    nandakandamanda

    zizhi, you may be right, but they had some video footage of something human or robot wending its way through the wreckage towards the two back-up tanks on the 4th Fl of No.1.

    Article and pic of 4th floor Fukusuiki (condenser tanks) here, but it's in Japanese. http://backnumber.dailynews.yahoo.co.jp/?m=7681103&c=domestic 国会事故調は、緊急時に原子炉を冷却する「非常用復水器」が地震で壊れた可能性があるとして現地調査を計画した (Diet Accident Survey Team planned to inspect the "emergency condenser system" which cools the reactor in emergencies since there was a possibility of them having been broken by the earthquake, but...)

  • 0

    Newsman

    At which point Capt. Renault from Casblanca walked in and said, "I'm shocked, shocked."

  • 0

    Ewan Huzarmy

    And still these stories are listed in the national news section an not under crime.

  • 4

    zichi

    Investigation Result of Unit 1 Reactor Building TIP Room and South Area at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station From Jul 5 2012 http://cryptome.org/2012/07/daiichi-12-0705-2.pdf Shows the radiation levels in part of the No1 reactor

    Place where high radiation dose was detected, Unit1, at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station http://photo.tepco.co.jp/en/date/2011/201108-e/110803-01e.html

    This shows the top floor of No1 http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/images/handouts_120808_02-e.pdf

    http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/images/handouts_121024_02-e.pdf

  • -1

    Kimokekahuna Hawaii

    What is wrong with people? I wonder what happened to the Fukushima 50. American servicemen who flew relief missions to Sendai have radiation poisoning. I wonder what affect this has on the seafood, Tuna migrate you know. How do people live downwind of this on going disaster. I can not help but think of what the people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki must have had to live with. What about the cows and the milk and the water and the ocean currents.. What happened to the Hawaiian resort in Fukushima? This corruption could be affecting tourism to Japan. What a shame..

  • 0

    Star-viking

    Zichi

    So basically this expert is just making waves over nothing?

  • 4

    zichi

    @Star-viking

    So basically this expert is just making waves over nothing?

    No, I wouldn't say that and Mitsuhiko Tanaka has revealed many insider facts on the Fukushima plant like the No4 reactor was distorted during manufacture because it was cooled too quickly. When that was discovered, the drawings were altered to hide the distortion.

  • 4

    zichi

  • 1

    smithinjapan

    Star-Viking: "basically this expert is just making waves over nothing?"

    Not really, giving that he's poining out conspiracy. It's more apt to suggest TEPCO and the government just pretend the waves washing over them do not exist.

  • 0

    nandakandamanda

    zichi, thanks for the link. Yes, that's it. From 4 mins onwards in that video you can see the two orange condenser tanks which should have collected steam, cooled it and dropped it into the reactor for emergency cooling back-up. The pipes are broken. Was it destroyed by the earthquake is the question. Lack of cooling led to meltdown.

    Not that they are discussing it, but I suppose we must also ask if it could have been destroyed by the hydrogen explosion, but then presumably it should have been working before the explosion and the fact that it wasn't working led to the build-up of hydrogen and the subsequent explosion, right?

    Have they found the smoking gun?

    TEPCO claimed it was too dark to film, but this video shows it is quite light in there, even with the outside cover on.

  • 0

    Star-viking

    zichiFeb. 09, 2013 - 08:22AM JST

    @Star-viking

    "So basically this expert is just making waves over nothing?"

    No, I wouldn't say that and Mitsuhiko Tanaka has revealed many insider facts on the Fukushima plant like the No4 reactor was distorted during manufacture because it was cooled too quickly. When that was discovered, the drawings were altered to hide the distortion.

    Thanks for the info and the video link. I just find it a bit confusing when we have a situation where the radiation level is described as too dangerous for inspection, but we have a video of personnel inspecting this dangerous area.

  • 2

    zichi

    @Star-viking

    Thanks for the info and the video link. I just find it a bit confusing when we have a situation where the radiation level is described as too dangerous for inspection, but we have a video of personnel inspecting this dangerous area.

    I would agree with you on the workers entering the reactor building for more than 20 minutes, and I don't know how much radiation they were exposed to.

  • 0

    nandakandamanda

    Muffled, but you can hear them shouting out the radiation numbers as they climb the stairs. Some of them sound very high!

  • 1

    zichi

    @nandakandamanda

    At the end of the video you can hear the sound of the alarms on their dosimeters but I don't know if that's because of high levels or they had reached the time limit of their exposure. I think they were exposed to high levels.

  • 2

    zichi

    My conclusion is that TEPCO didn't want someone has qualified and experienced as Mitsuhiko Tanaka snooping around their reactor because unlike TEPCO employee's it would have no control over the information he would release to the public.

    I've always thought since the beginning that the cooling pipes were damaged by the earthquake and not the explosion which was part of the reason the reactor went into melt down. The same may have also happened in reactors 2&3?

    The earthquake also damaged the suppression chambers and other vital plant like the incoming power and water supplies.

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