TEPCO couldn’t get battery during Fukushima meltdown; went to hardware store the next day

TEPCO couldn’t get battery during Fukushima meltdown; went to hardware store the next day

TOKYO —

Recent tapes released have sent ripples across Japan’s news programs showing first-hand Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO) handling of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Many were outraged over TEPCO management’s muddled communications with plant director, an increasingly frustrated Masao Yoshida.

Among the hours and hours of footage, there’s one particularly odd incident in which one of the largest electric companies in Japan couldn’t seem to get their hands on a battery. In fact, it took about 24 hours and trip to the hardware store to buy it while on the brink of meltdown.

With reactors 2 and 3 on the verge of having a meltdown, the on-site team had to open a valve to release coolant into the reactors.  However, with the extensive damage to the plant, an ordinary car battery was needed to power the valve controls.

The following dialog is taken from a TV program which outlines what took place on March 13 with Fukushima Daiichi and TEPCO management trying to get a battery.

Fukushima Daiichi Materials Team
“We don’t have enough cash. Sorry to ask but if it’s possible could you lend it to me? We’d appreciate it.”

Head Office
Akio Komori, Managing Director (at the time)
“I wonder if someone’s using the helicopter today. Who’s using the helicopter? We can use a helicopter to carry the cash.”

Narrator
“Units 2 and 3 are also in danger of meltdown. They had to connect a car battery to the valve to activate the reactor coolant. However, there wasn’t even enough cash to buy one…Finally after 10 hours…”

Head Office
Akio Komori, Managing Director (at the time)
“We sent a person from the head office to [Fukushima’s] off-site center carrying a lot of cash. You can get it from the off-site center.”

Fukushima Daiichi
Masao Yoshida, Fukushima Director (at the time)
“Okay, I should write an IOU for this, right?”

Head Office
Akio Komori, Managing Director (at the time)
“No need. I’ll take your word for it.”

Fukushima Daiichi
Masao Yoshida
“Got it. Thank you.”

Narrator
However, instructions to evacuate beyond 20km of Fukushima have already gone out. There were no shops open nearby.

Fukushima Daiichi Materials Team
“We are working hard to procure [a battery] but our best chance is in Iwaki which is 6 hours away. We request your assistance, Head Office.”

Off-Site Center
“Today we went to Iwaki to get a battery but couldn’t get one.”

Fukushima Daiichi Materials Team
“Tomorrow we’re going to a home center to buy stuff. If there’s anything you want bring us a list or tell us… whatever… just come down.”

Narrator
“It’s unbelievable that they would go shopping for supplies at a home center during the worst nuclear disaster in the world.”

Soon after both units 2 and 3 were said to have reached meltdown. Yoshida retired late last year, reportedly diagnosed with cancer and having suffered a brain hemorrhage which experts say are not related to radiation exposure.

Source: My Game News Flash (Japanese)

RocketNews24

  • 6

    hoserfella

    hanging around a Cainz Home to buy a battery and not enough cash to do so. During a nuclear meltdown.

    12 year-old children.

  • 7

    Farmboy

    They could have decided to raid the beer fund, but they were saving that for a real emergency...

  • 5

    TumbleDry

    "We don't need all that stuff, it's unsinkable." - HMS Titanic designers

  • 9

    Mirai Hayashi

    Total incompetence...pathetic!

  • 0

    Mirai Hayashi

    There were no cars around that they could of yanked it out of. A car battery ...c'mon! they should have this stuff!!!

    JT BTW, "home center" is Japanese English. No native English speaker outside of Japan would know what this is. "Hardware store", "Home and Appliance Store", "Home Improvement Store", or "DIY Store" (if you're into brevity) is better....

  • 4

    Ewan Huzarmy

    “Tomorrow we’re going to a home center to buy stuff. If there’s anything you want bring us a list or tell us… whatever… just come down.”

    Head office, "The toilet needs a new mat, a few pair of slippers... oh and can you get a crate of Asahi super dry.... oh and we need some kind of batteries. "

  • 9

    tmarie

    Wow. Speechless. Yep, this makes me so happy Japan is building new plants. What could go wrong with such stellar management?

  • 6

    johnmasterof

    Might be a strange question, but why not just use one of the car batteries from the parking lot? Surely someone would be willing to hitch a ride with a co-worker in order to get a battery.

  • 7

    paulinusa

    "There were no cars around that they could of yanked it out of. A car battery ...c'mon! they should have this stuff!!!"

    I'm sure there were batteries available from nearby cars. The problem was that considering the situation, nobody was willing to donate THEIR battery.

  • 14

    yasukuni

    Actually .... things like that don't surprise me in Japan.

    I've lost count of the number of times people having been discussing and worried about irrelevant things and I've been trying to say "But, what about...?" which was the thing without which everything else was meaningless.

    I think people all have different strengths and weakness - and maybe on a bigger level, so do countries. Japanese are brilliant at some things - but not others.

    Crisis management, and "What if" questions aren't their strong points.

    What is amazing (but not really for those who live here) is that the manager of the whole power plant at such an incredible time even thinks about IOU's and how to record the purchase of a battery. Sounds like something in a comedy movie.

    But it's cute. So Japanese. erai ne.

    Someone is probably reviewing all this and writing a new manual with point 623 "In a crisis, IOU's are not needed for purchases of items which may prevent prevent meltdowns, explosions, or other dangerous situations etc, if there is no cash".

    Except of course next time they'll need a meeting to discuss whether what is happening is indeed "a dangerous situation".

  • 13

    hereforever

    Why didn't Head Office just fly one in instead of the cash? Japan, in times of need, please learn to break the rules. Believe me, when a nuclear plant is melting down, I don't believe anyone will go to jail for stealing a car battery!

  • 7

    warispeace

    This should be more than enough evidence for the ZERO nuclear policy.

    It is not just incompetence. It is sheer negligence that proper risk management procedures were not in place, and the operator and regulators should be properly investigated and held responsible.

  • 7

    Mirai Hayashi

    @paulinusa

    I'm sure that TEPCO has a company car. I see them all the time. If none were available, I would have yank it from the plant manager's car.

  • 13

    yasukuni

    "It’s unbelievable that they would go shopping for supplies at a home center during the worst nuclear disaster in the world.”

    And even stranger that during the biggest nuclear disaster after one of the biggest earthquakes and tidal waves, they get to one home center and it's closed, so they say komatta na and drive to the next town.

    And we'll probably find that they had to line up for hours at the cash register behind all the other people. And then when he finally made it he realized he was in the express lane and had one item too many so he went back to the end of another line....

  • 12

    MasterBape

    @ yaukuni:

    "Actually .... things like that don't surprise me in Japan.

    I've lost count of the number of times people having been discussing and worried about irrelevant things and I've been trying to say "But, what about...?" which was the thing without which everything else was meaningless. "

    You're right - People spend more time worrying about the change of temperature, getting out the autumn clothes, and how terrible food is in other countries.

    This whole situation typifies the Japanese "no sense of urgency" and complacency.

    And yet, people still want to point the finger at Kan.

  • 2

    SquidBert

    It is all OK, don't worry Atomic industries master astro turfer will soon be around to gish gallop about how TEPCO was actually running a tight ship.

  • 9

    yasukuni

    No wait...read through this all again. It can't be a true story.
    Now I feel silly for being duped. This couldn't possibly be a true explanation of what went on.

  • 4

    WilliB

    Helicopter to carry the cash for a car battery???

    Don´t they have a company parking lot outside the building??

    This conversation is so far out, I am speechless.

  • 4

    SquidBert

    Anything they needed would surely have been helicoptered in, at their asking, from all over the world. WTF were they thinking?

  • 4

    Mirai Hayashi

    I think we're losing site of the real problem. The valves (which I would suspect is a vital component in nuclear plant operations) SHOULD HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE ON THE PREMISES!! It should have been near the valves or in storage. Have none available is gross negligence and a major failure on the part of the regulators and plant operators. I'm am completely shocked that no arrests have been made. Complete failure of the whole system!

  • 1

    Mirai Hayashi

    ^ I meant the battery to operate the valves

  • 14

    smithinjapan

    So.... why aren't these guys in prison yet?

  • 4

    TSRnow

    One simple question. If they had the time and money (!) to transport cash by helicopter, how come they didn't send the batteries with it? Really... (sigh).

  • 2

    MasterBape

    A 6-hour dive to get a car battery?

    Maybe the employees of TEPCO drive electric cars, or maybe they are too stupid to realise that cars do in fact need batteries...AKA "a car battery".

    How they can accuse Kan without acknowledging their own mistakes is beyond me.

    Embarrassing for Japan. Just a complete embarrassment, and hard to believe no-one is held responsible for this.

  • 12

    zichi

    I think they used about 20 batteries from worker's cars but wasn't enough and were only able to buy about 8? Maybe some workers didn't want to give their car batteries in case they needed a quick exit?

    About 1,000 batteries from Toshiba were stuck in Tokyo because there was no permit to transport them on the highway.

    There are no laws to deal with these items when there's a dire emergency.

  • 10

    Onniyama

    Actually they needed many batteries to open valves and monitor various systems. They DID take batteries from their own cars but there were not enough. I have no idea why they did not raid other cars along the road or simply smash windows in shops and take the batteries. Japanese politeness? And apparently they ordered about 1000 batteries from Toshiba (I could be wrong on the company) but they sat on a truck in Tokyo waiting for the proper paperwork to transport such a large quantity. By the time they got the paperwork, the explosions had already occured. Isn't this just wonderful?! Gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling that my life in Fukushima 'could ' have been saved by a little spontaneous thinking (please note the could. there is no guarantee this would have saved everthing).

  • 8

    zichi

    Early morning on March 13, 2011 (28 hours or so before the Reactor 3 building exploded). TEPCO's workers had figured out that by rigging up the car batteries they could provide just enough power to operate the main steam safety-relief valve (SR valve) to release pressure inside the Reactor 3 Pressure Vessel. Ten 12-volt batteries were all they needed for that operation for the moment, they figured. The problem was that they didn't have 10. They asked the workers with cars to please remove the batteries so that they could be used.

    http://ex-skf.blogspot.jp/2012/10/fukushima-reactor-3-explosion-reactor-2.html

  • 2

    Onniyama

    Zichi. I guess we posted the same info at about the same time. Oops!

  • 3

    Mirai Hayashi

    You see the irony...a power company that can't power its own plant. How PATHETIC!! This actually makes me angry and deeply ashamed of the people who managed TEPCO

  • 5

    Probie

    I'm sorry but, this like made me laugh:

    “I wonder if someone’s using the helicopter today. Who’s using the helicopter? We can use a helicopter to carry the cash.”

    Why not use the helicopter to carry new batteries from somewhere to the plant, surely that would be more time conserving?

  • 3

    Mirai Hayashi

    @Zichi

    I hear ya...but we're not running a McDonald's here. This is a NUCLEAR power plant with a HUGE ficken reactor that has enough radiation to wipe out half of Japan if there was a melt down. The should have been running through several drills and "what if" scenarios as a part of their daily operations. If car batteries were an option, they should have known that a VERY long time ago and had them on the premises or better yet, but a back up power source that ran on car batteries.

  • 3

    MasterBape

    @ Zichi and Onniyama,

    Thanks. The info is a bit clearer now. I'm glad that someone checked, unfortunately not all of the story is in the article.

    Still, you would expect TEPCO to have all the necessary items needed in any worse case scenario at the ready.

    Like I said before, complacency.

  • 1

    gogogo

    Unlike off the shelf package batteries, CAR BATTERIES DO NOT COME CHARGED WITH POWER! You add the distilled water to the battery and then charge it and it works.

    These guys are complete morons!

  • -11

    basroil

    This thing reeks of internet prank, much like Iran actually believing in an Onion article.

    Or, as other posters have pointed out, the article is missing so much information that it is just propaganda. Adding the bit about an old man's cancer was just unnecessary as it is 100% unrelated unless he magically ages ten times faster than a normal person.

    And yes, the government is much to blame for not offering the JSDF and US forces as an errand boy and dropping off needed supplies. The US forces there were ready much earlier with generators and heavy dropoffs would have taken at most 3 hours after permission was given. All they needed to do was suspend a few of their pointless and stupid laws, and there wouldn't have been as much of an issue.

    And at least they went to a hardware store instead of going through the normal procedures of placing orders for very specific and costly parts. That would have taken weeks instead of hours.

  • 1

    In_japan

    Over the phone : We are TEPCO, We produce electricity...cough cough...We need some battery, please open your store.

    (after 24 hrs), Ok guys here are the batteries. Okay okay plug in. (took few min) suddenly Oh Sh$t! everybody what happen? These are new batteries, they need to be charged first! (((oh Sh$t.)))

  • -4

    sendaicowboy

    I think many of those posting comments really have no idea of what the conditions were at that time. Give it a rest! People were fearing for their lives and were running to safety. Of course everything was shut down, a massive earthquake and tsunami hit Tohoku! People had to find water for their families and other basic necessities. No cash? No shit, the bloody banks were shut down too! Why would a power generation plant have cash in its office?? They supply power, and do not have cash. I live in Tohoku and I understand that people posting comments and general public cannot understand or remember the seriousness of the situation.

  • 1

    redsac

    Its not like there was a parking lot full of perfectly good cars right after a 20 meter tidal wave wiped out the town. Roads? Hardware stores? Of course stuff was hard to come by, but it could have been handled better with a little emergency preparation.

  • 2

    Onniyama

    sendaicowboy. Who cares about cash. Why not just smash windows and take what was needed. I think we all understand the gravity of the situation.

  • 1

    Patric Spohn

    You always apply martial law when such a crisis exists and let the army take over the coordination. I'm still surprised Japan had TEPCO in charge on such a freak accident.

  • 0

    Mirai Hayashi

    @gogogo

    Not necessarily...newer and lighter weight car batteries are dry batteries that come fully charged and as the name suggest, requires no water. But of course they need to be charged pretty often because they are not designed to hold a charge for a long period of time when they are in use.

  • 0

    Alex Einz

    what, not enough cars or car shops around... they gotta be kidding

  • 1

    Ronald F Stark

    The stupidity of this conversation is unimaginable! I live in Tohoku and completely understand the seriousness of the situation and the confusion and chaos that ensued; but there are just no words for this! It just boggles the mind that nobody thought "hey, lets go outside where we PARK THE FRIGGIN CARS and get a battery!"

  • 3

    WilliB

    zichi:

    " they used about 20 batteries from worker's cars but wasn't enough and were only able to buy about 8? Maybe some workers didn't want to give their car batteries in case they needed a quick exit? About 1,000 batteries from Toshiba were stuck in Tokyo because there was no permit to transport them on the highway. "

    Thanks for the additional information. That changes the story quite bit. In that case, the morons in this story are of course the official who held up the truck carrying batteries to avoid a nuclear disaster with road permission paperwork. Heads should roll.

    And when the article talk about "one car battery" here, that is really bad journalism.

  • 3

    smithinjapan

    Look, the bottom line is this -- despite having proof of similar sized quakes and tsunamis in the past, TEPCO cut a LOT of corners and was not prepared one bit for what happened. Their back-up generators were UNDER GROUND, which I don't think I need to say is not very productive when dealing with water, and that's just for starters. That they had not thought to stock up on batteries just in case should be no surprise to anyone who knows about the company.

  • 1

    Onniyama

    Most batteries come charged nowadays. Deep cycle batteries would be the best as they hold a charge much longer. I am sure they could have raided an AutoBacs or Yellow Hat to get enough batteries. What were these people thinkng? I think everyone should read the link provided by Zichi or go to ENENews for the same story. It fills in some of the missing info.

  • 2

    yasukuni

    "Why would a power generation plant have cash in its office?? "

    .................. I don't know why I'm even saying this...but I think Mr Cowboy that after an earthquake and a tsunami, if you are worried about a nuclear meltdown cash shouldn't be a problem.

    The ultimate irony is that they probably got a quick call from Obama, or someone high up in the US military offering every assistance but turned it down on the basis that it would look like they didn't know how to handle the situation.

    "No,no. They'll think we don't know what we're doing!"

    Imagine that. "Don't worry, once we track down who's using our helicopter, we'll get cash flown in, then we can drive to get the cash, then go to the hardware store that's open in the next town, and buy a battery so we can get right on top of this meltdown".

    No, this story is a complete misrepresentation of what went on. Seriously.

  • 0

    Matthew Simon

    So nobody drove a car there? WTF Pull one of those bad boys out and avert a bigger problem.

  • 1

    herefornow

    After over 18 months of continuing revelations about the incompetence of TEPCO and the nuclear regulatory agency, no one can truly be surprised by the latest comedy of errors. The myth of Japan Inc. and its supposedly infallible planning ability for any eventuality is dead -- forever. The realiy is Japan is run by a bunch of empty suits who came up the ranks by pushing paper and NOT asking the "What If "questions, because they might be embarrassing. Scary,

  • -4

    basroil

    OnniyamaOct. 10, 2012 - 10:58AM JST

    Most batteries come charged nowadays.

    They sure do, usually about 80% or more for lead acid batteries around 40-50% for lithium ion batteries. They actually have been so for practically forever though, since low charge degrades batteries as much as high charge, especially lead acid ones.

    Deep cycle batteries would be the best as they hold a charge much longer.

    That's actually technology to allow a lead acid battery to recharge normally (without significant degradation), doesn't actually increase amount of charge in the battery. They sure as hell weren't planning on reusing the batteries, so any old batteries would do.

    I am sure they could have raided an AutoBacs or Yellow Hat to get enough batteries. What were these people thinkng? I think everyone should read the link provided by Zichi or go to ENENews for the same story. It fills in some of the missing info.

    Nice link actually, shows two sides being stubborn as hell, one to avoid government backlash (if they had averted an explosion they would have had their engineers charged with violating road laws and theft, with nothing they could do to thank those individuals or reward them later), the other simply being stupid (they announce an emergency but don't actually run it like one).

    They should have suspended all rules for emergency supplies, and given the US autonomy within Japan airspace to allow rapid delivery. A C130 could easily air drop a dozen packs of 100 batteries within an hour, and transport helicopters could ferry practically anything there. Not to mention the US military had plenty of generation equipment that could probably supply about 1MW or so within a day or two.

    Hopefully both companies and the government will learn to say "screw it" to the clearly counterproductive laws in times of emergency. And hopefully the government will learn to put their pride aside and use all the resources at their disposal, not just their own limited forces.

  • -1

    Disillusioned

    These fools should not be in charge of nuclear power plants. I wouldn't let them organize a kid's birthday party. I suppose the thought never occurred to them to rip a battery out of one of the insure vehicles. I only have one word to say, but the moderators would delete it. It rhymes with, "TRUCK!!!"

  • -1

    Disillusioned

    Edit: on-site vehicles

  • -4

    basroil

    DisillusionedOct. 10, 2012 - 12:09PM JST

    These fools should not be in charge of nuclear power plants. I wouldn't let them organize a kid's birthday party. I suppose the thought never occurred to them to rip a battery out of one of the insure vehicles. I only have one word to say, but the moderators would delete it. It rhymes with, "TRUCK!!!"

    Read the link zichi provided. It makes you look like a complete idiot.

  • 0

    Onniyama

    basroil. You said it! I am sure the US military would have been happy to drop in whatever they needed and could have done it within no time at all. A C130, choppers, a hovercraft, whatever. That is what they excel at.

  • 0

    gifu

    So they couldn't break into a car, a garage, or hardware store and take the batteries they needed? We do it better in the Third World. When the Rabaul, Papua New Guinea volcano suddenly erupted in 1994, a couple of local business leaders announced unilaterally that all car lots and new car showrooms would be broken into and the vehicles hot wired to evacuate residents (most of whom were too poor to own cars). Because of this, an entire town was evacuated in a day with no loss of life. Why are intelligent people in the First World unable to make such no-brainer on-the-spot decisions?

  • 2

    gogogo

    I can't believe they didn't just steal a battery at such a critical time, they waited and went shopping for a battery the next day.

  • 0

    forzaducati

    Well I am not surpised, I think I saw this episode already on one of those Drifters re-runs. But sheesh, really? When I was marine-engineer, sometimes a serious problem would arise when you were alone on duty in the middle of the night and the first thing you were supposed to do was to stabilize the problem first and then call the bridge if you had to slow down and then call the chief engineer out of bed. I don't think you would be thanked for babbling over the phone while the main engine was in the process of self destructing. But whatever it was, it was never as serious as 2 nuclear reactors on the verge of melting down. What on earth was this plant manager thinking? If nobody thought of the obvious car battery, if you know where they fitted the damned thing that is^^, wouldn't you just drive to a shop, shout "the whole thing is going to blow up" , or just smash a window and just take a couple of batteries? Everybody living in the vincinity of the plant would know and/or would recognize the uniforms. Call the cops, we're at Daiichi, who cares. Or would you meekly call the office for advise and money? And then some pencil pusher suggesting to send some cash by helicopter? Wasn't there a marathon runner available? What fools. Well, I sincerely hope that the damned things didn't blow up just because a car battery couldn't be sourced in time.

  • 0

    realmind

    The Japanese are trained to do only the orders from the superior. And TEPCO was a place of hell as the all top all those amakudari were enjoying the life in the sunaku every day...

  • -5

    basroil

    gifuOct. 10, 2012 - 12:21PM JST

    So they couldn't break into a car, a garage, or hardware store and take the batteries they needed?

    Again, they tried to follow the law.

    Interestingly, if they had been creative, they would have driven the cars up to where they needed the power, then hooked up the alternators (most are rectified by the time they get to the battery cable) to a few batteries (as buffers) and ran them until their gas ran out. They could probably get ten cars close enough, and running near idle they could probably get 1-2kW power for a day or two with just the cars there, or closer to 20kW for a few hours (and call in for fuel, which can be driven over in small cars if they need to). Certainly not the 50kW two dozen batteries can output, but probably enough to make the batteries last a bit longer.

  • 0

    Disillusioned

    Thanks Basroil. I guess I get to wear your hat for a while, but I am sure you will earn it back in the next two or three posts.

  • -1

    overchan

    They didn't need a Battery to let the coolant flow. those Electric valves have manual by-pass.

  • 1

    billyshears

    @Mirai Hayashi

    JT BTW, "home center" is Japanese English. No native English speaker outside of Japan would know what this is. "Hardware store", "Home and Appliance Store", "Home Improvement Store", or "DIY Store" (if you're into brevity) is better...

    from dictionary.com: home center  noun a large store that specializes in a wide range of materials and supplies for home improvements or repairs.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/home+center

  • 0

    SquidBert

    @Overchan,

    They didn't need a Battery to let the coolant flow. those Electric valves have manual by-pass.

    Perhaps, but in a highly radioactive environment, you typically want to operate things from a distance.

  • -1

    Hiniku

    Amazing.... considering the gravity of the situation I would have broken into the nearest place that was closed and taken the battery. No doubt in my mind that I would have done that.

  • 3

    zichi

    They needed 100 batteries but were only able to buy 8. The batteries were needed to operate the reactor vents to release the pressure inside the reactors, and to keep the instrumentation live so they might understand what was happening. The batteries would not have stopped the meltdowns which had already happened in No1 reactor on the night of Mar.11.

    On the night of Mar.11, the plant manager, Masao Yoshida asked for volunteers to go into the No1 reactor to open the vents by manual-by-pass. They had serious problems doing that. It was dark, the reactors and much of the plant had been wrecked by the tsunami, the radiation was already very high and the workers had a problem locating the vents. There were also a lack of Tyvek suits.

    The tsunami had wrecked many of the cars at the plant. The roads to the reactors and around the plant were wrecked and full of heavy debris from the tsunami. Just getting to the reactors in the dark of the middle of the night, was very difficult for the workers.

    The No1 reactor must have been vented on the night of Mar.11 because according to new data released by the Fukushima gov't, the radiation level in Futaba on Mar.12, was 1500 microsieverts per hour. This was before any of the explosions and the time of data is the same as the time the reactors were vented.

    The reactors lacked any instrumentation for detecting hydrogen. It's possible that in venting the reactors to reduce the pressure, the workers hadn't released they were also releasing hydrogen which built up and caused the explosions.

    On Mar.11, the cooling level in reactor No1 dropped rapidly, which led to the meltdown, producing hydrogen which was released when the reactor was vented to decrease the pressure inside the reactor. This rapid loss of cooling water suggests that the internal pipework inside the reactor was badly damaged by the earthquake. Probably also the suppression ring or chamber.

    The reactors are leaking 400 tons of highly irradiated cooling water, everyday, 24/7. This is causing a major problem of storing this water. TEPCO already has storage tanks for 200,000 tons which is almost full and rapidly trying to add tanks for a further 170,000 tons which will also be full by the end of next year. After that, there's no further room for more tanks at the plant.

    Recently, TEPCO released new video and photo's from a probe put into No1 reactor showing the inside of the reactor containment vessel which was badly damaged with both concrete and metal debris. This could have been caused by the earthquake even though TEPCO stated the reactors suffered no damage from the earthquake.

    If TEPCO had run worse case scenario by computer or safety training, it would have released the short comings of the plant if it had lost total power. They could have installed emergency generators on the roofs of the reactor buildings and other safety measures like water tight doors on the reactor building. Had TEPCO do that, then probably there wouldn't have been a nuclear disaster.

  • 2

    zichi

    And still, not a single TEPCO director or gov't official has been charged with anything criminal?

  • 0

    yasukuni

    "About 1,000 batteries from Toshiba were stuck in Tokyo because there was no permit to transport them on the highway."

    People just need to remember the Nike ad.

  • -4

    basroil

    overchanOct. 10, 2012 - 12:55PM JST

    They didn't need a Battery to let the coolant flow. those Electric valves have manual by-pass.

    Two issues:

    1) Those bypasses are usually motor or pneumatic, and loss of power meant loss of compressed nitrogen to actuate the pneumatic valves.

    2) They were trying to control the main valve, which has no easily accessible manual bypass for safety reasons (imagine what would happen to a person if a 3 inch hole sprung up with 2MPa steam at 200C was released). Normally there are dedicated batteries for it, but those had already been used up, since they are designed to last at most 6 hours because they are backups to the backup (generators) of the backup (external mains).

    http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/info/12051001-e.html The events at the older Fukushima 1 reactor show what the main valve control was intended for, a depressurization of the reactor to reduce pressure and therefore temperature.

    http://fukushima.ans.org/report/accident-analysis From here, we can see why the batteries were needed, that is to open the depressurization channels to allow water to be pumped in, since the high pressure core injector had stopped once primary battery power was gone. Interestingly, this article shows that the systems worked perfectly until the tsunami knocked out power, and only the soon to have been shut down unit 1 suffered complete system blackout, and the other two were perfectly capable of having been "saved" (at least prevented core damage, even if they were more or less scuttled) if the Japanese government had just allowed the US military to air lift batteries and generators on March 11th. It's also kind of ironic that the fact they were cooling down too fast was the reason they ended up overheating.

    http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/review/review1_2-e.html In this article from before March 23rd (last update date), we can see that the batteries taken from employee cars had indeed worked for primary cooling efforts of water injection from firetrucks.

  • 1

    yasukuni

    " Had TEPCO do that, then probably there wouldn't have been a nuclear disaster."

    And the horse has already bolted, but the question is why they didn't get around to doing that, but they had all the time and money to go on trips and buy real estate, etc etc.

    Will someone ever get onto this and ask the hard questions of the ones who ran the company?

    Thanks for the more informative post Zichi.

  • 0

    lostrune2

    An IOU to the store in an emergency or a credit card (even using a manual card imprinter) would've sufficed.

  • 2

    zichi

    basroil

    and only the soon to have been shut down unit 1 suffered complete system blackout, and the other two were perfectly capable of having been "saved" (at least prevented core damage, even if they were more or less scuttled) if the Japanese government had just allowed the US military to air lift batteries and generators on March 11th. It's also kind of ironic that the fact they were cooling down too fast was the reason they ended up overheating.

    All the reactors 1-4 suffered complete system failures. All electrical systems and control panels located on the first floor (ground floor) and basements had been destroyed by the sea water from the tsunami. the level of the sea water was 5-10m deep. The main power connection for the reactor buildings is located on the first floor (ground floor). That was still under water when the emergency power trucks arrived from Tokyo.

    The No1 reactor suffered rapid loss of cooling water probably because the internal pipework of the reactor was damaged by the earthquake.

    The same happened at the second Fukushima plant, Daini. The electrical systems there were destroyed by the sea water from the tsunami. TEPCO is now spending ¥billions on the plant to replace the main generators, the destroyed control panels and the electrical systems. There are new photo's on TEPCO's website.

  • -4

    basroil

    zichiOct. 10, 2012 - 01:40PM JST

    They needed 100 batteries but were only able to buy 8. The batteries were needed to operate the reactor vents to release the pressure inside the reactors, and to keep the instrumentation live so they might understand what was happening. The batteries would not have stopped the meltdowns which had already happened in No1 reactor on the night of Mar.11.

    No, but military sourced generators would, as it seems that the HPCI system was still operational as well as a reasonable amount of the isolation condenser as well. The generators and batteries could have also helped with units 2 and 3, since both had fully functional RCIC in addition to the HPCI (in fact, unit three had perfectly running HPCI for 15 hours since it's backup batteries were fine).

    The No1 reactor must have been vented on the night of Mar.11 because according to new data released by the Fukushima gov't, the radiation level in Futaba on Mar.12, was 1500 microsieverts per hour. This was before any of the explosions and the time of data is the same as the time the reactors were vented.

    From the article above, it's actually the early morning of the 12th:

    In addition, at 12:49 a.m. on March 12, local measurements confirmed that the containment pressure had exceeded the design pressure, which was further evidence of core damage and hydrogen production from the zirconium fuel cladding metal-water reaction. Therefore, processes were started to evacuate local residents and to prepare the containment for venting, in accordance with the NPP emergency procedures. Operators began preparations for primary containment vessel (PCV) venting, but the work ran into trouble because the radiation level in the reactor building was already high. At ~2:30 p.m. on March 12, a small decrease in the PCV pressure level was actually confirmed

    On Mar.11, the cooling level in reactor No1 dropped rapidly, which led to the meltdown, producing hydrogen which was released when the reactor was vented to decrease the pressure inside the reactor. This rapid loss of cooling water suggests that the internal pipework inside the reactor was badly damaged by the earthquake.

    The containment vessel pressure only dropped about an hour before the explosion, so any loss of pressure in the pressure vessel (which occurred close to midnight, possibly past midnight on 11-12) was contained. The loss of cooling was actually due to the inability of the RCIC to function as well as the low exchange rate at the isolation condenser. Incidentally, the RCIC and HPCI were not started after the earthquake and before the tsunami (an hour of difference) because the cooling rate was too fast and could damage the core, and because of that the safety systems were stuck in the off mode when the power loss occurred.

  • -4

    basroil

    zichiOct. 10, 2012 - 02:11PM JST

    All the reactors 1-4 suffered complete system failures. All electrical systems and control panels located on the first floor (ground floor) and basements had been destroyed by the sea water from the tsunami. the level of the sea water was 5-10m deep. The main power connection for the reactor buildings is located on the first floor (ground floor). That was still under water when the emergency power trucks arrived from Tokyo.

    Read the article written by independent nuclear engineers and health specialists. They do hit TEPCO and the Japanese government over the head for clearly foolish choices, but also note that your statements are wrong. http://fukushima.ans.org/report/Fukushima_report.pdf You can see that 2 and 3 had fully operational RCIC and unit 3 had fully functional HPCI, both systems lasting over a day and a half (70 hours for RCIC in unit 2, 20+ hours for unit 3, and 15 hours for HPCI in unit 3). Hardly complete system failure.

    If you insist that your statements are correct, please post some links to back up your statements.

  • 3

    zichi

    basroil

    you have mentioned several times on posts that the No1 reactor was due to closure about one week or so following the 3/11 nuclear disaster. I have been unable to find any news links, TEPCO or gov't links on that?

    Even if it was the case, the nuclear fuel would have remained inside the reactor for several months while TEPCO completed the gov't paperwork to decommission the reactor. It takes 6-9 months to complete the paperwork.

    So if the earthquake and tsunami had happened a month later than it did, the results would have been the same. All working reactors, 1-3 went into shut downs at the time of the earthquake but they still had meltdowns because of the loss of mains and emergency power and probably because of the rapid loss of cooling water probably because the pipes inside the reactors were damaged by the earthquake, as shown in new video and photo's released by TEPCO.

    Even if at the time of the earthquake and tsunami the No1 reactor had been shut down, and the nuclear fuel moved to the spent fuel pool, the No4 reactor would have been working to replace it. Instead of meltdowns in 1-3 reactors, there would have been meltdowns in 2-4 reactors.

    The day wouldn't "have been saved" had the No1 reactor been shut down and had its nuclear fuel removed.

  • 4

    zichi

    basroil

    With the loss of onsite and offsite electrical power at Fukushima Daiichi, all the safety systems that started after the earthquake and relied on electrical power to meet their function to protect and cool the fuel in the reactor cores at units 1, 2 and 3 failed. The systems that did not rely on electrical power were available for a short time following the accident. However, they also eventually failed.

    http://www.oecd-nea.org/press/press-kits/fukushima.html

    Although backup batteries at the Fukushima Daiichi plant were designed to provide direct current (DC) power for eight hours, most of the DC power was lost when the tsunami flooded the plant’s DC power distribution systems.

    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/R41694.pdf

    The 125-volt DC batteries for units 1 & 2 were flooded and failed, leaving them without instrumentation, control or lighting. Unit 3 had battery power for about 30 hours.

    Inside unit 1, it is understood that the water level dropped to the top of the fuel about three hours after the scram (6 pm) and the bottom of the fuel 1.5 hours later (7.30 pm).

    http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/fukushima_accident_inf129.html

  • -3

    Rogerrabbitt

    Did no one have the common sense or initiative to simply take one off a car?

  • 1

    yasukuni

    "They do not have a clue how to respond to anything other by shouting "doshio" a lot, then following a load of long-winded procedures that make sure no one is responsible for anything,"

    That's a fabulous line.

  • -1

    Brian Wheway

    every time I watch the opening sense of the Simpsons on TV I will think of Japan and this huge cock up, you know where Hommer is at the controls of the local power plant

  • 0

    MasterBape

    Patrick Smash:

    "Surely the JSDF (which costs the taxpayer 60 billion dollars a year) could have dropped badly needed supplies in an emergency. The real problem is that too many Japanese workers spend their whole lives staring blankly at Excel sheets. They do not have a clue how to respond to anything other by shouting "doshio" a lot, then following a load of long-winded procedures that make sure no one is responsible for anything,"

    Beautiful.

    Absolutely right.

  • -1

    basroil

    RogerrabbittOct. 10, 2012 - 03:18PM JST

    Did no one have the common sense or initiative to simply take one off a car?

    Did you have the common sense to read the other comments to see if your question had been answered already? The answer for the tenth time is YES.

  • -2

    basroil

    zichiOct. 10, 2012 - 03:07PM JST

    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/R41694.pdf

    Did you bother to actually read it? It says exactly what I posted!

    backup cooling system in Unit 2 continued to operate for about 70 hours after the tsunami

    High-pressure injection of water into the reactor vessel was lost after about 36 hours

    Yes, the article you posted supported my statements. If TEPCO and the government had just allowed the military bases to send over generators, they could have restored power to HPCI and RCIC systems and ran them through electrical pumps and avoided the entire mess of trying to connect batteries to open valves to reduce pressure, since the HPCI would have been able to do that by itself, and RCIC wouldn't have needed to reduce pressure vessel pressure.

  • -1

    Charles M Burns

    Amazing

  • 2

    zichi

    basroil

    A portable generator was brought to Unit 2 and temporary power cables were hooked up, but just before power could be restored, the hydrogen explosion in Unit 1 propelled debris into the portable generator and cables and rendered them inoperable.

    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/R41694.pdf

  • -2

    basroil

    zichiOct. 10, 2012 - 06:59PM JST

    A portable generator was brought to Unit 2 and temporary power cables were hooked up, but just before power could be restored, the hydrogen explosion in Unit 1 propelled debris into the portable generator and cables and rendered them inoperable.

    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/R41694.pdf

    From your source: "backup cooling system in Unit 2 continued to operate for about 70 hours after the tsunami"

    I'll just leave it at that, since clearly this is going to go in circles using the same source to say the same things that don't have an impact on the availability and use of batteries.

  • 0

    oberst

    I hope the J Self Defense Force reacts better than the TEPCO crew in time of crisis, just saying.

  • 0

    Cos

    Who cares about cash.

    Absolutely. I have been stranded somewhere without any cash, my credit cards lost, everything closed, but I have been able to buy food and my ticket to leave. Travel assistance sent fax so I could get what I needed on credit. You tell me Japanese government can't do assistance for Tepco in the middle of a disaster ?

    Why not just smash windows and take what was needed. I think we all understand the gravity of the situation.

    Yes, requisition. When it's disaster or war, that's the way. Instead of having stupid discussions, Kan's staff and Tepco HQ should have each dispatched 6 helicopters and 2 dozens of guys, plus cops to escort them (and re-open or break out any closed store, requisition cars from parkings). These should have been running errands nationwide and over, so they could source anything the plant needed. They did not even do that, they totally under-evaluated the gravity of Fukishima plant's situation. The list of the material missing to repair the plant was long like the arm, still several weeks later the some guys in that plant had no protection suits nor dosimeters. And they were not yet asking any help from outside.

  • 0

    gelendestrasse

    It's plainly obvious that the TEPCO managers couldn't make a correct decision to save their company, just their own necks. Kan and his minions aren't much better but I guess I don't expect them to be experts on nuclear power plants. But the real tragedy of all this is that the US Navy was ready to pump seawater into the reactors to prevent the meltdown but was told by TEPCO and the J-gov (I guess they were in the loop) to stand down. As a result we have how much contamination? How many people will never return home? How many farmers ruined? This whole thing is just a pathetic example of the lack of leadership in a consensus driven management model. It might be all well and good when you're deciding if you need that extra screw in a machine but it doesn't work when there's a crisis.

  • 0

    bajhista65

    At last the real blunders and incompetence of TEPCO Management Directors and officials emerged. The timing of a director suffering from Cancer and brain hemorrhage is weird for a sudden resignation. I am sure officials of a high earning power plants have regular health check ups as benifits and incentives. But if it's true he suffered a non related illness after the disaster, I just wished it's not the rule of Karma. Funny though but securing a Car Battery cannot be accomplished in this highly needed emergency situation? Knock..knock...

    Japan, this just proved that you should be zero Nuke power plants with this kind of officials running it.

  • -1

    Funnybonesup

    Tepco...step away from the big boy toys.

    Go back to your Lego.

  • 1

    yasukuni

    I don't see why japanese officials should always be reluctant to avail themselves of US military help. Any other country would jump at the offers. It's crazy.

  • -1

    basroil

    bajhista65Oct. 11, 2012 - 01:50AM JST

    Funny though but securing a Car Battery cannot be accomplished in this highly needed emergency situation?

    It's not "A" battery, they already had 20 of them. They wanted hundreds. This article is so poorly written it doesn't even include the basic information and just makes people assume entirely false things. The other issue isn't TEPCO saying no to the batteries, rather the government not allowing them to do what they needed to, like just braking into every parked car within 20km and jacking the batteries that way.

  • -1

    basroil

    bajhista65Oct. 11, 2012 - 01:50AM JST

    Funny though but securing a Car Battery cannot be accomplished in this highly needed emergency situation?

    It's not "A" battery, they already had 20 of them. They wanted hundreds. This article is so poorly written it doesn't even include the basic information and just makes people assume entirely false things. The other issue isn't TEPCO saying no to the batteries, rather the government not allowing them to do what they needed to, like just braking into every parked car within 20km and jacking the batteries that way.

  • 2

    zichi

    Just about everything with the Fukushima plant were defect designs and design defects. This plant is an example of how not to built an atomic power plant. Sea wall not high enough to withstand the tsunami. Emergency generators located below sea level,except one which was located on a hill because it was too big to get it into the basement, but the control room for that generator is located below ground and was flooded by the seawater. Spent fuel pools 100 feet above ground.

    Reactor containment vessels not designed for dealing with meltdowns or for holding the increase in pressure created by meltdowns. This led to venting and the release of hydrogen which caused the explosions. The containment vessels cracked from the earthquake, or the heat of the meltdowns, or both and now leak cooling water into the reactor basements.

    No system for pumping sea water into the reactors which would have prevented the meltdowns and explosions from happening.

    Five incoming mains power supplies which were not built strong enough to withstand the earthquake, which was lower than at the epicenter. I think about 7.6?

    Not enough Tyvek suits and dosimeters kept on site for dealing with a full blown emergency.

    Reactor buildings constructed to keep the weather out but not contain an explosion.

    No water tight electrical systems and no water tight doors on essential plant buildings like the reactor buildings and emergency generator rooms. Oil storage tanks on the docks at sea level.

    No emergency water supply for cooling the reactors. The mains water was lost. Water had to be taken from a nearby mountain using fire hoses.

    No emergency manual and insufficient training of the plant operators.

    One of the few features they got right, which is lacking at other plants, is the emergency control room.

    The new atomic safety agency, the NRA has stated it will spend the next year reviewing safety standards at all the atomic plants and until that is complete, no more reactors will be restarted. That could change if the LDP wins the next general election. The NRA needs to look at all the faults with the Fukushima plant and investigate which ones are being used at the other atomic plants.

  • 0

    JapanGal

    Manzai at its best.

  • -2

    basroil

    zichiOct. 11, 2012 - 11:25AM JST

    No emergency water supply for cooling the reactors. The mains water was lost. Water had to be taken from a nearby mountain using fire hoses.

    There was actually a "standard" (for 1970s) amount water tank for the HPCI system that functioned correctly in unit 3. The main issues where that the tanks were not elevated or large enough (new ones were part of the upgrade plans to be released Feb 2011) to allow prolonged use of HPCI and RCIC in the case of a loss of pump power. Most plants built in the 90s as well as some in the 80s were built with those recommendations already in place, a few retrofitted after 2000, and a few that still need to be upgraded.

    However, without pump power the use of fire hoses (generally same pressure as HPCI and plugged into that system) was a good substitute and would have likely been used regardless of if there was more water as long as the plant was blacked out.

  • 0

    Funnybonesup

    I would have located a portable generator either by searching the maintenance dept, smashing shop windows or checking the back of trades men's work trucks for one, then hooking it to a 12 volt transformer or reversing an inverter and turning that valve.

  • 0

    Funnybonesup

    Even quicker, take the rear cowling off the back of the electric drive motor on the valve and remove the cooling fan. now the drive shaft is exposed. Lock the chuck of a decent 18volt battery drill onto the electric motor shaft and with the drill in low gear, spin the motor drive shaft with the drill to slowly open the valve. More torque required? Use a portable generator and a large 240volt drill or a two stroke engine post hole digger with some on-the-spot modifications to the chuck. Or simply put some decent stiltson vice grips on the shaft and turn by hand as required.

    Wait...I almost forgot I'm not a nuclear energy engineer for a second there...sorry.

  • 2

    zichi

    Funnybonesup

    You missed out the bit about the dangerous levels of radiation which limited the workers time inside the reactor buildings to minutes, not hours your suggestion would have taken. Climbing over wreckage and debris to reach the vents and total darkness. All very scary stuff for anyone. Not even enough dosimeters for every worker.

  • 0

    HokoOnchi

    Why couldn't the guys in Tokyo commandeer a helicopter and send more than one car battery up there? Or arrange to have it delivered by the authorities who already were doing fly overs and such? Or even just do a para-drop?

    I don't understand why the crew at Fukushima had to worry about cashing, finding an open store or any of that.

    Where was TEPCO Tokyo's sense of urgency in all of this?

  • 0

    RichardPearce

    While an earthquake and tsunami may make shopping for stuff a little hard, the words 'I need a ____ to keep the nuclear reactor over there from melting down' would almost certainly get one to the front of the line, and even make a lack of cash not that big of an issue. It might even get one offers of free and speedy delivery, at no charge.

  • 1

    Fadamor

    It's really humorous how you can tell exactly how many posters here didn't bother reading the comments that had already been made. Just look for the ones complaining about using the batteries in the cars on-site that were posted after Zichi's post that explained that they used all the batteries from the cars in the parking lot, but they needed more.

    There's more than one valve that needs controlling, and the solonoid probably needs more current than one battery can provide, so they needed to hook the batteries up in parallel for more "oomph".

  • 0

    ka_chan

    I don't understand why they were going for batteries when what they really needed was the restoration of power. Why did they try and bring in power lines or get generators. They know right after the tsunami that they needed generators. What there are no generators in Japan? Jieitai could get generators to them in 70 hours? Nobody asked before it was too late?
    TEPCO is an electric utility company and they didn't try to bring in new power or generators. Wait, I think they tried too late and by truck to an large earthquake affected area.
    Still, it is stupid for a small country like Japan not to have one uniformed power grid. They need to just pick one, 50Hz or 6t0 Hz. I vote 60.

  • -1

    basroil

    ka_chanOct. 12, 2012 - 06:09AM JST

    I don't understand why they were going for batteries when what they really needed was the restoration of power. Why did they try and bring in power lines or get generators. They know right after the tsunami that they needed generators. What there are no generators in Japan?

    Surprisingly few generators thanks to the very high reliability of the system, even in earthquakes. The US military could have probably provided nearly 100kW within 6 hours and perhaps up to 5 MW generation within 48 hours (heavy air transport from south korea). Even 100kW would have been enough to run all the monitoring equipment and most of the safety systems, and 1MW would have been enough to run all plant operations even assuming reactor heat was above design specs (in emergency cooling modes, not regular cooling). Of course the Japanese government refused to allow the US armed forces to deploy even after they had set up everything and were ready to go. JSDF likely also has generation equipment, but they lack the heavy transport needed to bring over the massive 100kW+ power stations without driving them or putting them on a slow ship.

  • 0

    Ch1n4Sailor

    Nothing unusual here... It sounds like a Japanese company...

    Surprisingly few generators thanks to the very high reliability of the system, even in earthquakes. The US military could have probably provided nearly 100kW within 6 hours and perhaps up to 5 MW generation within 48 hours (heavy air transport from south korea). Even 100kW would have been enough to run all the monitoring equipment and most of the safety systems, and 1MW would have been enough to run all plant operations even assuming reactor heat was above design specs (in emergency cooling modes, not regular cooling). Of course the Japanese government refused to allow the US armed forces to deploy even after they had set up everything and were ready to go. JSDF likely also has generation equipment, but they lack the heavy transport needed to bring over the massive 100kW+ power stations without driving them or putting them on a slow ship.

    That's Japanese politics at work, same thing as when JAL 123 crashed, there were U.S.Military Helicopters on scene, within an hour of the crash, ready to perform rescues, but were ordered out of the area, because the Japanese Government didn't need their help.

  • 0

    T-Mack

    Batteries? Huh! In every horror film it seem's to come down to the generater going out or the batteries going dead. But for Nuclear Reactor needing car batteries to open and close valve's? There should alway's be a manual override!!! There is no excuse for this!!! Again it comes down to why do we even use nuclear power? There's always that risk of contamination. We have the greatest power source right in our own sky, Solar power..."No Nuke's"

  • -1

    Frank Rizzo

    To paraphrase the wonderful college courtroom speech from the movie "Animal House": Isn't this an indictment of the whole system? In this case, the Japanese system? For God's sake, how is it that with the reactors about to blow, not one person on site couldn't have simply said: let's go out and rip the additional batteries we need from the first car's we see? What we have highlighted so glaringly in this incident is almost every reason why Japan is now literally plummeting into dire economic stagnation: First and foremost, the inability to think. I mean, really think creatively, effectively, on your feet and, when necessary, out of the box. Next, the almost paralyzing fear of taking any responsibility in any situation. After that, the absurdly hierarchical structure of the society and the rules by which these hierarchies are imposed. It's easy to say: the Japanese education system is really just a long-drawn out lobotomy procedure (because I know that Japanese children are not dumb - they are as bright as anyone - but when the come out the end of the meat grinder - they are rendered dull, dim and pathetically passive). But, education systems only reflect the societies in which they exist, and so much of what goes into turning people who are by their very nature creative and intelligent into hapless, gormless and clueless sheep happens outside the classroom. Think of what constitutes common sense in Japan: don't think for yourself; don't rock the boat; don't criticize; don't make a fuss; try to figure out what everyone else is thinking before you say anything - it all results in a form of intellectual neutering. Sadly, some version of the same conversation as that contained in the transcript is now happening in Tokyo regarding how to pull Japan out of its slump. Maybe some of the ministers from the Mombusho are having that chat at the back room of a ryotei. And you can bet your last yen that the intelligence and content of the discussion rises no higher than that of the numbskulls trying to figure out how to get a battery in Fukushima. Ditto for the clowns in the Gaimusho and MITI trying to figure out why the economy is crashing and China hates them so much. I lived in Japan long enough to see this sort of idiocy time and time again. Sorry, there's no other word for it. I'm not saying the people are stupid. I'm saying the system renders them stupid. But therein lies the trap: once the entire populace, or almost all of it has been rendered stupid, you cannot have a revolution to change the society and render it smart. Just imagine the meetings of the rebels: "Where can we get gas for the Molotov cocktails? Are there funds available for such expenditures? We must have a meeting to discuss the consideration of a motion to contact the honbu to requisition the funds for the procurement of gasoline for the construction of a specified number of Molotov cocktails..." Sigh.

  • -1

    basroil

    T-MackOct. 14, 2012 - 12:46AM JST

    Nuclear Reactor needing car batteries to open and close valve's? There should alway's be a manual override!!! There is no excuse for this!!!

    That's like saying an airplane should always have engines accessible while flying in case all engines fail midair. If you ever need that you're doing it wrong.

    In the case here, the backup batteries were located in the basement without any protection against significant and rapid flooding. That was the mistake made 30 years ago that they refused to update on a timely basis.

  • 0

    stuarto

    Patrick Smash wins the MVP

    They do not have a clue how to respond to anything other by shouting "doshio" a lot, then following a load of long-winded procedures that make sure no one is responsible for anything,

    This is one of the best posts i've ever read.

  • 0

    sf2k

    I'll have a turkey tomato on rye.... oh wait

  • 0

    Ron Barnes

    Car,s have batteries, Fork lifts have batteries, Generaters have battery to start with if large enough, Busses have batteries,Truck,s have batteries. Crains have batteries, Why did not a Neuclair power plant have any of this equipment. It would be worth following up and charging the upper management over the incident even though the problem was caused by nature. Some one is accountable For this ,Who would believe this area is now safe ,being told by this management.

Login to leave a comment

OR

More in National

View all

View all