To be, or not to be? Cold shutdown is the question.
In one of the most horrendous editorials to yet come out of Japan, Mainichi Shimbun says the recent cold shutdown announcement is essentially a scripted government stunt. Their rationale stems from “road map” modifications made over the past few months which The Mainichi says were employed to insure that the time-table for declaring cold shutdown would be met. If a new situational discovery would cause the time-table for cold shutdown to be extended, the condition would be moved to the post-cold shutdown part of the road map. Rather than re-set the cold shutdown clock, they changed the map. The Mainichi reports, “It is apparent the government is trying to close the curtain on a performance it has written and acted out [in order] to stress to international society that it has brought the crisis under control quickly.” The editorial’s writer has the audacity to say, “The latest announcement that the goals of the road map have been achieved is merely the result of officials lowering their own hurdles. It reminds me of the time during World War II when the Imperial Japanese Army headquarters called the Japanese army’s retreat a ‘shift in position.’” While all other news media outlets in Japan have published similar accusations, they have at least attributed them to politicians, alleged experts, and local residents. The Mainichi editorial boldly goes where no ethical Press source should go…making bold, provocative, unfounded statements to fulfill what seems to be an administrative agenda designed to condemn the government.
To make matters worse later in the article, the editorial prints “facts” that have been created out of old news stories we now know to have been entirely false. For example, The Mainichi says SPF #4 had boiled away by March 14, but the unit’s hydrogen explosion that day caused water from another pool on the refueling deck to be blown into the SPF and brought water in the pool back to a safe level. Because of this, the fuel bundles in the SPF were saved, preventing another huge release of radiation at some moment in the future. Absolute poppy-cock! The pool never boiled away…not even close. Where they got the idea that SPF #4 was saved due to water being sloshed in from another pool is a mystery. Did the writer make it up? A second example is The Mainichi saying a unit #2 hydrogen explosion was averted only because the unit #1 explosion had “forced open a window in the No. 2 building, releasing the trapped hydrogen.” Yes, a large “blow out panel” was discovered to be open on the unit #2 refueling deck in the weeks following the accident, but no-one knows how it was opened…no-one except the Mainichi’s editorial staff, it seems. Did they make this one up, too?