A panel-member of Japan’s congressional Nuclear Accident Independent Investigative Committee (NAIIC) says Tepco “blocked” one of their critical accident investigations last February. Science Journalist and NAIIC panel member Mitsuhiko Tanaka claims Tepco would not allow the panel inside the unit #1 reactor building in late February, 2012. Tepco told the NAIIC the interior was cloaked in total blackness due to the enclosure surrounding the destroyed building. The panel was also told by Tepco that the radiation levels were too high to insure the Panel’s safety. However, nearly a full year after the fact, Tanaka has presented a formal written complaint to the Diet where he says he found out there was some electric lighting inside the building after all, and that the enclosure was not completed when the panel wanted to make the visit. To the contrary, the evidence at-hand irrefutably proves his entire allegation is materially false.
The panel desired to visually inspect the F. Daiichi unit #1 fourth floor on February 28, 2012. They wanted to see the condition of the two emergency isolation condensers because some workers had told them there were water leaks on the fourth floor before the tsunami hit. The panel wanted to know if the leaks were from the condensers or the attached piping, and (if there were leaks) whether or not they were caused by the earthquake. Tepco told the panel there was no lighting inside the completely enclosed building and it was too dangerous to lead the panel members up the stairways from the ground level to the fourth floor. Instead of taking them to F. Daiichi, Tepco showed the panel a 25-minute video taken by workers hurriedly climbing the stairs (behind a man taking a radiation reading), and subsequently capturing visuals of everything on the fourth floor they could get close to. In the end, they go back down the stairs as quickly as safely possible, carefully side-stepping debris on the steps between the second and fourth floors.
Tanaka charges that Tepco wanted to prevent the NAIIC panel from inspecting the condition of the condensers and attached piping. In the prepared statement given to the Tokyo government, Tanaka’s says, “There was a serious obstruction to our investigation due to a false explanation.” (Yomiuri Shimbun) Tanaka also told reporters that “they were afraid of the committee uncovering inconvenient truths, so they blocked the investigation.” (Japan Today) Tanaka claims Tepco said the footage was shot before the enclosure was finished and it shows that there was lighting inside the building on Feb. 28, 2012. To the contrary, the video provides conclusive evidence that his allegations of willful obstruction on the part of Tepco are vacuous.
The enclosure around the unit #1 reactor building was completed in mid-October…2011! (http://atomicpowerreview.blogspot.com/2011/10/fukushima-daiichi-no-1-enclosed.html ) The date Tanaka says the panel was scheduled to go into unit #1 was February 28…2012! Thus, Tepco was telling the truth and Tanaka either can’t read a calendar, or…could it be he might be intentionally fabricating the whole thing? To make matters worse for the whistleblower, in response to his unfounded allegation Tepco has posted the video they showed to Tanaka and the NAIIC panel… (http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/news/library/movie-01e.html?bcpid=59368209002&bclid=347242463002&bctid=400994198002)
In viewing the footage, we find the Tepco workers carrying hand-held lights as they ascend the stairs. However, it is obvious to anyone who has ever shot their own videos that the main light for the footage comes from the camera itself. While moving from one stairway to another on the third floor, the video shows a single portable mercury vapor lamp attached to a handrail, glowing brightly. Further, when we get to the fourth floor and first see the isolation condensers in question, they are bathed in sunlight! This could only have happened if the Tepco footage was recorded some weeks before October 14, 2011, while the roof of the enclosure was being pieced together.
Yes, there was but one small light inside unit #1’s destroyed reactor building, but not the wide-spread lighting alleged by Tanaka. And yes, the video was shot before the enclosure around the building was finished, as alleged by Tanaka, however the structure was totally completed four months before the NAIIC visit was scheduled!
It should also be noted that Tanaka has a history of vacuous whistle-blowing that can be traced back to 1974! Japan Today reports (2/8/13) “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.” Will anyone formally request that the Diet investigate Tanaka? We might also ask what someone of his ilk was doing on the NAIIC panel in the first place. Regardless, it is clear that his misleading mode of mischief has gone way over the line.
Tepco says their explanation on the reason for denying the NAIIC access to unit #1 reactor building on 2/28/12 must have misunderstood by Tanaka. They are being respectful and kind…way too kind, if you ask me! He made a formal, written submittal to Japan’s Congress (Diet) alleging willful obstructionism on the part of Tepco. The Diet should bring charges against him and formally try him for fabricating the whole thing. I’m mad as a wet hen and crying out for justice! These types of shenanigans must not be tolerated. Tepco executives are being considered for criminal proceedings for telling the truth. Mitsuhiko Tanaka should be considered for criminal proceedings for lying to his government, the Press and the people of Japan.