TEPCO...I'm not surprised by this news...

Good morning everyone,

It's going to be hot and sunny for the next couple of days, but the rains will be back on Sunday and continue through Monday and Tuesday...after that, it's anybody's guess...

The president of Tokyo Electric Power Co. during the Fukushima nuclear crisis told employees not to publicly use the term “meltdown,” apparently in response to government pressure, a third party report released Thursday said.

The report, compiled by three lawyers, said it is highly likely the government at the time pressured Masataka Shimizu, then Tepco’s president when the monstrous earthquake and tsunami disabled the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on March 11, 2011, about the utility’s disclosures in the early stages of the crisis.

The report said someone in the government was unhappy Tepco had revealed a photo of the blown-up building for reactor No. 1 on March 12 without telling the government in advance.

The Prime Minister’s Office then called Shimizu the same day. After Shimizu returned to Tepco’s Tokyo headquarters, he told his fellow executives that they needed to check with the Prime Minister’s Office whenever disclosing information to the public, according to the report.

The report also said Shimizu sent a note on March 14 to Vice President Sakae Muto, who was overseeing the plant and holding a news conference, to warn him not to say meltdown.

“Considering this fact, it is presumable that the Prime Minister’s Office requested Shimizu to be careful about admitting to a meltdown in public,” the report said.

The panel thought this was a critical point that required further investigation but was unable to track down a specific bureaucrat who made such a request. Yasuhisa Tanaka, who headed the panel, said it conducted hearings with 60 Tepco employees but did not talk to anyone from the government side.

Tepco did not acknowledge that a reactor meltdown had occurred until May 15, 2011 — two months after the fact.

If that isn't a cover-up, I don't know what is...

“Looking at the situation back then, we think it was difficult for Tepco to use the term meltdown because even the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency couldn’t use it” due to apparent government pressure, Tanaka said.

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency was Japan’s nuclear watchdog at that time.

The panel spent about three months investigating why Tepco did not publicly reveal the meltdowns occurred earlier than it did.

In February, nearly five years after the crisis, Tepco announced it should have declared the meltdowns earlier, citing the existence of a company manual that listed what constitutes a meltdown. The manual says that meltdown is a state in which 5 percent or more of the fuel rods is damaged.

As of March 14, 2011, Tepco estimated that 55 percent of the fuel rod assemblies in reactor No. 1 and 25 percent of those in reactor No. 3 were damaged but did not declare that they had melted until May that year. So, just to be clear-there wasn't A meltdown in Fukushima, there were TWO meltdowns...

I think it's obvious that Tepco withheld information about the nuclear disaster and it's becoming more and more apparent that they were pressured to do so by the government. I wish I could say I was shocked, but I'm not...it's pretty much par for the course for the Japanese government.

Who do you think is to blame for the cover up? The government or Tepco? Or both? Or do you think that there was no cover up and they were right in not telling the whole story?

Have a great day!


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