JAPC Joint Review Report

This week our independent review team visited the Japan Atomic Power Company’s (JAPC) Tsuruga Nuclear Power Station for the fourth time.

As many of you know, the Japan Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NRA) has stated that an active fault runs under Tsuruga Unit 2 and therefore under regulations should be shut down. The NRA’s criteria for fault activity, or capability as we say in the US and Europe, is movement during the last 120,000 years.

Our preliminary report was presented at a press briefing in Tokyo yesterday.

According to the NRA’s definition of an active fault (120,000 – 130,000 years ago), and our team’s independent review of the recent investigations by JAPC, we conclude that there is persuasive and powerful scientific evidence that the geological features investigated do not indicate active faults.

The report (JAPC Joint Review Report June 2014) and the full version of my introduction to the press (download as PDF) can be found in the documents section of my profile.

Revealing testimony about the early days of the Fukushima Daiichi Crisis

The Asahi Shimbun is running a series of articles based on the testimony given by Yoshida Masao, the plant manager during the Fukushima Daiichi crisis. Yoshida-san gave this testimony to prosecutors on loan to the Japan government’s Investigation Committee on the Accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Station.

From the Asahi Shimbun Online

From the Asahi Shimbun Online

None of this information has been made public before this time. If true, it gives the public more reasons to lose trust in TEPCO and the Japan central government.

You can find the first one and the second one online in English

Just when we may need nuclear power generation most for economic stability and to combat global warming, new revelations bring into question the ability of Japan to win the hearts, minds, and trust of the public. How can we expect those evacuated from their homes during the crisis to believe the reports from UNSCEAR and other organizations on the safety of returning?

The likelihood that there will be long term radiation fatalities or illnesses from the accident is exceedingly small, indeed.

Science has nothing to do with this situation. But trust does.

People left the ever widening exclusion zone around the plant on orders from the Japan central government. And rightly so since even the best experts did not know exactly what was happening in the early days.

And they stayed away, even knowing the radiation levels were lower and within limits, because of lack of trust that the situation was under control. It could have gotten worse.

They continue to stay away because they lack the trust that current decontamination actions and the removal of spent fuel at Unit 4 will proceed without incident and truthfulness, thus perhaps necessitating another evacuation.

There are Fukushima Daiichi tours given to the media, public figures, and foreign dignitaries, such as U.S. Ambassador Kennedy, on a regular basis.

I would suggest another kind of tour.

Go and listen to the people, as we did in Minami-soma while making the UNSCEAR film. The people in Minami-soma understand radiation and its measurements very well. They are not stupid. They simply do not trust those who have lied.

Go and listen to them.

Stap cells, Dr. Obokata, Riken, and truth

Today, in the Japan Times newspaper, as well as online, Otake-san has written an article about scientific misconduct and cover-ups in Japan. I have been quite confused since Dr. Obokata's press conference in which she so passionately put forward … [Continue reading]

On the risk of becoming stupid

Couple texting at the table

The pervasiveness of social media and technology in our lives creates a greater risk to our knowledge. As we rely more and more on our computer based algorithms to determine what interests us, we lose our creative ability and becomes slaves to logic … [Continue reading]