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First of all, they do care about the safety of the emergency workers. Several times they have pulled the workers out because of high levels of radiation. If they could just throw bodies at the problem it would be much easier to solve. That explains the hesitant part.

There  was a more criminal kind of hesitance at the beginning, when tepco hesitated to aggressively cool the reactors for fear of losing them as assets. But the first hydrogen explosion was 24 hours into the incident. After that there was no excuse and it still took 3 days before the government apparently took over the operations.

It appears that they have been surprised by various developments over the past 3 weeks, most of which were predictable with hindsight. So I'm not sure what to think about that. Is it the case that the damage to the support systems of the reactors was so extensive that they had no way to know for sure what the state of the various facilities really was? The fact that the plant was without power for over a week did not help.

The question is whether we get a sense that they're now getting a grip on the situation. The plant needs to be taken under control before it can be effectively cooled down. Who's actually in charge of strategizing about that, from an engineering point of view? It is evident that the upper levels (how deep?) of TEPCO's management structure are clueless.

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 05:00:10 PM EST
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