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At the time us eco-terrorists where being told to sit down & shut up ... TEPCO had a handle on the situation:

We Nearly Lost Northern Japan  (an Orange diary):

The Japanese government forced the utility company to flood the reactors; the company wanted to save its investment. But if they hadn't flooded the reactors with seawater, there would have been three giant explosions -- he calls it "three Chernobyls" and northern Japan would have been lost. Radiation is still coming from two breaches in the contaiment vessels. The professor flat out states that "we came this close to losing all of Northern Japan."

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 01:56:23 AM EST
Was it established why TEPCO waited with the flooding, or is this about saving its investment just conjecture by Dr. Dr. Michio Kaku of the City College of New York? See here for the earlier discussion on the government-TEPCO conflict on the flooding, with indications that TEPCO might have been upheld by technical problems rather than economic considerations.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jun 12th, 2011 at 11:38:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Above I conflated the issues of venting and seawater flooding (though I suspect Dr. Kaku did, too), both of which came with delay after government orders. However, technical problems still apply in both cases, and at least for No. 1, the TEPCO-government conflict seems to have been over a suspension of seawater injection (which never actually happened) rather than starting it in the first place (see upthread). Here I will note the timeline on the seawater flooding at the No. 1 reactor:

  • end of freshwater injection (tanks run out): 12 March, 14:53
  • hydrogen explosion blows off the top: 12 March, 15:36
  • start of seawater injection: 12 March, 19:04

Considering the environment they had to work in to lay firehoses from the sea to an entry valve, with the explosion blowing stuff on top of them, those four hours (three and a half after the explosion) don't even seem that much of a delay.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 13th, 2011 at 05:42:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On a broader note: since it was deduced later that water level gauges were malfunctioning, every decision taken at the time or what could have been taken at the time was based on mistaken assumptions.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 13th, 2011 at 05:48:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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