Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Has Radiation Done For Director of Fukushima Plant?

At a guess, I would say yes.

I guess he can't have been happy enough or didn't laugh in the prescribed amounts, must have been brooding and fretting and weak spirited.

Director of Fukushima Plant Stepping Down Due to Illness
November 28, 2011

The director of Japan’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is stepping down due to illness, the facility’s operator said Monday but it was not clear if his condition is radiation-related.

Masao Yoshida, 56, who has been on site at the plant since Japan’s March 11 earthquake and tsunami disaster, has been hospitalised for “treatment of illness”, a spokeswoman for Tokyo Electric Power Co.(TEPCO) said.

“We cannot give you details of his illness because they are private matters,” Chie Hosoda said. “He is hospitalised where he is able to take time in his convalescence.”

However, there were mixed messages from TEPCO, with senior official Junichi Matsumoto saying according to Jiji Press, “We have heard from doctors that his condition is not related to radiation but it was not a definitive diagnosis.”

Another TEPCO spokeswoman Ai Tanaka told AFP: “We have not yet heard from doctors about any causal relationship to radiation.”

The March disaster knocked out the atomic plant’s cooling system and sent some of its reactors into meltdown, leaking radiation into the air, sea and food chain in the worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

The plant continues to leak radiation, although TEPCO and the government insist the reactors will all be brought to cold shutdown by the end of the year.

Yoshida, who assumed the post in June last year, said in a message to officials and workers at the plant, “A condition was discovered during a regular medical check the other day.”

“I had no choice but to be hospitalised at very short notice for treatment under doctors’ advice,” said the message released by the operator.

“It breaks my heart to part with you, who have worked together since the earthquake disaster, in this way and I apologise from my heart for causing trouble to you,” he said. “I will focus on my treatment and stay strong so that I can come back to work with you as soon as possible.”

Yoshida is widely seen as a gutsy chief who continued injecting seawater into one of the troubled reactors at the early stages of the crisis, against the company’s orders.

He was reprimanded for the action which later proved to have been justified.

The top government spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura, told reporters: “We will keep a close watch and see to it that this will have no adverse effect on the settlement of the nuclear accident.”

Yoshida is being replaced by Takeshi Takahashi, who was in charge of nuclear power plant operations at TEPCO’s head office in Tokyo, some 220 kilometres (140 miles) southwest of the Fukushima plant.

Yoshida told reporters on November 12 when the plant allowed a group of journalists to visit there for the first time that he endured a frightening ordeal in March.

“In the first week immediately after the accident I thought a few times ‘I’m going to die’,” he said.

And when a hydrogen explosion tore apart the buildings around reactors 1 and 3 in the days after the quake, he said: “I thought it was all over.”

Yoshida said there were still hot spots of dangerously high radiation in the compound but that people could be reassured that the reactors were now stabilised.

TEPCO told journalists on the day of the tour, a Saturday, that there were around 1,600 people at the plant, half of the usual weekday number, working to tame the reactors.

The atomic crisis has not in itself claimed any lives but has badly dented the reputation of nuclear power, a key source of energy in resource-poor Japan.

Thousands of people remain evacuated from a large area around the plant, with no indication when the many who left homes and farms in the shadow of the reactors will be able to return. Alternet


Anonymous said...

"champion of radiation"

Himself said...

Good morning Maren.

What can I say, other than he's barking.

Naoto Matsumura lights a cigarette, which he considers relatively good for his health.

"I would get sick if I stopped smoking; I have a lot to worry about,
Said he, living in probably the most radioactively toxic place on earth.

But not totally barking.

"It's now impossible for me to meet with Japan's mainstream media," he explains. "If I say bad things about Tepco, and the government, they won't run it because Tepco is their sponsor."

And then I kind of warmed to the fellow. How could I not, when the fellow came out with such a pearl as this?

One tabloid magazine, Friday, did run a two-page feature on Matsumura, with bizarre photos of him feeding an ostrich — which it quipped in bad taste was "the official mascot of Tepco."

Out of the mouths of babes, sucklings and lunatics; it's a cracker!

As it happens, it was only yesterday evening that I was bringing myself up to speed via Fairewinds, so I guess I shall have to make a post of that before the day is out.

I've just had a flash of inspiration, it involves, if they have one, a Tepco logo and an ostrich.

I shall go and look.

Himself said...

Things were coming along quite nicely with the new TEPO logo, until that is, the mains had a power blip, now paint shop is frozen and no matter what I do, I can't get the thing up and running again.

I do hope it's not going to be an uninstall/reinstall job.

I think I shall go and finish my Christmas shopping.

Bah humbug!

Himself said...

Up and running again, but got sidetracked.