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With all the excitement about Japan’s soaring stock market (if plunging wages), crashing non-digital currency (leading to soaring energy prices), recent passage of an arbitrary secrecy bill (“Designed by Kafka & Inspired By Hitler“), and ongoing territorial spat with China, it is almost as if the Abe administration is desperately doing everything in its power, including some of the most ridiculous decisions taken by a government in recent history, to hide some key development behind the scenes. Such as this one perhaps: NHK reported today that TEPCO said radiation levels are extremely high in an area near a ventilation pipe at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. TEPCO found radiation of 25 sieverts an hour on a duct, which connects reactor buildings and the 120-meter-tall ventilation pipe.
Putting this number in context the estimated radiation level is the highest ever detected outside reactor buildings. People exposed to this level of radiation would die within 20 minutes.
The exhaust pipe in question was used to release radioactive gases following the outbreak of the accident 2 years ago.
TEPCO says radioactive substances could remain inside the pipes. Given TEPCO’s safety record, they could also leak outside of the pipes. And given the company’s “credibility” the world would be sure to learn about this… anywhere between 2 and 3 years after the fact.
In the meantime, we urge Japan to follow the bouncing, and so pleasantly distracting, Topix and Nikkei 225 balls, while sticking its head in the glow in the dark sand and completely ignore the radioactive monster in the closet.
… Which reminds us: on Thursday the following headline hit the Bloomberg tape:
- FUKUSHIMA RADIATION TO REACH U.S. COAST AT SAFE LEVEL: NRC
We are sure it is nothing, and the NRC is telling the truth.
An earthquake of magnitude 7.3 struck early Saturday morning off Japan’s east coast, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Japan’s emergency agencies declared a tsunami warning for the region that includes the crippled Fukushima nuclear site.
Japan’s Meteorological Agency issued a 1-meter (3-foot) tsunami warning for a long stretch of Japan’s northeastern coast. It put the magnitude of the quake at 7.1. The U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not post warnings for the rest of the Pacific.
There were no immediate reports of damage on land. Japanese television images of harbors showed calm waters.
The quake hit at 2:10 a.m. Saturday Tokyo time (1710 GMT) about 290 kilometers (170 miles) off Fukushima. Japanese broadcaster NHK reported that Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the Fukushima plant, ordered workers near the coast to move to higher ground. Japanese news service Kyodo said there were no signs of trouble at the plant.
The tremor was felt in Tokyo, some 300 miles (480 kilometers) away.
All but two of Japan’s 50 reactors have been offline since the March 2011 magnitude-9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami triggered multiple meltdowns and massive radiation leaks at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, about 250 kilometers (160 miles) northeast of Tokyo. About 19,000 people were killed.
- 7.3 Quake Strikes Off Japan; Tsunami Advisory Issued (ktla.com)
- Magnitude 7.3 Quake Strikes off Japanese Coast (fox40.com)
- 7.3 Earthquake Hits Near Fukushima Off Honshu Coast, Tsunami Advisory Issued (republicbroadcasting.org)
- 260,000 told to evacuate after Typhoon Man-yi leaves massive flooding in Kyoto (japandailypress.com)
- Typhoon Man-yi to hit Central Japan with torrential rains, flooding (japandailypress.com)
- Powerful typhoon lashes Japan (bigpondnews.com)
- Quake shakes southern Japan (radionz.co.nz)
- Quake jolts southern Japan, felt in Tokyo – Reuters (in.reuters.com)
- No damage reported after strong quake shakes Tokyo area (foxnews.com)
- Fukushima fishermen enraged with TEPCO’s news: contaminated water reaching the sea (japandailypress.com)
- TEPCO Orderd to Drain Radioactive Water – Fukushima Update – Last 5 Days (dprogram.net)
- Prime Minister Abe plans glacier for Fukushima, August 7, 2013 (vernonradiationsafety.wordpress.com)
- Japan Finally Admits The Truth: “Right Now, We Have An Emergency At Fukushima” (redflagnews.com)
- Strong quake shakes Japan (stuff.co.nz)
- Tsunami warning after Samoa quake (stuff.co.nz)
- Magnitude 6.0 quake shakes northeastern Japan (usatoday.com)