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Twin Tsunamis: Earthquatke + Debt! Massive! Bloomberg News

Real Radiation Outweighs Toxic Japanese Debt - William Pesek

In high-tech, hypermodern Tokyo the most sought-after items are decidedly primitive: candles, flashlights, surgical masks and duct tape.

For that, we have more than just Friday’s deadly earthquake and tsunami to blame but also the nation’s shameful nuclear- safety record. It is boomeranging on all of us 126 million Japan residents...

... Yet Japanese have been put at risk by years of institutionalized neglect.

Neither has the information flow inspired much trust. Government officials say don’t worry, radiation risks are “containable” and at the same time they tell people to evacuate. If we learned anything from the subprime-loan crisis, it’s that anytime a public official uses the C-word it’s time to run for the hills.

...the hazard zone is 20 kilometers wide.
Risks Abound

Here, Tokyo Electric Power Co., which is working to avert a meltdown in Fukushima, is the poster child of distrust. In 2002, whistleblowers revealed abuses that forced it to say it had faked reports on repairs since the 1980s. Its chairman and president resigned and all 17 of its reactors were temporarily shut by government inspectors.

Amidst the latest accident, in Fukushima, Tokyo Electric is facing criticism for responding slowly. What a shock! This latest fiasco further damages the industry’s reputation after a string of embarrassments over the last 12 years...

In 1999, two workers were killed by radiation exposure at a fuel processing plant.... used buckets to estimate a uranium mixture that caused a blue flash of light and a chain reaction that went unchecked for 20 hours.

Doctored Records

In 2004, a burst pipe at a reactor run by Kansai Electric Power Co. killed five workers. The burst-pipe section had been omitted from safety checklists and hadn’t been inspected for 28 years. Then 2007 brought fresh revelations that utilities had regularly doctored safety records....

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