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Are Japanese Authorities Covering Up Further Damage to the Fukushima Reactor from the Aftershock?

Washington’s Blog [1]
April 11, 2011

The Japanese government and Tepco nuclear plant operator said that the leaking Fukushima reactors suffered no additional damage in the aftershock last week.

But NHK news reports [2]:

The plant operator says a strong aftershock on Thursday night did not damage any facilities of the compound, but the surface temperature of the Number 1 reactor rose sharply immediately after the tremor that hit northeastern Japan minutes before midnight.

The reading stood at 223 degrees Celsius at 7 PM, but it rose nearly 40 degrees just after the quake. The temperature had fallen back to 240 degrees at 6 AM on Saturday.

Moreover, the Japanese government reports radiation levels in the number 1 reactor of at least 100 sieverts per hour [3]:

In contrast, radiation levels were apparently about 300 sieverts per hour [4] – 3 times higher – right after Chernobyl exploded.

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Exposing the International Arbiters  161008pptv3 [6]

However, reactor 1 might not even be in as bad shape as some of the other reactors at the Fukushima complex [7], the total amount of radioactive material at Fukushima dwarfs [8] that at Chernobyl, and it might take years [9] to solve the crisis.

Indeed, Tyler Durden reports [10] that the Japanese government stopped reporting radiation data after levels hit 100 sieverts per hour.

This isn’t entirely unexpected. As the New York Times notes [11]:

The public authorities have sought to avoid grim technical details that might trigger alarm or even panic.

“They don’t want to go there,” said Robert Alvarez, a nuclear expert who, from 1993 to 1999, was a policy adviser to the secretary of energy. “The spin is all about reassurance.”

Confidential reports paint a much less optimistic picture of the crisis. See this [12] and this [13].