Commentary By Ron Beasley
Since the earthquake and nuclear disaster in Japan a few months ago information has been at best misleading and at worst out right lies. We don't here about in the US media or in fact the media of most western media or in Japan. It's not only still going on it's actually getting worse. We were told from the beginning that it was the tsunami that knocked out the power to the cooling systems but was it?
Throughout the months of lies and misinformation, one story has stuck: it was the earthquake that knocked out the plant's electric power, halting cooling to its six reactors. The tsunami then washed out the plant's back-up generators 40 minutes later, shutting down all cooling and starting the chain of events that would cause the world's first triple meltdown.
But what if recirculation pipes and cooling pipes burst after the earthquake � before the tidal wave reached the facilities; before the electricity went out? This would surprise few people familiar with the 40-year-old reactor one, the grandfather of the nuclear reactors still operating in Japan.
Problems with the fractured, deteriorating, poorly repaired pipes and the cooling system had been pointed out for years. In September 2002, Tepco admitted covering up data about cracks in critical circulation pipes. In their analysis of the cover-up, The Citizen's Nuclear Information Centre writes: "The records that were covered up had to do with cracks in parts of the reactor known as recirculation pipes. These pipes are there to siphon off heat from the reactor. If these pipes were to fracture, it would result in a serious accident in which coolant leaks out."
The Independent has spoken to several workers at the plant who recite the same story: serious damage, to piping and at least one of the reactors, occurred before the tsunami hit. All have requested anonymity because they are still working at or connected with the stricken plant. Worker A, a maintenance engineer who was at the Fukushima complex on the day of the disaster, recalls hissing, leaking pipes.
"I personally saw pipes that had come apart and I assume that there were many more that had been broken throughout the plant. There's no doubt that the earthquake did a lot of damage inside the plant... I also saw that part of the wall of the turbine building for reactor one had come away. That crack might have affected the reactor."
We were all assured that not meltdown had occurred. Of course it turned out that at least partial meltdowns had occurred in three of the reactors. The good news is that radiation has been declining in the reactor number 1 building. The bad news is that large cracks belching radioactive steam are forming around the building. It is so radioactive that it is beyond the range of measurement instruments.
The China Syndrome - another thing they have told us couldn't possibly happen.