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back to article Fukushima powerplant owner forced to cough teleconference vids

Japan’s troubled Tokyo Electric Power Co, Tepco, the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant, will be forced to release hundreds of hours of in-house teleconference video footage revealing executive briefings to staff during the unfolding events of the nuclear disaster. The footage will include Japanese Prime Minister at the …

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The hard discs will be mysteriously "damaged" in transit.

Just because, you know, these things happen.

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Meh

The backup has gone too?

How convenient.

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Re: The backup has gone too?

Of course they were stored on site and were damaged to.

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Alien

Hmmm.. That's odd!

When I record video streams. they record the audio simultaneously with the video stream, so if the HDD was "full" it wouldn't have recorded the video either!?!?!

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Meh

Re: Hmmm.. That's odd!

If it was it should be video will fail first due to the higher bitrate required.

Then again without knowing what solution they have I am probably wrong.

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Re: Hmmm.. That's odd!

Well, it does say that they were videoconference calls. Now, many (if not most) of those systems quite deliberately have seperate voice and video streams, with the voice stream QOS prioritised, to ensure that when the bandwidth is iffy voice quality is preserved and it's merely the video that goes shonky.

“Never ascribe to malice that which can adequately be explained by incompetence.” - Napoleon Bonaparte

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FAIL

Re: Hmmm.. That's odd!

Actually it's not odd.

The magnetosphecical abberations from the shifting tectonic plates, also caused dissociative stream skewing in the recording medium.

Think of it like this, the hard drive is like the seabed, and the water is the data stream

The ocean depths are the video data and the sloshing waves are like the audio data.

Add in a magnetospehrical abberation and the audio data sloshes off the hard drive.

The fuller the hard drive is, the more of the audio data that sloshes off the storage.

Rather simple when you think about it really.

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"a triumph for nuke power"

So this is was the event Lewis Page described as a "a triumph for nuke power".

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/14/fukushiima_analysis/

When the official report acknowledges that the risks of such an earthquake and tsunami were already known and cultural/bureaucratic/commercial considerations meant that the appropriate contingency measures were not made. This also rather puts the lie to those who said the events could not have been foreseen in the comments to Lewis's article.

Of course it didn't seem to stop Lewis weighing in with an analysis of the position before the facts actually emerged of course. As it is, the suspicion that many of us had that short cuts had been made in safety considerations when designing, building and operating the plant in one of the most seismically active parts of the planet due to commercial considerations appear to have been justified, and that this is not just a matter of hindsight. No triumph for nuclear power, but a financial disaster that so nearly became an environmental one (albeit there remain considerable local issues).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "a triumph for nuke power"

And in the same this plant has operated, how many massive eco-disaters have been caused by oil spillage's?

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Re: "a triumph for nuke power"

@ Steven Jones

Remind me again how many people died as a result of the events at Fukushiima? No doubt there were significant failings on the part of TEPCO and the regulators, but how about getting some perspective? No one has yet died (or is likely to) as a direct result of radiation exposure. The statistical increase in thyroid cancers and the like is likely to negligible (I work in this field so I do know what I’m talking about)

Sure, the large tract of land that needs decontamination is quite shocking, but how much land has been rendered useless by strip mining for coal in the last 40 years since the plant was built? More to the point, how many coal miners have died since the Fukushiima incident? If you believe the statistics put out by the Chinese government 20’000 per year in that country alone, not including deaths from lung diseases such as emphysema etc.

That’s 26’000 people who have died in China alone since Fukushiima. I don’t subscribe to Lewis’ “everything’s fine, carry on” approach but some perspective needs to be had here; The world is/will be suffering an energy crisis unlike anything that has gone before. We need more energy, that is indisputable. One honest look at the numbers shows that renewable energy just isn’t going to cut it. If we want to stop pouring out CO2 and maintain/increase energy production levels and our current way of life, nuclear is the answer, no amount of “won’t somebody think of the children” thinking will change that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "a triumph for nuke power"

Mr Page was largely responding to the NUKE*PANIC*WE'REALLGOINGTODIE knee-jerk scaremongering in the press. That was pretty obvious if you read the articles.

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Re: "a triumph for nuke power"

That is very gung-ho.

With respect, the total death toll from today's nuclear radiation needs to be measured hundreds of thousands of years from now, after the highly radioactive waste from today's energy production has decayed enough, and the true death toll can be realised. Today, the total death toll is UNKNOWN.

The 20,000 coal miners who died in China died for today's energy needs, and that price was paid by the current generation. I can assure you that the majority of people who will die from radiation-related causes will die in the future, because we've only had the technology for 60-70 years, tops, and the consequences are going to be be around for the next few hundred thousand years.

Nuclear energy is very, very easy to defend, because the majority of the costs and deaths will be problems for FUTURE generations, not ours. In other words, we have mortgaged our descendants for hundreds of thousands of years - so we can enjoy greater prosperity at their expense.

One might think from my rant that I am anti-nuclear: I'm not. I have no problem with treating the technology with respect (and respecting our children while we are at it) - however, that has not happened. Fukushima is very much a disaster in progress - and too many people are far too blasé about the consequences. The HONEST evaluation is that the jury is out - and will continue to be out for a considerable amount of time.

Future generations, if they're lucky enough to be around, will be talking about Fukushima and Chernobyl long after the epitaph on your gravestone has completely succumbed to wind erosion. THAT is what you call a legacy.

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Anonymous Coward

@Oliver Jones

"With respect, the total death toll from today's nuclear radiation needs to be measured hundreds of thousands of years from now, after the highly radioactive waste from today's energy production has decayed enough, and the true death toll can be realised. Today, the total death toll is UNKNOWN."

You know what? Fuck the Eloi and Morlocks, I want air conditioning and porn *NOW*.

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Megaphone

Re: "a triumph for nuke power"

I don't get this argument. We dig up radioactive material that is decaying in the ground, concentrate it together and use the side effects of the decay to generate electricity. We then put it in big concrete boxes, and stick it back in the ground. What's the big fucking deal?

Fukushima is no more a disaster in progress than Sizewell or Civaux.

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WTF?

Re: "a triumph for nuke power"

How can you claim you have no way of knowing how many people will die in the future as a result of nuclear power and then in the same post attempt to use this imaginary figure as a scare tactic?

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Re: "a triumph for nuke power"

We don't stick it in the ground, though, and that is part of where the problem begins.

Many underground storage facilities for spent fuel rods have been cancelled (and even medium-term dry cask storage has been deemed too expensive), which means that a huge amount of highly-radioactive nuclear crap is sitting in spent fuel pools - which all need to be cooled. You only need one major disaster to threaten such a pool, and you'll have tons of radioactive material released into the atmosphere when the water boils off and the rods catch fire.

Nuclear power can either be safe, or it can be cheap. It cannot be both.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "a triumph for nuke power"

Don't forget to count the amount of radioactive particles that are naturally present in coal and oil and go strait up the chimney / out the exhaust on account of such things don't actually burn like carbon does. IIRC, fossil-fuel radioactive contamination is something like all-the-nuclear-accidents-ever worth of material every year globally.

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@Oliver Jones - - Re: "a triumph for nuke power"

"With respect, the total death toll from today's nuclear radiation needs to be measured hundreds of thousands of years from now..."

Do you honestly believe that nuclear waste is going to remain problematic and dangerous for hundreds of thousands of years?

Perhaps so if the human race did nothing in the intervening time! For heaven's sake, we've only had nuclear energy less than 70 years, and do you really think there will be no further advances in nuclear science and technology in the next hundreds of thousands of years? If there isn't, then perhaps the human race deserves to perish in a sea of self-made radiation.

We already know we can burn up radioactive waste in other nuclear processes but at present this is an expensive and impractical option, that's why we bury it. But it won't always be so. We bury nuclear waste with the view that it won't be disturbed for eons because without an effective way of eliminating it it's the prudent thing to do--not because we don't expect to find a solution.

If you'd lived in the mid 19th C. you would have regularly read newspaper reports about the new-fangled steam boilers blowing up and killing people together with reports about those who wanted to have them banned. Today, a boiler explosion is an extreme rarity through advances in technology and material science--and the same path to progress will be taken by nuclear energy.

In the meantime we need to better oversee, regulate and prosecute incompetent operators such as Tepco with the full force of the law. Cowboys and incompetents shouldn't be allowed anywhere near any form of potentially dangerous high technology, nuclear or not.

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Re: "a triumph for nuke power"

We don't stick it back in the ground because clueless gits like you yell and scream and hold their breath every time we get close to opening a facility to do so.

Ditto on nukes being safe and cheap. It's possible, but shrooms like you won't let it happen.

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Re: @Oliver Jones - - "a triumph for nuke power"

Congratulations on missing the point by a clear mile, Graham dear.

As I have already (clearly) stated, I am NOT against nuclear power. I am against how it is currently IMPLEMENTED. Your comment on TEPCO is astonishing in its naivete: When you mix ANY kind of technology with human beings, you automatically get greed, short-sightedness and disregard built in to the equation. Nuclear power is no exception.

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Re: "a triumph for nuke power"

When all else fails, ad-hominem wins the day, eh?

Try some basic English comprehension, you nitwit: If you read my comments carefully enough to warrant writing a reply, you would have realised that I'm all for burying the stuff - rather than waiting for something to happen while it's all nice and accessible on the surface...

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Lip reading?

I wonder if Japan has any good lip readers?

I think John Terry might have some contact numbers if they want to give it a try.

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Joke

They should have claimed it was radiation damage

More plausible, but might be considered shooting yourself in the foot

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Surely it kind of backs up lewis' argument.

If basic safety precautions were not taken and still the consequences were minimal, then that means it is even safer than it needs to be surely?

But yeah, claiming "Hard drive full" when the video kept recording is most likely utter BS.

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Move along people, no incriminating audio to see here... They would have been better saying there were no recordings, rather than saying the audio mysteriously went missing

Even if it was true (as a colleague suggested perhaps the audio was on the phone system, the video was on another system), it is gonna smell of suspect however they pitch it now... d'oh.

Anyone would think that the running of the plant wasn't exactly done in the best manner possible...

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Anonymous Coward

"Anyone would think..."

"Anyone would think that the running of the plant wasn't exactly done in the best manner possible..."

Folk seem to already have plenty of evidence to support that accusation, even prior to what Lewis wants everyone to regard as a little localised incident. E.g. Failure to follow the required maintenance schedule for the diesel backup generators has already been admitted.

So when a fault on the incoming supply is combined with a local loss of generating capacity at Fukushima, the plant reverts to backup generators to maintain cooling. The backup generators, having not been properly maintained, fail. That's the summary of what happened (there was a tsunami too, which we should remember with all due respect caused far more havoc than Fukushima itself, but we're not here to talk about that right now).

The Fukushima incident itself had no need for a tsunami, no need even for overtopping of the known inadequate "flood defence" walls. Just a failure of the grid connection coinciding with a failure of the local generating capacity, with non-functioning backup generators.

Fukushima and TEPCO was already an accident waiting to happen before the tsunami, because the rules and procedures were already being ignored before the tsunami.

Doubtless some nuclear booster will come along and say "Modern designs use passive cooling and don't have this problem". I know this, and I believe you. Sadly, your industry has a track record of being run by liars and idiots and fools. History shows we should not trust them, either on technology or on economics.

I'm not anti nuclear, I'm anti idiot. TEPCO appear to have been run by lying idiots.

Unfortunately the industry seems to attract liars and idiots, both as employees and supporters. Not all of them, by any means. But more than enough.

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Re: "Anyone would think..."

All of which is completely true, but not a point of difference from other means of generating electricity.

The key differences between the nuclear power industry idiots and the coal power industry idiots are that the coal power industry idiots are allowed to hide in the shadows, with zero attention paid by the media to the deaths and serious injuries they cause; while the nuclear power industry idiots are subjected to massive and unremitting scrutiny every time one of their workforce breaks a fingernail, or a member of the public is exposed to a dose of radiation equivalent to having a CAT scan.

On the whole, I would rather ALL industries were held to the high standards applied to nuclear power - it wouldn't prevent all industrial deaths and injuries, but it would massively reduce their number and frequency.

The reason that "Modern designs use passive cooling and don't have this problem", is that the people in charge of commissioning those designs are fully aware of what happens to them if they don't take safety very seriously indeed, and take appropriate steps to protect (as far as possible) the idiots from the consequences of their idiocy.

If only the same were true of other electricity generation schemes.

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Anonymous Coward

"what happens to them if they don't take safety very seriously indeed"

"the people in charge of commissioning those designs are fully aware of what happens to them if they don't take safety very seriously indeed" (and the rest)

That reads nicely (because it makes sense) but unfortunately still doesn't match recent historic reality in the nuclear industry.

What does actually happen to people in industry if there is evidence they haven't taken safety seriously (in the nuclear industry or elsewhere)? How many people in charge of (or just in) licenced nuclear operators have lost their jobs over demonstrated violations? How many licenced nuclear operators have been deprived of their licence? Did TEPCO lose their licence? If not, why not? [I think I know the answer wrt TEPCO but am not sure]

Even before these things start operating, if the "people in charge of commissioning" and their suppliers are taking safety seriously, why did the suppliers of control systems to the massively delayed massively overbudget Olkiluoto ignore the long standing pan-European regulatory requirement that the critical control systems be implemented as two entirely independent systems to provide redundancy, and instead propose a single integrated control system combining both routine operational control aspects and emergency shutdown aspects?

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Anonymous Coward

I believe that it is possible to produce carbon-free electric power with no long-lived radioactive materials, no meltdowns and no enrichment of uranium and plutonium for nuclear weapons. Aneutronic fusion is the best answer; it is clean and safe, and it is already in our technical capabilities. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ro5-QYqqxzM

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