【PART 2】 The Mystery of Fukushima: Why Japan Cannot Stop Nuclear Power Plants？
【26】 “I want you to know what nuclear power plants are like”
The Fukushima nuclear disaster was not the first time that we realized how dangerous the Japanese atomic policy is. I would like to introduce a personal note that blew the whistle on its danger early on.
The note, titled “I Want You to Know What Nuclear Power Plants Are Like,”(*) was composed by Mr. Norio Hirai, who was engaged in the construction of 14 NPPs in the Fukushima, Hamaoka, and Tokai areas for about 20 years as a site supervisor. After writing this very valuable note from the sites themselves, he passed away at the young age of 58 in 1997 from cancer owing to longtime exposure to radiation. The entire note can be examined in detail on the website where it is publicized: http://www.iam-t.jp/HIRAI/ (written in Japanese). In this note, he reveals many shocking truths excerpted here:
Electric companies brainwash workers at NPPs, saying ‘the NPP is absolutely safe.’ I have done that for 20 years as well. I have indoctrinated them more than Shoko Asahara, the guru of Aum Shinrikyo Cult, did. I feel like I killed many workers (by not telling them the danger of radiation).
NPP accidents are happening almost on a daily basis all across Japan, but the government and electric companies don’t call them ‘accidents,’ and instead call them ‘incident’ to cover them up.
In particular, an accident in 1989 in Fukushima No.2 NPP (owned by TEPCO) where a recirculation pump was torn apart, and an accident in February 1991 in Mihama NPP (owned by KEPCO) where a small tube was fractured were world-class serious accidents.
The accident in Mihama would have been as big as Chernobyl in another 0.7 seconds. Multiple protective safety systems became ineffective one after another, and an empty nuclear reactor was about to be heated up. However, an experienced worker happened to be there, despite it being Saturday, and operated ECCS (Emergency Core Cooling System) manually on a quick decision. It was like a bus with 10 million passengers on board running at 100km/h on a highway, but it turned out to have broken brakes and broken emergency brakes, so it finally stopped by hitting a cliff.
Almost all the experienced workers have retired from NPP construction sites, and 98% of the current workers are inexperienced, so new NPPs are as dangerous as old NPPs.
* ・・・ The entire original Japanese text of “I Want You to Know What Nuclear Power Plants Are Like” ?is collected in the newsletter Ahinsa: Mirai ni Tsuzuku Inochi no tameni Genpatsu wa iranai, (Ahinsa: NPP is unnecessary in order to safeguard lives continuing into the future), vol.2, published by PKO-ho o Hiromeru-kai (Society for Dissemination of the Miscellaneous Provisions of the Peacekeeping Cooperation Law).