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Japan Reluctant To Disclose Drone Footage of Fukushima Plant 335

Posted by timothy
from the gudjilla-in-high-res-at-least dept.
garymortimer writes with word that "footage taken from an RQ-4 Global Hawk drone was passed on to the Japanese government with permission for public release from the US Air Force. US military sources said that the decision to release the footage — or not — was up to the Japanese government." The Japanese government, though, has thus far chosen not to release the high-resolution footage of the tsunami-damaged Fukushima nuclear plant.
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Japan Reluctant To Disclose Drone Footage of Fukushima Plant

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  • by AbrasiveCat (999190) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @08:07PM (#35545714)
    Having just attended training in emergency preparedness, we trained not to release details, so the Japanese are just following the standard script. They also said never lie, or you will never be believed in the future. They seem to be following the script. (Actually they are giving more details that I would expect. Now I can’t give any more details of the training. Sorry. )
  • Re:Not Good (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jhoegl (638955) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @08:08PM (#35545726)
    Irrational fear does not mean facts should not be released.
    The reality is that the news organizations are making it sound like it will be an issue and then ask... "What do the experts say? You will hear it, coming up next".
    Of course, "next" means "at the end of the news broadcast", by which time everyone is bored and turns off the news.
    THe problem is, no one stays around to listen and then assume it is the worst. When in actuality and historically, it is the opposite.
    This is how news organizations work, in order to keep you around during the commercials.
  • Re:Not Good (Score:3, Interesting)

    by netsharc (195805) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @08:15PM (#35545774)

    Saw a link on Twitter to an Italian news site that said the background radiation in Rome was higher than in Tokyo. Yeah, well done media, 0.04uSv?!?!

    Someone's made a Wiki of shameful reporting by "journalists" [wikispaces.com].

    If I had the expertise, I'd made a fake video with a fake Geiger counter display, and then showing how the skin is boiling off my arm, put it online and see how much the media would fall for it. They'll probably put it all over the internet news sites (Shittington Post) and fucking CNN, with the weasely disclaimer of "unconfirmed video", which only protects themselves from embarrassment of being hoaxed as well as contributing to the mass panic those blonde airhead news-readers (not journalists) are causing

    Oh well, as of now the media's voice is "radiation, what's that? Oh look at those boys bombing Gaddafi!"

  • Re:Not Good (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Asic Eng (193332) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @08:22PM (#35545844)

    Confronted with secrecy and dishonesty people will assume the worst. That's a perfectly natural reaction. There was never a point at which TEPCO was freely releasing the information they had, so you are confusing cause and effect here.

    Besides: they owe information to the Japanese people - it was their plant which caused the problem, it was their plant causing considerable economic damage and health risks for so many people. If you can't handle negative media reports about nuclear power, then you don't have the balls to run a nuclear power plant. Find another business to be in - maybe something with kittens and flowers.

  • Re:Graffiti (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dragonhunter21 (1815102) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @08:36PM (#35545978) Journal

    Or maybe they're worried that the news will be inflated and twisted. Have you seen the pictures of the reactor post-hydrogen explosion? Looks nasty, right? News companies the world over will read that as "serious damage to the reactor". While that is true, there's a distinction between the reactor and the reactor chamber itself. If the reactor chamber was damaged seriously, we'd all be five kinds of screwed. It's an easy mistake to make, and if that mistake IS made, it causes a media firestorm that takes months (if not years) to cool down.

  • Re:Not Good (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday March 19, 2011 @08:55PM (#35546186) Homepage

    Actually TEPCO was freely releasing information for quite awhile. Albeit in japanese, and on their website when it wasn't being hammered into the ground. They stopped after people started running around wildly waving their arms in the air and going off about this being nuclear armageddon.

  • Did you know (Score:5, Interesting)

    by airfoobar (1853132) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @08:59PM (#35546226)

    Fox News showed a map of the nuclear power plants in Japan. On that map, there was a suspect nuclear plant named "Shibuya Eggman". Turns out [tumblr.com] that's the name of a nightclub in the Shibuya area of Tokyo.

    Now, how is that relevant? Give the fear-mongering media a piece of footage that can be misinterpreted to induce panic, and they won't waste a minute before misrepresenting it to induce panic. Sensationalism is how they get their ratings. The people of Tokyo leaving their jobs in fear and taking to the hills is NOT what Japan's battered economy needs right now. If you ask me, we simply shouldn't read too much into the authorities' actions just yet!

  • Re:Not Good (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mysidia (191772) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @09:16PM (#35546410)

    The footage probably shows proprietary possibly security-sensitive information about TEPCO's private facility.

    Not necessarily about the 'status' of the reactors, BUT about the design of the reactors -- what they look like -- how the building is laid out, where things are, etc.

    Does the US government release Microsoft Windows source code, when there is a worm release such as W32/Blaster?

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Saturday March 19, 2011 @11:23PM (#35547254) Homepage Journal

    There's been an enormous astroturf effort by the pro-nuclear brigade.

    I'm not so sure it's an "astroturf brigade" so much as it's a general technocratic mindset that because nuclear energy is "high-tech" it's got to be the answer for everything and anyone who questions it is just silly.

    Personally, I think at best nuclear energy is a transitional source of energy. If we're still trying to use fission to charge our iPhones in 40 years, it will mean that we've really failed, both socially and technologically. But as long as we don't let "private industry" be in charge of it, I can see it being used to help get us off of fossil fuels.

    I notice Germany is generating something like the equivalent of at least 5 nuclear power plants worth of energy with solar panels on housetops. Yes, it was heavily subsidized, but no more than nuclear energy and it's heading quickly toward break even. And from what I've heard those panels are good for decades. I'm sure it pisses off the power companies to no end because it's hard to put a meter on the sun. And I'm pretty sure Germany is one of the cloudier countries in Europe. Now that actually sounds like the beginning of a solution.

    But no comic book characters got superpowers from accidents in a solar panel factory, so the majority of Slashdot users will still prefer nukes. And "Duke SolarPanel-em Forever" just doesn't have a ring to it.

  • Re:Not Good (Score:2, Interesting)

    by djlemma (1053860) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @11:57PM (#35547418)

    Besides: they owe information to the Japanese people - it was their plant which caused the problem, it was their plant causing considerable economic damage and health risks for so many people. If you can't handle negative media reports about nuclear power, then you don't have the balls to run a nuclear power plant. Find another business to be in - maybe something with kittens and flowers.

    I seem to remember there being a rather large earthquake followed by a rather large tsunami involved in the situation. Saying the reactor "caused the problem" is kind of crazy. A natural disaster caused the problems in the reactors, and TEPCO is trying to fix them safely and without inducing panic.

  • by Aighearach (97333) on Sunday March 20, 2011 @12:42AM (#35547656) Homepage

    If the cladding burned, there wouldn't have been a hydrogen bubble to explode; the hydrogen would have burned as it was separated. They talk about oxidization because that is what happened; not burning. It oxidizes, releases hydrogen, which then burns later.

    Sure, zirconium can burn underwater. But a hydrogen bubble indicates a different process than fire was at work.

    Even CNN had a physicist on explaining why it was "oxidization" but not "rust."

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Sunday March 20, 2011 @08:20AM (#35549274) Homepage Journal

    I'm glad about the big solar plant, but I know a couple of engineers down at the University of Missouri, guys who work on that solar car that's won some races, and they're big interest is in standalone solar systems for homes. Think about it: no "grid", no electric bill. It would be a social revolution. They're still some time away but they're both convinced that they will see it in their lifetimes and they're not spring chickens.

    They have some very interesting stories about their quest for funding and grants.

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