PM Kan: “At Worst, Eastern Japan Will Be Ruined”


Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan has stated he thinks the tsunami-induced crisis at the Fukushima nuclear reactors could in the worst case “ruin eastern Japan,” and that he is “incredibly knowledgeable about nuclear power.”

His comments to a cabinet advisor were reported by Jiji, Japan’s major news agency:

“In the worst case scenario possible in the current situation, we must consider the possibility of eastern Japan being ruined.”

Consequently, he is said to consider Tepco to be insufficiently alarmist, saying “their sense of crisis is extremely weak.”

Perhaps worst of all, he reportedly considers himself an expert on nuclear power – “I’m incredibly knowledgeable about nuclear power.”

He does hold a degree in applied physics, but has only worked as a patent attorney and then as a politician, so his level of expertise in fixing broken reactors is doubtful at best.

Tepco’s handling of the crisis has been less than reassuring, but the international consensus amongst experts on nuclear power and various nuclear energy bodies is that a nuclear explosion is impossible and Chernobyl-level contamination of a large area unthinkable.


The actual situation at the reactors has seen various explosions, fluctuating levels of radiation leakage and reactor temperature and pressure, and is evidently far from under control.

Concern generally centres on small amounts of mildly radioactive vapours being blown over a wider area – just what would possess Kan to make such mass-hysteria inducing prognostications of a nuclear wasteland engulfing half of Japan is not clear, but it is unlikely to be common sense and good judgement.

Assuming, of course, that he and Tepco do not know something about the crisis nobody else does.

    Post Comment »
    Sort by: Date | Score
    Avatar of kazaza2
    Comment by kazaza2
    04:10 17/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Kan doesn't seem big on leadership skills. You don't rally people in a crisis by scaring the living shit out of them.

    He could take a cue from Winston Churchill and read the speeches he made when they thought German invasion was imminent during the Battle of Britain.

    Those 50 nuclear power workers who stayed on the job at possible risk to their own lives, this is their "Finest Hour"

    Give the people something to believe in.
    I guess that's the difference between a statesman and a political hack.

    Avatar of madaramemadarame
    Comment by madaramemadarame
    09:21 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I would agree, but this wasn't a speech or press release. It's just something he said one time to some guy. It was just a "comment to a cabinet advisor". That said, An inspiring speech does seem like a good idea.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:42 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Winston Churchill can suck my ass.

    Avatar of Diemeow23
    Comment by Diemeow23
    13:06 17/03/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Really now is that really what you want? Imagine

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:14 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    You're both right.

    Winston Churchill is far from the saint many treat him as.

    However, a "We will fight on the beaches" type speech probably is what the doctor called for, if the worst happens there is no need to think about it until it happens.

    Avatar of HouseLife
    Comment by HouseLife

    I'd agree... however apparently scaring people is the only way to make them stop being so FUCKING STUPID ANYMORE!!

    Even these so-called 'experts' seem to be keeping everything downplayed on what the potential is for this shit to happen. Yes, they should be fucking scared. And that fear should then be used to say 'maybe we should get more and more people in, perhaps from America, who could be struck worst should there be an actual meltdown?"

    Yes, scare the shit out of them. Nuclear power is horrible, horrible shit.

    Consider for a moment. Coal power may cause pollution, but if there was an explosion, people could come in days later and begin repairing. And pollution may be horrendous for our atmosphere in the long rung, but nature can take care of it in much less time.

    Chernobyl is UNIN-FUCKING-HABITABLE by humans for the next several thousand years! This guy is RIGHT! And YES they need to be scared! GET SOME MORE MOTHERFUCKERS IN THERE TO FIX THIS SHIT YOU IDIOTS!! MORE!! HELPERS!!




    Avatar of Ciscotaku
    Comment by Ciscotaku
    07:47 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    They're Japanese so back to you MUTHAFUCKA!! JAPANESE, DO YOU SPEAK IT??

    then you say you agree with kazaza2 then you state a contrary point?? make up your mind moron...

    Avatar of HouseLife
    Comment by HouseLife
    12:31 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    The last part was a joke, at least, the rest of it was serious. You'd understand if you've ever seen Pulp Fiction in English.

    Only an idiot would call this 'freaked out by the media.' Because... well they're an idiot. This is definitely something to be exceptionally nervous about. Apparently people have gotten so stupid and ignorant that they don't quite realize what exactly nuclear energy does to humanity if we lose control of it.

    I had at least believed people weren't stupid enough to make it out to be something like 'media hype,' and then I'm proven wrong. I overestimated people yet again.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:51 18/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Chernobyl is theoretically habitable, (not that I'd recommend it)
    I had a larger equivalent dose of Radon in my basement prior to renovation (25pCi/l) than you get in most of the exclusion-zone. (can't remember the exact figures in Sievert... but it was close to what you get the directly next to the reactor sarcophagus around this time.. 5-6µSv/h?)

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:39 18/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    You are definitely freaked out. I'd suggest that you do some research on the damages that have happened in the past incidents. Then carefully evaluate just what is the worst case scenario here. It isn't as bad as you think it is. Chill out, man.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:18 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    u SUCKS seriously. u SUCK I said that again.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:22 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Another one freaked by the media.

    Avatar of FuktLogik
    Comment by FuktLogik
    00:23 17/03/2011 # ! Good (+0.7)

    What's that? The next Fallout game will take place in Japan? I welcome the change of pace.

    Avatar of jamesownsall
    Comment by jamesownsall
    00:28 17/03/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    And I suppose that Fallout will have one long decorated tube to go through, with disgustingly melodramatic teen-fodder of a story?

    But bah.... I think the Japanese Fallout 3 comes with Japanese audio, so buy that one and play it if you're so desperate for a Japanese Fallout experience.

    Avatar of Megidola
    Comment by Megidola
    00:42 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    No...FFXIII isn't set in Japan.

    Avatar of Keima88
    Comment by Keima88
    02:11 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Its all about the money.

    And when things go wrong everyone gets screwed.


    Comment by Anonymous
    02:01 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's for sure, on another note.

    Didn't the Japanese government opposed a court order to shut down a nuclear power plant over concerns that the local population risks radiation exposure in case of an earthquake with a magnitude higher than 6.5. I heard the ruling had been overturned in 2009.

    There was Taro Kono, a high-profile member of Japan's lower house, as saying that the Japanese Ministry of Economy had been covering up nuclear accidents and downplaying the cost and problems associated with the industry.

    How do they get elected in first place anyways!?

    Avatar of Dia
    Comment by Dia
    02:06 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    By being born to previous politicians.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:13 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    They probably just did not want to fit the bill, nor limit power throughout Japan to convert them to safer and more readily available Thorium.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:13 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ever heard of these words?
    "The Illuminati"
    "Templar Knights"

    Google any of them ;)

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:25 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    What a load of BS. Even if the worst case were to happe, it's going to risk only the immediate area of the power plant.

    Sheesh, the trolls around here are so dimwit.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:48 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    What the Hell Man, what the hell.

    This situation is NO WHERE near the crisis of Chernobyl, the MOST that ever died from a nulcear accident is 65 !!!!

    I thought the way people been talking about is that is the size of the nuclear bomb, it isn't

    This is incomparable to the floods which took over 2000 lives. The only people that are risking their lives are the poor workers trying to get things under control.

    Avatar of Keima88
    Comment by Keima88
    04:59 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Yeah just heard about it on the news. The 50 workers are risking their lives right now and 2 already gone missing in the explosions. They are probably dead.

    And the remaining workers arent expected to live long after this big mess.

    The official deadtoll is 4312 and 8600 still missing. And to make to it even worse it has started snowing there...

    Hang in there Japan.

    Avatar of Manji88
    Comment by Manji88
    10:37 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    None of the workers have yet exceeded acceptable limits. Those that have maxed out their doses are being rotated out of the plant. So we have been told, and it makes sense.
    Slight correction to Anonymous above: Chernobyl is estimated, within the nuclear power community, to have caused about 650 deaths. "Possible" deaths from long-term radiation effects are not included, as those risks are not well understood, even after studying the hibakusha (A-bomb survivors) for 50 years.

    Comment by Dark Mage
    05:28 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    The clear fairly snow free picture alone is proof enough it's no where near as bad as Chernobyl which partly exposed film inside camera which is why footage of it looks dark.
    CCD and CMOS image sensors are very sensitive to ionizing radiation.

    Here's a video of a camera being exposed to X-rays from a medical X-ray machine.

    I do not see this in the reactor pics.

    Also a camera in a particle beam

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:36 20/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    If your camera is picking up radiation you're probably already dead.

    Comment by Dark Mage
    05:46 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    @ Anon 05:36

    The CCD or CMOS image sensor in a digital camera is even more sensitive to radiation then film or a vidicon check the url's I posted.
    In fact they're pretty good radiation detectors.

    If your see snow in your digital camera around a known radiation source that should be taken as a warning to get out of there.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:36 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Could it be that the pictures taken at Chernobyl from the helicopters and ground were using film, while the pictures taken from the Fukushima crisis were from a digital camera?

    Avatar of obro
    Comment by obro
    00:51 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (-0.3)

    S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Fukushima

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:56 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Here stalker kun t..take this artifact's not that I like y-you or anything...baka

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:14 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Now if only we could get away from these bloodsuckers *tear*

    Comment by Anonymous

    please blow up please blow up please blow up

    Comment by Anonymous

    Or it could be the next Left for Dead 5. 100% Japanese game play

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:03 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Nobody knows shit about whats going on in that plant.
    I just want to mention that only 1 reactor in tschernobyl blew up. That plant has 4 or more overheating reactors.

    Avatar of torappu
    Comment by torappu
    07:25 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    What made Chernobyl so catastrophic isn't only the explosion and radiation spreading through the air but also the fact people ate vegetables/animals or drank water that were too close to the reactor after the event.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:02 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Fact: Chernobyl didn't have any nuclear containment units.

    Fact: Fukushima has nuclear containment units.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:53 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    "Fact: Fukushima has nuclear containment units."

    Yes. And at least one of them seems to be damaged.

    Comment by Dark Mage
    15:45 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Chernobyl also had a graphite core a 1950s design.
    Here the reactor is over heating due to the decay of short half life fission byproducts Chernobyl they had an out of control fission reaction compounded by burning graphite .

    Still this plant is old and should be replaced with a pebble bed reactor or molten salt reactor type plant vs repaired.
    I suggest a different location too instead use a river or go through the effort to build canals or pipelines vs locate it on the edge of the ocean.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:59 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Pebble bed reactors haven't left the experimental stage and the only country that even seems interested in developing the technology further is china.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:02 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Molten salt reactors are also experimental. You are talking about generation IV reactor designs that aren't expected to be commercially built until the 2030's

    Avatar of deadbeat
    Comment by deadbeat
    00:30 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    that guy is an idiot. I did a calculation of the nuclear radiation threat and it is not anything to be worried about at this point in time.

    Avatar of ColdCock
    Comment by ColdCock
    00:38 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Well so far there hasn't been any real chance of a major probem. Sure theres been some pretty dicey moments, but unless somthing really unlikely happens now it seems things will get better. Yes theres been a release of radiation, but it could of been ALOT worse.

    Watching the video explaining the whole incident step by step showing the failsafes when they kicked in really shows how safe nuclear power is now. If a plant built 40 years ago can handle a incident like this I can only imagine how safe a plant built today would be.

    Comment by Dark Mage
    05:45 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm thinking the same thing for something 40 years old it did well.
    They just had it in a poor location and the back up generators poorly protected.
    If they had better back up power or even a Sterling driven pump to cool the reactor it would have been ok.

    Avatar of Rakshasa
    Comment by Rakshasa
    08:45 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Reading the article, are we sure those comments are in the same context?

    That is to say, did PM Kan say that Eastern Japan would be laid to waste, and that was due to Fukushima reactors and TEPCO taking the situation too lightly...

    Or, was the first comment (tsubureru: laid to waste, bankrupt) rather about Eastern Japan falling on hard economic times due to the disruption to e.g. power supply, industry, manufacturing supply chains, etc?

    The rest of the comments might just be him being frustrated with TEPCO's evasive answers telling him stuff he knows isn't true.

    Avatar of Sodium Chloride
    Comment by Sodium Chloride
    09:55 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    There is a lot of BS and conflicting opinions on what's really going on flying around.

    It's hard to separate the good info from the sensationalist rubbish.

    Eastern Japan becoming "no men land" is probably the absolute worst case, but the probability of that happening is probably pretty low unless everything goes wrong.

    The TEPCO is also probably just being cautious with their words. Most of the plant's electronics are down, chances are they don't have the info to draw a confident conclusion.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:16 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Could you post a link to that video?
    I'm really interested in the security measures of modern reactors.
    I need something to talk some sense into all those panicking people over here...

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:08 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah, and that plant was designed to withstand a 8.2-richter earthquake, not a 7 times(!!) stronger one. So even the initial design was pretty solid.

    As far as I know, the worst thing that could happen is an area with a few km radius being somewhat radioactive for a decade or two( even Tshernobyl has lower radiation than the natural radiation in my home town, ofc there much of the radioactive fuel was aerolized[that even a word? :D] thanks to using graffite in the reactor ).

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:57 19/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I heard on the news today that the Japanese government admitted to being slow to react to the crisis. Don't know how true that is.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:53 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well always prepare for the worst

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:34 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    they are minimizing the treat, maybe there is little risk of an explosion or it's not as large a Chernobyl, but the contamination by radioactivity treat is there. and is bad because it affects the sea, and it's species. and the sea is in constant movement, it's not limited to an area.

    I heard in my local news a comment that pretty much supported this thought.
    saying the risk here was of poisoning the sea creatures.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:05 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think the experts are pretty funny people, saying there is no problem and everything under controll while people are dying to prevent a nuclear meltdown.

    And, of course, most of the physics that are asked are payed by the atom friends. Thats always reassuring.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:50 17/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I find it funny how some other experts say the opposite, with no other source but their ass. Kind of like you are doing there.

    The last time I checked. There was two people missing. Not to say that isn't unfortunate.

    Post Comment »


Recent News

Recent Galleries

Recent Comments