Fukushima FOIA: The Aftershock That Blew Up Unit 1

In the first days of the disaster the US’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) posted a warning to all US citizens in Japan to evacuate Americans who were within 50 miles of Fukushima. It should be noted that the NRC only requires evacuation around US reactors for the closest 10 miles. Organizations and individuals across the country immediately filed Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the NRC to obtain details of why they would do this.

In September of 2011 the NRC released some of its internal documents of what happened during the first month of the Fukushima crisis. The agency is exposed in these FOIA documents for protecting the nuclear industry rather than public safety. Here is the story of the dramatic censorship of a key event as yet to be told publicly.

The Tohoku Tsunami Spin: Take Two: The Missing Quake that caused the Explosion of Unit 1


If there is one thing the whole world knows, its the claim that the Tsunami was the last straw in destroying the backup power that resulted in the reactor meltdowns and spent fuel pond crisis. There’s a reason why every nuclear expert on the planet wanted the world to hear this and that’s because there is also the claim that Japan is the only place such a massive Tsunami could take place! Actually there is more than a bit of debate about this, but there was at least one other event they have completely censored from coverage anywhere. The earthquake on March 12th.

Fukushima’s Destroyed External Power Lines

There is no doubt that the 9.0 earthquake on March 11th played the central role in destroying offsite power, resulting in the dreaded Station Blackout (SBO) at Fukushima Daiichi. The Daiini facility barely escaped the same fate as just one of its remote power sources survived. Even though the nuclear reactors were supposedly shutdown automatically after the quake hit they still need to have electricity to keep the nuclear fuel from melting down. But there are many important pieces of information being left out that are critical to understanding the what did take place. The Japanese government is still investigating the disaster for there are very high stakes at play including billions of dollars.

However, in what has to be one of the most important details that is missing:

on page 65 of a NRC FOIA release there is a 3 page summary of the Fukushima crisis prepared by the the Japanese Ministry of Economic, Trade and Industry on March 13th. On page 3 of the release under part (4) the very last bullet point says the following:

“…(15:29, March 12). A large motion occurred due to an earthquake with close epicentre and an large sound was issued near Unit l and smoke was observed.”

Seven minutes later Unit one explodes. In the official timeline there is no mention of the 15:29 aftershock. Here’s the Wikipedia detailed timeline of events. There is however a mention of people being evacuated started at 15:30. You think!!! Fukushima experiences a major aftershock followed by a large sound and then smoke! I’d run like hell, too!

As can be seen in these two USGS maps showing a substantial number of earthquakes that took place far closer than the main quake, there was a 6.1 aftershock on the 11th less than ten miles from Fukushima which was followed by a 6.4 magnitude aftershock on March 12th less then 30 miles away.

Earthquakes don’t just happen out of thin air. They break along fault lines. Wouldn’t this indicate that there is a fault located right off the coast of Fukushima that nobody has been aware of? Whose fault is it that this wasn’t known?

In a single nuclear reactor there is up to 50,000 miles of pipe and electrical wiring. The dozens of aftershocks did more than just destroy remote power. They broke critical safety systems, ripped apart electrical systems as well as damaged pipes. Throughout the facility and even in the highly fortified command center emergency power was lost. This wasn’t just because there was a lack of power. The electrical lines had been ripped apart and wouldn’t work even if there was electricity!

On a partial media report of April 1st 2011, TEPCO (the owner of Fukushima) announced that the reactors had experienced peak ground accelerations at the facility about 1/5 of the maximum 2.7g recorded from 9.0 Tohoku earthquake. They acknowledged that they had not looked at all of the seismic data or to be more precise, were cherry picking the data when they acknowledged that g forces were larger than the facility was designed to withstand. Its not clear, nor has there been any attempt to find out if the facility’s seismology equipment even survived the initial quake.

Nowhere does the media ever mention the large 6.1 earthquake rather than aftershock that happened on the 11th less than 10 miles from Fukushima or the 6.4 quake that happened minutes before Unit 1 exploded on the 12th.

As mentioned the Peak Ground Acceleration (PGA) detected for the quake was 2.7g for the big 9.0 quake. The lower PGA’s at Fukushima has a lot to do with the fact that Fukushima was nearly 110 miles away from the epicenter. In the 2010 earthquakes in New Zealand even quakes as small as 6.3 can generate very large g forces nearly as big as those experienced from Tohoku simply because the epicenter of the quake took place on land rather than offshore. After the nuclear industry has spent months promoting its theory of what happened do you think the Japanese government, which is heavily invested in nuclear power will ever tell the public about the fact that a missing earthquake played a role in the explosions and Black Swan events of 3-11?

Go Here to see the growing list of Fukushima Scandals

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