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July 10 2013

JAPON • L'ex-directeur de la centrale de Fukushima meurt d'un cancer | Courrier international

JAPON • L’ex-directeur de la centrale de Fukushima meurt d’un cancer | Courrier international

vu sur Rezo. Il FAUT rappeler que si tout n’a pas pété, c’est essentiellement à ce bonhomme qu’on le doit.

En poste depuis 2010 à Daiichi, Masao Yoshida était très respecté par son équipe et avait confié au Mainichi Shimbun qu’il s’était préparé à mourir sur le site en réalisant à quel point la situation était critique. « M. Yoshida avait donné l’ordre de poursuivre le refroidissement des réacteurs par l’eau de mer, alors que le siège de Tepco avait ordonné l’interruption de cette opération depuis Tokyo », rappelle le Yomiuri Shimbun.

Dans les descriptions de l’incident juste après, il y avait à ce sujet précis une description du coup de téléphone entre Yoshida et sa direction qualifiant le niveau des échanges quelque chose comme « musclé ».

On March 12, about 28 hours after the tsunami struck, TEPCO executives had ordered workers to start injecting seawater into Reactor No. 1. But 21 minutes later, they ordered Yoshida to suspend the operation. Yoshida chose to ignore the order. At 20:05 JST that night, the Japanese government again ordered seawater to be injected into Unit 1.[3]
The week of June 7, 2011, TEPCO gave Yoshida a verbal reprimand for defying the order and not reporting it earlier.

Article du 23/11/2012

Give thanks for Masao Yoshida, Fukushima plant manager, who ignored orders and prevented a meltdown

Giving thanks to a rebel

Luckily for him, Masao Yoshida, 55, was on watch. He was Fukushima’s plant manager, and he was among the 50-odd employees who stayed in the hot zone as radiation levels rose well above toxic levels. He was already a hero, although at that point only a foolish one. Yoshida knew that the reactor was vulnerable to seawater, and in the absence of emergency power or viable containment rods, that natural salty fluid was the only weapon he had. At the same time, he knew that the moment the reactor core came into contact with sea water, the plant itself would be effectively inoperable forever. His bosses at TEPCO ordered him to do nothing while they modeled the potential consequences of injecting seawater into the reactor core. An early attempt to flood part of the core was done improperly, and engineers worried that the contaminated seawater would simply flow back into the ocean. Also, by damaging the reactor this way, too much radioactive gas might be released.
Yoshida and his workers figured out how to prevent backflow of seawater, but TEPCO still ordered him to wait on word from the prime minister. He ignored them, and on his order, decided to flood the bay. Problem: Getting seawater into the core was impossible, or almost impossible, because of the debris and damage done by the earthquake and the flood. Fukishima workers began to use abandoned firefighting equipment to literally pump water in, just gallons at a time, equivalent to a dropper of ink in a well.
TEPCO told him to stop.

He conveyed the orders to his crew, telling them simply to ignore what upper management was saying. He had cultivated enough loyalty among his engineers, and they obeyed his disobeyance.

TEPCO then said in a press statement that said that there was little risk of a radioactive plume being released because the reactor core hadn’t been destroyed; in blunt terms, the radioactive particles were still contained. That was a lie. Yoshida and his crew were successful; they managed to corrode the core.

ou encore (au milieu d’un récit long et détaillé)

The only one who didn’t appear confused at this point was Yoshida. He had just taken a call from Ichiro Takekuro, TEPCO’s government liaison, telling him to stop the seawater injections, which he had started.
Showing the maverick streak that had endeared him to his colleagues inside the bunker, Yoshida disobeyed Takekuro’s order and continued injecting seawater into Reactor 1. As plant manager, Yoshida had the authority to ignore, overrule and defy head office. He was in the bunker. He was in control. He had hundreds of people’s lives in his hands. “Suspending the seawater could have meant death [for those at the plant],” he later revealed. Already, he felt they’d cheated death several times.
Nearly a year and a half after the meltdowns at Fukushima Dai-ichi, Masao Yoshida broke his silence. In a video message, the manager of the nuclear plant at the time of the disaster confessed he thought he and his fellow workers would never make it out alive. It was Yoshida’s only appearance since the meltdowns. He had preferred not to comment about what had happened until all the official investigations were completed and their reports were released. And the plant manager was also in hospital being treated for cancer of the oesophagus.
In his message, Yoshida repeatedly praised the courage of his workers. “It was clear from the beginning we couldn’t run. Reactors 5 and 6 would have also melted down if people hadn’t stayed on site. My colleagues went out there again and again. The level of radiation on the ground was terrible, yet they gave everything they had. Pushing their physical limits, they would go out and risk their lives, come back in, then go out to do it again.”
Yoshida is now regarded as a national hero by many. He was the man who ignored orders from his TEPCO superiors to stop pumping seawater into one of the stricken reactors, and he was the man who refused to be pushed about by pesky politicians like Naoto Kan. And he was a hero for staring death in the face to save his country from an even worse nuclear nightmare.
The plant manager dismissed any suggestion, such as the one from the former prime minister, Kan, that an evacuation of Fukushima Dai-ichi was contemplated. At least, it wasn’t contemplated by him. “I never said to headquarters anything about pulling people out - it never occurred to me ... There was no way we were going to leave the plant,” Yoshida insisted.

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