Since 3/11/2011, TEPCO has released an endless number of reports about leaks at Fukushima Daichi Nuclear Plant. Recently it was via an emergency email reporting a contaminated water leakage of 71,000,000,000bq/m3 (is it just me or are these numbers starting to look like/make as much sense as the national debt?). Not surprising – it’s not as if the piping is going to get better – the state of Fukushima will only decline and become more precarious over time. It’s just, we have this expectation that corporations at least make an effort to give us the pretty cover-up version.
But duct tape is amazing. I used it to fix about 90% of the repairs for my 1968 and 1980 Volkswagon Bugs. And you just never know when it’ll come in handy; an essential toolbox/emergency item – even at a nuclear plant!
Despite the cliché visual of a surfboard covered in duct tape (all surfers have been there at some point or another), if there’s one things surfers eventually learn, it’s that duct tape is not waterproof. Yes, I can tie everything to surfing; and no, duct tape does not make for efficient ding repair. The foam still absorbs water and the board ends up heavy and waterlogged. The salt from the sea water eventually disintegrates the foam, which causes the fiberglass to “de-lam” (delaminate). (We can only imagine what the salt water pumped into the nuclear plant is now doing to the metal/piping systems.) Add the element of heat, and the degrading tape soon turns the surface of the surfboard into a sticky, goopy mess.
DISCLAIMER: We are not saying duct tape won’t work at a nuclear plant; we’re simply leaving that up to the… experts. But our recommendation to TEPCO is this: For temporary fixes, surfers have learned, that bumper quality stickers actually work much better. So if you are seriously trying to do nuclear on a shoestring (and with all those politicians, contractors and CEOs to pay we assume you are) – go to your local surf shop (you probably have to drive a little more South these days) and ask if they have any free surf stickers.
TEPCO released a bunch of photos recently. Unfortunately, due to finincial contraints, they have had to trim down pay and benefits for the radiated drone worker bees and we assume the TEPCO graphic art department as well. This photo is but one example of how, when duct tape doesn’t work, you can always fix things in virtual reality.
Pretty certain we haven’t seen such badly photoshopped pictures since the early ’90s. The pixelated area is actually a loading bay, which we’ve seen in previous pictures (many of which were also edited in various ways).
Built on mud, this is the famed Reactor 4 building, bulging and cracking, with a spent fuel pool holding – give or take – 140,000 fuel rods on its “roof”. Anyway, unlike BP, who are much more efficient liars (it takes a renegade Russian sub and hurricane to uncover their cover ups), TEPCO simply admitted they did it:
(5)West wall (Exterior wall)
Photo taken on August 22, 2012
We had fabricated a part of the photo in terms of physical protection…
We replaced the photo for physical protection of nuclear materials…
We replaced the photo of which the fabrication may be taken inappropriate.
Immediately after ENENews called them out on it, the pixelated photo was removed and replaced with one that was cropped to exclude that area instead. (But there are a bunch more photos and videos with equally low-fi crops and edits).
The morals of this story: 1) Duct tape can seem like a good quick fix when you don’t want to spend time or money on real fixes. 2) The crop tool is more efficient and cost effective then the clone tool. 3) You don’t have to work too hard to cover up something that the media isn’t covering.