Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Storage Is Cheap, Information Precious

Simplyfy Info has a rundown of the English-language information on the front page story of today's Tokyo Shimbun: that the staff of the Fukushima Prefectural Office, having received emails from the Nuclear Safety Technology Center (NUSTEC - J and E) containing the System for Prediction of Environment Emergency Dose Information (SPEEDI) data predicting the direction and size of the plume of radiation spewing from the crippled Fukushima Dai'ichi nuclear power station, deleted the files unread in order to save server space (Link - E). The report is a follow up to the Yomiuri Shimbun's barely noticed breaking of the story on March 22. (E)

What the Simply Info reports do not mention is that the admission of the mails having been deleted came from Fukushima Prefectural Governor Sato Eisaku in testimony he gave yesterday (May 29) to the Diet's "Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima Power Plant Accident Investigative Committee" (Tokyo denryoku Fukushima genpatsu jiko chosa iinkai). In total, Governor Sato admitted, prefectural staff deleted 65 of 85 emails the prefectural government received from NUSTEC in between March 12 and March 16.

Sure, it is possible the members of the Fukushima emergency teams did not understand the importance of the NUSTEC messages or even know what the hell NUSTEC is. However, the onus of not disseminating the SPEEDI information made available is now mostly, not entirely, on MEXT and the Prime Minister's Office, as we had been led to believe. (E)

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