Japan reluctant to disclose footage of power plant taken by U.S. drone

Global Hawk

The Manichai Daily news reports that the Japanese government has in its possession video footage of the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant taken by a U.S. military reconnaissance drone, but has yet to release the footage to the public, sources have revealed.

The footage taken from an RQ-4 Global Hawk drone was passed on to the Japanese government with permission for public release from the U.S. Air Force. U.S. military sources said that the decision to release the footage — or not — was up to the Japanese government.

The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is equipped with a high-performance camera that, according to the U.S. Air Force, takes “footage so clear that even automobile license plates are visible.” Nearly real-time footage of the internal state of the power station is said to be captured, which is likely to assist experts in analyzing the situation.

The U.S. Air Force has been flying the state-of-the-art UAV based in Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, over quake- and tsunami-ravaged areas since March 12 — a day after a massive quake and tsunami struck eastern Japan — in response to a request from the Japanese government.

Because Japanese Self-Defense Force aircraft have trouble flying over the stricken Fukushima power plant due to large amounts of radioactive materials detected in the air, the Global Hawk has been filming the area around the clock. Footage is transmitted via satellite to a U.S. Air Force base in California, and is also supplied to the Japanese government. The Japanese government, however, has yet to disclose the footage, which is being analyzed by nuclear power experts and others at the California base.

 

10 comments for “Japan reluctant to disclose footage of power plant taken by U.S. drone

  1. 20 March 2011 at 12:01 am

    I am not surprised, considering how much of a coverup there has been.

    • David
      20 March 2011 at 5:17 am

      @blogger – “considering how much of a coverup there has been.”. Please cite your evidence. Or are you just making it up as you go, like most of the crackpot internet? FYI, you won’t find any hi-res deailed imagery of the internals of any active US nuclear plant either. Conspiracy? Coverup? No – just standard procedure. All information you have is information that HAS been released – no coverup whatsoever. Unless you’re onsite at Fukushima and have personal insight to the matter.

      • Vaporland
        20 March 2011 at 4:04 pm

        This is the same power company who FIRED top executives for, yes, COVERING UP the causes of MULTIPLE accidents. Excuse us if we’re not buying what they’re selling.

        The US military said THEY did not have any problem with releasing the video, so it should be released.

  2. spiritwoman
    20 March 2011 at 9:14 am

    …then US must release the footage. To let us understand the massive Japanese coverup

  3. David
    20 March 2011 at 11:32 am

    If you think there is a cover-up then fly your own drone over the plant. Governments lie to us, they do it all the time for various reasons however in this case I don’t believe there has been any “evil” intent. Time and history will tell. The workers at the plant are busy doing what is required to bring the situation under control. Do you expect them to take time out at 15 minute intervals to talk to the public about what they’re doing, the challenges, and the next steps like they’re in some sort of reality TV show? Maybe you expect an announcer or host to be there making commentary? They’re busy, really busy – get over it and go live your life.

    • anonymouser
      20 March 2011 at 10:02 pm

      There is a no-fly zone around the plants, 50 km out. There is also a no-go zone, 20 km out. It is, therefore, utterly impossible for the public to do what you are suggesting.

      The workers at the plant are not the people operating the drone, nor are they tasked with analyzing the product of the drone overflight. The release of the data would not hamper them in any way.

      I conclude that your position is unsustainable. You are either extremely stupid or lacking in conscience. I suspect the latter.

  4. Patrik
    20 March 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Usually you do not let people get photos of facilities where security is of importance. This is for protection. Also pictures of the junk there might trigger unecessary speculations and frighten people.

    • kb
      20 March 2011 at 11:55 pm

      Exactly: any highly exotic technical data released for non-specialists is equal to leaving the data for analysis for the monkeys, but monkeys like scaremongering about banana surplus what was the last thing needed.
      But what surprised me is they used global hawk which flies absurdfally high and sees little you wouldn’t see from Jap army’s attack chopper from 1km alt. From the long time between announcement about the action and the overflight I speculated they are going to deliver a secret van in the middle of irradiated rubble with little swirly multicopter or flying dustbin on short video cable cable. Instead I have seen one horribly late overflight of GH from Arizona and 8 missed water drops from Chinook. Apparently Muhammar got more attention for airborne technology than the whole plant. How not to believe in conspiracy theories about governments boosting death rates?

      • phenepri
        21 March 2011 at 7:11 pm

        It may be that if they fly lower, the drone becomes too contaminated. I do not know, but if that is the case they could use the smaller handheld model
        airplane sized drones that don’t cost so much. Those could fly right inside the structures.
        Just an idea…

  5. Andrew Laughton
    20 March 2011 at 1:33 pm

    They could always release it to Wikileaks.

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