Japanese Nuclear Reactor’s inaccurate monitoring creates embarrassing statements

It is amazing how little time, effort and money is focused on monitoring systems, and to a large extent I have taken a break from focusing on monitoring solutions for data centers as I watch many companies try and sell monitoring to data center users.

One example of the problem of monitoring systems is the current Japan nuclear reactor disaster where engineers and politicians are making decisions and statements based on inaccurate readings. The Guardian joins hundreds of others who discuss the problem in Japan’s nuclear plans.

Japanese nuclear firm admits error on radiation reading

Tokyo Electric Power says initial reports of levels 10m times higher than normal in parts of No 2 reactor were inaccurate

Nuclear power protest in Tokyo

Opponents of nuclear power staged a protest in Tokyo on Sunday. Photograph: Itsuo Inouye/AP

Fresh doubt has been cast on the handling of the Fukushima nuclear crisis after officials admitted wildly overstating levels of radiation, prompting an evacuation of the nuclear site damaged by the 11 March earthquake and tsunami.

Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) said initial reports of a level 10m times higher than normal in parts of the No 2 reactor were inaccurate, although it could not say by how much.

Tepco said at first that the worker who took the measurement, of a pool of water in the reactor's basement turbine building, had fled before taking a second reading. The discovery prompted another evacuation at the site, halting work to pump and store radioactive water that has built up in the turbine buildings of three of the six reactors.

Tepco later said the pool of water had been contaminated but the extremely high reading was a mistake. "The number is not credible," spokesman Takashi Kurita said. "We are very sorry."

However, later reports on Sunday showed contamination 100,000 times normal in water at reactor No 2, and 1,850 times normal in the nearby sea, the most alarming levels since the crisis began.

Unfortunately many times people don’t know how good their monitoring system are until there are disasters and the information from the monitoring system is used to make business critical decisions.