By on March 29, 2011

In the face of hysteria about radiation that drowns out the true death and destruction in Japan, Renault and Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn toured the earthquake-damaged Nissan engine plant in Iwaki. Iwaki is some 35 miles from the stricken Fukushima power plant. Right away, Carlos Ghosn had to deny rumors that Nissan would abandon their engine plant. Instead, Ghosn “vowed to use every possible means to rebuild it,” says The Nikkei [sub].

It will be slow going. Ghosn said the plant will “restart some operations” in mid-April. Full scale operation is expected for early June, with “expected” being the operative word.

Ghosn gave about 300 employees and staffers from suppliers a pep talk. They should turn the crisis into an opportunity, Ghosn said, and now is the time when Nissan should show its spirit.

Good spirits are needed. More than 70,000 people in the neighborhood have been evacuated from a 12 mile exclusion zone around the power plant. 130,000 people who live in a 6 mile band beyond have been advised to leave, or, at least to stay indoors. Supplies are running short as trucking firms refuse to make deliveries to the zone. According to Reuters, the Japanese “government has not extended the mandatory evacuation zone but is coming under mounting criticism for not doing so. Experts say an extension may be inevitable.”

The engine plant is not all that is holding Nissan back. Later in the day, Nissan told Reuters that a return to full production in Japan will take “some time.  Nissan hopes to manufacture on a “normal process” basis from mid-April. However, Nissan spokesfolk told Reuters that deliveries of some parts may take longer to return to normal.

In the meantime, the disaster claimed another life. A 64-year-old Fukushima farmer hanged himself last week after saying “our vegetables are no good anymore.”

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10 Comments on “Japanese Parts Paralysis: 35 Miles From The Fukushima Reactor, Nissan Wants To Save Its Plant...”

  • avatar

    Personally, I would be concerned about the radiation danger, but not paranoid about it, but very cautious, as long-term effects are still unknown. It is my hope that somehow those brave workers at the nuke plants can get the situation under control so cleaning up and rebuilding can get underway. That, and some sense of normalcy for those who have lost loved ones and homes.

  • avatar

    Thanks for keeping us grounded with these types of reports, BS.  It’s easy to sit here in the US and get caught up in the media frenzy that cries armageddon when a radioactive particle is discovered in Massachussets.  the people of Japan are truly suffering and need all the positive assistance that can be given.  Please give what you can….then dig deeper and give what you think you cannot.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m not sure it’s all media frenzy.  Plutonium is dangerous stuff and if it gets airborne or ingested it becomes a big issue fast.   The MOX fuel in reactor 3 is the real deal if not brought under control quickly.  I think the likely scenario is that much of that land becomes unusable for years to come. 

  • avatar

    There is no rebuild the reactor is lost. They are working to avoid the major worst case scenario incident which would be a massive contamination of the area around Fukushima. And the long-term effects of radiation aren’t so unknown as you think

  • avatar
    This is a chart quantifying occurrence and effects of radiation. It is sad that it takes an internet comic strip artist to do the job that the MSM won’t do or isn’t capable of doing.

    • 0 avatar

      To be fair to the MSM, Mr Munroe has a degree in physics and works for NASA as well as being an internet cartoonist.
      Of course, it’s not like the MSM would ask these questions, or if they do, they throw in the obligatory “Of course, some disagree” nonsense.

    • 0 avatar

      Why be fair to the MSM? They certainly aren’t known for it. There is at least one MSM guy who knows his stuff, NYT’s James Glanz – PhD in Physics from Princeton. Reporting sans the typical hysteria.

  • avatar

    If I were Nissan — I’d truck every piece of equipment out of that plant now.  At some point it’ll like be in the “no man’s land” once the melt downs begin.

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