Please take a moment from your stressful day and allow me to put some fuel into your apocalyptic nightmare tank.
Let's consider that the radioactive glow coming off the crippled reactors at the Fukushima nuclear plant might draw some crazy person, like a mentally deranged moth to a nuclear flame. Is Japan taking enough measures to guard the Fukushima nuclear reactors from a possible kamikaze attack?
The nuclear meltdown story is just the sort of long building, high profile story that could tip your standard mentally unbalanced person into going full batshit crazy. Not having the Fukushima problem resolved is giving the nuts too long to think their crazy thoughts. Also, let's not count out your regular run of the mill terrorist, who wants to exploit a target of opportunity that is Fukushima.
When you eliminate all thoughts about life and death, you will be able to totally disregard your earthly life. This will also enable you to concentrate your attention on eradicating the enemy with unwavering determination, meanwhile reinforcing your excellence in flight skills. — An excerpt from a kamikaze pilots' manual.
Suicide has never been criminalized in Japan and, in fact, suicide has become a significant national problem. The Japanese have a special form of suicide with ritualistic gutting called Seppuku. The crippled Fukushima nuclear plant presents a super inviting target for a spectacular suicide mission. Cracking a Fukushima reactor wide open would be a suicide for the ages. It would be a gutting of the entire Japanese homeland. For some sickos it could offer a glorious Slim Pickins style, ride that baby into the nuclear fire, ending.
The U.S. Government was accused of not "connecting the dots" following the 9-11 attack. The hints that something bad would happen with terrorists and commercial airliners were littered all over the pop culture and intelligence landscape. Now if you start connecting some of the dots regarding Fukushima, or any nuclear plant for that matter, then you need to be a little worried.
Japan has a history of crazy people trying to kill a bunch of Japanese. Members of the Japanese Aum Doomsday cult launched a Sarin gas attack in the Tokyo subway on March 25, 1995. Their motives are still murky, but doomsday might have had something to do with it. The attack sent more than 5,500 people to the hospital, 688 by ambulance. Thirteen people died*, one women had both her eyes removed after her contact lenses became fused to her cornea. Seventeen people were critical, thirty-seven severe and 984 moderately ill with vision problems.
Back in the 19990's the Aum cult even attempted to get Russian nuclear weapons and prospected for uranium in Australia's outback. In 2000, the organization changed its name to Aleph - the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Some are still bitter over their leader's imprisonment. However, they claim that they have renounced their violent past. The cult remains active today with reportedly over 2,200 members. Hopefully, they are all tame now and they don't have pilot licenses.
Also, there are many Asians like the Koreans and Chinese who have a history of hatred for Japan. Finding someone there, out of nearly 1.4 billion people, who could meltdown, go critical, and who also bears a big grudge against Japan would not be impossible. The Japanese occupied Korea for 35 years, from 1910 to 1945. The Japanese colonized and exploited Korea. They also destroyed the Korean culture in what has been called "cultural genocide." There are still very bitter feelings in Korea over Japanese brutalities during that occupation. The Chinese, of course, have the stinging memory of the Rape of Nanking and all the other atrocities committed by the Japanese during the Second Sino-Japanese War, from 1937 to 1945. All this serves as more than enough back story fuel to provoke some mentally unstable person to attack Japan.
There are also the nut case North Koreans, who have abducted Japanese citizens, blown up airliners, and launched random attacks against South Korea. It would not be hard to imagine a rogue element there luring some lunatic into an explosive-packed plane and sending him off on a one-way flight to Fukushima.
A hypothetical airplane attack on the US nuclear plant at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station has been described as follows:
Every night, jetliner after jetliner fly directly over The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, or SONGS, in Southern California...Tom Clancy imagined a suicide airliner attack seven years before 9-11. His 1994 novel, Debt of Honor, concludes with a suicide airliner attack on the U.S. Capitol. Described by Wikipedia as follows:
Routing dozens of jetliners fueled to capacity directly over or very close to the nuclear plant at relatively low altitudes as they climb out of or descend into San Diego is a risk that could prove to be a catastrophic disaster...
The following scenario was painted by a top military and commercial jet pilot:
"You charter a private jet about the size of an airliner, like a Gulfstream or Challenger. You load your luggage with explosives. As soon as the jet leaves Palomar full of fuel, the pilots are quite busy. Just as the jet is over the coastline, you kick open the flimsy cockpit door - if it is even closed - kill the pilots, turn the jet to the north and you are about three minutes from San Onofre. You push the throttles forward, and the jet accelerates rapidly to hundreds of miles per hour. You are already at a low altitude of a few hundred feet headed for the nuclear plant right smack in front of you. Air traffic control is frantically calling your call sign: `Whisky Papa 77 do you copy? Over.` By the time they make the third or fourth attempt at contacting you, it is over."...
However, an embittered Japan Air Lines pilot who is driven mad by the deaths of his son and brother-in-law during the brief conflict, murders his co-pilot and flies their Boeing 747 directly into the U.S. Capitol building during the proceedings. Nearly the entire United States presidential line of succession is eliminated, including the President, most of Congress, nearly all of the Cabinet, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and all nine Supreme Court Justices. Ryan, who had just been confirmed as Vice President moments before, narrowly escapes the attack and is immediately sworn in as President. He begins his term of office in the immediate sequel, Executive Orders.Will irony strike Tom Clancy's book a second time, because of his use of a mad Japanese pilot as the agent of destruction?
One current requirement of nuclear plant construction is that reactors be built inside a containment structure that can withstand a suicide airplane crash like 9-11. Now, of course, the outer containment structures at Fukushima reactors are damaged and the reactors are exposed. A main line of defense against an airplane attack is gone.
Even a poorly skilled pilot could find Fukushima. Flying along the northeast coast of Japan (Honshu island) will bring you right to the Fukushima nuclear plant. You can't miss it. It's the massive structure, with four distinct reactor buildings, tall smokestacks, and with the extended break wall jutting hundreds of meters into the ocean. A break wall that proved to be a little on the short side. Anyway, once there a kamikaze then simply does a fly-by and then pulls a 270 degree turn and hits one of the damaged reactors from either the east or the west. Reactors two or three look like the best targets.
If the attack is in the early morning and the pilot turns out over the ocean and comes in from the east the sun will be at their back. They will be coming out of the sun to hit the Land of the Rising Sun right in its nuclear cojones.
A night time attack would not be that difficult to pull off either. The plant is bathed in light now since the power is back on and extra lights have been brought in to help monitor the situation.
Also, who says a kamikaze attack has to be solo? A group attack with a small squadron of private aircraft is certainly possible. I'm sure a kamikaze pilot would be emboldened with a wing man or two.
Center for Asia Pacific Aviation / March 16, 2011:
Japan invokes 30km no-fly zone around Fukushima plant -- Japan's Transport Ministry have initiated a 30 km no fly zone around the Fukushima nuclear power station, due to concerns that radioactive particles from the damaged plant to could enter passing aircraft...
The Japan Air Self-Defense Force does have some air defense missile units. The Japanese should have quietly moved some of their anti-air missile batteries and the associated radar units to cover Fukushima. Have you seen any main stream media reports of defensive measures around Fukushima? The downside here is that these military personnel will be exposed to more radiation.
They should also have some air defense fighter planes at airfields near Fukushima on quick stand-by, with the pilots sitting in the cockpit, ready for take-off. Flying a continuous stand-by might be too much of resource drain for the small Japanese Air Force.
The Japanese can not let their guard down. They must plan to stop any random act of craziness at Fukushima. It would be a cruel irony if a kamikaze attack on a Fukushima reactor, and an easterly demonic wind, spreads radiation over the Japanese homeland.
correction: A total of 13 people died in the Tokyo subway sarin gas attack.