Nikon’s official statement on the disaster in Japan

Nikon issued an official statement on the situation in Japan:

The Nikon Group would like to express its profound sympathy and condolences to the victims of earthquake in Major Earthquake in Northern Japan (Japan's Tohoku region) on March 11. The effects to our group companies are as follows.

  1. Measures to cope with the situations
    We have set up the Emergency Headquarters for Disaster Control headed by the President on March 11 immediately after the earthquake, and are taking the necessary steps. We are currently endeavoring to normalize our business as early as possible through our BCM (Business Continuity Management) teams established in each in-house company.
  2. Damage to our group companies
    2-1. Damage to equipment and buildings
    Our group companies, including Sendai Nikon Corporation, Natori, Miyagi Pref., Miyagi Nikon Precision Co., Ltd., Zao-machi, Katta-gun, Miyagi Pref., Tochigi Nikon Corporation, Otawara, Tochigi Pref., Tochigi Nikon Precision Co., Ltd., Otawara, Tochigi Pref., and other subsidiaries as well as our Plants suffered damage to some part of the equipment and buildings. We are suspending operations there and continuing to evaluate further details of the damage. We are unable to announce how soon the operation will resume due to the regional interruption of life-lines although endeavor for restoration are under the way by some of our maintenance personnel.  

    2-2. Damage to personnel
    Injury is reported to some of our group employees. We are currently continuing to gather safety information of our personnel and its family members.
  3. Forecast of effect by the damage to our business performances
    We are concentrated in evaluating how the immediate damage by the disaster and controlled interruption of electricity started from March 14 will result in our group companies and business performances. We will advise our findings immediately when it is revealed that the damage would further expand.

This entry was posted in Other Nikon stuff and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • i know japan will overcome this disaster and remain a great country!

    watching those videos where everybody stays calm while the everything else was shaking is a proof of how prepared they are for these things

    in few months japan will be up and running close to 100%, i know 🙂

    • The invisible man

      Yes, Nikon’s people can focus on the situation and they will be back on tracks in a flash !

  • trjwv

    All of Japan is in my prayers.

  • Mike Devonport

    To Nikon CEO,

    Take as much time as you need. You, your employees and your families are the most important. Everything else is secondary. The world is with you and Japanese people in your time of needs.

    Nikon Fan

  • I was just planning on visiting Japan sometime in the spring too. I wonder how it’ll change by that time.

    • Mike Devonport

      What ever country you live in, my advice would be to talk to your Federal Government an ask for their advice. They get up to date info. on Japan’s situation.

  • texasjoe

    Even the people at disney there were cool.

  • Jan Rasmussen

    What about us, who do not have a federal government?

  • NikNik

    How far are their buildings from the nuclear power plants?

    • NikoDoby

      Nikon’s Sendai plant is roughly 90km or about 50 miles North of the nuclear reactors. The Sendai plant isn’t in immediate danger from radioactive fallout (yet) but the major problem is that those reactors will never again provide power to the region.

      • PHB

        That is not clear.

        If they can avoid a meltdown, they should be able to repair. Its not much more than a regular refuling operation. The moderator will need to be replaced but that is just blocks of graphite. They will have injected boron dust or added boric acid to the water to cool down the reaction.

        Now whether it is a good idea to restart a nuclear plant with a defective, non failsafe design on a fault line is another issue entirely. Past experienc suggests that they will.

        There are newer designs that are much more suitable, come to that there are old designs that are more suitable.

        • A. S.

          Well.. 1 & 3 Reactors are definitely a total writeoff, as is #2 most likely.

          All 3 have had some level of partial meltdown, and sea water pumped in.. which means the containment structures are damaged beyond repair.

          They will never function again, unless totally replaced… (And being so old, they should have been shut down soon anyways)

          • fukushima

            I heard the plan was to retire those plants at the end of the month before all this happened.

            • iamlucky13

              Not quite. Unit 1 (of the six reactors at that plant) is 40 years old and at the end of its license to operate. However, Japanese nuclear regulators inspected the plant and last month deemed it fit to continue operating for another 10 years.

              I don’t know about the other two damaged reactors license status. I think they were 4 and 6 years newer respectively, and being related designs, likely have the same license period, so should be 4 and 6 years away from either re-licensing or shutdown.

              There’s three more reactors at that plant which are fine. Actually, the were fortunately shut down for planned maintenance at the time of the quake, and fortunately free from all the drama. At the moment, no reason is known why these can’t be restarted once the emergency with the others is past.

            • Ronan

              You heard wrong.

            • fukushima

              Thank you for the correct infomation. I appriciate it.

        • No. Once they used seawater they contaminated the containment and those two reactors are now toast. Both were amongst Japan’s oldest reactors and overdue for retirement. Neither produces the level of output that more recent reactors do. Indeed, both together produce about what a more modern plant does.

          The real issue for power in Japan is that so many reactors had to be scrambled, including the two in Sendai. They all will need to be inspected and verified before being brought back online, which is no small chore in itself. Coupled with so many missing power lines, the Northern Japanese area is going to be at a power deficit for some time, I think.

          • iamlucky13

            I would concur with that assessment. I’m not sure the exact procedure for restart after a scram, but I think you might overstate the challenge of restarting an undamaged reactor somewhat, although they do also have the task of evaluating any damage from the earthquake, too.

            However, quite a few plants aren’t producing power right now in addition to the destroyed power lines. Lack of power is many areas is not going to help with recovery.

            Additionally, while nuclear power is less than 30% of Japan’s electricity generation (Although a higher share of Honshu’s, specifically), there was also damage to some of their infrastructure for handling gas, oil, and coal, which together are roughly 2/3 of their supply.

            And the first focus in hard-hit areas like Sendai isn’t going to be getting a camera factory running. Nikon’s largely on their own for that. It’s going to be stabilizing damaged buildings, getting people back into their homes or finding temporary homes for them, repairing major roads, and ensuring stable power to hospitals, government buildings, airports, etc.

            • The problem is that you can’t just restart them. After a large seismic event like that you have to do a thorough inspection and set of tests of all components through the structure. Just restarting them would be reckless without first verifying that nothing in the complex plant is amiss, loose, misaligned, dislodged, not responding to controls correctly, grounded, etc. I would expect them to do full line inspections and pressure tests at a minimum, and that takes time.

            • PHB

              I was working on the data I had at the time.

              The containment vessel is stainless steel. The seawater should not have been a critical issue. But they used boron and so the moderator was toast. If the incident had been no worse than they had indicated, there should not be a problem.

              Given what we know now there is no way the original claims could have been correct. The most plausible explanation I can see for the shutdown measures having failed is that the earthquake cracked the moderator and the control rods did not release as they should.

              Fuel rods do not generate heat spontaneously. They will only generate heat if a chemical or physical reaction is taking place. It takes molten lava only a matter of hours to cool in air. There is no way the reactor could still be hot days later without some form of reaction going on.

              The rods are not that thick, they just can’t have the heat capacity to do what is being claimed.

              Now it is possible that GE could have really mucked up the design, but I can’t imagine that they didn’t check to see what would happen if all the pumps failed. I am used to chemical industry safety requirements, not nuclear. I would not expect to get approval for a plant that would explode if it had a total loss of power.

              What I can believe is that a US company could get approval for deployment of a design in the US without performing studies for a magnitude 9 earthquake and would then sell the design in Japan without adequate consideration of their much greater earthquake issues.

            • PHB

              Oh, no scrub the above. I have been reading up on the boiling water reactor and the design strikes me as criminal.

              The heat is being generated by a physical process, the cladding material on the fuel rods is activated by neutrons creating radioactive materials with relatively short half-lives. The decay of those materials is causing the rods to heat up.

              I just cannot understand why anyone would think that was an acceptable design. You can choose the cladding material for the fuel. Why choose something that you know is going to be activated by the neutrons you know are going to be bombarding it?

            • PHB

              If you care to look back through the archives of the site I am fairly sure you will find that I do in fact have a degree in the subject.

              However, I have not worked on nuclear power and the designs I am familiar with are the British Magnox and AGR type designs. The boiling water design was never approved in the UK. So it is taking me a while to make sense of the rather fragmentary information provided.

              One of the problems with this area is that the only people who are ‘experts’ are people working in the industry and they are not likely to accept the possibility that there could be a problem.

              Building any sort of process plant that takes several years to shut down safely is criminal negligence in my view. In a graphite moderator design you drop the control rods and the reactor it pretty much shut down. This particular reactor needs to have 60 gals/minute of water pumped in to stop it overheating and exploding.

              Plus Sandia labs have done a study which suggests that the probability of the containment vessel rupturing in this scenario is 42% which is substantially higher than negligible.

              For what its worth, the UK designs are allegedly free of this particular design flaw. The materials used are chosen so that the decay of activated materials is not going to result in overheating. Whether or not that is true is another matter.

        • Pdf Ninja

          These are boiling water reactors, which don’t use graphite moderators, unlike Chernobyl. Therefore such an extensive fire due to the burning graphite can be completely ruled out here. However, the seawater has caused permanent and irreparable corrosion.

          • Pdf Ninja

            Also the Japanese reactors have been properly shut down, which means there is no chain reaction going on right now, unlike in Chernobyl. No chain reaction means the core naturally cools down as it decays.

            • dpnsan

              Actually, even after the reactor is shut down, it continues to generate energy at about 6% capacity until the residual isotopes decay. I don’t know how long this takes, but that residual heat is what they’re dealing with right now.

            • iamlucky13

              It produces about 6-7% of the power it was previously producing at the moment of shutdown.

              Because the heat production rate is dependent on the decay of radioactive isotopes left over, and those decay in logarithmic fashion, the rate is continuously decreasing.

              After an hour, it may be 1-2%. A day later, it may be half a percent. A week later, less than a quarter percent.

              Still, 0.25% of a 750 MWe reactor will be around 5 MW of heat.

              That’s equivalent to several hundred furnaces able to keep a house comfortable all winter long all running at the same time inside a steel cylinder a little bigger than a bus.

              So although the risk is decreasing with every day that passes, it will need close attention for several weeks, and the explosions that damaged the reactor buildings have made it harder to keep pumping cooling water in.

            • PHB

              I have been poking about on the Web.

              Sandia labs give a 42% chance of the containment vessel rupturing in a loss of coolant situation.

              Two of the GE engineers who performed the safety assessment on the design 35 years ago resigned when the company refused to accept their finding that the design is unsafe.

              The amount of heat produced may be only 6% of full load but it is enough to boil 60 gallons of water a minute. And the half life of the main activated materials is of the order of months, not hours.

              There were more suitable designs available at the time the plant was built. Modern designs are considerably safer still but there is little chance we will get to try them out now.

              The most likely response to this catastrophe is going to be to continue to use dilapidated, obsolete plants to defective 1960s designs. No politician is going to have the guts to authorize a new wave of nuclear build out and turning off the old ones is not going to be an option for quite a time.

  • I have been to Japan twice and hope to go again. I love the country.
    All the best wishes to the Japanese people for a speedy recovery.

  • andyh

    i know japan isnt quite out of the rescue phase yet, but…
    just looking at the mess…i wonder how they will even begin the recovery process…
    I’ve looked at a pile of dirty dishes in my sink and felt dismay…
    but jeez, this is on a whole other level!

    im thinking that these areas might have to start from scratch…

    • Mike

      If they can recover from two nuclear bombs which they were not prepared for, I’m sure they can recover from expected earthquakes and tsunamis.

      • Vandyu

        While the Japanese did recover from two nuclear bombings that ended their involvement in WWII, it took years. Everyone needs to remember that the current natural bombardment has destroyed so much infrastructure that this, too, will require years of rebuilding. I am continually amazed at people who think it’s just a matter of bringing in some heavy equipment and moving the trash to one side. So many in the 21st century, who live their lives on touch phones and iPads, have no concept of the extent of the damage or the time required to rebuild. Plus, there really needs to be much thought given, and will be, to rebuildiing to different, stronger specifications. The truth is, sadly, that this may well occur over and over since Japan is strategically placed in the hotbed of seismic events.

        I would like to be wrong, but production by Nikon, Sony or other Japanese industries isn’t going to recover for quite some time. Companies that can switch production to their off-island facilities may try to do so, but then production will slow down at those facilities. Let’s be hopeful, but realistic at the same time.

      • zoetmb

        First of all, earthquakes and tsunamis are not really expected in spite of the fact that modern buildings are built to protect against earthquakes. Secondly, Japan was a far-less developed and less populated country during WWII (as almost all countries were). And Japan (and Germany) was largely rebuilt after the war with U.S. aid. That’s not going to happen this time. The Dow is down over 200 points today even though the price of oil is down on the basis that the Japanese tragedy will negatively impact business throughout the world.

        In addition, the current Japanese government was quite weak even before this.

        I think most of the manufacturing companies will at least temporarily start up additional manufacturing lines in such places as China, Singapore and possibly India. If the machine tools haven’t been damaged, they can ship those to other factories.

        Look how long it’s taken us in the U.S. to rebuild the World Trade Center and that tragedy only affected a few New York (and Washington) buildings. By the time the WTC is finished, probably 13 years will have passed since 9/11. The Japanese have to rebuild much infrastructure. Manufacturing plants can probably be rebuilt in a year or two, but infrastructure (electric power and lines) will unfortunately take many years to rebuild. And you know there will be extended debate in Japan over whether building new nuclear reactors for power is the way to go. It’s already caused new debate in the U.S.

  • looking at the news coverage it looks real bad. Japan economy is already trembling. this will add up great loss.

    We want Japan’s precision. Hope Japan and Nikon recover fast and get back to business.

    My prayers for those who lost their loved one .. sob…sob.

    • Ronan

      Durp? The yen is strong…

      • The thought is that the yen will actually strengthen more because the country needs to repatriate their overseas investments to pay for the cleanup. I’m not sure about that, as that would be balanced against the added debt that they’re going to undertake, which should weaken the currency. I think it’s going to depend upon how fast they get all that industrial and consumer production back up to speed and exporting products again. There’s a good chance that Japan will become a net importer instead of a net exporter, which is another thing that influences the yen value.

        But if I had to guess, a lot of things are going to go up in price. Almost all the lens production in the country was affected. Much of the semiconductor equipment and some of the fab was affected. Companies are going to need to recover new and unexpected costs. Couple that with the possibility of a stronger yen and it could mean some things will get more expensive.

        What’s going on in China won’t help, as costs there are going up due to wage inflation if nothing else, but now some parts costs will go up too, and their currency really needs to rise against outside currencies, as well.

        My bet would be lower availability of a lot of tech gear for awhile, and higher costs.

  • Delie

    My thoughts are with everyone in Japan, especially those who have lost their homes, family, friends, family or colleagues. Although those people who have been lost cannot be replaced, I hope that peoples lives can at least be restored to some sense of normality and new homes found for those who have lost everything.

    I love Japanese people and Japenese culture, and I’m devastated by what I have seen on the news. The torment of having everything you know ripped to pieces, your home, your family, your posessions, your community, your city – it must be horrendous. Normal life has been utterly ruined for some people. I can only hope that they receive as much aid as they can get from the world community and that the people in japan are able to swiftly help those who are most in need, to help them piece their lives back together as much as possible.


    Wiltshire, UK

  • Bruce

    There is significant basic infrastructure damage in the Tohoku region so my expectation is we will see severe interruptions to plant production arising from inbound/outbound logistics constraints together with rolling power outages and problems providing basic essentials to the employee base. This is not unlike a hurricane Katrina event, on a somewhat more devastating scale, with a nuclear emergency thrown in.

    • iamlucky13

      The nuclear emergency at Fukushima may be what gets the most interest, but unless it escalates significantly, it will only have a very local effect.

      While everyone evacuated from their homes near the plants as a precaution are obviously affected, people in Sendai, for example are not.

  • broxibear

    There was an update to this on an hour ago…
    “Nikon has shut down its production facilities in northern Japan, including the factory that makes flagship DSLR cameras such as the D700, following the earthquake and tsunami disaster.
    The news comes as the company today confirms injuries to ‘some’ of its group employees and gathers information on other staff and their family members.
    ‘We have no reports of any fatalities or seriously-injured employees so far,’ a Nikon spokeswoman told Amateur Photographer this morning. ”

    • broxibear

      Canon have also shut down their plants…
      “According to a company statement, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), the world’s largest maker of digital cameras, is planning to freeze operations at eight production and development bases in northern Japan.
      These factories including Ibaraki, Fukushima and Tochigi were affected by the 8.9-magnitude earthquake and Tsunami.
      Hiromoto Fujimori, a Tokyo-based spokesman said that Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ)’s plant in Utsunomiya City, Tochigi Prefecture, which makes lenses and steppers, and another factory that produces inkjet printer devices in Fukushima may take “more than two or three days” to resume operations.”

  • Omar Tan

    If there’s someone who can come back from this incident, we know it’ll be the Japanese!

    Go Japan!!!! And we’re with you with our prayers and good thoughts.

    • fukushima

      Japan will become stronger than ever.
      I think this event has been a testament to the future success and safety of nuclear power.

      • David

        Repair was, at least, theoretically possible *until the step of introducing saltwater* was introduced to cool the reactor. The heavy brine of the seawater will corrode the interior of the reactor and render it unusable. That kind of damage is irreparable.

        As I understand it, three of the six reactors have had seawater pumped through them, and thus are almost certainly irreparable.

        As far as this event being a testimony to the safety of nuclear power, I think the 250,000 evacuated souls in the deadzone, plus those already known to have been contaminated, plus even the US servicemen now identified as having been exposed, plus those being told “not to breathe the air,” would quite possibly disagree.

        • Fukushima

          I don’t know much and I was leery of nuclear power (based on media misinformation) but this event has changed my perspective in terms of its safety and potential as an alternative fuel source.

          It sounds like you believe nuclear power is not safe, the 40 year old design is equivalent to the new designs in terms of safety and everyone evacuated, exposed, or told not to breathe the air share your same beliefs. Is this what you are saying? If so, I disagree.
          I believe a lot of people are afraid of a worst case scenario and I believe this is normal, especially with the earthquakes and the tsunami occurring (some people, including the news, believe it could be the equivalent to a nuclear bomb going off or another Chernobyl, but this is not true).

          I think everything will get rebuilt better than before including the nuclear power plants and I think nuclear power will become more accepted around the world as an alternative to oil or coal.

          • zoetmb

            You’ve got to be kidding. It’s incidences like this that will make nuclear power LESS accepted, not more accepted. Do you really believe the Japanese government telling people that if they stay in their homes and keep their AC off that they won’t be exposed to radiation?

            This is like when the U.S. Government used to have students (in the 1950s and 60s) take part in drills in which they hid under their desks in case of a nuclear attack. Right..that will work.

            We’re already seeing acceptance of nuclear change in the U.S. where a number of politicians (including conservative politicians who supported nuclear) are requesting investigations to make sure our nuclear facilities are “safe”.

            While less efficient, hopefully this will give a big boost to wind and solar power generation. Imagine if every rebuilt Japanese home included solar panels and if the Japanese started building windmills off the coast, which can be constructed faster (and is far safer) than a new nuclear facility, if only to supplement the nuclear power that they still have.

            • homer

              I hope they could use wind, solar, and even the Bloom Box.
              However, could you imagine how many would be needed to match the megawatts needed/ or is it possible for people to reduce their power consumption to match the output of these energy sources.

  • Will Kenn

    Japan is in our prayers.

  • Michael Colon

    I have a soultion: why not bring te manufacturing back to the USA?!?

    • iamlucky13

      It would be hard to bring Nikon’s camera manufacturing back to the USA, since as far as I know, Nikon has never had a factory in the US.

      Someone please correct me if I’m wrong on that.

      • zoetmb

        That’s correct, but as per my other post, let’s assume that Nikon’s plant has severe physical damage, but most of the machine tools have survived. And let’s say their suppliers are okay, but due to infrastructure issues, they can’t get parts to Nikon.

        One could make the case that Nikon could ship those machine tools to the U.S. and open plants here, especially in abandoned manufacturing buildings. Localities would be so happy to get the manufacturing jobs, they’d probably offer all kinds of incentives. The Japanese could supervise to keep quality up. Most Japanese car companies manufacture in the U.S. and quality has not declined any more than it has in Japan.

        Of course, they could also take the same approach in China, India or any number of other countries.

    • Vandyu

      By the time Americans were up to speed (excuse me, trained) in how to do precision production work, the Japanese island facilities will have been restructured. Much of the knowledge of electronics production has been lost in the U.S. with the closing of all of the companies that once manufactured electronics here. If you enjoy reading about history, economics, and the rise of fall of American technology, this looks like it might be an interesting read.

      Inventing the Electronic Century: The Epic Story of the Consumer Electronics and Computer Industries. Alfred D. Chandler, Jr. xiv + 321 pp. The Free Press, 2001. $35.

      “The Japanese electronics industry came of age in the 1980s. As firms based in the United States were driven by their Japanese competitors from product markets they had once dominated, such as color television and computer memory, many prominent analysts came to the conclusion that the structure of corporate America was fatally flawed.”

      More info–

  • Mike

    I purchased a D700 about a month ago from B & H Photo in NY. Out of curosity I just rechecked the prices and noticed they have gone up by more than $200US over the weekend. Also, several lenses (which I believe are made in Sendi) seem to be “out of stock” at the moment.

    I’m certain Nikon will recover and supplies will return to normal. While this may be inconvenient for the rest of the world, placing their people first and infrastructure next is right and appropriate. It bodes well for their management. I wish them well.

    • ZoetMB

      Prices at B&H constantly go up and down – it’s like watching the stock market. And there has never been a time when every Nikon lens has been in stock. When last checked on 2/19, they actually had more models in stock than they had in years, but the following were out of stock: AF-S 35 1.4, AF-S 85 1.4, 500mm, 600mm, DX 35 1.8, DX 10-24.

      There are more models out of stock today, but it has nothing to do with the earthquake – it’s too early for that. But obviously the earthquake will affect future shipments, especially for the higher-end lenses are still made in Japan. But remember, most of the medium- and low-priced lenses are made outside of Japan, either in China or Malaysia (I think..or is it Singapore?).

      Now out of stock is AF-D 135, AF-S 14-24, AF-S 16-35, AF-S 70-200, AF-S 200-400, AF-S 50 1.4, AF-S 85 1.4, AF-S 300 2.8, AF-S 400, 500, 600, DX 35 1.8, DX 10-24, DX 55-200 VR, TC-17EII, TC-20EIII.

      D300: risen recently from $1449 to $1600
      D700: risen recently from $2380 to $2600
      D90: down $10
      D90 with kit lens: down $39

      While the D300 and D700 prices increases are substantial, I doubt it has anything to do with the earthquake – it probably has more to do with the declining dollar against Yen (although dollar is up a bit today.)

      Nikon has always been bad at keeping products in stock (at least in the U.S.) and it’s obviously going to get a lot worse for probably the next year or so. Even if there’s no or little damage to Nikon’s manufacturing facilities, it will take years to fully repair the infrastructure. Luckily, most Japanese companies now have manufacturing in many countries around the world, which will help in this crisis.

      And it goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway), that Nikon’s capability of shipping product pales in importance to the horrors that the Japanese people are going through during this extraordinary crisis.

      • Vandyu

        If Canon is able to recover faster than Nikon, the management at Nikon may also have to worry about pro photographers switching brands. I know this is never done easily, due to investment in lenses, bodies, and accessories, but Nikon may be vulnerable. Also, one might wonder if the company may be viewed as ripe for a takeover by another optics company. I hope not. The one certainty is that both Nikon and Canon, the big two, followed by Sony, are all affected by destruction of human and plant resources, as well as national infrastructure.

    • The invisible man

      The 14-24mm f/2.8 took $45 up today at Adorama !

  • Chuck

    So sad for Japanese people…

    Looks like they can pull them rebates as both lens and bodies will be in short supply…

    Get your high end body and lens before they sell out!

  • Clark Tanaka

    Thank you guys for your prayers. I wish I could pass all of your comments to the victims and hopefully we will recover with confidence. I am in Tokyo but still the whole country shook really hard. I will try to get as much info as possible about Nikon although I must admit that is not the no.1 priority as of this moment. If you have any questions regarding Japan, let me know I will do my best to answer them but please keep them minimum since we are facing shortage in electricty and we’re supposed to save. I will be offline very soon. All the best Clark from Tokyo.

    • Vandyu

      Clark, I wish you and your family safety and success in pulling the pieces of your life back into order. The chaos that we see must pale in comparison to that which is experienced. Focus on your people’s basic necessities and post back when you can.

    • Pierre

      The level of destruction and the nuclear threat has left every one I know speechless and greatly concerned.

      I whish I could find some magic words that somehow could ease the pain of our brothers and sisters from abroad but I know none that could express the level of grief and empathy we are experiencing by the news of the losses and challenges that affect so many.

      I hope you will find some consolation with the thought of the many friends across the globe who shares your pain and pray for your prompt recovery.

      Canada is all with you.

  • 451

    Clark, I have no words, so your words have touched me greatly.
    very much hope that everyone in the quickest possible time to normal in your country.
    regards, Oleg.
    Russia with you.

  • onemrcool

    Last week before the tsunami in Japan, Adorama sells the Nikon 70-200 f2.8 vrii lens for $2159. After the disaster, Adorama immediately gouged the price on 3/14/2011 to $2400!!! Shame on Adorama!

    • I noticed also that the Nikon 35mm f/1.4G went up in price (by $100)

    • Unfortunately free market capitalism works both ways.

    • dan

      I dont think its price gouging more supply and demand. If the manufactures are not making any more currently and people are still buying. Prices will go up.

      If a fly lands on an oil well and farts and blows up the well the price of oil goes up because a “plant” Or “location” is not able to manufacture that product.

      Its how the world goes round. Get used to it.

      • JorPet


        What’s more, if they keep the price artificially low then someone will swoop in and clean them out and put them out on ebay for a price premium. So all that would happen is that some third party would walk away with a huge profit.

        Charging MSRP is not price gouging.

    • broxibear

      Here in the UK the prices haven’t changed so far, but very few places have stock of the higher end lenses… the AF-S 85mm f/1.4G is very difficult to find as is the 35mm f/1.4G.
      Once the few out there are sold, it may be the end of the year before any new stock is available…or even longer?
      If anyone was thinking of buying a higher end lens this year I’d get it now.

    • Vandyu

      So, if the major internet discounters (B&H, Adorama, etc) are raising prices, then shop here:

    • JorPet

      Sorry, I don’t see charging full retail for something that you may not be able to replace stock on for 6 months as price gouging. If they had doubled the MSRP then I might agree, but they aren’t charging a price premium at all.

      B&H has been out of the 70-200 for a couple weeks and now will likely be out of stock for months unless they have a shipment somewhere on the way. If they do get a couple in it would make sense to charge full boat for them too. After all, a pro isn’t going to balk at a couple hundred more if they actually need it and it puts money in their pocket. Mostly dissuades hobbyists (like me) who can afford to wait until the prices come back down.

      • Except for brand new products and occasionally something like emergency shipments of the exotics, Nikon tends to use ocean freighters to move inventory. So it’s possible that there are shipments on their way but yet to arrive. It’s unlikely that any new shipments out of Sendai (pro bodies) or Tochigi (lenses) would happen any time soon, even if they had completed inventory available to be shipped.

  • Stanley77

    I question if the people of Japan will allow any of the affected nuks to restart.

    • iamlucky13

      It depends what you mean by affected.

      The three out of four reactors at Fukushima that have had seawater pumped into their cores are effectively ruined. They were older reactors anyways, and paid for by now, but will still be expensive to replace. They could hypothetically build new reactors to attach to the existing turbines and reduce the cost, but that model of reactor isn’t made anymore.

      Most of the rest of the shut down reactors should either be able to start back up almost as soon as they’re inspected (a week or two, I think), or need small to moderate repairs (some damage wouldn’t be a surprise after an M8.9 earthquake).

      Japan isn’t likely to replace 30% of the power production overnight, or to cut their power consumption by that much. They need those plants running.

      • It’s not just replacement that is costly. Those three reactors will cost hundreds of billions of yen to decommission properly and safely. And unlike a non-contaminated plant, you can’t just tear it down and build a new one in its place, which was already in planning for some of the other old reactors.

        FWIW, I believe I saw an estimate this weekend from their government that the maximum power change would be a net loss of 15% for all the reactors that are currently shut down. Most of that will come back online as inspections and safety checks get done in the next few months. If I did the math correctly, the four Fujushima reactors were something less than 2% of the overall nuclear capacity in the country.

        • Pdf Ninja

          If the rods have melted down, they won’t be able to remove them, which means the entire plant needs to be completely sealed off. The whole land will be lost for the foreseeable future. In case of Three Mile Island, I heard it took 10 years until the radiation levels dropped so much that the reactor could be safely dismantled. This would be an incredibly costly outcome.

          Even if there was no meltdown, and the rods can be removed, my understanding is that they still need to be kept under water for years until they become safe to be transported and buried. This scenario is not cheap either.

          Either way you cannot simply demolish the building and turn it into an apartment complex or shopping mall.

          • fukushima
            • Second that article reference. Quite good, and matches what I know about the subject (my undergraduate school had an experimental reactor on campus that was used in some of the science classes).

              There are more rods in the buildings in question than just in the core. My understanding is that there are storage pools for spent rods, too.

              But you’re falling under the Mass Media Hyped Version of Meltdown. The way things work in a BWR is that the rods themselves have a sleeve that’s the first level of containment. The term “meltdown” is used the minute that sleeve, which melts at something like 2000F, starts to degrade due to heat. It’s the Cesium and a few other radioactive outputs from that melting that tell you that the sleeve is decaying. But it doesn’t tell you whether that melting has actually broken the first containment and let the uranium pellets loose. You can have some “melting” of the sleeve and still be able to deal with the entire rod in some way later. Or you could have the sleeve disintegrate and then have to deal with the pellets themselves, which melt at a higher temperature (I think 3500F). It’s a clever design that builds in a lot of “walls” for a nuclear reaction to jump to produce any tangible emissions.

              From what I’ve seen in the information in the Japanese press, they’ve detected some Cesium, which would indicate at least some sleeving had been compromised by heat. But it also appears from the details that are coming out that they keep saying that they have no way to “see” what’s happening in the second containment at all. I’m not sure whether that’s because of data systems no longer intact, excessive steam/pressure/whatever, lack of access to critical areas in the plant, the way they’ve flooded the containment, or what.

              But the bottom line is that once they decided to use sea water to help mitigate the ongoing reactions, they toasted the containments, and thus the reactor. It will have to be dismantled much like Three Mile Island was, and how soon or how costly that will be will depend upon how much and what melted. But there will be a lot of zeroes at the end of the number no matter what.

        • iamlucky13

          That all sounds about right, although I had to look up the conversion rates on the yen. Reportedly Japan has 48 GW of nuclear generating capacity. Fukushima is 4.7 GW, but the three units of concern are a little over 2 GW, so we’re talking about 4% of Japan’s nuclear capacity. Still, between nuclear plants shutdown and other sources offline, TEPCO just announced they’re going to have to start rolling blackouts.

          Reactor decommissioning costs in the US have been averaging around $325 million each, according to the NRC. The cleanup of Three Mile Island Unit 2, ended in 1993, cost a hair under $1 billion (not inflation adjusted). There will be some more costs when they do the final cleanup after the other unit is decommissioned, but I believe most of the work for Unit 2 is done.

          Since the Fukushima units are all on one site, and the units are similar, they should be able to combine a lot of the costs, but we’re probably still talking over $2 billion USD, possibly over $4 billion.

          PDFNinja is partially correct – if the rods are melted to the degree those at Three Mile Island were, they will not be removable in the normal manner. If they’re less damaged, some or all of them may be removable by crane, and then handled as normal. Storing the rods in water to cool for several years is normal even for rods removed during normal refueling. Before they can do that, however, they have to clear away debris from the explosions, and rebuild the top portions of the reactor buildings…not necessarily to operational standards, but they need a fully enclosed, sealed area with overhead cranes for handling fuel.

          Reactors that retire without incident also are left to sit for several years to let lingering radiation levels decrease further before workers began the real decommissioning work, although in a case like this, the delay time will likely be, as he said ten or more years. Then after decommissioning is complete, a site is kept vacant for another 10+ years and monitored for any signs of concerning residual radioactivity before it can be used for purposes other than another plant.

          • One issue I hadn’t realized until yesterday’s news revealed it is where the spent rods have been stored in those plants. Answer: above the reactors! That actually poses a bigger risk, I think. If they’re now having to remove personnel from the buildings and no longer have real control of the cooling, which appears to be the case, they probably also have no way to keep the cooling on the spent fuel in place, given its location in the plant.

            Fortunately, this is a longer term issue–they would probably have weeks to get that situation under control–but it seems decidedly dangerous to have used that location. Great for convenience, I suppose, but terrible if you have the kinds of reactor issues they have.

            To me, the real issue with nuclear power use has always been waste storage/disposal/reuse. All of the “solutions” have big downsides. It was the one question I kept asking when talking to physics profs, and to which no one ever gave me an answer that you couldn’t poke holes in. It seems that this will yet another issue at Fukushima that has to be dealt with, and soon.

  • David

    Those of us who love Nikon products are praying for the Nikon family companies as well as all of the Japanese people. May God be with you as you recover and grieve. Our thoughts here in America will be with you as well as whatever we can donate to assist.

    • Well said. And the primary thing we should keep in the front of our minds.

      All the cost, supply, product intro questions fade into far less significance when considered against the humanity issues.

  • Kikko

    Tell all your friends, family and coworkers everywhere around the world to buy as many Japanese products as possible, everything from cars to electronics to food to clothing. Buy it all up, so that money goes back to Japan to help keep its economy flush with cash for when the country gets back to normalcy. Don’t give too much money to the charity organizations, that money will get chopped up and dispersed to areas around the globe where the organizations need help, and not enough of it will go to Japan itself. By buying all Japanese products everywhere, not only will you be supporting the Japanese economy for the future, you will, in the short-term, be helping your own ailing local economy from the USA to Europe. It’s a win-win situation as far as that is concerned.
    Buy as many Japanese products as you can, with purpose!!

    • Mock Kenwell

      Wow. That’s one ill-informed statement.

    • D700guy

      I have decided to do my part in that endeavor.
      It was a big chunk of cash that had been reserved for a D4 later this year,
      but considering the possibility of that product being delayed for what I can see being as far out as next year, I moved on to plan B.
      A Nikon NI30028GAFSL AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens USA.
      Not sure how much of the $5700 will trickle back to Japan, but my hopes are that
      some of it will.
      Next up; a trustworthy charity organization to whom I can donate in an effort to help directly.

      • fukushima

        +1 on the D4

    • mshi

      but most Japanese products are assembled in China though.

      • Assembly is not the same as manufacturing. Those iPad2’s use memory chips made in the affected area. And the worldwide supply of those was already tight.

        As some business papers are starting to report this week, the real issue is supply chain. So much of the supply chain for the global semiconductor, auto, and battery industries is in the area hit worst by the quake that it’s going to impact so many companies and products that you’ll lose count very quickly. Even if you’ve got plants like Canon’s and Nikon’s that do most of the production of lenses, they get their raw materials from other local plants.

        It’s still unclear what plants were really hit by the tsunami, but it’s almost certain there were some, as there were plenty of industrial parks close to the ocean in that area. Worse still, you’ve got a lot of concentration of plants in the Fukushima area, and if they lose core containment and have a dangerous radioactive leak that causes them to create a Chernobyl-like no occupation zone, that’s going to completely shut down a huge swath of plants. A zone the size of Chernobyl’s would extend almost to Nikon’s Sendai plant, for instance, and it would almost certainly close some critical north/south highways.

        Tragedies tend to follow domino-like patterns. One thing (earthquake) leads to another (tsunami) leads to another (nuclear plant problems) leads to another (no occupation zone) leads to… At some point, you have to break the chain or else it just rolls over everything. Getting those nuclear plants under control has always been important, but I don’t think people realize just HOW important.

  • Our prayers go out to the people of Japan and those of the Nikon family.

  • Anonymous

    My best of wishes to the Japanese people… they are hard working people and I am sure the country will be up and running shortly to amaze everyone.

  • PJS

    How come EVERY thread regarding this disaster ends up being a rant on nuclear power? The Japanese people will rebuild ~ they’ve suffered a nuclear disaster before.

    • Mock Kenwell

      Huh? What rant? Are we reading the same thread?

  • I was really very concerned to read the comment suggesting that Adorama would increase prices in order to benefit from a tragedy like this.

    Adorama is still a family-owned business, and the owner is an upright and honest gentleman of great integrity, whose beliefs would prohibit him from attempting to make a fast buck on the back of someone else’s misfortune.

    We increase our prices when the manufacturer price to us increases; perhaps in this day and age it is an unusual concept to discover there are people around who do not place money before all else.

    Helen Oster ☺
    Adorama Camera Customer Service Ambassador

  • mshi

    Are they drinking the same Kool-aid?

    • mshi

      Here is a comment from Tokyo on BBC’s blog:

      Mikan in Tokyo writes: “There is a growing sense that the Japanese government is not telling us the true story. On one end, there is the Japanese media that plays down the nuclear drama and focuses on human drama, and at the other, the foreign media is up-playing the nuclear disaster. In my company I heard at least half the essential staff is being sent to Hong Kong, Singapore or even Sydney. I am preparing to leave Tokyo and/or Japan. So are many of my friends. There is a sense of deserting Tokyo as soon as possible”

      • I’ve gotten similar comments from one of my friends in Japan. Someone needs to repeat the Roosevelt line: the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

        At the moment, the International agencies that deal with nuclear plants are rating the Fukushima problems as slightly behind those that occurred at Three Mile Island here in the US. The question I have for people is this: exactly what were the actual measured consequences of the Three Mile Island incident (other than to scrare everyone away from building another nuclear plant)?

        We don’t always assess “risk” correctly. Sometimes that’s because of lack of information or knowledge, sometimes it’s because of fear of the unknown, sometimes it’s because of hidden agendas or back-room politics, sometimes it’s because the Media Makes it So.

        The irony is that the Japanese know as much or more about the long term effects of radiation exposure than anyone else. The many survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been studied in fine detail. While there certainly were problems, they were far less than anyone expected, and that was with exposure levels that a complete nuclear meltdown that breached all containment could produce.

        • I meant “levels FAR HIGHER THAN a complete nuclear meltdown…”

        • Victor Hassleblood

          “The many survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been studied in fine detail. While there certainly were problems, they were far less than anyone expected.”

          You must be kidding. “Problems” ? ? ?
          And what do you call a “survivor”. Is it someone who did not die instantly from blast and heat? Is it someone who survived the radiation for the next three days, for a week, a month? Where do you draw the line?

          Poor, poor taste my friend.

          • I didn’t mean to offend anyone. Last statistic I heard on the hibakusha (people who were exposed to the bomb blast or those who entered and worked in the radiation zone immediately after, plus some descendants) was that something like 1% have been found to have illnesses that relate to the radiation. That’s certainly 1% more than any sane person would want to ever see happen, but I’ll stand by the “less than expected” comment, and it’s part of my comment on risk assessment.

            Having anyone sickened or dying for any preventable cause is something we should try to avoid, obviously. But we assess the level of various problems incorrectly, and often based more on fear fueled by media hype. In the area where I live, for instance, we just had another natural gas explosion that killed a number of people and wiped out a city block due to pipes in the street that have needed replacement for years. That this explosion happened a block from the previous fatal explosion still hasn’t provoked a complete upgrade to the infrastructure. But the same town is trying to raise funds to build a new arena, and people are now again saying maybe we should shut down the local reactors.

            But again, my apologies if I offended anyone. I can see how the comment could be taken out of context.

            • Victor Hassleblood

              “(…) but I’ll stand by the “less than expected” comment, and it’s part of my comment on risk assessment. (…)
              But we assess the level of various problems incorrectly, and often based more on fear fueled by media hype.”

              Neither do I feel to have taken anything out of context nor am I entitled to feel personally offended – except for the offense towards intellect and brain. Stand by what and where ever you want. Obviously you have the better sources. Lucky you!

              Tell that to the 230.000 hibakusha that have died till 1950 or their relatives. Tell them this is just media hype and they must have been mistaken as this only happened to 1% and there weren’t 23.000.000 people around.

              Thom, where did you get your numbers? And yes, I agree: we assess the level of various problems incorrectly – both ways actually.

            • Well, every number I’ve seen is problematic for a variety of reasons: lack of data collected, lack of regressing against other factors (social status for instance), and not knowing if the entire population is being counted, for instance. The 1% long-term number comes from Japanese government medical records, and is almost certainly open to interpretation because there’s bias in the data collection process and certainly missing data.

              I don’t mean to belittle anyone that’s suffered from radiation poisoning or the long-term effects of radiation (which includes at least one and probably two of my direct relatives). But the Sv numbers coming out of the Fukushima plant are low, and even at high Sv exposures the statistics are not as grim as people and the media keep trying to present.

              That could all change, obviously, as the incident is not over by any means. But time is a friend in any battle against containment. The longer they’re able to keep things no worse than they’ve been, the more likely that the long term affects will be minimal.

        • TT

          Now I am beginning to understand how Teenage Ninja Turtle and Godzilla comes about!

      • TT

        Think it’s not desertion but rather BCP. Business Continuity Plan. Companies still have to make profit and the country is facing some uncertainty now, so you need your best people at other offices around the world to keep business going.

  • Just A Thought

    One things that stands out and speaks volumes about the Japanese People:

    Why is there NO looting in Japan?

    • Vandyu

      I think there is a national honor code, so to speak. The elderly in Japan are taken care of rather than sent to die in nursing homes when families are available. Looting, likewise, would be a dishonorable deed.

    • Gurskov

      “Why is there NO looting in Japan?”

      In one word ….

      • TT

        I was in Japan, Tokyo to be exact in the same week. In fact, just last week. I do agree that in general, the Japanese have an unwritten code of honor about them.

        However, I doubt there is no looting, just because it wasn’t reported.

    • Vandyu

      Diane Sawyer on ABCNews discusses the nature of the Japanese people to pitch in and help one another. Rather than loot their unfortunate neighbors, they help one another and share. In America, it’s more like arm yourself and hope for the best when disaster strikes. Not that we Americans are not caring and supportive, but as a more heterogenous society, there are many with moral integrity, but many without. Listen to Diane’s report, and you will understand why there is no looting.

    • Vandyu

      CNN’s Jack Cafferty looks at lack of looting in Japan’s time of crisis:

  • gavan Caldwell

    best wishes and a speedy recovery to the people of Japan – the suffering Japan has endured has been seen by the world and the way the people of Japan have conducted themselves has been astounding despite their great suffering.
    Japan and new Zealand have suffered and our thoughts are given to them.
    In Belfast our local cathedral is raising money to buy tents food and bedding for the homeless
    nikon owner.

  • Henwas

    Nikon just donated more than $1.2 million dollars to aid the victims of Japan. Come on everyone lets help out, they need us!

  • broxibear in Australia are reporting Nikon told them “they may have supply problems for their high end digital SLR camera’s following the recent earthquake in Japan.”
    “Nikon, who are currently involved in the re-launch of their brand in Australia, have said that they may have supply problems for their high end digital SLR camera’s following the recent earthquake in Japan.
    SmartHouse understands that at this stage the planned launch will still go ahead on the 25th of March.
    The Japanese camera company said its Sendai pro d-SLR factory in the Miyagi prefecture was damaged, and operations have been halted as officials continue to assess the full extent the disaster’s impact. The factory is used to produce Nikon’s professional d-SLRs, including the D3x, D3s and D700 cameras.”

    • Just A Thought

      Huge price increases are potentially coming.
      Need a DSLR – waiting might cost you.
      Need a laptop – waiting might cost you.
      Need a Desktop PC – waiting might cost you.
      The supply of different forms of digital memory chips will be
      severly affected by the loss of Japanese production.
      Not to mention a mirade of other products – say like
      lithium batteries to run one’s camera or laptop – or how about
      digital sensors (kinda hard to make “any” kind of digital camera
      without Digital Sensor chips. LCD panels will be affected but to
      a lesser extent – and on and on and on.

      To all countries outside of Japan, heads up as a price inflation of consumer goods shock cometh and soon. This may be the final nail in Europe’s coffin.

  • Things are a mess all over Japan. News reports show Tokyo streets deserted. The country does not have enough electricity. It’s not just Nikon. The entire system is broken.

  • ob1

    So we can’t get a hold of anymore new Nikon products. What’s new?

  • wo
  • Seems like the radiation levels have risen to unhealthy figures….This is worrying 🙁

  • Discontinued

    This is a really strange discussion of self-declared experts in economy and nuclear science going on here. Guys, the catastrophe is still happening. It is absolutely pointless to discuss costs and efforts for the repairs of one or two nuclear power plants or a country’s economy before you know the damage. We will have a fairly complete picture of the outcome of this in one or two month – not yesterday, neither today nor tomorrow.

    Good luck Japan. I keep my fingers crossed for you and your people.

    • Japater

      +++++10000 agree 100%

    • While I mostly agree, I think you’re being optimistic about having a fairly complete picture in a month or two.

    • Funduro

      The situation at the nuclear plants is very unpredictable and can change in an instant. Read at the NYT that a person with knowledge has indicted the situation is WAY pass 3 Mile Island. If a 9.0 earthquakeor a 10 meter high Tsunami wasn’t enofe now Japan’s got a 3 Mile Island situation times 4(# of reactor with major damage) plus all the other ones not been talked about.

    • Vandyu

      The natural disaster that has befallen Japan is extremely stress inducing for other peoples of the world. It can be therapeutic to have a discussion with others as a means of sharing concern and wishing for good outcomes. It is good to see so many posters here thinking of the general welfare of the Japanese people. I haven’t been to many forums recently, but this one at Nikon Rumors is very “other” focused at this time. That is a good thing.

  • Very useful explanation of what is happening in the affected nuclear power plants:

  • broxibear

    Here’s a link to detailing the effects on the Japanese imaging industry, and any statements released regarding their own facilities…

  • Massimo Masone
  • Massimo Masone

    I meant pro dslr factory, sorry

  • David

    How sad and tragic this situation is. How the world has gotten duped into building nuclear plants that cost billions of dollars to produce and run, and once they are built they become a trillion dollar liability. Solar power, wind power and even conventional oil are much much cheaper than nuclear power. And there is no radioactivity by products or danger from radiation exposure. Solar and wind emit no harmful waste products.

    If Cesium gets into the soil it could be 200-300 years before any food grown would be safe. How do we humans allow such inanity and insanity. It is greed and corruption.

  • Back to top