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Japan tragedy

post #1 of 188
Thread Starter 

The people of northern Japan have been dealt a horrific blow with a massive earthquake, then a devastating tsunami, and now they're struggling to avert a meltdown at the Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant.  The most recent explosion appears to have started a fire at reactor #4 and some radiation was released.  This is unthinkably tragic and the operators at TEPCO are frantically trying to avert more tragedy right now. 

 

Live feed from NHK here:  http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nhk-world-tv

 

IAEA updates:  http://www.iaea.org/press/?page_id=97

 

The twitterers I'm following are: @kate_sheppard , @thedeadhandbook , @norishikata , @iaeaorg , @yasidei , @JesseJenkins

 

ETA:  The fire at #4 is reportedly out now, thank God.


Edited by yt - 3/14/11 at 8:36pm
post #2 of 188

This is indeed horrible.  Growing up in Hawaii I have a lot of close friends who have family in Japan.  I've been checking daily, and so far there's still a few folks I know who have one or two family members unaccounted for.  My wife's dad, who lives in the Philippines, dodged a bullet and actually flew out of Tokyo last Wednesday.

 

From an economic standpoint, which is a distant second to the human toll, chances are Japan is going to sink back into a recession - an event that neither Japan nor the world needs right now. 

 

 

post #3 of 188
Thread Starter 

I can't even imagine what it must be like.  People are still reeling from the earthquake, then the tsunami and trying to account for family and friends, and along comes the nuclear situation.  It's just unthinkable.

post #4 of 188

Can someone explain how to calculate UTC time?  If my time is UTC -9 and Japan is UTC +6 (just for example) does that mean they are 15 hours ahead of me?

 

Either way, this is horrible.  My thoughts and prayers go out to these families and I wish them all the best.

 

I wish I could get a better idea of the nuclear plant issues.  The media is all over this and each side has been skewed so badly, I have no clue how dangerous it is for the country, or even the rest of the world.  It also shocks me how many people are coming out against Japan...the psychos are in typical form this time around and it is disheartening.  I am terrified to check out Fox News....

post #5 of 188
Thread Starter 

I'm a moron when it comes to the time difference (I know it's tomorrow there, and midnight in Asia is around 9am Pacific time). 

 

But I thought Rachel Maddow explained the mechanics of a meltdown pretty well on her show last night:  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/

 

In terms of what's happening with the spent fuel and the cooling pools that are at issue with reactor #4, here's a piece on this subject in the NYT:  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/16/world/asia/16fuel.html?_r=2&hp  (warning: pretty scary stuff).

 

 

post #6 of 188
post #7 of 188

Yeah, god bless it for the big ugly snot-drenched sneeze that image represents.  Jesus...

post #8 of 188

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph P. Brenner View Post

http://www.unitedatheistfront.com/GodBlessAmerica.jpg


These people are cunts but it's kind of bugging me how people have been going out of their way to seek out these kind of comments and then shower attention on them. When people who are visible or influential come out with such stuff than by all means make an example of them, but there will never be a shortage of nobodies on the internet making retarded and hateful remarks, and I'm not convinced it helps anyone to wallow in that kind of thing.

post #9 of 188

Paul I agree somewhat, but the problem is how common it is and how fast and easy it was to compile a list like that.  It hasn't even been a week since it happened and there are already ~50 facebook status posts on that image.  That doesn't count the countless others missed or the slew of comments found in nearly every single news posting all over the place.  I guess my problem with it is that there isn't just a few. It is ALL OVER and it makes me fucking sick.

post #10 of 188

And the worrying thing is those posts seem to be mostly by kids and young adults.  Even quite a few black people in that picture, which I find surprising.  Also some celebs have been getting in trouble for making jokes and bringing up Pearl Harbor.  The dude who voices the Aflac duck got fired for a slew of such comments on twitter.  But they do 75% of their business with Japan, so they kinda had to.  

 

So the company that owns the nuclear plant thats fucking up in northern Japan has already been involved with problems in the past.  After it came out this company was forging inspection and maintenence results, the CEO and a couple of others resigned and I think they were even arrested.

post #11 of 188
There is now a second fire in the 4th reactor. This is horrific. It's really difficult to comprehend tens of thousands of deaths in one country.

These reactors are nearly 40 years old, which may be one reason they're failing. Plus shoddy management and a tsunami far bigger than anything they planned for.
post #12 of 188

Politically, this was a year of worldwide upheaval, but it looks like mother nature wants a piece of that, too. My god, I don't even want to imagine what it's like over there. My thoughts and small bit of donations are with them. I pray they can get the reactors under some semblance of control.

 

And on a slightly more cynical and completely lib-tarded note: I guess that about wraps it up for nuclear power here in the States.

post #13 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Happenin View Post

 

And on a slightly more cynical and completely lib-tarded note: I guess that about wraps it up for nuclear power here in the States.


Which kinda blows.

 

 

 

post #14 of 188

Getting rid of nuclear power is no bad thing. The only reason it hasn't been squashed flat by the rampaging T-Rex that is the "Free Market" is because of colossal government subsidies ploughed into its dual-purpose, evil-twin industry - nuclear armaments (a branch of Defence which - for reasons that exist outside time and space - politicians only ever seem to want to throw more money at). Judged purely on how much electricity you generate from, say, a 200MW nuclear plant in its lifetime against how much it costs to:

 

1.) Strip mine vast tracts of land in search of an increasingly rare isotope of uranium.

2.) Process the ore through several stages (including purification, centrifuge, conversion into gas form - all insanely expensive in terms of energy).

3.) Build the pressure vessel and reactor complex (which require considerable amounts of refined and expensive metals) to safety standards well in excess of those seen in other industries (more cost). 

4.) Run the plant for thirty years (the only stage which is relatively economical).

5.) Decommission it over 100 years and then store and maintain the waste for anywhere between 100,000 years and 1,000,000,000 (or more).

 

... it soon becomes apparent that the whole nuclear paradigm is a fiasco. Unless, of course, you're one of the lucky government contractors who get to privatise the profitable stage "4" whilst offloading onto the public pesky cost centres such as safety, decommissioning and if the whole thing goes tits up - the clean up costs, too (IIRC, US nuclear contractors are indemnified for any costs above circa $10 billion when estimates place the true cost of cleaning up after a full-scale catastrophe as being nearer to $800 billion!). 

 

Under these terms if nuclear goes I'd say good riddance.

 

 

post #15 of 188

An interesting side conversation to all the more serious issues surrounding the quake, Chinese people note how orderly & civil Japanese citizens have been in the face of all this.

post #16 of 188
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Closer View Post

Which kinda blows.

 


Not for the people who live near the reactors.  We've debated the other issues, such as design, expense, guarantees, etc.  But I think the spectre of what's happening in Japan renders every pro argument moot. 

 

post #17 of 188
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Foster View Post

Getting rid of nuclear power is no bad thing. The only reason it hasn't been squashed flat by the rampaging T-Rex that is the "Free Market" is because of colossal government subsidies ploughed into its dual-purpose, evil-twin industry - nuclear armaments (a branch of Defence which - for reasons that exist outside time and space - politicians only ever seem to want to throw more money at). Judged purely on how much electricity you generate from, say, a 200MW nuclear plant in its lifetime against how much it costs to:

 

1.) Strip mine vast tracts of land in search of an increasingly rare isotope of uranium.

2.) Process the ore through several stages (including purification, centrifuge, conversion into gas form - all insanely expensive in terms of energy).

3.) Build the pressure vessel and reactor complex (which require considerable amounts of refined and expensive metals) to safety standards well in excess of those seen in other industries (more cost). 

4.) Run the plant for thirty years (the only stage which is relatively economical).

5.) Decommission it over 100 years and then store and maintain the waste for anywhere between 100,000 years and 1,000,000,000 (or more).

 

... it soon becomes apparent that the whole nuclear paradigm is a fiasco. Unless, of course, you're one of the lucky government contractors who get to privatise the profitable stage "4" whilst offloading onto the public pesky cost centres such as safety, decommissioning and if the whole thing goes tits up - the clean up costs, too (IIRC, US nuclear contractors are indemnified for any costs above circa $10 billion when estimates place the true cost of cleaning up after a full-scale catastrophe as being nearer to $800 billion!). 

 

Under these terms if nuclear goes I'd say good riddance.

 

 



This sfm!

post #18 of 188
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PMR View Post

An interesting side conversation to all the more serious issues surrounding the quake, Chinese people note how orderly & civil Japanese citizens have been in the face of all this.


I heard someone talking on the radio about a word that's used often in Japan which roughly translates into "facing hardship with dignity." 

 

This is what I used to try to figure out how to help:  http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=1221

 

And this for helping the animals of Japan:  http://www.worldvets.org / Chipin link:  http://www.chipin.com/contribute/id/a1b3944b591e5157

 

But I know there are also ways to text donations to various organizations out there. 

post #19 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by yt View Post




Not for the people who live near the reactors.  We've debated the other issues, such as design, expense, guarantees, etc.  But I think the spectre of what's happening in Japan renders every pro argument moot. 

 

 

Maybe I'm just being silly and emotional about this but I have a pretty hard time seeing how anyone can defend the nuclear option in the face of yet further proof of it's terrible dangers.

 

 

Nuclear myths in meltdown, in Japan and here

 

Quote:

Amid all the quotes about Japan’s unfolding nuclear crisis that have galvanised the world’s attention over the past few days, this one stood out: “The earthquake was terrifying, but this is worse,” said one Japanese resident, told to evacuate his home near the crippled plant a Fukushima. “We want to go home, but we are scared.”

Nuclear proponents can bang on all they like about the science and the textbook safety of nuclear energy, and how well it compares with other technologies; and of the dangers of exploding oil refineries, collapsing coal mines, or bursting dams. As awful as these events might be, there is nothing quite so menacing as the danger that is not seen and is not understood. The nuclear industry stands unique in this regard.

It has been quite surreal to observe “experts” 10,000 kilometres away from the scene insisting there is no public danger from the dramatic events unfolding at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plants, while the nuclear authorities on the spot ordered the immediate evacuation of more than 200,000 residents, began the distribution of iodine tablets — given to minimise the threat of thyroid cancer — and recommended those that remained within a 20-kilometre radius of the plant close their windows and cover their heads in wet towels.

The nuclear industry has recognised, since the incidents of Three Mile Island in 1979 and Chernobyl in 1986, that its prosperity depends on the indulgence of public opinion — unless, of course, you live in a country such as China where that doesn’t matter so much. The passage of time, the emergence of a younger generation, the development of new technology, and the clamour for low emission energy sources to help curb greenhouse emissions held the promise of a new beginning. You would have thought that the industry — and its most ardent proponents — would have understood that the one essential ingredient to this surprising renaissance would be public trust.

Maybe not. In its obstinance, the nuclear industry can deliver as powerful an argument against itself as the most vociferous green opponent. The Japanese public have always been ambivalent about the industry, given their history with atomic reactions. Their faith has not been improved by revelations that executives from the Tokyo Electric Company falsified safety documents (from the very reactors that are now compromised), and its belated admission in 2007 that another nuclear plant had not been designed to withstand earthquakes of the magnitude that hit the region at the time.

Even the academics can’t make head nor tail of the events. One Japanese university expert replied to a query yesterday: “It’s all quite confusing. The Tokyo Electric Power Company has been holding a press conference almost every three hours since yesterday, but every time it seems to be an announcement that contradicts the last announcement they made.”

The one sure casualty of Fukushima is the fantasy that nuclear energy can somehow be stripped down to a cheap and easy model, that shorn of “unnecessary” regulation and safety measures, it could be as cheap as coal. Given the extraordinary circumstances that has seen the top blown off two reactor buildings and sea-water used to flood and effectively kill the overheating cores, this is delusional at best. This event will surely add to those extra layers of safety and costs.

As each layer of protection at the Fukushima nuclear plant was peeled back by the force of nature, bad planning, human error, or just plain bad luck, so too was the fantasy that the general public would agree to the installation of nuclear facilities — in Australia or any other developed nation, for that matter — without the maximum possible safety measures. That much was learnt from Three Mile Island, which at this stage has more in common with Fukushima than Chernobyl.

 


 

post #20 of 188

I dont know...the fact that one of the strongest earthquakes the planet has ever experienced combined with a 40 foot tsunami resulted in problems at an out of date nuclear reactor doesnt really sway me.

 

Much like how the Air France flight breaking up and falling into the ocean after flying into a perfect storm type of weather system hasnt kept me from flying.

 

Sure, something like this was always a possibility, but how often do nuclear power plants get hit by 9.0 earthquakes and a four story high tsunami directly afterwards?

 

Until we get solar up and running this still looks like the way to go.

post #21 of 188

Quick question: Closer, would you have any issue whatsoever with living and raising a family in a house next to a nuclear power plant?

post #22 of 188
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Closer View Post

I dont know...the fact that one of the strongest earthquakes the planet has ever experienced combined with a 40 foot tsunami resulted in problems at an out of date nuclear reactor doesnt really sway me.

 

Much like how the Air France flight breaking up and falling into the ocean after flying into a perfect storm type of weather system hasnt kept me from flying.

 

Sure, something like this was always a possibility, but how often do nuclear power plants get hit by 9.0 earthquakes and a four story high tsunami directly afterwards?

 

Until we get solar up and running this still looks like the way to go.



I think as long as the nuclear, gas & oil and coal industries are making money and able to wield power in D.C., solar (and wind, geothermal and biomass) will never be allowed to get up and running.  And as long as those industries continue to make money, natural disasters will only grow in intensity and destruction, not that an earthquake/tsunami/nuclear crisis is a result of climate change, but presuming that other nuclear power plants won't be put in peril by natural disasters is just hubris. 

post #23 of 188
Thread Starter 

A profile on the 50 brave, unnamed workers at the Fukushima plant:  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/16/world/asia/16workers.html?_r=2&hp

post #24 of 188

...and the hits just keep on coming...

 

Quote:

Japan was hit by a 5.7-magnitude aftershock and a second fire at the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant as the government struggled to overcome the aftermath of the nation’s strongest earthquake on record.

Snow blanketed the ground on the cracked and subsiding road into quake-stricken Miyage prefecture this morning. The main expressway into the region was closed to non-emergency personnel as the government mounted a rescue effort after the quake unleashed a 7-meter (23-foot) tsunami that engulfed the northeast coast.

In Fukushima city, capital of the prefecture where Tokyo Electric Power Co. workers are battling to contain fires and radiation leaks at nuclear reactors, about 200 people lined up at the Co-op supermarket to buy provisions. The queue at a local gasoline station stretched for more than a kilometer, there was no running water and portable toilets were overflowing.

‘‘People still think this is a dream, and that they’re going to pinch themselves and it won’t have happened,’’ said Keiji Kakogawa, 34, a social worker from Kyoto, central Japan, two days ago to search for a female friend who lives in a nearby coastal town that bore the brunt of the tsunami.

‘‘A few days ago they were asleep in their homes. Now everything has changed.’’

 

As someone who's been to Japan twice and always wanted to go back and has had a fascination and love affair with Japanese culture this is just breaking my heart.

 

 

ETA: and this just in...

 

 

Quote:

Japan has suspended operations to keep its stricken nuclear plant from melting down after surging radiation made it too dangerous for workers to stay.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said the workers dousing the reactors in a frantic effort to cool them needed to withdraw.

‘‘The workers cannot carry out even minimal work at the plant now,’’ Edano said. ‘‘Because of the radiation risk we are on standby,’’ he said.

----------------------------------

 

A US nuclear expert said he feared the worst.‘‘It’s more of a surrender,’’ said David Lochbaum, a nuclear engineer who now heads the nuclear safety program for the Union of Concerned Scientists, an activist group.

‘‘It’s not like you wait 10 days and the radiation goes away. In that 10 days things are going to get worse.’’

‘‘It’s basically a sign that there’s nothing left to do but throw in the towel,’’ Lochbaum said.

 

This sounds very much like we're moving from a Three Mile Island to a full blown Chernobyl. 

 

I don't have the words.


Edited by The Rain Dog - 3/15/11 at 10:32pm
post #25 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by yt View Post


 



I think as long as the nuclear, gas & oil and coal industries are making money and able to wield power in D.C., solar (and wind, geothermal and biomass) will never be allowed to get up and running.  And as long as those industries continue to make money, natural disasters will only grow in intensity and destruction, not that an earthquake/tsunami/nuclear crisis is a result of climate change, but presuming that other nuclear power plants won't be put in peril by natural disasters is just hubris. 


It depends on the country. Flooding is probably the main risk in countries like Germany or the UK, in which case build them in areas which aren't a flood risk. Zero chance of a major earthquake or tsunami in these countries. Or many others.
post #26 of 188

Those Facebook comments are just atrocious. More and more I'm losing faith in humankind possessing any decency whatsoever.

post #27 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rain Dog View Post

Quick question: Closer, would you have any issue whatsoever with living and raising a family in a house next to a nuclear power plant?



Probably not, but I wouldnt want to next to a coal power plant or oil refinery either.

 

 

post #28 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by yt View Post


 



I think as long as the nuclear, gas & oil and coal industries are making money and able to wield power in D.C., solar (and wind, geothermal and biomass) will never be allowed to get up and running.  And as long as those industries continue to make money, natural disasters will only grow in intensity and destruction, not that an earthquake/tsunami/nuclear crisis is a result of climate change, but presuming that other nuclear power plants won't be put in peril by natural disasters is just hubris. 



You're right on with the power/money thing.  Quick anecdote - you know how the problem with clean coal is that there's not much you can do with the byproduct (CO2, mercury, etc)?  A company we work with developed a relatively cost effective technology to take care of that...some new type of scrubber.  When they brought it to the industry here in the states, they were told to fuck off and that there was really no future for them here as they (the coal industry) could continue "paying for people to get elected."  Those were their exact words.

 

They're now in the process of building 2 of these clean coal facilities in China.

 

 

 

post #29 of 188

Two other forms of energy that we're attempting to move away from rather than embrace.

post #30 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Merriweather View Post

Two other forms of energy that we're attempting to move away from rather than embrace.



I know, but my point is that if you want to challenge the idea of nuclear power due to the cost, lack of solutions for the waste, etc that's fine.

 

It doesn't make sense to point to a plant in trouble after the one-two punch of a huge earthquake followed by an equally huge tsunami and go "See!  Nuclear power's dangerous!".  I dont even know what the odds are of both events directly hitting a nuclear power plant across the globe, but it's gotta be in the billions. 

 

As I mentioned above, until we get solar up and running I'd prefer nuclear over oil or coal.

 

 

post #31 of 188

What scares me more than anything about nuclear power is the unceasing efforts of the American right to de-regulate pretty much all energy industries.

post #32 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Closer View Post

It doesn't make sense to point to a plant in trouble after the one-two punch of a huge earthquake followed by an equally huge tsunami and go "See!  Nuclear power's dangerous!".  I dont even know what the odds are of both events directly hitting a nuclear power plant across the globe, but it's gotta be in the billions.

 


I think it's less to do with the fact that this exact same event could happen again and more to do with the fact that, had we as a planet pulled our fingers out and invested in alternatives a lot sooner, the destruction of Japan's coastal hydroelectric/solar/wind-based power plants would be a footnote to the tsunami story instead of four nuclear reactors getting ready to blow.

 

We're fucking with evil stuff when it comes to trying to harness nuclear power. There's been enough accidents and deaths and fuck-ups for this technology to be treated as the last resort is should be. Those who rush to defend nuclear energy in the wake of stuff like this come across like Arliss Howard in THE LOST WORLD - "Oh, we'll just make sure things like that don't happen again! We've got it all under control!"

 

post #33 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob Singer View Post

What scares me more than anything about nuclear power is the unceasing efforts of the American right to de-regulate pretty much all energy industries.



Bingo.  I'm fine with nuclear power.  As with everything else in this batshit country, it's the clowns that are left in charge that scare me shitless.

post #34 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Merriweather View Post




I think it's less to do with the fact that this exact same event could happen again and more to do with the fact that, had we as a planet pulled our fingers out and invested in alternatives a lot sooner, the destruction of Japan's coastal hydroelectric/solar/wind-based power plants would be a footnote to the tsunami story instead of four nuclear reactors getting ready to blow.

 

 

 

I dont think anybody is arguing that.  Unfortunately, it will take a major attack on or disruption of our oil resources until we change the status quo. 
 

 

post #35 of 188

It's unfortunate that one of the unavoidable necessities of electricity generation (whether it be nuclear, gas or coal) is a nearby source of inexhaustible water. The amount of excess heat generated by these plants (especially some of the big nukes) is enough to turn the entire site into a seething puddle of molten slag - which is why they are almost always situated on the coastline, or beside a sizable lake or river. 

 

This provides an added complication vis a vis nuclear as the water table is usually quite close to the surface - thus increasing the chances of a steam explosion and the subsequent dispersal of high-energy pollutants if the fuel rods are exposed, melt through the bottom of the containment vessel and then keep going.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluelouboyle View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by yt View Post


 



I think as long as the nuclear, gas & oil and coal industries are making money and able to wield power in D.C., solar (and wind, geothermal and biomass) will never be allowed to get up and running.  And as long as those industries continue to make money, natural disasters will only grow in intensity and destruction, not that an earthquake/tsunami/nuclear crisis is a result of climate change, but presuming that other nuclear power plants won't be put in peril by natural disasters is just hubris. 




It depends on the country. Flooding is probably the main risk in countries like Germany or the UK, in which case build them in areas which aren't a flood risk. Zero chance of a major earthquake or tsunami in these countries. Or many others.


 

post #36 of 188

I think regardless of whether this nuclear fisasco had occured or not, nuclear power is a scam and its also dangerous.  In the long run nuclear power plants comsume more resources than they give.  As Geof pointed out, its can take up to a hundred years to decomission a nuclear plant.  And of course, what about all the nuclear waste?  Energy companies have a proud history of dumping any and every toxic waste anywhere they can get away with.

post #37 of 188
Thread Starter 

I don't see how anybody can watch this unspeakable tragedy unfold and not be changed by it. 

 

People, nationally and on a local level, need to stand up to the culture of greed and say no more.  There are hundreds of thousands of jobs to be created and millions of lives and money to be saved if we do what Jimmy Carter declared we were going to do in the seventies and create a new energy policy that phases out these dirty, war-generating, destructive and murderous systems.  This isn't like one airplane exploding turning people off to flying, this is potentially like 500 planes exploding simultaneously. 

post #38 of 188
France dumps most of its nuclear waste into the Atlantic ocean.
post #39 of 188

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nabster View Post

France dumps most of its nuclear waste into the Atlantic ocean.



Everyone dumped their waste in the ocean in the past, they all stopped before 1985.


 

In other more truthful news, radioactive plume will reach California Friday.

 

 

Quote:
 

A United Nations forecast of the possible movement of the radioactive plume coming from crippled Japanese reactors shows it churning across the Pacific, and touching the Aleutian Islands on Thursday before hitting Southern California late Friday.

 

At a rail station in South Korea on Wednesday, passengers viewed news reports about Japan.

 

 

Health and nuclear experts emphasize that radiation in the plume will be diluted as it travels and, at worst, would have extremely minor health consequences in the United States, even if hints of it are ultimately detectable. In a similar way, radiation from the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 spread around the globe and reached the West Coast of the United States in 10 days, its levels measurable but minuscule.

 

 

post #40 of 188

Wow.  Narita airport is a ghost town today.  I feel like buying something from a shopkeeper just because I feel bad

 

post #41 of 188

And there's good ol' Frank, in the thick of things. Stay safe, fella, and give our regards to all our forces over there.

post #42 of 188
Are you helping with aid efforts, Frank? Good luck.

Anyone interested in up to date info, on this or any other conflict / disaster, check out war photographer Michael Yon's twitter. He has many contacts, including good relationship with General Patreus.

And now US nuclear officials are urging Japanese workers to go into the reactor and cool it down, acknowledging that it is a suicide mission. Jesus.
post #43 of 188

People use the word 'hero' far too flippantly these days. I'll give you guys the hot tip - here's what real heroes look like...

 

 

'Fukushima 50' becomes 300 as Japan launches fresh bid to stop nuclear meltdown

 

Quote:

More than 300 workers are racing to prevent a meltdown and spread of radiation at the crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi power station today, an increase from a core group of 50 engineers yesterday, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

Workers plan to connect a power line to start damaged cooling systems later today and intend to spray water on a damaged reactor from a cannon used by the police for riot control, Tepco spokesman Kaoru Yoshida said.

Helicopters doused 30 metric tons of water on pools used to cool spent uranium and platinum fuel rods.

No change in radiation levels were reported after four bombing runs, Kyodo News said citing Tepco.

Tokyo Electric’s failure to end the threat of radiation from the Fukushima plant has prompted governments including the U.K. and Germany to advise their citizens to consider leaving Tokyo.

The crisis has wiped 2.26 trillion yen ($29 billion) off Tepco’s market value since the March 11 quake, subsequent tsunami and a series of explosions and fires devastated the 40- year-old power station.

Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said today there is a possibility of no water at the No. 4 reactor’s spent fuel cooling pool.

The agency has detected no smoke or steam rising from the reactor, spokesman Hidehiko Nishiyama said.

Exposure of spent fuel rods to air ‘‘could result in fracturing of the fuel rod cladding and escape of dangerous radioactive fission products’’ such as iodine-131, cesium-137 and strontium-90, said Stephen Lincoln, an environmental chemist at the University of Adelaide.

 All water in the No. 4 reactor’s spent-fuel pond has drained, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko told a congressional panel in Washington yesterday.

Fuel rods stored in three reactors at the Tokyo Electric plant are exposed and releasing radiation, Yukiya Amano, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said in Vienna before departing for Tokyo. The plant has six reactors, three of which have been damaged by explosions following the March 11 quake.

 

post #44 of 188

A heartbreaking story about a stranded Dog who refused to leave his friend behind.

 

post #45 of 188

I cannot get a straight story on the cooling attempts.  Most American news stories are basically saying we need to give up.  Other stories say that they are now sending in 300 people instead of 50.  What is going on with the power line that was put up to power up the cooling systems?  That was supposed to be a bright spot on an otherwise dark situation, but it seems that that prospect is no longer an option?

post #46 of 188

Felix: I read an update that said both dogs have been rescued and are receiving veterinary treatment.

post #47 of 188
Thread Starter 

Everything I've been hearing this morning is that they're continuing dousing them using water cannons and some helicopters. Some scientists are saying they will need to hit it with sand and concrete as with Chernobyl.

 

The dog story does have a happy ending, thank God!  I couldn't even watch the video until I learned they'd been rescued.  The video shows how extraordinary dogs are! 

 

UPDATE: CNN and the UK Telegraph have both reported that the dogs have been rescued since the footage aired, and are both receiving veterinary care; the more seriously wounded dog is at a clinic in the city of Mito, while the protective spaniel-type dog is receiving care at a shelter in the same town.

Here is an English translation of the voiceover exchange between the two reporters in the clip (translation courtesy of Toshiyuki Kitamura):

We are in Arahama area. Looks like there is a dog. There is a dog. He looks tired and dirty. He must have been caught in the tsunami. He looks very dirty.

He has a collar. He must be someone's pet. He has a silver collar. He is shaking. He seems very afraid.

Oh, there is another dog. I wonder if he is dead.

Where?

Right there. There is another dog right next to the one sitting down. He is not moving. I wonder. I wonder if he is alright.

The dog is protecting him.

Yes. He is protecting the dog. That is why he did not want us to approach them. He was trying to keep us at bay.

I can't watch this. This is a very difficult to watch.

Oh. Look. He is moving. He is alive. I am so happy to see that he is alive.

Yes! Yes! He is alive.

He looks to be weakened. We need to them to be rescued soon. We really want them rescued soon.

 

Oh good. He's getting up.

 

It is amazing how they survived the tremendous earthquake and tsunami. It's just amazing that they survived through this all.

 

 

 

 

post #48 of 188


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snaieke View Post

Quote:



Everyone dumped their waste in the ocean in the past, they all stopped before 1985.


 

In other more truthful news, radioactive plume will reach California Friday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Yes: nuclear waste. As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died. Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy to Somalia, tells me: “Somebody is dumping nuclear material here. There is also lead, and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury – you name it.” Much of it can be traced back to European hospitals and factories, who seem to be passing it on to the Italian mafia to “dispose” of cheaply. When I asked Ould-Abdallah what European governments were doing about it, he said with a sigh: “Nothing. There has been no clean-up, no compensation, and no prevention.”
 

The eight Enea managers are suspected of paying the mobsters to get rid of 600 drums of toxic and radioactive waste from Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, and the US, with Somalia as the destination lined up by the traffickers.

These activities took place in the 1980s and 1990s.

 

They still dump waste in oceans.

 

France has also been caught illegally dumping nuclear waste in the English channel, and recently illegally dumping the waste in Serbia.  As all this illegal dumping proves, they may or may not have stopped dumping in the Atlantic Ocean.  Some American environmental expert and activist on Aljazeera claims France still dumps waste in the Atlantic ocean.  To think the Atlantic ocean ban is the end of the problem is very naive.


Edited by Nabster - 3/17/11 at 7:51pm
post #49 of 188

Ann Coulter to Bill O’Reilly: ‘Radiation Is Actually Good for You’ 

 

Wow, I never thought I'd see O'Reilly being the voice of reason.

post #50 of 188

She is just adorable. If I looked out the window of my plane and saw her tearing shit off the wing, I'd smile to myself for at LEAST ten seconds before freaking the fuck out.

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