Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 12, 2011

Quake Aftermath

It seems that the severe quake and the huge tsunami were rather small trouble compared to what is coming now:

NEWS ADVISORY: Shaking felt immediately before explosion at Fukushima nuke plant (17:23) FLASH: Explosion occurs at Fukushima nuke plant, 4 injured: Tokyo Electric (17:14)

It seems (video) that some containment of Fukoshima 1 has ruptured.

But of course we all know that nuclear energy plants are safe ... until they are not.

Posted by b on March 12, 2011 at 8:36 UTC | Permalink

Comments

URGENT: Cooling system fails at Fukushima No. 2 plant | Kyodo News

The cooling system failed at three reactors of the quake-hit Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant Saturday, the operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

The company, which has already scrambled to deal with radiation leaks at its Fukushima No. 1 plant, notified the industry ministry that the failsafe system at the No. 2 plant stopped functioning as the temperature of coolant water has topped 100 C.

Posted by: Fran | Mar 12 2011 10:40 utc | 1

1. Government, media and specialists are trying to downplaying that explosion and subsequent leaking. Footage seen around 4PM on TBS network shows a pretty huge blast - subsequent images on NHK & others show that the whole outer wall of the Daiichi building is blown away. Tepco is the owner of the plant and has a reputation for cover-up and flat-out lying (the nuke plant that was damaged in the Niigata quake 2 years ago or so build on a fault that they 'didn't know' existed...).

2. the nuclear industry is already in some panic mode:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/12/us-nuclear-japan-idUSTRE72B0O920110312

Posted by: Philippe | Mar 12 2011 12:28 utc | 2

The Japanese officials and media are playing down the issue. Russia today constantly repeats the obvious explosion of a complete containment building while NHK world, the Japanese CNN affiliate, for the last hours shows mostly flood damage.

Also this very recent news item from Kyodonews is obviously wrong.

Explosion did not occur at Fukushima reactor: Japan spokesman

TOKYO, March 12, Kyodo

Japanese authorities have confirmed there was an explosion at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant Saturday afternoon but it did not occur at its troubled No. 1 reactor, top government spokesman Yukio Edano said.

The chief Cabinet secretary also told an urgent press conference that the operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., has confirmed there is no damage to the steel container housing the reactor.

Edano said the 3:36 p.m. explosion resulted in the roof and the walls of the building housing the reactor's container being blown away.

The authorities expanded an evacuation area for all local residents from a 10-kilometer radius of the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 plants to a 20-km radius.

Officials of Japan's nuclear safety agency also said after examination that they believe there has been no serious damage to the container of the No. 1 reactor, judging from the latest radiation data monitored around the facility.

Posted by: b | Mar 12 2011 12:45 utc | 3

There's good video on the BBC.

It shows an initial extremely rapid gas explosion, followed by the cloud of smoke.

It's impossible to see whether the reactor container is damaged.

Posted by: alexno | Mar 12 2011 13:24 utc | 4

I believe that the MSM, for quite some time now, is what the West during the Cold War arrogantly accused Pravda of being, and rightfully so. We are heading full steam ahead into an era of one calamity after another, and the MSM will downplay each in a futile attempt to keep The Consuming Masses calm. Increasingly though, observations IRL will not match what is being reported, and even the sheep will miraculously come to realize that the shepherd is really the wolf in shepherd's clothing.

We're fucked, folks. It's that plain....and simple. The web is tangled, it can't be undone.

http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_59795.shtml

As reported by the UK,8 Wales,9 and France,10 operating the EPR under one mode of operation is a danger akin to another Chernobyl. From documents leaked by an EDF insider, we learn the experimental EPR is prone to a major - and deadly serious nuclear catastrophe.

As reported by the French group which includes nuclear physicists, "Sortir du Nucleaire," (The French Network for Nuclear Phase-Out)11 according to calculations by both AREVA and EDF, the EPR reactor is essentially a nuclear accident just waiting to happen.

In short, when the EPR is placed in the Instant Return to Power control mode while in low-power, this and the control rod configuration can cause the control rod clusters to be ejected during operation, creating both a rupture of the control rod drive casing and a high rate of broken fuel rods. This rupture would cause the reactor's coolant to leak outside the nuclear vessel, creating a high risk of a critical, major nuclear accident, resulting in mass dispersion of deadly radionuclides in the atmosphere - radioactive poisons that would spread in the air and water throughout the world.

Documents on the Sortir du Nucleaire website prove this very Chernobyl-like explosive risk is motivated by the desire to provide an economic justification for the construction of the EPR. In other words, in order to generate power that adapts to economic demand, (i.e., make more money) when the reactor power is handled in the extremely brutal manner by changing low-power operation to a rapid increase caused by amping up the power using the Instant Return to Power mode, this creates a severe operating hazard for the EPR.

And the worst part of all? What almost defies belief is that the French state (i.e., EDF and AREVA) is keenly aware of this lethal design(!) as it has reportedly tried to correct this dangerous flaw. It apparently matters not that these efforts have been unsuccessful to date, as amoral agreements made for the construction of new EPRs only continue.

With regard to the French experimental reactor slated to be built throughout the world, in an interview, Bob Nichols,12 a San Francisco-based writer specializing in ionizing radiation stated, "The French designed EPR or Experimental Pressure Reactor is a guaranteed "Chernobyl in a Box" when operated by the book, just as directed by the French State owned manufacturer. It is a strictly physics-ignorant political decision by French President Sarkozy - the little man who would destroy life on earth."

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 12 2011 13:32 utc | 5

It sure sounds really fishy that everything is going from bad to worse and when the external container structure collapses everything goes back to 'normal'.

How are they supposed to be cooling now the core, contained or not inside the internal steel vessel, with all the nuclear plant basically destroyed?

Also there are continuous quakes in the area on a structure that we could at least say has been 'weakened'.

Posted by: ThePaper | Mar 12 2011 13:37 utc | 6

Did the technician ever stay in the room with you when you got an X-ray?

That’s all you need to know about nuclear energy

Posted by: Watson | Mar 12 2011 14:20 utc | 7

Great Russia Today interview with a very knowledgeable individual about Nuclear Power and its implications. Insanity. We live and operate in an absolutely insane system.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qk6q4stRY8Q&feature=player_embedded

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 12 2011 15:03 utc | 8

All the MSM are now declaring that there's no longer any danger of a radioactive leak. Wasn't that how Chernobyl went? The Soviets declared for days that there was no danger.

Posted by: alexno | Mar 12 2011 16:24 utc | 9

TimeOutTokyo tweeted:

NHK suggesting that people in the area should clean themselves thoroughly and wear long sleeves. Avoid eating food grown outdoors.

I gather from a friend that the earthquake phone app warnings are going off constantly and the ground keeps shaking.
TimeOutTokyo also tweeted:
About those pre-quake apps - don't download them if you don't like having the life scared out of you!

and that the nuclear reactor (about 3 hours ago)
container will be full of sea water and boric acid within an hour.

Posted by: xcroc | Mar 12 2011 17:42 utc | 10

concerned scientists

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 12 2011 20:15 utc | 11

They have been trying to keep it quite through the night but it's getting worse. Reactor number 3 is also in danger. And slow confirmation that there was radiation released. I wonder how big the problems are and when we will actually know about the 'gory' details.

Reuters reports that the Fukushima nuclear plant has also lost the emergency cooling system at its No 3 reactor, according to the Japan Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. This requires the facility to urgently secure a means to supply water to the reactor a Japanese official said. The safety agency also warned that the number of individuals exposed to radiation from the plant could reach as high as 160.

Meanwhile Associated Press is reporting the International Atomic Energy Agency as saying that Japan is evacuating 170,000 people from the area around the Fukushima nuclear plant.

Posted by: ThePaper | Mar 12 2011 22:52 utc | 12


Agreeing w/ M Bama's thoughts @#5

Nuclear Plant TV Expert of The Week

map of potential fallout from fukushima...

they took it down... wonder why.


Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 13 2011 0:25 utc | 13

Safety

Nuclear safety is, of course, an oxymoron. Nuclear reactors are inherently dangerous, vulnerable to accident with the potential for catastrophic consequences to health and the environment if enough radioactivity escapes. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Congressionally-mandated to protect public safety, is a blatant lapdog bowing to the financial priorities of the nuclear industry
.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 13 2011 0:38 utc | 14

@b, comment 3
Me thinks something got lost in translation… At the press conference (as seen on NHK), what he said was that the explosion affected the building, not the reactor housing inside the building (that is what my partner, native Japanese understood as well).

At the moment I'm under the impression that the government is trying to avoid panic to insure a smooth evacuation of as many people as possible - not a mean feat, given the massive damage in the area. There is lots of fear mongering in the media, but that is not to say that situation is not extremely critical of course. And comments on Japanese TV this AM imply that Tepco (operator of the plant) was 'lacks in maintenance work'.

Some decent links on armscontrolwonk.

BTW - picture from the affected building, as released by Tepco, via the Reuters live blog.

Posted by: Philippe | Mar 13 2011 1:00 utc | 15

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 13 2011 1:00 utc | 16

It's all cool nothing to worry about, as this AP report in this afternoon's fishwrap says: "Workers have been desperately dousing a nuclear reactor with seawater to prevent it overheating, and causing an explosion that could wipe Japan off the map."

All we need is a good solid westerly and the world problems ie amerika, will disappear under a cloud of thermo nuclear detritus. Of course an easterly wind will fuck China & prolly Russia, a northerly should waste most of europe and a southerly will blow right up my ass so haul out the shamans, roll the bones, & dance the tempest tango.
The containment building blew to smithereens when hydrogen which was mixed in with the steam that was vented as the reactor passed the 3rd or 4th "danger point" of too much pressure from overheated gas, combined with oxygen in the atmosphere.

The hydrogen apparently is a result of a reaction which occurs at 1200° Celsius. The super heated steam (although maybe water is is still liquid at the pressures we are considering in the reactor vessel) combines with zirconium in the fuel rod casings to form some oxide of zirconium, which naturally enough frees up the hydrogen within the water.

The engineers knew that venting the reactor would release steam with free hydrogen inside, meaning they knew there was going to be a massive explosion but went ahead anyway cause the alternative was worse, that is to say if they hadn't reduced the pressure the temperature would have climbed to 2200° C at which point the uranium fuel melts causing the much hyped back when peeps worried about such things "China Syndrome". The uranium is so hot it keeps melting through the earth all the way until it gets to the other side. Except of course most likely gravity would hold this big mob of highly concentrated uranium in the planet's core, poisoning everything. Well maybe not but certainly the molten uranium would lay waste to a considerable chunk of the planet as it pushed its way around underground.

These lying toads are still trying to keep a lid on the whole mess, in the hope that if the disaster in Japan doesn't kill us all they can play down the incident and get back to the program of building mobs more potential disasters across the planet.

The nuclear industry must be cursing and gnashing, Oblamblam was all systems go for more nuclear power stations as was China and bits of western europe.
These toerags built nuclear power stations right across fault lines all over the globe, & they know that an earthquake of sufficient size could wipe the planet clean if a reactor was caught in a quake but they built it anyway cause why worry past next quarter's profit? Good old whitefella greed will kill us all. "Lets have it all today and fuck tomorrow eh!"

Everything that has happened thus far will prolly put paid to that, once the real story is out, as it inevitably will be. Still they only need to pull their heads in for a decade and jack oil prices to the point that the amnesiac hoi polloi begin whining about having to walk to the corner store, then they will drag out the plans for more nuclear power stations.
And if the last ditch attempt to cool the reactor with sea water fails as it seems to be doing, we are all fucked.
As that Associated Press story finished up:
"many first responders would die."

Posted by: Debs is dead | Mar 13 2011 1:03 utc | 17

thanks debs for yr clarity

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 13 2011 1:11 utc | 18

@Debs...yes, but you're giving the 'short, sharp shock' version.

I see a very slow and brutal disaster ahead. This is likely to poison the fisheries of the northeast Pacific. Incredible famine for eastern Asia and Russia is in the making (may already be inevitable?).

There's something about this that tickles my paranoia. Radiation very easily destroys the reproductive organs of all life forms. Depleted uranium in Iraq and elsewhere, possible use of nuclear bombs in Afghanistan, and now this. And how did they (the French) manage to sell this 'lemon' of a reactor design to, of all people, the Japanese? And build it in an area with little or no natural protection from a tsunami? WTF!?!?! I've probably read too much SciFi (especially Niven, Herbert, Vonnegut), but this is more than a little freaky.

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Mar 13 2011 2:33 utc | 19

I've been trying to figure out all day just how close to the truth of Fukushima (Fuk U Shima [hot sexy and oh so tempting]) I could get considering the "lying toads … still trying to keep a lid on the whole mess" The only time they tell the truth is when it just happens to coincide with their agenda.

Much gratitude Debs. You, in your often times erudite way, just clarified the whole mess for me. Whether accurate or not, you captured the essence and the inherent disaster potential.

750 rads in 10 days in my area and yours Uncle. I tried to make sense of the conversions of rads to effective biological repercussions and came up with somewhere between "a 1 in 50 chance of later in life cancer" and "risk of death within weeks" but what the fuck does it all mean anyway. "Lets have it all today and fuck tomorrow eh!" I think I'll drive back to Vermont earlier than I planned.

If this whole event turns to be only a warning, will the PTB have learned anything and will anything change? I doubt it. So we'll just continue to sit around and keep fucking tomorrow while swimming deep in de Nile. Do the Egyptians have any lesson for us? Not that we in amerika will ever learn until the last available instant. Arraggh!

Posted by: juannie | Mar 13 2011 2:54 utc | 20

@giap, Yeah well I thought this particular 'hot button issue' de jour is sufficiently important for any human anywhere to mull on without feeling in the least voyeuristic n my rewording was designed to try and explain the stark realities that could happen over the next day or so without burying the whole thing in jargon designed to confuse.

Dr Yueh is prolly correct that the long term effects could be worse than what does happen in the next 12 hours or whatever, but the short term issues are the ones we need to be aware of now, cause if they do eventuate it is truly gonna be each to his own.

At least some of the long term effects may be able to be mitigated with a bit of planning. If this shit does seep into the atmosphere and ocean as is likely; most of us older humans won't last long.
So we are prolly rooted but not so my kids and their peers who may survive the pollution effects if they can access the actual facts of what happened and develop protocols about what food they can grow & eat.

For me I don't really care which company built the power station because AFAIK any & all of the nuclear engineering corporations are capable of committing this crime against nature. The company that did build it is little more than the unlucky winner of a demonic lottery.
I for one don't believe it is possible to build a 'safe' nuclear power station.
I have a schoolmate who chose to become a nuclear physicist and he just couldn't understand why it was I and others considered his career choice worthy of vehement approbation. He currently works at some french lab which has a research project at the particle accelerator in Lucerne Switzerland.
For himself, he imagines he is an abstract scientist, doesn't see that there are still only two major uses for his research. They are to build bigger and more efficient bombs, or to design 'better' power stations which are neither foolproof from natural events such an earthquake or cyclone, nor are they 'clean' - since the by-product of nuclear power generation inevitably includes plutonium.

The industry was founded on deception, swot up on the manhatten project, anyone who is interested and you will see that the secrecy and lies used to cover the secrets, went far beyond what was neccessary to fool the nazis or nips. In fact it doesn't take nuch cogitating before one considers whether the decision to bomb two Japanese population centers was really made to save casualties, or so that the new empire could show the world the size of it's radioactive phallus compensatory device.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Mar 13 2011 3:30 utc | 21

/fallout Wiki


Rads Level Effect
0-199 No Effect
200-399 Minor Radiation Poisoning -1 END
400-599 Advanced Radiation Poisoning -2 END, -1 AGL
600-799 Critical Radiation Poisoning -3 END, -2 AGL, -1 STR
800-999 Deadly Radiation Poisoning -3 END, -2 AGL, -2 STR
1000+ Fatal Radiation Poisoning DEATH (HP: -10,000)

So... just in case, here the courtesy link to Travelocity.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 13 2011 4:45 utc | 23

Japan says partial meltdown likely at 2nd reactor

Japan's top government spokesman says a partial meltdown is likely under way at second reactor affected by Friday's massive earthquake.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 13 2011 4:55 utc | 24

Atom kraften, nej tak.

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 13 2011 5:05 utc | 25

http://tinyurl.com/4nfrg7g

Posted by: denk | Mar 13 2011 5:28 utc | 26

This thread at The Agonist has a good cut-away picture of the reactor. Also found in the thread is this link to businessinsider.com with satellite photos post-blowout.

At the businessinsider site, there is a comment that says one of the largest dams in Japan has been destroyed. Anyone know about this?

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Mar 13 2011 5:59 utc | 27

fly on wall. speechless. uncle's link covers my area. debs...argh.

squeak, too scared to scream...

Posted by: annie | Mar 13 2011 6:47 utc | 28

Running updates at a BradBlog thread - he's drawing from many sources, some of which are suspect (he notes this).

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Mar 13 2011 7:40 utc | 29

re the dam, it is not the tallest dam (Kurobe) in Japan rather one called Sukagawa further inland in Fukushima Prefecture. this is the best I can find

Posted by: dan of steele | Mar 13 2011 8:10 utc | 30

It sounds so inoccuous, almost natural, this "drawing seawater in an attempt to cool off the overheated uranium fuel rods" surely the ocean can fix this. Then of course one ponders; How have they had time to build a massive say 20 million litre, 3 metre thick concrete, lead-lined tank to hold the dirty sea water after it has been sent swirling through the fuel rods, cooling them down. Remember we know that there is contact between the coolant and the fuel rods because that is what caused the zirconium oxidation and resultant hydrogen dissipation then explosion.
I think we have to assume the coolant is being allowed to flow back into the sea.
Some angst ridden engineer desperate to fix his immediate problem may have created a much larger problem further down the track. Oh goody!
"There was an old lady who swallowed a fly, I dunno why she swallowed that fly, perhaps she'll die".
Nah fuck off all she needs to do now is swallow a spider.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Mar 13 2011 8:24 utc | 31

Tsunami, before and after (abc.net.au)

Debs @comment 31 - They're trying to push the water through the normal cooling system.

Posted by: Philippe | Mar 13 2011 8:46 utc | 32

"Containment Venting as a Mitigiation for BWR MARK-I Plants" (1987)
Paper describing why and how venting of over-pressurized containment leads to build up of steam inside the reactor building, and concluding that generally venting doesn't do to much good.

Ironically, the suppression pool (the doughnut-shaped ring) was designed to eliminate the need for venting, as the water in should have automagically condensed the steam. Later the engineers found out things don't work this way (the article says all Mark-I reactors have been retrofitted with lines to vent over the exhaust stack; the steam in Daiichi obviously did not take this route).

Some more background links:

Containment Structures (BWR/Mark-I on 13ff)
Description of BWR's (includes description of the different cooling systems)

The media seems to be quite confused about the technical side here, for example CNN attaches a visualization of PWR'S, showing a second cooling loop not present at the BWRs in Fukushima.

Posted by: Lex | Mar 13 2011 12:39 utc | 33

The media description of what is actually technically happening are mostly bad. I found this one quite good, though a tad too optimistic and it still gets two or three details wrong. Going forward there are still several things that could go wrong and lead to an even messier situation. Why I am not worried about Japan’s nuclear reactorsBut it will not be a second Chernobyl.

Posted by: b | Mar 13 2011 17:49 utc | 34

Wow, that's rich. B's link asserts that the media is scaremongering, and overplaying the event. My take is that it is quite the opposite. Wouldn't a Nuclear Physicist's job at MIT depend on him allaying any fears about nuclear power? Consider conflicts of interest.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 13 2011 18:11 utc | 35

Thanks for the info b.

Posted by: Ben | Mar 13 2011 18:35 utc | 36

Another good post similar to b's- Link

Posted by: Biklett | Mar 13 2011 19:24 utc | 37

Sorry B I cannot accept the blithe remarks of an industry player determined to overwhelm the ignorant with anodyne blandishments.
The line where he alleges that the 'activated' (industry codeword for radioactive) cesium will be carried away :"The Cesium and Iodine isotopes were carried out to the sea and will never be seen again." really gets my goat because they will be seen again as they re concentrate moving up through the ocean's food chain.

But that is minor in comparison to the larger issue of the use of seawater.
The article did nothing to allay my concerns about that, the author did not address a number of issues concerning the use of seawater. The first is why use it? The only reason I can think of is that with the cooling systems broken normal volumes of water cannot be used because they are not sufficiently cool. That is to say the same water can no longer be recirculated through the system so seawater is being used because it is available in large volume.
So what happens to all of that sea water. The nuclear physicist claims that this water is being processed in the normal way and any radioactive molecules are 'cleaned out' somehow . Even leaving to one side how that can be happening with the large volume of water, there is a much more serious and potentially dangerous problem with the use of sea water..

By his own admission the author doesn't know which or how many of the several cooling systems is having seawater pumped through it but does concede that the power station prefers to use demineralised water so that the range of substances which can be made radioactive is reduced down to those which he claims are 'harmless' because the decay is so fast.

That is not the case with sea water. Sea water is absolutely chocka with a huge number of elements as salts. (See “A fresh look at element distribution in the North Pacific” Yoshiyuki Nozaki, Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Japan)

This includes most of the metals many of which have a radioactive half life of considerably longer than a few seconds. More like many years. Physicists will argue that these metals only occur in low concentrations or that they are 'filtered out' using normal processes, but it is doubtful that a power station struggling to keep its core sufficiently cool is going to have the resources to separate a vast range of different metal salts out of a large volume of seawater.

As for the concentrations well ask the peeps around the South Pacific about how they discovered that the physicists lies about low concentrations of radioactive isotopes from nuclear testing were lies. Because of the way that natural organisms concentrate metals in their bodies, when many smaller creatures get eaten by a larger one the radioactive metals in each of many creatures then concentrate in the body of the animal that ate them all. Up the food chain goes the poison until it gets into an animal large enough for humans to eat, by which time the efforts of the plankton, corals and crustaceans to hold the poison inside themselves have all been distilled to the organs of the animal that is eaten by us.

We saw blokes like 'doctor' Oehmen lie and lie and lie. All through the 60's and 70's as the background levels of radiation in the atmosphere of the South Pacific rose and rose, the only response from the nuclear physicists like Oehmen was to tell us that radioactivity was 'safer' than first thought. That meant the 'National Radiation Laboratory' would double the 'safety' threshold. Atmospheric and nutritional safety margins were doubled on an almost annual basis throughout those decades throughout the South Pacific.

As I wrote above, about the only business for nuclear physicists is nuclear power or nuclear bombs. There are no independent academic researchers in any university anymore. The 80's reaganism in amerika and thatcherism in england saw to it that research grants were tied to commercial success. If the nuclear industry doesn't get more reactors up, they will lose funding and even MIT engineers like Oehmen will be out of a job. How can he be objective or impartial?

The bomb gig isn't paying so well anymore so all efforts of the last decade have been aimed at selling nuclear power as an environmentally safe alternative energy source.

It isn't safe, cannot be safe no matter how many safeguards are put in because concentrations of radioactivity of the size needed to generate power are fundamentally dangerous. Humans are not good at predicting future events, they rely on projecting past history into the future. This power station was built to withstand the largest known earthquake in Japan, but was insufficient for the earthquake Japan got on friday that was more powerful than the history had showed earthquakes to be.
Then a huge tsunami hit causing further damage, what will happen if an another aftershock close to the earth's surface and powerful enough to stress the containments more, occurs before the reactor has been shut down?
There is no way that this physicist or any other nuclear industry player can guarantee the safety of these designs 100%. Considering the dreadful consequences if a reactor's core does become exposed, that plain reality means that we are crazy to consider the construction of any nuclear power station anywhere.

Maybe there is a schoolteacher in Tokyo whose mum is concerned about the dangers her daughter may be in, but I suspect that this 'instant blog' will turn out to be the first of many lines the nuclear industry throws out as they attempt to spin up their industry and recover the status that nuclear physicists/engineers once had.
The author of that PR crap goes out of his way to denigrate the rest of the population for being ignorant, or spreading lies, even though it is his industry which had prevaricated, deceived and withheld facts about most aspects of their field of study for a century.
Ask the blackfellas of South Australia which Oehmen's predecessors considered as being not human, when the english nuclear scientists desperate to try out their theories for real told the world the area they had deliberately spread radioactivity from asshole to breakfast in, then detonated nuclear devices within, was 'empty' of humans. Ask the Polynesian People of the South Pacific who copped a double whammy first from the amerikan tests at Bikini in the Marshall Islands, (now a forced colony of amerika all the responsibilities none of the rights), then from the french at Muroroa in 'french' Polynesia (currently a suburb of paris don't ask me how that works but it certainly keeps brownfellas out of real power). Ask them how many of these smarmy attempts to brow beat citizens with condescension disguised as science they have had fed to em. Then ask yourself if you believe the assholes who seem to have have control of most money and resources nowadays would hesitate to treat any humans anywhere in the 21st century, the same way as the colonisers used to treat indigenous people of the areas they sought to conquer.
You know it is true, that the great globalist project has created equality amongst all humans, not by raising the rights and privileges of all humans to those of the so called developed nations, but by pushing the bulk of humans in the developed nations down to the same level of oppression and ignorance as humans in the third world.

We are going to get so much of this PR tripe for the next year most of us will turn off, which exactly suits the suits.

These pricks lied through their teeth when they were regarded as being the supreme embodiment of scientific endeavour, how will they respond as they try to lift the status of an occupation widely regarded as the moral equivalent of a concentration camp commandant?
With honesty? or more PR bulldust? nah don't answer.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Mar 13 2011 21:03 utc | 38

Amen Debs

re denk's link at #26: Lies, Lies and More Lies. Puts the MSM PR in perspective.

If you want the official lowdown on this event then read Malcolm Crick, Secretary of the U.N. Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation: Japan nuclear health risks low, won't blow abroad

If you want to read worst case scenario from the fear mongers then try:
West Coast USA Danger IF Japan Nuclear Reactor Meltdown

...
The prevailing jet stream winds are blowing from Japan directly across the Pacific ocean to the west coast of the United States. Any airborne radiation would make its way across with the jet stream, reaching the U.S. in approximately 36 hours, depending on the actual speed of the jet.


Update, 13-Mar-2011, 2200 UTC
There is now a virtual blackout on the situation around Fukushima Japan due to the 20 km (13 miles) evacuation zone, which I’ve determined to mean a 10 km radius (20 mile diameter) zone. The only new information will come from government filtered statements, or someone working on the disaster who leaks out information.

The only new real information that has come out lately, and it’s not good news, is that the Reactor No. 3 at Fukushima is different from Reactor No. 1 in that it uses some amount of ‘MOX‘ fuel, also known as Mixed Oxide – meaning uranium mixed with plutonium. The plutonium itself evidently comes from decommissioned or surplus weapons-grade material, which would otherwise have been disposed of as nuclear waste.

“IF” Reactor No. 3 were to meltdown completely and release into the environment by either an explosion or otherwise, the fact that there is plutonium in the mix would make the disaster even worse. Much worse. (working on more facts about this)

Who knows? But what we do know is that, as Debs points out, there is a plethora of history when "These pricks lied through their teeth…"

Posted by: juannie | Mar 13 2011 22:50 utc | 39

Debs, Oehmen is by no means qualified as "nuclear physicist" (includes publications):
http://www.lim.ethz.ch/personen/Oehmen/index_EN

Posted by: Lex | Mar 13 2011 22:55 utc | 40

1. Is there some good news - that they were able to shut down the affected reactors before their cooling systems failed?

2. The tragedy in Japan has stolen some airtime from CNN’s campaign for US/NATO military intervention in Libya.

Posted by: Watson | Mar 13 2011 23:39 utc | 41

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/13/nuclear-turn-away-loss-japan

"Sometimes stating the obvious is sensible. There are a score of good reasons why Japan's nuclear disaster should not scare the world away from atomic power and a bad one why it will. But bad reasoning can cast out rationality. When nuclear plants go bang on live television – however unrepeatable the causes and controllable the consequences – all the industry's promises about safety and economic logic, and all the arguments for the necessity of building plants to mitigate climate change, are blown away in a scary cloud of caesium dust."

tick tok

Posted by: noiseannoys | Mar 14 2011 1:23 utc | 42

huge explosion - bigger than reactor 1

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 14 2011 4:05 utc | 43

Natorigawa River TSUNAMI Earthquake in Japan

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 14 2011 5:06 utc | 44

FWIW1 - deconstruction of that article linked by b. in comment 34.

When I first read that article last night, it sounded interesting and rational, until I saw the links to other resources (all pro nukes). And that guy is not in the field.
(and yeah, I'm as appalled as anyone at the amount of des-info in the MSM feels like the Jpn tv networks are a heaven or sanity, not something I would usually say…

FWIW2 - the Jpn government is not hiding the fact that the situation is pretty bad for all reactors at both Fukushima plants (contrary to what some non-jpn media say.

FWIW3 - Brians link in comment 45 and 46 is bulls**** (did you really need to link to that article twice - waste of bytes during transfer/ loading of the page, remember that about saving energy ?).

FWIW4 the short term environment disaster doesn't come from the Fukushima nukes but the huge fire in teh Chiba Cosmo oil plant, and all the damage caused by destroyed cars. Long term, yeah..., not a pretty picture.

Posted by: Philippe | Mar 14 2011 7:38 utc | 45

I have deleted several comments by "brian" on this thread. He seems to have a chronic case of commenting incontinence. Please ignore his further comments as I will remove them as soon as I see them.

Posted by: b | Mar 14 2011 12:54 utc | 46

Two videos of the tsunami hitting.

A 15 minutes helicopter view which can be watched in HD Natorigawa River TSUNAMI Earthquake in Japan

A 6 minutes on the ground video from Miyagi

The people had hardly any chance to escape.

Posted by: b | Mar 14 2011 13:52 utc | 47

From the BBC liveticker this doesn't give much confidence in what is happening:

#
1531: Japanese broadcaster NHK is saying that pressure inside reactor 2 at Fukushima rose suddenly when the air flow gauge was "accidentally" turned off. That blocked the flow of water into the reactor leading to full exposure of the rods, it says. That report has not been confirmed.

Posted by: b | Mar 14 2011 15:40 utc | 48

FOX News reports:
Japan: It’s Likely Meltdown is Underway in Three Reactors

Jon Scott just reported that Japanese officials are saying the nuclear fuel rods appear to be melting inside all three of the most troubled nuclear reactors. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said, “Although we cannot directly check it, it’s highly likely happening.”

Posted by: juannie | Mar 14 2011 15:49 utc | 49

"Foxnews Insider Beta"

Quite a catch there, juannie

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 14 2011 16:09 utc | 50

I sent this to my sister who lives in Portland.

Do not listen to the Mainstream News about the Nuclear situation in Japan. It is out of control, and shortly a nuclear cloud could possibly be heading your way. You should see your physician friend and procure some Potassium Iodide (KI) just in case. She will know what you are talking about and what dosage you should take, and when you should take it. Do not take it unless radiation levels in your area reach a certain threshold, otherwise it can destroy your thyroid. KI prevents the thyroid from concentrating radiation, so it is a powerful defense against otherwise non-life threatening radiation levels.

Stay alert, and don’t trust the MSM. Be prepared for the worst, and hope for the best.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 14 2011 17:02 utc | 51


The London Standard

Dickheads etc

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Mar 14 2011 17:51 utc | 52

This footage is horrifying

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Mar 14 2011 17:58 utc | 53

Were a substantial number of people able to evacuate the coastal areas in northeastern Japan before the tsunami struck?

Posted by: Watson | Mar 14 2011 18:11 utc | 54

The reactor cores are worrisome, but, as this CounterPunch article lays out, it's the non-kablammo ancillary stuff that can be more of a problem:


There remain a number of major uncertainties about the situation's stability and many questions about what might happen next. Along with the struggle to cool the reactors is the potential danger from an inability to cool Fukushima's spent nuclear fuel pools. They contain very large concentrations of radioactivity, can catch fire, and are in much more vulnerable buildings. The ponds, typically rectangular basins about 40 feet deep, are made of reinforced concrete walls four to five feet thick lined with stainless steel.

The boiling-water reactors at Fukushima — 40 years old and designed by General Electric — have spent fuel pools several stories above ground adjacent to the top of the reactor. The hydrogen explosion may have blown off the roof covering the pool, as it's not under containment. The pool requires water circulation to remove decay heat. If this doesn't happen, the water will evaporate and possibly boil off. If a pool wall or support is compromised, then drainage is a concern. Once the water drops to around 5-6 feet above the assemblies, dose rates could be life-threatening near the reactor building. If significant drainage occurs, after several hours the zirconium cladding around the irradiated uranium could ignite.

Then all bets are off.

On average, spent fuel ponds hold five-to-ten times more long-lived radioactivity than a reactor core. Particularly worrisome is the large amount of cesium-137 in fuel ponds, which contain anywhere from 20 to 50 million curies of this dangerous radioactive isotope. With a half-life of 30 years, cesium-137 gives off highly penetrating radiation and is absorbed in the food chain as if it were potassium.

In comparison, the 1986 Chernobyl accident released about 40 percent of the reactor core's 6 million curies. A 1997 report for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) by Brookhaven National Laboratory also found that a severe pool fire could render about 188 square miles uninhabitable, cause as many as 28,000 cancer fatalities, and cost $59 billion in damage. A single spent fuel pond holds more cesium-137 than was deposited by all atmospheric nuclear weapons tests in the Northern Hemisphere combined. Earthquakes and acts of malice are considered to be the primary events that can cause a major loss of pool water.

The radioactive cesium is the stuff that alters or disrupts function of the reproductive organs. If the stuff leaks into the nearby ocean, it's Silent Spring writ large.

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Mar 14 2011 21:47 utc | 55

Guardian weighs in on possible coverup:

Nuclear experts have thrown doubt on the accuracy of official information issued about the Fukushima nuclear accident, saying that it followed a pattern of secrecy and cover-ups employed in other nuclear accidents. "It's impossible to get any radiation readings," said John Large, an independent nuclear engineer who has worked for the UK government and been commissioned to report on the accident for Greenpeace International.

"The actions of the Japanese government are completely contrary to their words. They have evacuated 180,000 people but say there is no radiation. They are certain to have readings but we are being told nothing." He said a radiation release was suspected "but at the moment it is impossible to know. It was the same at Chernobyl, where they said there was a bit of a problem and only later did the full extent emerge."

According to some reports, 17 helicopter crewmen helping in rescue efforts were contaminated with low-level radiation, but Japanese officials declined to comment.

The country's government has previously been accused of covering up nuclear accidents and hampering the development of alternative energy.

In a newly released diplomatic cable obtained by WikiLeaks, politician Taro Kono, a high-profile member of Japan's lower house, tells US diplomats that the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry – the Japanese government department responsible for nuclear energy – has been "covering up nuclear accidents and obscuring the true costs and problems associated with the nuclear industry".

In 2008, Kono told them: "The ministries were trapped in their policies, as officials inherited policies from people more senior to them, which they could then not challenge." He mentioned the dangers of natural disasters in the context of nuclear waste disposal, citing Japan's "extensive seismic activity, and abundant groundwater, and [he] questioned if there really was a safe place to store nuclear waste in the 'land of volcanoes'."

"What we are seeing follows a clear pattern of secrecy and denial," said Paul Dorfman, co-secretary to the Committee Examining Radiation Risks from Internal Emitters, a UK government advisory committee disbanded in 2004.

"The Japanese government has always tended to underplay accidents. At the moment the Japanese claims of safety are not to be believed by anyone. The health effects of what has happened so far are imponderable. The reality is we just do not know. There is profound uncertainty about the impact of the accident."

The Japanese authorities and nuclear companies have been implicated in a series of cover-ups. In 1995, reports of a sodium leak and fire at Japan's Monju fast breeder reactor were suppressed and employees were gagged. In 2002, the chairman and four executives of Tepco, the company which owns the stricken Fukushima plant, resigned after reports that safety records were falsified.

---


And there's data from monitoring stations that should be available to all of us ... but it's not.

Exclusive: Nuclear test ban agency has valuable radiation monitoring data from Japan nuclear accident -- but can't share them - March 14, 2011

Exclusive: Nuclear test ban agency has valuable radiation monitoring data from Japan nuclear accident -- but can't share them - March 14, 2011

An international agency set up to monitor for nuclear tests is collecting extensive data on the levels of radionuclides in the air in and around Japan and the Asia-Pacific and transmitting this daily to its member states. The data would be of enormous public interest as it would provide a far fuller picture of the extent and spread of any current or future radioactive release from the major Japanese nuclear accident now under way. But none of these data are being released to the public, Nature has learned.

The worldwide network of radionuclide particulate monitoring stations is operated by the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), a Vienna-based body setup to build a verification regime for a global ban on the testing of nuclear weapons, so that this is operational when enough of the organization's member states have ratified the treaty for it to enter force. The organization monitors radionuclide, seismic, hydroacoustic, and infrasound characteristics at stations across the globe to check for the tell-tale signals of a nuclear bomb test.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 14 2011 22:14 utc | 56

Guardian weighs in on possible coverup:

Nuclear experts have thrown doubt on the accuracy of official information issued about the Fukushima nuclear accident, saying that it followed a pattern of secrecy and cover-ups employed in other nuclear accidents. "It's impossible to get any radiation readings," said John Large, an independent nuclear engineer who has worked for the UK government and been commissioned to report on the accident for Greenpeace International.


"The actions of the Japanese government are completely contrary to their words. They have evacuated 180,000 people but say there is no radiation. They are certain to have readings but we are being told nothing." He said a radiation release was suspected "but at the moment it is impossible to know. It was the same at Chernobyl, where they said there was a bit of a problem and only later did the full extent emerge."

According to some reports, 17 helicopter crewmen helping in rescue efforts were contaminated with low-level radiation, but Japanese officials declined to comment.

The country's government has previously been accused of covering up nuclear accidents and hampering the development of alternative energy.

In a newly released diplomatic cable obtained by WikiLeaks, politician Taro Kono, a high-profile member of Japan's lower house, tells US diplomats that the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry – the Japanese government department responsible for nuclear energy – has been "covering up nuclear accidents and obscuring the true costs and problems associated with the nuclear industry".

In 2008, Kono told them: "The ministries were trapped in their policies, as officials inherited policies from people more senior to them, which they could then not challenge." He mentioned the dangers of natural disasters in the context of nuclear waste disposal, citing Japan's "extensive seismic activity, and abundant groundwater, and [he] questioned if there really was a safe place to store nuclear waste in the 'land of volcanoes'."

"What we are seeing follows a clear pattern of secrecy and denial," said Paul Dorfman, co-secretary to the Committee Examining Radiation Risks from Internal Emitters, a UK government advisory committee disbanded in 2004.

"The Japanese government has always tended to underplay accidents. At the moment the Japanese claims of safety are not to be believed by anyone. The health effects of what has happened so far are imponderable. The reality is we just do not know. There is profound uncertainty about the impact of the accident."

The Japanese authorities and nuclear companies have been implicated in a series of cover-ups. In 1995, reports of a sodium leak and fire at Japan's Monju fast breeder reactor were suppressed and employees were gagged. In 2002, the chairman and four executives of Tepco, the company which owns the stricken Fukushima plant, resigned after reports that safety records were falsified.


---


And there's data from monitoring stations that should be available to all of us ... but it's not.

Exclusive: Nuclear test ban agency has valuable radiation monitoring data from Japan nuclear accident -- but can't share them - March 14, 2011

Exclusive: Nuclear test ban agency has valuable radiation monitoring data from Japan nuclear accident -- but can't share them - March 14, 2011


An international agency set up to monitor for nuclear tests is collecting extensive data on the levels of radionuclides in the air in and around Japan and the Asia-Pacific and transmitting this daily to its member states. The data would be of enormous public interest as it would provide a far fuller picture of the extent and spread of any current or future radioactive release from the major Japanese nuclear accident now under way. But none of these data are being released to the public, Nature has learned.

The worldwide network of radionuclide particulate monitoring stations is operated by the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), a Vienna-based body setup to build a verification regime for a global ban on the testing of nuclear weapons, so that this is operational when enough of the organization's member states have ratified the treaty for it to enter force. The organization monitors radionuclide, seismic, hydroacoustic, and infrasound characteristics at stations across the globe to check for the tell-tale signals of a nuclear bomb test.


Posted by: Uncle $cam | March 14, 2011 at 06:14 PM

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 14 2011 22:18 utc | 57

It seems that the situation is continuing, even after all the arguments that it is finished, no danger to the public.

Posted by: alexno | Mar 14 2011 22:40 utc | 58

to put it bluntly - when the media of the ruling class tells me not to worry - i worry

to watch in so many languages 'experts' telling me that exploding nuclear reactors 'aint nothin' to worry my pretty little head over as they happily sell the suffering of a people

our world is as depraved but there is no bottom to that depravity

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 14 2011 22:53 utc | 59

perhaps much of this global problem w/ the nuclear industry could be nipped in the bud right now if there was a way to get all of the pro-nuke crowd ultimately putting all life on the planet at risk - scientists, engineers, politicians, lobbyists, advocates, propagandists, etc.. - onto transport to japan to act as first responders and whatnot

Posted by: b real | Mar 15 2011 2:53 utc | 60

yup.">http://"www.nytimes.com/2011/03/15/world/asia/15nuclear.html?_r=1&hp">yup.

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 15 2011 4:16 utc | 61

Adding to the complexity of the situation was that reactor No. 3 reactor uses a special mix of nuclear fuel known as MOX fuel. MOX is considered contentious because it is made with reprocessed plutonium and uranium oxides. Any radioactive plume from that fuel would be more dangerous than ordinary nuclear fuel, experts say, because inhaling plutonium even in very small quantities is considered lethal.

Sweet dreams.

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 15 2011 4:23 utc | 62

Sorry, link again.

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 15 2011 4:26 utc | 63

**BREAKING** More Explosions Reported At Reactor 2

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 15 2011 4:39 utc | 64

Live geiger-counter-tokyo

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 15 2011 4:46 utc | 65

This is making the rounds in cyberspace: Akira Kurusawa's Dreams:Mount Fuji In Red

Posted by: Copeland | Mar 15 2011 4:46 utc | 66

Kurosawa's film goes back quite a few years, and was prophetic; and is pretty damned dark. Like King Lear there are no lighter moments within its scope of tragedy.

Posted by: Copeland | Mar 15 2011 4:53 utc | 67

4th Reactor is now on fire. This makes it 4 of 4. Tokyo is being warned (winds shifting south) and iodine pill programs are in full effect for the outskirts of the city.

EDIT 1: 12:24AM EST 4th reactor fire is out and originally the reactor was NOT operational, but still caused radiation to leak. Reactors 1, 2, 3 are still in critical condition.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 15 2011 5:01 utc | 68

Normalcy Bias

"The normalcy bias refers to a mental state people enter when facing a disaster. It causes people to underestimate both the possibility of a disaster occurring and its possible effects. This often results in situations where people fail to adequately prepare for a disaster, and on a larger scale, the failure of the government to include the populace in its disaster preparations. The assumption that is made in the case of the normalcy bias is that since a disaster never has occurred that it never will occur."

Potassium Iodide Runs Low as Americans Seek It Out

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 15 2011 6:07 utc | 70

b real, comment 60

... - scientists, engineers, politicians, lobbyists, advocates, propagandists, etc.. - onto transport to japan to act as first responders and whatnot

yeah, but I doubt the majority of them would be useful for anything; probably more like the majority of 'expats' - those overpaid migrant workers in fin.industry etc - crying baby on live tv.

Kudos to the engineers and technicians working on the ground atm in Fukushima, though. They do try to prevent a bad situation from getting worse. This wikipedia timeline might be more helpful than the nonsense that the MSM is selling.

Posted by: Philippe | Mar 15 2011 6:09 utc | 71

For an alternate view to the msm spew: Some Perspective On The Japan Earthquake, a small business owner in a small city in Japan. About right.
(Executive summary: the system worked.)

Posted by: Philippe | Mar 15 2011 8:55 utc | 72

The Tokyo geiger counter site linked above by Uncle $cam read 12.85 cpm at 1am EDT this morning; it's at 17.33 cpm now - 9am.

cpm = Counts per minute (?) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counts_per_minute

Posted by: Watson | Mar 15 2011 13:01 utc | 73

I believe that the MSM, for quite some time now, is what the West during the Cold War arrogantly accused Pravda of being, and rightfully so. Morroco Bama @ 5

The MSM has deteriorated catastrophically in the past say 10 years. A recent report on Swiss media, still superior to France and incomparable to Italy, laid the blame squarely on greed and money making, the bottom line of the buck creating the descent into sensationalism, short cuts, etc. a familiar story - doesn’t require amplification. My favorite, telling ex. along these lines is the book business in France: independent publishing houses were bought up by conglomerates and forced to turn a yearly profit of 18 (15 just acceptable) %...with imprints being kept only as long as that profit could be squeezed out. Huh, I digress.

The 4th estate has turned into a tribe of its own, worldwide, with everyone following the same script, bowing to power (investors, backers, powerful figures, Gvmts, corporations, etc.) and using their transmission and image powers to shift opinion in some direction or just to earn money. Middlemen, glorying in their role, in grit, glitz, or their own graft. News as a packaged commodity worth incalculable sums...

New Competitors appear (AJE) and others are set to sink (France 24) and the MSM press hangs on counting on the fact that to be in the MS you have to read it to know what attitude to adopt (e.g NYT, WaPo, etc.) This is particularly the case for the financial MSM as that is all run on guff, trends, scams, so called expert opinion, etc.

The internet has given many wonderful commentators a voice, but hasn’t led to ‘general audience’ new journalism, radio or television - they haven’t organized and stay ‘niche’, are dependent on the MSM (held by Gvmts. and corps), and are sometimes easily co-opted. Those who attain high readership are ‘allowed’ and feed wacky povs on vaccines, lizards, aspartame, chem trails, while mixing in world events, politics (in the US, e.g. Rense, Alex Jones) without any political platform at all.

This has lead, in the W, to a higher fragmentation of younger ppl, in function of particular fringe preoccupations (whales, anorexia, etc.), identity / communitarian issues (gay, Evangelist..), splinter politics (progressive populism, right-wing security, Pirate parties, anti-Rotschilds, etc.) Divide and rule!

The N Africa / burgeoning ME revolts are thus fantastically inspiring in their unity and force - or very frightening indeed, depending on pov.

copeland at 53 that was real up close and terrifying, philippe at 72 that was interesting

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 15 2011 14:24 utc | 74

Agreed Noirette... @74

Forecast map shows radiation nearing U.S. — South of Alaska in less than a week: Hong Kong Observatory

An officer at the Hong Kong Observatory shows a forecast trajectory of radiation releases from Japan. Indicators in red triangles, blue squares and green stars project wind directions of different altitudes 500 metres, 1,500 metres and 3,000 metres respectively.

See photo here. Green line is the forecast at an altitude of 1,500 meters.


Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 15 2011 22:53 utc | 75

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