Japanese nuclear plant’s containment vessels remain suspect as radiation levels spike (via McClatchy)

Courtesy of The Market Oracle

This crisis just keeps on going. I want an end to it. I want everybody to be okay, unhurt, undamaged. But I am not going to get my wish. The people who created this disaster were so smart, so well placed and so well financed that all warnings no matter how factual bounced off of them.

Those who opposed nuclear power from the fringe to the most respectable were consigned as unrealistic tree huggers.

Well, the treehuggers got it right.

But I tell you, I feel pain every time I come across another article that talks about how this is just like getting another chest x-ray a year and that compared to stepladders and animal attacks the casualties have been few.

There comes a point at which this kind of commentary moves from the average to the mediocre, from opinion writing to caricature.

Even when they admit some unfortunate fact, they still conclude with, “It can’t happen here.”

It can’t happen here. It can, does and will. Human stupidity is a common characteristic. Add human stupidity to the semi-eternal capabilities of radiation and you have a very bad mix indeed.

Tens of thousands of Japanese may never be able to return to their homes and possessions. A thousand of the dead from the tsunami and earthquake cannot be gathered from the area. They rot uncared for.

This is the reality, a reality which will be denied over and over again. It’s already being denied.

The advocates of nuclear power will hope that in time this will all go away. Memories will fade, new PR, friendly hack articles will appear and nuclear power will be heralded as the cure for our problems.

And then some more will be built – until the next “accident.”

James Pilant

From McClatchy

Radiation levels spiked inside and outside the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant Thursday, slowing work on the facility once again and once more throwing into doubt the integrity of the containment vessels that hold the fuel rods.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. officials said levels of radioactive iodine in water at the plant spiked to levels 10,000 times permissible limits, preventing workers from getting near the water.

Engineers have been pumping water out of the tunnels in the basements of the facilities and into holding areas in an attempt to permit access to areas where workers are trying to restore electricity to the cooling pumps that could ultimately bring the situation at the stricken facility under control. But they cannot do so when radiation levels are that high.