Map comparison Visual Summary (via Not all alleged is apparent…)

I’ve loved maps since I was a little boy. Unfortunately today’s map is something of a downer, a comparison of the Cesium fallout from the two disasters.

I didn’t say it wasn’t depressing.

James Pilant

From Not all alleged is apparent ….

Map comparison Visual Summary To conclude the series of blogposts on the topic of comparing the color-maps of Cesium fallout levels from Chernobyl with the map showing this for Fukushima’s ongoing nuclear disaster, here’s my visual summary: … Read More

via Not all alleged is apparent…

A Quarter of a Century Since Chernobyl (via The Truth Journal)

Twenty-five years. Twenty five years to absorb the lessons of the last nuclear disaster and it just didn’t work out. The ad nauseum repeating of the mantra, “It’s different here.” Whether they meant more modern equipment, better management, more incentives, better regulation, it turned out to be nonsense.

Going back to Chernobyl after all these years is not a comforting journey. It is a trip into a ghostly irradiated land measuring 10,800 square miles, a facet of the aftermath of a nuclear disaster carefully unmentioned by the proponents of nuclear power. That’s about a third the size of Panama or five times the size of Rhode Island. Does that make you comfortable?

How much agricultural land can we afford to lose permanently? We need a thorough intelligent discussion of nuclear power in the United States, not back rooms and lobbyists, a public discussion.

This is a good article and has an attached video.

James Pilant

A Quarter of a Century Since Chernobyl A quarter of a century has passed since the worst nuclear accident in history. On April 26, 1986, the Nuclear power plant at Chernobyl, Ukraine, in the then USSR, exploded leaking nuclear radiation about a hundred times the Nuclear explosion at Hiroshima. I cannot think of anything more but to say that the day reminds us why we should be so proud of Nuclear technology. After all, it allows us to make great changes to the way things work naturally … Read More

via The Truth Journal

Chernobyl Stalkers (via L’appel de Fukushima)

I had heard that the Titanic disaster and the First World War were both predicted by novels, but this is the first that I’ve heard that Chernobyl was predicted by a film.

I pity the poor souls who feel obligated to make a living by stealing high radiation scrap from a nuclear dead zone.

On the other hand, the future may hold that kind of existence for many millions.

James Pilant

Chernobyl Stalkers The people most affected by the explosion of Reactor Number Four on the morning of April 26,1986, soon learned that the event known as Chernobyl was predicted by a feature film made seven years earlier. Stalker, by Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky, explored the limits of our technical explanatory power against the backdrop of a mysterious force that can only be approached on foot, by forest “stalkers” who have learned to accept its risky gifts. … Read More

via L’appel de Fukushima

Media has moved on, but not Japanese (via News and Brews)

This is the only beer related post having to do with the disasters in Japan that I have found. It’s not bad.

I do agree the Japanese have not moved on. The disaster continues there as recovery is handicapped by the ongoing nuclear problems. American media has a tawdry interest in current events however inconsequential. So, in America, it may well appear that the crisis is over.

No, not for quite some time.

James Pilant

Media has moved on, but not Japanese The 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit Japan on Mar. 11 has mostly disappeared from the collective conscious of American mainstream media. Many news outlets have shifted focus to Syria or Yemen–both very important stories in their own right. However, Japan is still recovering from the natural disasters that struck their shores over a month and a half ago. It severely damaged nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Power P … Read More

via News and Brews

TVA plant’s old design brings fresh worries | The Tennessean | (via In Frog Pond Holler)

It’s definitely true that the old designs need a new look in the aftermath of Fukushima. I’m curious to see how the utility is going to handle this.

James Pilant

Critics argue that safety and reliability issues are raised by the old design, the deterioration of work already done, the cannibalizing of plant parts and a failure to keep tight controls over the site. Some also question the need for another TVA nuclear plant. In the wake of Japan’s nuclear crisis, TVA staff delayed asking for a board vote for funding to complete Bellefonte. Still, more than 500 workers are busy on the site with engineering, as … Read More

via In Frog Pond Holler

Fukushima: Japan’s meta-tragedy – Sandhya Jain (via Bharata Bharati)

I very much enjoyed this and, in particular, I want to call attention to Wikileaks participation in the continuing controversy over both nuclear power and corruption. This story hardly exists in the United States but has generated considerable press in India.

This backstory is fitted into its place in the larger story of nuclear power in this article. I appreciate that.

However, there is a lot of other material here. This is not the kind of material that the pronuclear press likes to see, they prefer the squishy soft claims of possible radiation damage down the road. These claims they can dismiss as ill founded because it takes years to manifest. This article cites facts and history. That gives it some heft. I hope it gets wider circulation.

James Pilant

Fukushima: Japan’s meta-tragedy - Sandhya Jain Fukushima reinforces the threat posed by the scientific arrogance that the Human Race can create structures more powerful than Nature; Chernobyl was a loud warning after nearly 150 significant radiation leaks at n-stations throughout the world were hidden by the secretive nuclear power industry. – Sandhya Jain The tragedy of the earthquake-tsunami induced failure at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, eerily close to the 25th anniversary of th … Read More

via Bharata Bharati

Seven Tons of Radioactive Water an Hour (via New York Times)

My father tells me that the news from Fukushima is all over the cable news. I wouldn’t know. I’m careful not to watch. I prefer my sources, BBC, Reuters, the New York Times, McClatchy, AP and a few others. The 24 news programs generate a lot of nonsense and I only occasionally use clips.

For my taste there should be more news about these events in the more regular media.

James Pilant

From the New York Times –

Experts estimate that about seven tons an hour of radioactive water is escaping the pit. Safety officials have said that the water, which appears to be coming from the damaged No. 2 reactor, contains one million becquerels per liter of iodine 131, or about 10,000 times the levels normally found in water at a nuclear plant.

“There is still a steady stream of water from the pit,” Mr. Nishiyama said, but workers would continue to “observe and evaluate” the situation overnight.

The leak underscores the dangerous side effects of the strategy to cool the plant’s reactors and spent fuel storage pools by pumping them with hundreds of tons of water. While much of that water evaporates, a significant portion also turns into dangerous runoff that has been discovered in various parts of the plant, endangering workers at the plant and hindering repair efforts. On March 24, three workers were injured when they stepped into a pool of radioactive water in one of the plant’s turbine buildings.

In recent days, workers have tried to clear the contaminated pools, but have struggled to find places to store the water. Meanwhile, levels of iodine 131 that are over 4,000 times normal, as well as levels of cesium 137 that are 527 times normal have been detected in seawater taken 1,080 feet away from the plant, raising fears of damage to sea life.

Tokyo Electric has said it has little choice but to pump more water into the reactors at the moment, since the normal cooling systems at the plant are inoperable and more radioactive material would be released if the reactors were allowed to melt down fully or if the rods caught fire.

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.

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant Hi-Res Photos | Cryptome (via DFTF)

I thought you might like to see this picture.

My thanks to DFTF.

James Pilant

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant Hi-Res Photos |  Cryptome If you’re wondering why trace amounts of radiation has been found in Washington state, check out these photos. The most trashed reactor, No. 3,  above, is actually in reasonable shape while the one that looks the most undamaged, No. 2, has probably already melted down. Draw your own conclusions about the safety of nuclear power. View Photos. … Read More

via DFTF

Workers at Japan Nuke Plant ‘Lost the Race’ to Save Reactor, Expert Says – (via To Your Health)

That would be a full meltdown.

It probably happened more than a week ago.

If it is, and it probably is, we are about to see an enormous amount of money spent to limit the damage.

James Pilant

Workers at Japan Nuke Plant 'Lost the Race' to Save Reactor, Expert Says - Workers at Japan Nuke Plant ‘Lost the Race’ to Save Reactor, Expert Says – Workers at Japan Nuke Plant ‘Lost the Race’ to Save Reactor, Expert Says Published March 29, 2011 | Workers at the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant appeared to have “lost the race” to save one of the reactors, a U.S. expert told the Guardian. Richard Lahey, who was head of safety research for boiling water reactors at General Electric when … Read More

via To Your Health