The Tables Are Turned on Murdoch (via The New York Times)

Joe Nocera writing in the New York Times creates an often satirical piece that segues from schadenfreude to celebrating justice. I relished every word and hope you enjoy the piece as much as I did.

These are my two favorite paragraphs, click on them to read the whole editorial.

James Pilant

Throughout his career, Murdoch has never just been satisfied with besting the competition, as most decent businessmen are. He’s not truly happy unless he has his foot on a competitor’s neck and is pressing it downward. Felix Salmon, a blogger for Reuters, unearthed testimony about an executive who ran one of Murdoch’s more obscure divisions. “I will destroy you,” the man told a competitor, according to the testimony. “I work for a man who wants it all and doesn’t understand anybody telling him he can’t have it all.”

One feature of Murdoch’s career is that he’s never played by the rules that apply to other businessmen. That’s one reason I think he seems so shellshocked in those paparazzi photographs: unable in this dire circumstance to make his own rules, he simply doesn’t know how to react or what to do. On Tuesday, when he is excoriated in Parliament, it will be the first time he has ever truly been held to account. It undoubtedly won’t be fun for him. But there are many people who are going to take great glee in his misery — not unlike the way his newspapers have always taken such glee in the misery of others.


Adequate backup power at US nukes? NRC chairman not sure (via robertsingleton)

This is disturbing. Some American power plants use batteries? Don’t earthquakes, tornadoes and floods damage those pretty easily? How long are the batteries good for?

A good number of American plants are as old as the Fukushima plants and based on a virtually identical design. If backup power is not a sure thing and the heat in the reactor goes to a certain point we have hydrogen which can and does cause explosions. If the heat is much worse we get a meltdown. Backup power is an important issue because even when you shut down the power in a reactor it takes some time for the temperature to fall.

James Pilant

Adequate backup power at US nukes? NRC chairman not sure The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch just ran an article in which Gregory Jakzcko questioned the readiness of U.S. nuclear power plants to operate in the event of a loss-of-power accident like the one that caused a partial meltdown at Fukushima. MarketWatch reported: In a meeting of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko said existing standards for emergency power might not be “reasonable” given the damage that major cata … Read More

via robertsingleton

Fukushima in Alabama (Averted) (via Say It Ain’t So Already)

I believe that there are a great many problems with nuclear plants in the United States that we do not hear about. This posting supports my point of view.

Why, if reported at all, are these considered local stories? A nuclear disaster renders hundreds, possibly thousands of square mile uninhabitable for the forseeable future. How much of a disaster do you have to have for the American news media to give it priority over the dissolute royal family of England?

Good article. Thanks to Say It Ain’t So Already.

James Pilant

Fukushima in Alabama (Averted) It is so, so telling that this news has not been part of the coverage of the terrible tornadoes in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia yesterday: A nuclear power plant in Alabama that lost power after violent thunderstorms and tornadoes on Wednesday will be down for days and possibly weeks but the backup power systems worked as designed to prevent a partial meltdown like the disaster in Japan. The Browns Ferry nuclear power plant, one of the biggest … Read More

via Say It Ain’t So Already

TEPCO screws the pooch – again. (via Thus knowledge flows like water)

“Water entombment” – Somehow that doesn’t sound very safe or in any way impressive.

And I don’t like any plan that develops by accident.

Read and let me know what you think.

James Pilant

My thanks to “Thus knowledge flows like water.”

TEPCO screws the pooch - again. You already know this isn’t going to turn out well.  Saturday, April 23, 2011 #Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Unintended “Water Entombment” of Reactor 1 They didn’t mean to, but ended up doing what some experts had suggested as a way to cool the melted fuel in the Reactor 1’s Pressure Vessel.Mainichi Shinbun (10:01 PM JST 4/23/2011; emphasis added) reports that TEPCO is “entombing” the Reactor 1 with water by accident: … Read More

via Thus knowledge flows like water

時間の止まった警戒区域付近 南相馬市 CNNニュース2011年4月21日 (A trip into the “no-go” zone.)

This is heartbreaking. How many times do you see this before you wonder why this kind of damage doesn’t seem important to the proponents of nuclear energy? I keep reading these guys. They keep talking about the low death toll of nuclear incidents. First, I doubt that the death toll at Chernobyl is anywhere close to the real number. Second, I find land being reduced to a dead zone closed to humans more than a little unsatisfactory.

But I have faith in the nuclear industry. They will come back with tons of PR, promises of safety and the hope of an economic miracle in some small hamlet desperate for jobs. They always come back.

James Pilant

Wife of Fukushima nuclear plant worker: Waiting and worried (CBS News)

You have to watch a commercial before you can see the video.

I’m not entirely happy with the news story. Somehow we found an American angle to give drama to the story. We Don’t Need an American Angle. The Japanese are people and though they don’t appear to look like many American, I find the stories of the Japanese to be just as compelling. What is it with Americans? Can’t we look at other people and recognize their commonalites, their souls, minds, spirits, hopes, dreams, emotions,.. Don’t we get it. We are all the same in the importance of our stories.

James Pilant

TEPCO: The Cat’s on the Roof (via Crooks and Liars)

Susie Madrak wrote this for the web site, Crooks and Liars. It’s not only clever, it’s how I feel about it. Everyday I think TEPCO is going to fall off the roof but somehow that cat survives another day.

James Pilant

Remember that old joke about the guy who went on vacation and left his brother home to watch his cat? The cat fell off the roof and died. When the brother called to ask how his cat was, his brother said, “I’m sorry to tell you that your cat just died.”

The brother was really upset and said, “You don’t just come out and say something like that. You should have prepared me. You could have said, ‘The cat’s on the roof, I’ve called the fire department, we’re trying to get him down’. That’s how you prepare someone for bad news: something like that.”

Then he asked his brother, “By the way, how’s mom?”

“She’s on the roof…” (Read it all!)

Japan seals off no-go zone around nuclear plant (via Yahoo News)

“Fearing that the might not see their home for months,” talk about optimistic! Radiation does not leave in a few months. They are not going home. Maybe in years. Maybe.

James Pilant

From Yahoo News

Japan sealed off a wide area around a radiation-spewing nuclear power plant on Friday to prevent tens of thousands of residents from sneaking back to the homes they quickly evacuated, some with little more than a credit card and the clothes on their backs.

Fearing they might not see their homes again for months, evacuees raced into the deserted towns Thursday before the ban took effect to grab whatever belongings they could cram into their cars.

“This is our last chance, but we aren’t going to stay long. We are just getting what we need and getting out,” said Kiyoshi Kitajima, an X-ray technician, who dashed to his hospital in Futaba, a town next door to the plant, to collect equipment before the order took effect at midnight.

The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored (via The Buddhist Blog)

This is another web site where you can see the documentary, The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored. This site is very interesting. This particular entry is from 2008 but the blog is still going strong. I’d watch the documentary and then browse the other posts if I were you.James PilantThe True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored.


1986 was a difficult year for the world. In January the United States saw the explosion of the space shuttle, Challenger during lift off. Then in April a man made disaster of epic proportions was triggered that rocked the then Soviet Union in Russia which affected the world as a result of the explosion of nuclear reactor #4 at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine.

I remember this accident vividly even though I was only 10 years old. The true reality of the extent of the damage wasn’t fully known for some time due to the censorship of the Communist Party of the USSR but now 22 years later the true story is finally being told.

And just yesterday I discovered a stellar, brilliant documentary (viewable at the bottom of this post) that compiles all the information known up to the present regarding the Chernobyl nightmare. It is beyond sobering but a must view due to the current push to build more nuclear reactors in the face of global warming and the current oil crisis. (Click here to see the rest.)

Fukushima – FDA refusing to monitor Fish radiation 18th April 2011 (via TheLeftSpace)

As usual, we find that TEPCO is not being fully informative about what’s happening. However, there is a lot here to make one feel better about the current situation. However, what’s going on is still basically a holding action. I would have hoped we would be further along now.

James Pilant