Deadly Silence on Fukushima (via Udolicko’s Blog)

This post discusses the defacto censorship by the Japanese government and TEPCO, the Japanese utility that owns the plants. There are also charges that dangerous levels of plutonium exist around the plant. Since No. 4 reactor ran hotter than any of the other nuclear plants because it was using a hybrid fuel of regular uranium and plutonium, it would only stand to reason that there must be some contamination.

There are also fairly lengthy discussions of Chernobyl, independent journalism and government censorship. It’s lengthy but it has to be to provide so much information.

James Pilant

Deadly Silence on Fukushima I received the following email a few days ago from a Russian nuclear physicist friend who is an expert on the kinds of gases being released at Fukushima. Here is what he wrote: “About Japan: the problem is that the reactor uses “dirty” fuel. It is a combination of plutonium and uranium (MOX). I suspect that the old fuel rods have bean spread out due to the explosion and the surrounding area is contaminated with plutonium which mean … Read More

via Udolicko’s Blog

New fire at Fukushima..pools run dry? (via Follow The Money)

It appears that Fukushima will be generating stories for some time. It seems our old favorite No. 4 reactor is trying out a new crisis on the world.

One of the more interesting parts of the story is that the Japanese government has decided that children living near the plant can have the same exposure as a nuclear plant worker. That’s right, the local children are in the same boat as nuclear workers when it comes to radiation exposure.

Time marches on and as the disaster becomes more and more boring to the public, it slips away from view. But radiation and nuclear disaster don’t depend on publicity to function.

James Pilant

New fire at Fukushima..pools run dry? From March 15 Even as workers race to prevent the radioactive cores of the damaged nuclear reactors in Japan from melting down, concerns are growing that nearby pools holding spent fuel rods could pose an even greater danger. The pools, which sit on the top level of the reactor buildings and keep spent fuel submerged in water, have lost their cooling systems and the Japanese have been … Read More

via Follow The Money

Japan nuke workers nearing max exposure (via flying cuttlefish picayune)

Flying cuttlefish picayune is staying on the Fukushima story with tenacity. I admire this. I’ve tried to follow it everyday but my recent cable loss knocked me off pattern. (As a writer it is fascinating to watch how your style and approach are varied by things you never would have thought of as having an effect.) Following this blog has recommitted me to following the story and I will begin going back to daily or once every two days posting.

Public domain

I will be going to the international media because our corporate, news of the strange focused, press is fairly useless in dealing with any complex issue in any persistent or intelligent way. It is utterly astonishing how different the press is outside the United States. I have been looking at the Anna Hazare story news coverage in India (you should too) and the way they confront politicians with difficult questions and follow-up gives me pride in the field of journalism, a pride which has been steadily diminishing as I have watched the wretched posturing, incompetence and brazen profit seeking of American media.

My warm thanks to my fellow blogger, flying cuttlefish picayune!

James Pialnt

TOKYO, May 1 (UPI) — Some nuclear workers at Japan’s damaged Fukushima power plant are approaching the maximum allowable annual radiation exposure, power officials said. Prior to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that badly damaged four of six reactors at Fukushima, Japanese labor law said the maximum radiation nuclear workers could be exposed to per year was 100 millisieverts. Four days after the disaster, the maximum exposure was increased t … Read More

via flying cuttlefish picayune

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.