Japan to fire top nuclear officials in wake of disaster (via 1 Real News)

This disaster happened in March. Virtually everything you can think of went wrong and now, they fire people. I’m not impressed. Once it became obvious that the people in charge were grossly incompetent, it might have been better to fire them immediately than waiting for months for what is apparently a better political climate.

James Pilant

Japan to fire top nuclear officials in wake of disaster ReutersAugust 4, 2011Japan will replace three senior bureaucrats in charge of nuclear power policy, the minister overseeing energy policy said on Thursday, five months after the world’s worst atomic crisis in 25 years erupted at Fukushima.The move comes as Prime Minister Naoto Kan calls for enhanced nuclear safety accountability and an overhaul of Japan’s energy policy, with the aim of gradually weaning it off its dependence on nuclear power as p … Read More

via 1 Real News

Japan considers stress tests for nuclear reactors (via Financial Post | Business)

This is certainly a classic case of closing the barn door after the animal has fled. Yet, the measure is probably no going to pass, even in the face of solid evidence that the plant was already in partial meltdown from the earthquake before the tsunami hit.

James Pilant

TOKYO – Japan’s government is considering conducting stress tests on nuclear reactors to ease safety concerns which have blocked the restart of idled reactors since the March quake and tsunami, including several that have completed maintenance and complied with new, stiffer safety standards. Japan is struggling with a drawn-out crisis after meltdowns at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi atomic plant, site of the world’s worst nuclear incident in 25 … Read More

via Financial Post | Business

Italy’s Great Nuclear Swindle (via Aletho News)

Seldom has a politician been so up front about his contempt for the masses –

From the essay –

On April 26th, the 25th anniversary of the catastrophic Chernobyl accident, Berlusconi held a press conference with French president Nikolay Sarkozy in Rome. At this press conference Berlusconi made his radioactive intentions clear for all. “We are absolutely convinced that nuclear energy is the future for the whole world,” he said. He went on to detail how recent polls showed that the referendum to block nuclear power for decades to come could pass at this time and that by temporarily suspending Italy’s return to nuclear program the issue would be revisited when the Italian voters had been “calmed down” and returned to the realization that Nuclear Energy was the most viable and safe way to produce electricity. He went on to explain how the “leftists and ecologists” had manipulated the emotions of the Italian voters after Chernobyl and penalized the Italian people who have to pay higher electric rates than France that operates 58 nuclear power plants. Berlusconi explained that the “situation in Japan had scared the Italian voters” and that the “inevitable return to nuclear power in Italy” would not be abandoned nor would the collaborations between Enel and Eletricite de France.

You see voters have no wisdom and judgment. When they err by disagreeing with you, for instance, their failure to realize that nuclear power is “viable and safe,” that can be fixed. If you have the media, you just patiently convince them of your point of view. You don’t worry about their judgment because there is nothing that cannot be fixed by good PR.

It would be difficult to find more open contempt for the democratic process or the facts of the situation. If nuclear power is going to be safe, there is some work that is going to have to be done. If that isn’t obvious based on the last twenty years, where have you been hiding?

James Pilant

The Radioactive Dictatorship of Silvio Berlusconi By MICHAEL LEONARDI – CounterPunch – May 13, 2011 Italy’s democracy is in tatters as Silvio Berlusconi and his ruling right-wing coalition work to block a citizen’s referendum that would repeal the decision of the Berlusconi government to return to nuclear energy production on the peninsula. Italy has not produced nuclear energy since 1990 and recent polls indicate that more than 75 % of Italians … Read More

via Aletho News

Radioactive strontium detected at Fukushima plant (via )

The more kinds of radioactive material can be reasonably assumed to mean more leakage from the plant. Fortunately strontium is bad but not as bad as many other nuclear deposits.

James Pilant

Radioactive strontium detected at Fukushima plant Japan Broadcasting Corporation Tokyo Electric Power Company has detected high levels of radioactive strontium in soil inside the compound of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Strontium can cause cancer and like calcium it tends to collect in bones once humans inhale it. Up to 570 becquerels of strontium 90 per kilogram of dry soil were detected in samples from 3 locations. They were taken on April 18, about 500 meters from the N … Read More


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 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/16/world/asia/16fuel.html?_r=1 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

The anguish people in Fukushima prefecture have to face (via Aoumigamera)

This guy is measuring his radiation and deciding on the level of risk he finds acceptable. This is from someone on the ground in the area. I’m sure if you read Japanese, you can find hundreds, probably thousands of blogs from the area, but I only speak English. I imagine more than a few of you are in the same situation.

So, get a view from near the disaster from an independent soul with his own ideas.

James Pilant

I have often had nappa cabbage and lettuce harvested in Ibaraki prefecture, which is just next to Fukushima prefecture, in the last few weeks. Some of my friends knew this and they told me I was a reckless guy. I don’t care about that. They are quite cheap now, hehe. I’m not a vegetarian but I eat a lot of veges because I love them. If there’s no meat or fish for a couple of days, it’s no problem to me. If, however, there’s no veges in one meal, … Read More

via Aoumigamera

Japan Earthquake Tragedy and its Message (via A Fool’s Wish)

I’m more convinced of the toughness and resilience of humanity than this author. Nevertheless he has an interesting point of view. It is always possible to look at humans at the top of the food chain or at the very bottom. It’s a matter of perspective.

Is the glass half empty or half full? (Is that the champion cliche or what?)

James Pilant

Having no access to outside world for a month due to the mandatory military training, it’s joyous to be back in front of my laptop and catch up what I’ve missed. Facebook, Gmail and ESPN are my natural stops every morning, but I surfed away from those sites rather quickly and sought for articles on Japan Earthquake. It is extremely surreal that I still do not realize to my senses how serious of a tragedy this natural phenomenon has been. As final … Read More

via A Fool’s Wish

Quake to force shutdown of all US Toyota plants (via CBS News)

I think the ongoing nuclear crisis certainly contributed. But as time goes by, disastrous economic effects will be ascribed to the nuclear disaster. It’s just a matter of time.

James Pilant

Toyota Motor Corp. said Monday that it’s inevitable that the company will be forced to temporarily shut down all of its North American factories because of parts shortages due to the earthquake that hit Japan.

 The temporary shutdowns are likely to take place later this month, affecting 25,000 workers, but no layoffs are expected, spokesman Mike Goss said. Just how long the shutdowns last or whether all 13 of Toyota’s factories will be affected at the same is unknown and depends on when parts production can restart in Japan, he said.