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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Beginning of the end in Japan

In the month that we've been watching the nuclear disaster unfold in Fukushima, there has been relatively little by way of video for us to look at. Tokyo Electric is strenuously downplaying the crisis, and as part of that effort, it has steadfastly refused to share with the public any live video. All we get is a still shot taken from a nearby hill, refreshed once an hour. Here's what it looks like on Sunday morning over there:

The big stacks are ventilation pipes from the melting-down nuclear reactors. They stand about 250 feet high. To the right is the Pacific Ocean, with breakwaters built to keep stormy seas off the turbines and emergency equipment, which are at ground level between the stacks and the ocean. You can see some radioactive smoke coming off one or more of the plants. That's pretty much constant, and most of the time, it's blowing our way.

Once in a while they send a drone or a helicopter over the top and release some photos for folks to pore over. You can be sure that this set has been analyzed by thousands of people. Otherwise, it's been a big game of hide-the-ball. Break the bad news gradually, hide as much as you can for as long as you can, and distract, distract, distract. "Look, we plugged a hole!" Yeah, right.

Anyway, given that no one has posted any images of the tsunami hitting the plant, we have assumed that none existed, but in fact that's not true. Today Tokyo Electric released a brief amateur video clip, taken by a fleeing worker, which shows the wave crashing into the plant. Perspective is a tricky thing, but the wave seems to have been quite a ways up the stack:

Should those plants have been built there? Of course not. It's earthquake country -- tsunami country -- but the nuke people just rolled over all concerns and made their money. As they always do. Then when the farming and fishing are ruined for miles around, and the people come down with cancer, and the birth defects appear, they deny the truth as much as possible, occasionally bowing to say they're sorry. About five minutes later they're back pushing new reactor projects.

GE has pitched in a big "up to $10 million" to help the crisis. They'll pay a lot more than that chump change on lawyers before the Fukushima story fades, decades from now.

Comments (7)


To see what nuclear "accidents" actually do to real people
check out this photo essay. Warning: the images are graphic and highly disturbing.
Clean, safe, renewable, and cheap energy? NO!

Portland Native....First the first time in years, I cried after viewing this story on Chernobyl!
My God have mercy on those poor souls!!.
And may God have mercy on all mankind for our fooliness!!!!

Umm, don't look at Daiblo Canyon then.

meant Diablo Canyon near San Luis Obispo.

Or San Onofre near San Diego

Nuclear power is so easy to oppose, especially if you only look at one side sources. Here's a different take:


Other sources such as imported oil, oil from off US shores, or coal sound less scary but may be much more damaging to us. These and other energy sources bring political, strategic, environmental and economic costs and damage. I do love biomass and conservation, they'll help, but they aren't the whole answer.

Nuclear power is easy to oppose because it is not clean, cheap, or safe. It kills everything for centuries when unleashed. As a world civilization we are not equipped to handle this dangerous and toxic force. It is beyond our collective capabilities.
This form of energy production should be abandoned until as a world society we can control this force and effectively and safely contain its ruinous byproducts.

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