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Tag: disaster

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, the “top” nuclear officials, 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

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High radiation found at Japan’s Fukushima plant (via National Post | News)

Just when you think the Fukushima crisis had finally been scrubbed from the news by various interest groups and the Japanese government, it comes roaring right back at you.

James Pilant

TOKYO — Pockets of lethal levels of radiation have been detected at Japan’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in a fresh reminder of the risks faced by workers battling to contain the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) reported on Monday that radiation exceeding 10,000 millisieverts per hour was found at the bottom of a ventilation stack standing between two reactors. On Tuesday Tepco said i … Read More

via National Post | News

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Nuclear Plant, Left for Dead, Shows a Pulse (via Energy)

image32Nuclear Plant, Left for Dead, Shows a Pulse (via Energy)

You cannot kill these things.

Christopher Lee as Dracula in a mid-sixties Hammer film has the life span of a mayfly by comparison.

This nuclear plant, little more than a pile of looted wreckage is under consideration for construction.

I call upon anyone and every one for a little respect for the facts of the situation. Surely, we can think better than this?

James Pilant

By MATTHEW L. WALD/NYT HOLLYWOOD, Ala. — Spider webs line the 50-story cooling towers, parts have been amputated for the scrap value of their nickel or copper, and the control room still has analog dials at Bellefonte 1, a half-built nuclear plant here that was shelved 23 years ago. This does not seem like a particularly opportune moment to breathe life back into a reactor that was designed before the computer age. But its owner, the … Read More

via Energy

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Worries Over Two Nuclear Plants (via )

The Fukushima 1 NPP

Image via Wikipedia

I think there is definitely some grounds for concern. If you buy the idea that corporations are only in business to make money and have no other responsibilities, the idea that they might skimp on protections becomes very viable.

Nuclear plants are indemnified by the federal government if they cause more than a certain amount of damage. Off the top of my head, I believe that amount is fifty million dollars. That’s not a lot of incentive to protect the public. For many corporations, fifty million dollars is small change.

TEPCO, the Japanese utility that runs the nuclear plants that have melted down would have loved to have a deal like the American government gives out to our nuclear utilities.

It should be obvious that indemnification destroys a lot of corporate rationale for safety. If the money damages aren’t that big a deal, why not cut corners?

James Pilant

Worries Over Two Nuclear Plants As record floodwaters along the Missouri River drench homes and businesses, concerns have grown about keeping a couple of notable structures dry: two riverside nuclear power plants in Nebraska. Though the plants have declared “unusual events,” the lowest level in the emergency taxonomy used by federal nuclear regulators, both were designed to withstand this level of flooding, and neither is viewed as being at risk for a disaster, said a spokesman … Read More

via

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Unsafe Radiation Found Near Tokyo, Vast Area of Japan Contaminated ! (via Socio-Economics History Blog)

Unsafe Radiation Found Near Tokyo, Vast Area of Japan Contaminated ! (via Socio-Economics History Blog)

I’ve been reading reports for some days now that radiation is being detected in “hot spots” outside the restricted in increasing amounts and in more places.

If you’ll examine a recent map of Chernobyl, you will find a phenomenon called “leopard stripes.” Hot radiation areas laid in patterns similar to leopard stripes on the map. Radiation does not spread evenly. So if we see hot spots popping up here and there, it is a new pattern forming.

I am uncomfortable with this. The tonnage of radioactive material is very large at these sites (Fukushima). Over long periods of time and with variations in wind and other weather, the radiation could contaminate countries in every direction.

James Pilant

Unsafe Radiation Found Near Tokyo, Vast Area of Japan Contaminated ! To those of you thinking of a holiday in Japan, you may want to think twice about it. The radiation level reported in the MSM since the 11 March inciden … Read More

via Socio-Economics History Blog

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Coming Clean about Nuclear Power (via boltonnewyork)

I like this article. It is skeptical but willing to ask a lot of hard questions. I’m willing to give nuclear energy a chance to be part of our nation’s future plans but only if I can trust the industry. So, you can pretty sure I’m opposed to any nuclear plant development since that condition cannot be met. The industry track record is clear. I’ve been pounded with lies, half-truths and assurances that bore no resemblance to reality. Whether or not you believe that the damage caused by the various nuclear incidents justifies abandoning nuclear power, surely you can see that the industry’s credibility is gone?

Not only do we have to contend with industry PR so thin, that the smallest child can see through it, we have the problem of governments being industry captives blurting out even worse nonsense. In the United States, there has been no real changes in planning caused by Fukushima. It’s as if a car of identical make to yours disintegrated on the highway but you just go ahead driving yours.

But there’s more. Disagree with a future of nuclear energy and you get to meet up with the dogs of war, the partisans of a nuclear future. They believe several things – 1) if you are opposed to nuclear energy you are some left leaning tree hugger, 2) you just don’t understand because you’re blinded by anti nuclear propaganda, 3) you don’t grasp the critical need for nuclear power since all the other sources of energy are flawed, and (my very favorite) 4) radiation is all around us, we get it in chest x-rays, scanners in our airports, granite taken from deep in the earth has radiation in it, therefore all of these concerns about radiation are overblown.

This article is intelligent and asks some critical questions, like why is our evacuation zones in case of nuclear accident only ten miles while in Japan a much larger zone was found necessary? That’s a good question.

Let’s hope for more posts from this author.

James Pilant

Coming Clean about Nuclear Power San Onofre nuclear plant in southern California Image: David McNew Getty Images Ever since Japan’s battered Fukushima Daiichi reactor complex began emitting radiation in March, calls to abandon nuclear power have risen in the U.S. and Germany, among other countries. If only it were so simple. Nuclear contributes 20 percent of the U.S. power supply and a significant share in other developed countries. If we gave it up, what would replace it? Pollu … Read More

via boltonnewyork

The invisible threat (via Thematic Maps Blog)

I love maps. I wanted to do this on my web site, and while I have shown several maps of the fallout from Chernobyl, they weren’t as fancy as this.

I would like to say that this web site has many wonderful maps on it and if you enjoy maps as much as I do, please go and enjoy yourself.

James Pilant

The invisible threat The latest catastrophic news from Japan leave the impression that the disaster in Fukushima is more and more developing into Chernobyl-Dimensions. The course of events however is different in Fukushima compared to Chernobyl. Since the impact of the 1986 nuclear meltdown seem to be more and more forgotten but come back to peoples minds these days I browsed the web for some maps that show the distribution of the radioactive fallout after Chernobyl. … Read More

via Thematic Maps Blog

The Challenger Disaster (via Shouts from the Abyss)

This may well be the greatest business ethics lesson ever conceived in the modern world. This a story is which people died and only the innocent were punished.

It makes me angry every single time I read it. It is a precursor to modern corporate morality. Every element of PR, blame passing and simple greed are all on display in their disgusting finery. Once you understand Challenger, you understand how things work , you get the Wall Street Meltdown and the lack of responsibility. You get why so many people suffer and those who cause it not only feel no pain but blame the victims. This is the modern American story. Well placed greed outdistancing courage, loyalty and honor.

You can’t find a better story of corporate immorality and government connivance.

I used it in my business ethics class.

James Pilant

The Challenger Disaster I’m not always that bright. We were playing Trivial Pursuit and someone (not me) got the quest … Read More

via Shouts from the Abyss

Wall Street Overpays!

“Stop me before I overpay again,”might be scratched on the wall of Goldman Sachs’, if the firm had any insight or shame. But they don’t. Reuters News Agency reports that Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Citibank are among the firms who will be cited by the Obama administration pay czar Kenneth Feinberg for having made “ill-advised” payments. (For ill-advised read unearned) The payments in the 17 institutions cited total over one billion dollars. This was in 2008 when the firms were awash with taxpayer money from the bailout.

You see it doesn’t matter what scrutiny they are under, whether or not the public is angry, whether an action is right or wrong as long as the money flows. Money, Money, Money, the arbiter of all decision making on Wall Street, the great green god that supplants the real God and any of sense of responsibility. They know that the only important thing in the world is money. It buys happiness, sex, influence and immunity from the duties that the rest of us take for granted as part of our lives. They live in separate communities with separate education systems and when our children serve in the military, become teachers, policeman or firemen, they snicker at our stupidity.

Or they decide we are unworthy, take a look at this excerpt from Ben Stein’s article in the American Spectator:

The people who have been laid off and cannot find work are generally people with poor work habits and poor personalities. I say “generally” because there are exceptions. But in general, as I survey the ranks of those who are unemployed, I see people who have overbearing and unpleasant personalities and/or who do not know how to do a day’s work.

That’s right, the millions of unemployed their lives in tatters because of casino capitalism, aren’t there because of a savage recession (depression). No, they’re just lazy.

By the way, the article just oozes with Ben Stein’s concern for his poor friends who made bad investments. I can’t help but be curious where he would meet the unemployed. Maybe he’s just confused. Maybe he’s really thinking about his upper crust friends who don’t know how to do an honest day’s work or exercise a workable personality.

I shouldn’t be so angry. Right? Why should the fact that there is one job for every five applicants bother me? Why should an economic elite that moves every job humanly possible to some distant shore where they can ignore those annoying work place laws like child labor, wage and hour, and most annoyingly of all, worker safety, bother me? Why should I be upset? After all, there are a lot of workers, a lot of surplus population that needs culling.

I want justice. I want hard working American to reap the benefits of their hard work, their devotion to this country and their willingness to go the extra mile to do what’s right.

James Pilant

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