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Tag: nuclear meltdown (Page 1 of 3)

When Duty Called …

377mWhen Duty Called …

We know today that during the disastrous meltdown at the Fukushima facilities, most of the nuclear plant workers, those highly trained individuals, bold and brave, willing to stay when everything is going wrong and a possible disaster threatens us all, when confronted with an actual nuclear disaster decided to take a day off and fled the scene.

Goodness! Does this call into question all those scenarios where the nuclear plant is in trouble and the steely eyed, workers (who will be played by Tom Cruise in the later film) work those controls, klaxons sounding in the background, and bring that reactor back from the brink?

The government and TEPCO kept this from their public and us until now. It’s embarrassing. After all, if you’ve telling a story of courage and stalwart endurance in the face of nation-wide danger, the revelation that the last ditch defenders against nuclear disaster were searching their pockets for car keys may be less than edifying.

If you think this constitutes an argument against nuclear energy, you’re right.Those systems designed to stop nuclear disaster aren’t all automatic. They need human guidance, and if the workers flee, only the thinnest of chances protects us from disaster.

James Pilant

Business Ethics Implications –

The workers violated their duty to their nation, friends and relatives by leaving their stations. It seems obvious that TEPCO, the utility company, did not properly prepare for the incident and its management handled the events poorly. The Japanese government and TEPCO have actively suppressed information regarding the incident and its aftermath.

If you are a student writing a paper about an incident in which a lack of business ethics actively contributed to the disaster, this is a good topic with abundant sources.

James Pilant

Panicked workers abandoned Fukushima as the nuclear disaster unfolded, report reveals



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Holding Nuclear Power Plants to Strict Standards (via U.S. NRC Blog)

070Holding Nuclear Power Plants to Strict Standards (via U.S. NRC Blog)

I hope the NRC is serious about that. The willingness here to refer to earlier enforcement efforts I find encouraging.

Since, nuclear power seems to be beyond any effect of public opinion, in fact, immune to all expressions of human intelligence and judgment, the NRC is our major line of defense.

Nuclear plants are built in America because the industry pays out a lot of money in political contributions and has superb lobbyists. No public concerns can carry such weight. All other issues are not worth consideration.

James Pilant

It’s not uncommon for regulatory agencies to be accused of being too cozy with whatever industry they regulate. It happens to the FDA, the SEC, the FAA and other federal regulators. And it’s happening to the NRC with some vigor recently, especially since the public’s attention to the Japanese nuclear emergency. As an independent regulatory agency, the NRC has a robust and comprehensive approach to holding U.S. nuclear power plants to strict safet … Read More

via U.S. NRC Blog

From around the web.

From the web site, Ryugakusie Town.


Japanese nuclear plants are set to face strict new safety qualifications
in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear incident. Some plants such as
the Hamaoka nuclear plant in Chubu are pursuing expensive new
improvements as skeptical shareholders worry the plants may be closed
anyways. Often referenced as one of the more dangerous plants due to its
high-risk location in regards to earthquakes, the Hamaoka plant is due
to undergo a massive $1.5 billion safety upgrade it claims will lead to a
safe and efficient energy source.

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Bloomberg: Fukushima Radiated Water May Overflow Trenches in Five Days (via Japan Earthquake & Related Info)

Bloomberg: Fukushima Radiated Water May Overflow Trenches in Five Days

This web site covers the Fukushima crisis on a daily basis. If you have any interest in this situation I recommend you subscribe. I do.

James Pilant

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-06-02/fukushima-radiated-water-may-overflow-trenches-in-five-days.html … Read More

via Japan Earthquake & Related Info

From around the web.

From the web site, The Old Speak Journal.


June 12, 2012

This ongoing disaster is an existential threat. Untold millions of tons
of radioactive water has been continuously dumped into the Pacific
Ocean, radiation has been detected in rain, snow, air, water &  food
in a number of places far away from the west coast. Why has the level
of concern of state and federal governments been so low? Why has
radioactivity testing been stopped? Why is the Ventura County Reporter
the only news outlet reporting on this acute threat to the lives of
millions of Americans? It’s become clear that this ongoing catastrophe
will be ignored until it is no longer possible to do so. By then it will
be too late to do anything about it. WHY?! In the mean time people
living in pacific coast bordering regions should take steps to protect
themselves. Avoid seafood. Stay inside during rainstorms. Avoid the
beach. Limit your time outdoors. “

From the web site, The Liberal Ironist


Yes, the water that flows through a reactor is that important: Some
reactors slowly begin to melt-down as soon as it is removed–regardless
of whether the nuclear chain reaction continues.  When the reactors
powered-down, they also stopped powering their own coolant loops.  The
coolant systems for these reactors could have drawn power from the rest
of Japan’s grid; but the primary transmission lines from which Fukushima
I provides power for the Tokyo area apparently have been damaged, and
electricity was unavailable from these.  So the coolant systems for the
plant’s reactors had to depend on the gas-powered backup generators.
 These switched on and powered the coolant feed without much
trouble…until they were destroyed when the massive tsunami washed over
Fukushima I’s protective sea wall about an hour later.

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Tepco head quits after $15bn loss (via moneyblogforexblog)

Accountability, how strange. I have doubts that such a poor performance would always cost the job of an American CEO. We have learned to insulate our governing and corporate classes from the petty pain of suffering for their actions.

The president of Tepco, which operates the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, resigns as the firm reports a $15bn loss.ge finance business intelligence … Read More

Here’s a news story about the resignation.

Here’s another take on the issue, discussing whether or not the company can continue.

Dose rate reduction actions (via Mark Foreman’s Blog)

Dose rate reduction actions (via Mark Foreman’s Blog)

Removing top soil from school grounds to reduce radiation is a positive step. It does however provide a small harbinger of the enormous cost this disaster is going to impose in Japan for as much future as humans can reasonably foresee.

Generally nations recover from floods, chemical spills, rock slides, etc. and dare I say it, combinations of tsunami and earthquakes. Japan may recover economically but the damage to the land is permanent unless you look at history in terms of periods like the Jurassic.

It is questionable business ethics to promote PR that claims such disasters unlikely or impossible. It is questionable business ethics to subvert the government into downplaying or covering up incidents at your nuclear plants. It is questionable business ethics to pretend certainty when you don’t have any.

I expect giant corporations to lie, exaggerate and steal if at all possible. (Small corporations are much less likely to have these faults and are in many cases, excellent examples of morality and patriotism.) But permanently destroying the landscape has to considered unethical in an extreme sense.

James Pilant

Dose reduction actions It looks like the Japanese have started to take actions to lower doses and dose rates. One action has been the removal of the top layer of soil from school property. Due to the fact that children are still growing they are regarded as being more sensitive to the induction of cancer by radiation. I hold the view that this is the reason why no person under the age of 16 is allowed to become a radiological worker, also up to t … Read More

via Mark Foreman’s Blog

Fuk-U-shima (via VA Shipbuilder)

This seems to be a day in which post after post has thoughtful comments. That makes it a good day. I appreciate thinking especially critical thinking.

This author has some thoughts and some questions. Should spent nuclear fuel rods be stored on top of currently operating reactors? I believe that is the practice in many countries including the United States.

However, I am not an expert on nuclear plants and if any of my kind readers would like to lend us a hand with this question, I will be happy to thank him and publish his thoughts.

James Pilant

Special thanks to VA Shipbuilder.

The nuclear industry (and to some extent, my small shipyard) is in the fight of its life.  This assessment is true whethere you are for or against nuclear power in general.  40 years ago, a group of people made a decision that would have lasting impacts.  For whatever reason, the Fukushima Dai Ichi plant was designed in such a way that the storage pools for spent fuel rods were placed directly above the reactor cores.  I like to call this design … Read More

via VA Shipbuilder

9.1 – Nuclear Energy Continued (via nimerd)

There are a lot of questions that need to be asked about Congress’ decision to increas the United States’ reliance on nuclear power.

There’s no question in my mind that the power plants are going to built either with private money or private money guaranteed by the treasury. The second course is the one chosen by the government.

Congress has acted to guarantee loans used to build these plants and indemnified the industry from damages over a certain point.

It doen not give one faith in the financial security of such an investment or the safety of the plants. But that’s how it’s going to be done.

The author is asking some important questions. Please read his post.

James Pilant

A few weeks back I blogged about the post-tsunami nuclear meltdown in Japan, and predicted it would impact the use of nuclear energy worldwide. However, a month after the event, this does not appear to be the case. An article from an investment article I read today cited several prominent nuclear energy companies in several countries, including the US and Japan, that are saying they will continue to use nuclear energy as usual. Japan, which curre … Read More

via nimerd

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

Barack Obama – a President for the nuclear industry (via nuclear-news)

I’ll let the article speak for itself and you decide.

James Pilant

Barack Obama - a President for the nuclear industry One of Obama’s largest campaign donors since 2003 has been the Exelon Corporation, a nuclear power company. Obama’s former chief of staff, David Axelrod, previously worked as a consultant for Exelon. As a state Senator in Illinois, Obama skillfully played both sides of the nuclear debate, but ultimately did the industry’s political dirty work after a leak at an Exelon plant was exposed, causing public outrage. Obama put forward a bill requiring l … Read More

via nuclear-news

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