Sunday, March 13, 2011
The world grapples with the full meaning of what has happened in Japan's earthquake and nuclear meltdown
BC Mary comment: This isn't how I thought the crisis would develop ... but I did think that someday, somehow the planet Earth would have to realize we're not isolated units free to exploit one another for private benefit. At some point -- and this looks like the point -- our survival will depend upon realizing that we're all in this together.
In a sane world -- after seeing vehicles, boats, trains, houses being swept away as detritus -- all the damfool advertising of wares would be set aside as outrageous while the world grapples with the full meaning of what has happened in Japan. The damage is bigger than we realize ... with consequences for every human in every corner of Planet Earth.
Update March 17, 2011, thanks to Spectre1, who comments:
Just like in Canada and certainly in British Columbia, criminal collusion between big business and the Japanese government ultimately puts people at risk.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/03/17/international/i003856D12.DTL the provincial governments thirst for revenue versus the need for consultation and good stewardship
Please read this and think of BC Hydro. Dare we risk continuing to kid ourselves? Because ... look at this!
Have you noticed the advertisements by the oil industry about the glory of "fracking oil" out of the shale - Charlie sent along this article from the Tyee, as it is something you should be aware of - contrary to the oil ads the ground water being applied for lies behind the Bennett Dam - yes Williston Lake. Now if the water is drawn down, then the dam will be able to produce less electricity - and you know what that means !
Japan Tsunami Update: Nuclear Power Plant in Meltdown
By Yoichi Shimatsu
New America Media, News Report
Posted: March 12, 2011
TOKYO— A day after Japan’s devastating Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, core meltdown is underway the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant and, at this point, appears to be unstoppable. A mid-afternoon blast on Saturday demolished the structure housing an overheated and leaking reactor, raising the probability of a full-scale nuclear disaster, which could release radiation across the U.S. and even parts of Europe.
Just past noon in Japan, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency reported that the radioactive isotopes cesium and iodine had been detected by a monitoring station near the Fukushima plant. The facility has six reactors, three of them operating at the time of the earthquake. Two of these are overheating and Reactor 1 is leaking radioactive particles into the atmosphere.
The presence of these isotopes in air samples is a sure indicator of an uncontrolled chain reaction. Japanese nuclear engineers are explaining that overheated uranium rods seared through their metal casings, triggering the start of nuclear fission. The regulatory agency's statement contradicts the earlier claim of the plant’s operator, TEPCO, that all uranium rods were intact.
The afternoon explosion, which injured four workers, is hampering efforts by emergency workers to pump cold water into the reactor and release steam through safety valves. The internal steam pressure inside the reactor vessel is more than twice the approved level of the original design.
Truck-mounted generators have restored electrical power. The government has been frantically trying to locate robots to reopen the control room, which is now 1,000 times more radioactive than safe levels for humans. The cooling water is being provided by a common fire engine.
If temperatures and internal pressure cannot be significantly lowered soon, the likelihood of a fractured reactor barrier is increased. If the reactor shell cracks, the internal water will vaporize, creating conditions for uncontrolled fission and massive radioactive releases into the atmosphere.
Over the past 24 hours, the evacuation area for local residents has been widened from a diameter of three kilometers to 20 kilometers (12.4 miles). Over the same time period, outdoor radiation levels have risen from eight times higher than normal to 20 times higher, according to the monitoring station near Fukushima No.1.
Coming In Hot: Impact on North America
Panic is uncalled for, since cesium contamination poses a long-term rather than short-term threat, which can be reduced with timely countermeasures.
1. Pacific Jet Stream: In the spring season, the jet stream moves eastward from Japan toward the United States. Heated isotopes, riding on a cushion of steam and oceanic updrafts, will rise to the west-east jet stream at altitude 20,000 feet or higher. Areas of radioactive fallout are difficult to predict since these depend on local wind currents, temperatures, rainfall and other factors. The jet stream will cross the following states: California, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois and possibly further depending on surface winds. Cesium can be expected to fall unevenly, so monitoring is vital to determine the long-term threat level.
2. Cesium Fallout: Dispersal in the jet stream will greatly dilute the concentration of radiation, but the long half-life of cesium will constitute a health threat to humans and animals. Following the Chernobyl disaster, much of Western Europe was cesium-contaminated. Populations were given dosages of iodine, a neutron blocker. A notable rise in cancer was reported. Some countries banned the feeding of infants with breast milk, due to the concentration of radiation in human organs.
3. Cloud-seeding: Precipitation and atmospheric low pressure can force down airborne particles into the ocean. To be effective, a cloud-seeding program would have to be steadily maintained and conducted over a large area of the northwestern Pacific (just east of Japanese waters). The effort is daunting enough to require a multinational commitment of U.S., Russian, Japanese and Canadian air forces to detect radiation and spread pellets of cloud-seeding compounds. Once radioactive particles enter the fast-flowing jet stream, it will be well nigh impossible to contain the flow. Rainfall, natural or artificial, is unlikely to stop all radiation from crossing the Pacific but can lower the total volume.
4. Reactor Entombment: In event of a full-on core meltdown, entombment of a cracked reactor is necessary, as was done in Chernobyl. An out-of-control reactor will have to be encased by tons of concrete mixed with a neutron absorber like titanium dioxide. The process is slow and difficult requiring helicopter drops and high-pressure concrete pumps.
5. Herd Slaughter and Burial: Dispersed cesium is collected in the bodies of grazing animals and then concentrated in their milk and organs. In more affected areas of North America, a mass slaughter and burial of herding animals and wildlife will have to be methodically organized, as was done across Northern Europe following the Chernobyl disaster. Grain-fed animals must also be monitored for herd destruction if the grain crops were grown in contaminated soils.
Yoichi Shimatsu, former editor of the Japan Times Weekly, has covered the earthquakes in San Francisco and Kobe, participated in the rescue operation immediately after the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 and led the field research for an architectural report on structural design flaws that led to the tsunami death toll in Thailand.
This report received, thanks to Ingmar Lee.
Israel doesn't seem to worry about drifting radiation blowing in from the much closer (to Israel) Iran, should they trigger nuclear crises in Iran delivered by air. The ME always seemed like a pretty small area to engage in nuclear warfare - nuclear weapons seem most appropriate for enemies far away, or on other planets.
It seems a bit self centered to me to worry about the effect of nuclear accidents thousands of miles away, clearly the immediate threat is to the surrounding region and people.
You didn't read the posting.
2nd half explains what's coming OUR way, whether we like it or not.
God knows Japan understands the immediate threat of nuclear radiation on their home territory but -- otoh -- that didn't stop the Nikeii from ringing up many sales yesterday either.
And the point I was hoping to make is that somehow we must come to grips with the devastation coming our way too ... buying and selling stuff ain't going to do it for us.
One would hope that such a catastrophic event would indeed change peoples priorities and how they view the precious gift of life as we know it on the planet we all share.This may or may not effect our lives as in food supplies, our environment etc.etc. depending on the outcome of the melting nuclear reactors and whether they can prevent total devastation levels. I think we would be fools to think we are safe from serious changes to our lifestyles and habits.
I know I felt the gulf oil spill should change people and bring us back to a more realistic place where our delicate web would be taken more seriously but that didn't happen.
This event is much more serious as our earth and air will be contaminated and could be for many years, shortages in all necessities of life could become reality.
It amuses me in a way that we live in these politically correct times when to smoke a cigarette is akin to child abuse but nuclear reactors are fine by everyone's standards. Sick world!
It all does serve ,to me anyway, as a reminder of how little control we have over anything about ourselves as it all could change in a heartbeat.It is the children I worry for not myself but the innocent children who have not yet had a chance to have a say and not yet lived a life as I have,
That makes me angry and more wanting for change.
I do question how prepared out province might be given the people at the helm and I shudder to think of what the answer to that question might be. I think we should all make it a priority to rid ourselves of them for whatever future we may be facing. They all look rather meaningless and pitiful to me at the moment and my tolerance for them has just taken a hit!
As long as the so called "free" market is a rigged game with no consideration for real consequences and costs but a large scale shell game designed to make money for the masters, at everyone else's expense we will be unlikely to solve any of the problems facing us. We are likely to experience severe consequences and a real reduction of the quality of life if not the extinction of humans, which could be a benefit to the other species with whom we currently share the planet.
The only true accounting in modern business is of profits to those who benefit from them. All the environmental destruction and social inequality are factors ignored in the calculations of the white collar criminals with MBAs and law degrees.
I really wouldn't bet "My Life" on OUR criminal politicians to protect US!
Are the money-lenders blind, deaf, stupid, or what?
I understand that Toyota has suspended business. Others too, until the destruction is halted.
Seems the correct decision to me. And Germany is preparing to shut down nuclear power stations (built, or planned). There will be more who see the situation in stark human terms. Thank heaven. And who realize that it will take everybody's support to make it right.
But for the Nikei to rattle on buying and selling their pitiful scraps of paper as if nothing had happened, wow, and these are the brains who run the world economy.
Don't let's even think of the handful of corporations who are gaining control of the world's farmland and the seeds as well ...
Or the %&^*#@ who think that pure clean drinking water is a commodity (theirs) which can also be bought and sold for their private profit ...
This is what I'm seeing, Koot, and what makes me worry.
How can we expect higher standard of our leaders when we do not collectively look after ourselves?
Chernobyl didn't end the world. And neither will Fukushima.
What its contents had been, that title is a doozy. "Perfect gentlemen" do not turn a blind eye to the wanton killing of a youth for the crime of having an open beer on a back porch, nor to improper conduct on the part of Her Majesty's justices and prosecutors..
This article from the Economist Magazine was written on Tues./15/March and presented a bleak but ultimately long term hopeful tone.
This afternoon the experts are now drawing direct parallels with the Chernobyl disaster.
It appears big business and the Japanese Government have been playing with SINS OF OMISSION on just how bad things really were and now are.
Until big-business and government can be truly held legally accountable for their actions (and sins) this kind of for-profit-disaster will happen again and again.
If these upper-class beautiful criminals were to face prison time or better yet capital punishment . . . they may think twice about killing their fellow citizens for fun and profit.
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