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Japan Earth

Further Updates On Post-Tsumami Japan 369

Posted by timothy
from the virgin-mobile-was-evidently-affected-too dept.
DarkStarZumaBeach points out a frequently updated page from the International Atomic Energy Agency with updates on the situation at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant, which reports in terse but readable form details of the dangers and progress there. The most recent update says that the plant's Unit 2 has been re-wired for power, and engineers 'plan to reconnect power to unit 2 once the spraying of water on the unit 3 reactor building is completed.' Read on for more on the tsunami aftermath.
Reader srwellman writes "A large plume of radioactive smoke is heading from Japan to the West Coast of the US. Officials claim the plume is not dangerous."

dooms13 suggests (by way of The Register) that the disaster in Fukushima is nonetheless a demonstrated triumph for nuclear safety: "If nuclear powerplants were merely as safe as they are advertised to be, there should have been a major failure right then. As the hot cores ceased to be cooled by the water which is used to extract power from them, control rods would have remained withdrawn and a runaway chain reaction could have ensued – probably resulting in the worst thing that can happen to a properly designed nuclear reactor: a core meltdown in which the superhot fuel rods actually melt and slag down the whole core into a blob of molten metal. In this case the only thing to do is seal up the containment and wait: no radiation disaster will take place, but the reactor is a total writeoff and cooling the core off will be difficult and take a long time. Eventual cleanup will be protracted and expensive."

Something to contemplate while the rescue effort continues: imscarr writes "The coastline of Japan has drastically changed since the earthquake & tsunami. New bays have formed and many areas are completely flooded. These interactive before-and-after images show you the magnitude of devastation. Other photos here."

Adds reader madcarrots: "The Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics (LAB), a unit of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), directed by Professor Michel Andre, has recorded the sound of the earthquake that shook Japan on Friday, March 11. The recording, now available online, was provided by a network of underwater observatories belonging to the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) and located on either side of the earthquake epicenter, close to the Japanese island of Hatsushima."
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Further Updates On Post-Tsumami Japan

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  • by fridaynightsmoke (1589903) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @04:10PM (#35521508) Homepage

    Reader srwellman writes "A large plume of radioactive smoke is heading from Japan to the West Coast of the US. Officials claim the plume is not dangerous."

    The linked source does NOT validate that assertion whatsoever. [nytimes.com] The 'plume' is a forecast of the way a plume would take shape across the pacific, if it were to exist. No-one is saying that there is a radioactive smoke plume of any magnitude, including undetectable. It is a weather forecast, meant for internal consumption by various national nuclear agencies for contingency planning and leaked to the NYT, nothing more.

    • by sycodon (149926)

      The media has been nothing than a huge cluster fuck of hyperbole and made up speculation under the guise of "experts".

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @04:16PM (#35521596)

    From New York to Germany, politicians are proposing shutting-down nuclear plants.

    Talk about jumping to rash conclusions. What are we supposed to use for power once the oil/coal becomes scarce and as expensive as silver? We need nuclear power as a replacement fuel (and supplemented by solar).

    • by gamanimatron (1327245) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @04:19PM (#35521648) Journal
      They've learned that fear can be converted directly into money, by way of voters. Who do you think is going to be selling you that coal?
    • by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki@gmail . c om> on Thursday March 17, 2011 @04:20PM (#35521672) Homepage

      Welcome to media hype and the anti-nuclear nuts run amok. By the way, next time they trot out the "experts", jot down the names and do a search. You'll find most of them are linked to anti-nuclear groups.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Welcome to media hype and the anti-nuclear nuts run amok.

        They are not running amok so much as running away from the industry shills and misguided nuclear enthusiasts, who, when each new batch of egg hits their face, remind us that raw egg can be very good for the skin.

        • Nothing wrong with nuclear power if its done correctly. I seem to remember liquid sodium cooled reactors that are safer than any of the water reactors, yet you anti-nuclear people wont allow these safe reactors to be built to replace the less safe water reactors. Good work, you basically made a self fulfilling prophecy.
      • by poetmatt (793785)

        This isn't flamebait, it's incredibly accurate. It isn't specific to anti-nuclear groups but people that want to control others via fear. You know "BEWARE OF NUCLEAR FALLOUT IMMINENT!" etc etc.

        For real news read here - http://mitnse.com/ [mitnse.com] - ,where, everything is calming down.

        • by Pumpkin Tuna (1033058) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @05:06PM (#35522430)

          Yes, MIT, which brought us the widely quoted "why-i-am-not-worried-about-japans-nuclear-reactors" blog post early on. What's that? You can't find "why-i-am-not-worried-about-japans-nuclear-reactors?" Oh, it seems mitnse.com has taken that highly rosy, bright and shiny optimistic tract down. Probably because the disaster that it dismissed has slowly happened. You can read that original post with a little googling. Pay close attention to the "worst-case-scenario" at the end.
          Forgive me if I don't automatically accept the rosy outlook of people who are going to college to build and run nuclear plants.

          Has there been breathless overreaction? Absolutely! I still hear crap on the news that makes me facepalm. But at the same time, TEPCO has consistently downplayed the real situation. other actual experts are considerably more worried about the ability of TEPCO to get a handle on this.

          • by anagama (611277)
            Plus, TEPCO is has a proven track record of being a lying sack-of-poo: Bungling, cover-ups define Japanese nuclear power [yahoo.com]

            Leaks of radioactive steam and workers contaminated with radiation are just part of the disturbing catalog of accidents that have occurred over the years and been belatedly reported to the public, if at all.

            In one case, workers hand-mixed uranium in stainless steel buckets, instead of processing by machine, so the fuel could be reused, exposing hundreds of workers to radiation. Two late

            • by 517714 (762276)
              The Tokaimura incident [wikipedia.org] (hand mixing of uranium) has no connection with TEPCO, or with commercial nuclear power. Kei Sugaoka waited eleven years before reporting the incident, two years after he was fired. He may be completely forthcoming in his assessment, but ...
          • by LetterRip (30937) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @08:27PM (#35524630)

            Yes, MIT, which brought us the widely quoted "why-i-am-not-worried-about-japans-nuclear-reactors" blog post early on. What's that? You can't find "why-i-am-not-worried-about-japans-nuclear-reactors?" Oh, it seems mitnse.com has taken that highly rosy, bright and shiny optimistic tract down.

            You mean this post?

            http://mitnse.com/2011/03/13/modified-version-of-original-post/ [mitnse.com]

            Still seems to be there. (The original was posted at the blog mortagesatlarge since it was an email to freinds and family - it moved to the MIT blog since the original author found ou it had been publically posted, and asked them to check it for accuracy and if they would be willing to host it)

            Probably because the disaster that it dismissed has slowly happened. You can read that original post with a little googling. Pay close attention to the "worst-case-scenario" at the end.

            I've read it, the worst case scenario was with respect to the reactors. The problems we are seeing, which was not discussed in the original post (and at the time of the articles writing were not known to be an issue), are with the cooling beds for spent fuel, not the reactors.

      • by elrous0 (869638) *

        Wish I had some mod points left for you.

      • anti-nuclear groups = pro big oil and coal
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Mashiki (184564)

          Actually I'd say anti-nuke, is much closer to = pro stone age humans.

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      >>>oil/coal becomes scarce and as expensive as silver?

      That would be ~$160,000 per barrel. I suppose oil will never reach that high.

    • by Dan667 (564390) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @04:27PM (#35521794)
      people have short memories, BP just got through destroying much of the Gulf of Mexico with IMHO a much worse Oil Disaster.
    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      On the upside, the anti-nuke environmental wackos are having a fucking field day. Nothing beats some good Chicken Little scare tactics and a convenient radiation boogeyman to advance your hippie agenda.

      • by polar red (215081)

        are you saying there is nothing wrong with nuclear power ? are you saying absolute safety is even physically possible ?

        • by HiThere (15173)

          Absolute safety is, of course, impossible. But relative safety is.

          I just wonder, though, whether humans can be trusted to operate nuclear plants safely. We don't have a good track record. Everywhere there's sufficient information we find critical information being hidden from the people who are supposed to ensure that things are safe for the economic benefit of plant management. In the US we have known unsafe plants being re-licensed after their design life is over to be operated at higher levels of pow

    • by blair1q (305137)

      Stupid move. Any nuke plant you shut down will have to be maintained as though it's running while you wait for a decade or more for the fuel to be unreactive enough to be transported off-site. You might as well make money on the electricity it can generate while that's happening, and you would be better off retrofitting it with a gravity-fed flooding mechanism with an inlet a long distance away and behind significant shielding.

      • by sirsnork (530512)

        And when the earthquake cracks the inlet tube and all the water dumps before the reactor?

        Nothing is ever fullproof. You do the best you can with the money you have and the ideas/plans available.

        Personally I'm more impressed the facility came throught he quake unscathed, and ironically it's the lack of power thats the problem.

        So, how can a nuclear power plant not have power when a reaction is still occuring, thats the thing thats confused me here. It's a power plant, and yet the cooling pumps are powered exc

    • by blair1q (305137)

      You? You'll be jacked into port 12B888 on pylon zed-zed-plural-zed-alpha. 200 watts of continuous thermal output as long as we have enough beer and donuts in intravenous form.

      • by blair1q (305137)

        interesting. I double-replied to the same post without noticing. I need to get into the lab and clear this shit out of my brain for the rest of the day.

    • The mass hysteria over nuclear power is ridiculous. If any of these people would pick up a physics textbook they would realize Fukushima is not dangerous to anyone but the Japanese in a 100 mile radius of it. Furthermore, an earthquake followed by a tsunami is not something that most mainland nuclear reactors need to worry about. As I have heard, the reactor did well until the tsunami hit. Ok, so we shouldnt build nuclear reactors on the coastline in an area prone to tsunamis, lesson learned, now apply the
  • astroturf in action (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 0WaitState (231806) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @04:20PM (#35521666)
    This link:

    Bad Oehmen: Confirmation Bias, Sources & Astroturfing [ritholtz.com]

    Describes the curious case of how a reassuring first time web post ("Why I am not worried about Japans nuclear reactors") from a guy working on a liason project at MIT in a non-nuclear engineering or physicist role somehow got reposted 30,000 times in one day.

    Just something to keep in mind when you see crap like "If nuclear powerplants were merely as safe as they are advertised to be, there should have been a major failure right then". Hey clueless, the cores haven't melted. Yet. They are losing their heat removal capacity over time as less and less water surrounds them. When they do get hot enough, they will melt their containers, and we will have a chernobyl-style release. Not exactly the same as chernobyl, because there's no graphite to burn. Instead the particulate radioactive isotopes and actinides (and plutonium, yay!) will be propelled into the atmosphere via hydrogren explosions. There's also a hell of a lot more uranium and plutonium on site since some clever laddie beancounter got the used fuel rods containment pools located above the reactors.

    Fukushima hasn't completely melted down, yet. If it doesn't it will because we (the planet) threw everything we have at it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Coupled with the ongoing debacle with the plant in Japan, stories like this really make me wonder if I ever should have changed my position on nuclear power.

      A few years ago [slashdot.org], my views on nuclear energy began to shift. Part of this was due to "self-education" on nuclear power, and finding out from many online sources that nuclear energy was "totally safe", and that the dangers were "overblown", and that the public was simply being irrational and hysterical.

      But over the last few days, watching the reactors in

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Solandri (704621)

      Bad Oehmen: Confirmation Bias, Sources & Astroturfing

      Describes the curious case of how a reassuring first time web post ("Why I am not worried about Japans nuclear reactors") from a guy working on a liason project at MIT in a non-nuclear engineering or physicist role somehow got reposted 30,000 times in one day.

      Indeed. Do you want another example of confirmation bias and astroturfing? Have you ever heard of Banqiao? It was a Chinese nuclear plant which in 1975 suffered a severe accident. The Chi

      • Your entire spiel on Banqiao is an elaborate straw man. China has been subject to catastrophic floods for millennia. It has a lot to do with geography, but basically China is flat as a pancake and its major rivers have enormous watersheds. The dam is only part of the problem.

        Meanwhile. devastating as the floods were, the waters receeded(Floods do not make regions uninhabitable). The dam was rebuilt and people's homes can also be rebuilt. Chernobyl on the other hand is a write off for up to 100 years. The Fukushima plant disaster now risks making a 30km radius semicircle of land uninhabitable for decades in one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

        Only nuclear power can inflict that kind of long term, irrecoverable damage in the event of an accident; Can and has, on more than one occasion.

        Would you build one of these plants within 30km of a major city like Tokyo, London or New York? Will you take the risk that the plant will operate smoothly and without incident for 100 years? Will you take the risk with 100-200 such plants near major cities worldwide? Are you prepared to write off one major metropolitan area every thirty years or so?

        I'm not.

        Nuclear energy lost its gloss for me after this incident. Nuclear engineers and particularly private companies cannot be relied upon to keep hot rods cool in an emergency. When the chips are down, they are too likely to fail, and the potential long term damage is simply too much to risk.

        • by cartman (18204)

          Only nuclear power can inflict that kind of long term, irrecoverable damage in the event of an accident;

          I don't know if you're a believer in Anthropogenic Global Warming or not. If you are, I should point out that coal-burning plants could make Florida, Louisiana, and most of the country of Bangladesh underwater for several hundred thousand years.

        • by Solandri (704621) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @10:16PM (#35525474)

          Meanwhile. devastating as the floods were, the waters receeded(Floods do not make regions uninhabitable).

          Floods don't. Hydroelectric dams do [wikipedia.org]. In fact, quite a few more people are relocated for dams [nationalgeographic.com] than from Chernobyl.

          Would you build one of these plants within 30km of a major city like Tokyo, London or New York?

          No. But neither would I build a large hydroelectric dam upriver from them. Nor a coal plant upwind from them. All of these plants are very safe, but there's no sense taking that risk if there's lots of open space in a relatively uninhabited area where you can put the plant.

          Are you prepared to write off one major metropolitan area every thirty years or so?

          We already do far more than that. Coal plant emissions are estimated to kill about 1 million people each year worldwide. Yeah all those deaths are distributed around the world. But 30 million deaths every 30 years would easily exceeds a major metropolitan area.

          Your entire spiel on Banqiao is an elaborate straw man. China has been subject to catastrophic floods for millennia. It has a lot to do with geography, but basically China is flat as a pancake and its major rivers have enormous watersheds. The dam is only part of the problem.

          I wanted to address this last because you're introducing another variable (a good one) into the comparison. Mainly, the presence of the hydroelectric dams cannot be compared against a vacuum where nobody dies. If the dams were not there, those regions of China would experience more annual flooding. Sure, the Banqiao dam failure resulted in a huge number of deaths that fateful day, but we have to also take into account the number of lives saved by the presence of those dams in other years.

          The net effect could be that having the dam actually resulted in a net savings of life. If flooding normally caused 8000 deaths in the region per year, and the dams stopped that for 24 years, then it saved a total of 192,000 lives. 171,000 lives were lost when the Banqiao dam burst. So over those 24 years, there would've actually been a net benefit of 21,000 lives saved.

          But if you do that for hydro, you also have to do it for nuclear. You can't compare nuclear power to a vacuum where nobody dies. If nuclear power plants didn't exist, the need for the power they generate would still be there. Something else would have to provide that power. The most likely candidate is coal plants. Both are the constantly on type of power generation referred to as base load (oil, gas, and hydro plants are usually used to adjust for variability in demand, solar and wind provide a negligible contribution to power generation). So if our currently existing nuclear plants had never been built, we'd most likely be using coal plants in their place.

          Statistically, coal plants cause about 161 deaths per TWh of power generated. Worldwide, nuclear power generates about 2500 TWh per year [world-nuclear-news.org]. Its average fatality rate has bee 0.04 deaths per TWh. So if all our nuclear plants had never been built, and were coal plants instead, we'd be looking at (161-0.04)*2500 = 402,400 more deaths per year from the additional coal mining and pollution.

          In other words, if we analyze safety the way you're proposing, nuclear power saves 400,000 lives each year.

  • by ahodgkinson (662233) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @04:21PM (#35521684) Homepage Journal

    The MIT Department of Nuclear Engineering has a web site, updated regularly, which acts as a hub for information about the nuclear crisis, including helpful background information.

    See it at: http://mitnse.com/ [mitnse.com]

  • by blair1q (305137) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @04:31PM (#35521868) Journal

    It's taken them nearly a week to get a police truck with a water cannon there (and it didn't work).

    Why the fuck wasn't there a way to fly in a pumper truck, a generator, a long hose, and a ladder, to flood that building on Saturday or Sunday?

    Are they so married to their procedures that they have no clue at all when thinking outside the box will save their asses? Do they have no foresight to try something preventive instead of waiting for the same sequence of disastrous results to occur in every reactor building?

    • Why the fuck wasn't there a way to fly in a pumper truck, a generator, a long hose, and a ladder, to flood that building on Saturday or Sunday?

      You go ahead and run it.... The problem is that closeup you're dealing with enough radiation to kill a human in minutes. Even if you were brave enough to drive the truck there, you might not survive long enough to get out, pick up the large, heavy hose, hurk it up several flights of non existent stairs, bolt it down and turn it on. I'm a bit surprised that we don't see any robotics at least trying to get close. Possibly the thermal and radiation environment precludes anything not specifically designed

      • Im definitely surprised there are no robots bringing hoses over to the core. It seems like it wouldn't take this long to make a wheeled robot capable of handling a hose travel to the reactor. Sure, it would be a long-ass hose, but I see no reason its not possible given enough pumps at the far end and enough couples to screw fire hoses together.
        • by stjobe (78285) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @05:24PM (#35522660) Homepage

          They tried it at Chernobyl, the radioactivity fries the electronics very fast, making it impractical at best and impossible at worst to use robots.

    • Maybe they were distracted cause of 10,000+ people killed, 300,000+ homeless in freezing temps, no power anywhere, fires burning, streets blocked 5 miles inland, yadayadayada.

      BTW, onsite radiation is measured in the 100s of millisieverts/hr. You want to by the guy manning that hose? Also, the volume of water put out by a high pressure firehose compared with what is needed to cool 3 reactors and refill 4 reactors' spent fuel ponds is kind of like trying to fill your backyard swimming pool by pissing in it.

    • If only they could have used your giant head to block the tsunami that wiped out a large part of their nation..
    • by stjobe (78285)

      In case you've missed it, the area was hit by the largest earthquake in recent history and a 30ft tsunami.
      It might not be as easy as going to the corner shop to get that equipment in there with all the surrounding land in ruins and 11.000 people dead or missing.

    • by compro01 (777531) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @05:12PM (#35522522)

      Fly it in using what exactly? A pumper truck weighs in at 20+ tonnes. There's no helicopter that will lift that much. Not the Tarhe (9T), not the Chinook (12.7T), not even the Super Stallion (14.5T).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 17, 2011 @04:36PM (#35521940)

    The most impressive thing to me is the creation of new inlets, and the loss of sand. I wonder how long (if ever) before the sand bars will reform.

    BTW, they landed a plane [af.mil] at Sendai Airport. I imagine it will be a long time before normal operations are established there though. AFAIK, those military transports can take off and land on anything that's flat and not too muddy.

  • by jhoegl (638955) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @04:37PM (#35521950)
    I was online this morning with a few people from Japan.
    I found out that American schooled people are being evacuated, and that all of the "Military kids" of the higher echelons have already been moved out of the area.
    Of course, these could just be rumors, but one guy was pretty convinced he was being evacuated today.
  • by d3xt3r (527989) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @04:46PM (#35522080)

    A lot of comments here seem to focus on what could have been done differently. Obviously, hindsight is 20/20. That being said, I have a question that I haven't seen asked or answered yet. Why are the spent fuel rods stored in the same buildings as the reactors?

    In the event of losing power, not only do the active rods need to be dealt with, but the spent rods have to be monitored and maintained in the same facility. Wouldn't transporting the spent rods to a less densely populated area that was specifically designed to handle their storage make more sense? It seems that the problems right now getting the reactors under control is being hampered by the severe risks of those containment pools for the spent rods draining.

    • by jez9999 (618189)

      As far as I know, transporting spent fuel rods is hazardous and therefore very expensive. They therefore make things cheaper by storing them on-site.

    • by gr8_phk (621180) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @05:05PM (#35522414)
      The spent rods are only "spent" in the sense that they are not useful for producing large amounts of electricity. They are still very radioactive and still generating a lot of heat. So they leave then in the pools for a few years with active cooling until they are easier and safer to transport to whatever processing place they go to. You question still seem valid though since one would presume a "fresh" rod would be even hotter. Or are they not hot until subjected to neutrons in large quantity? What's the mechanism there if they don't start out super hot?
    • Why not reprocess them so that they can be reused.
      Oh ya, I forgot. That got banned
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_reprocessing#History [wikipedia.org]

      F'n genius!

    • by stjobe (78285)

      A lot of comments here seem to focus on what could have been done differently. Obviously, hindsight is 20/20. That being said, I have a question that I haven't seen asked or answered yet. Why are the spent fuel rods stored in the same buildings as the reactors?

      Because that's where you have the safety measures already installed to store nuclear fuel and waste.

      In the event of losing power, not only do the active rods need to be dealt with, but the spent rods have to be monitored and maintained in the same facility.

      Short of being hit by a magnitude 9+ earthquake followed by a 30ft tsunami, power shouldn't go out.

      Wouldn't transporting the spent rods to a less densely populated area that was specifically designed to handle their storage make more sense? It seems that the problems right now getting the reactors under control is being hampered by the severe risks of those containment pools for the spent rods draining.

      The reactor facility was designed to withstand a magnitude 8.4 earthquake. There exists areas specifically designed to handle storage of spent fuel rods within the facility. In short, the spent fuel rods are already in the safest place they can be.

    • A lot of comments here seem to focus on what could have been done differently. Obviously, hindsight is 20/20. That being said, I have a question that I haven't seen asked or answered yet. Why are the spent fuel rods stored in the same buildings as the reactors?

      In the event of losing power, not only do the active rods need to be dealt with, but the spent rods have to be monitored and maintained in the same facility. Wouldn't transporting the spent rods to a less densely populated area that was specifically designed to handle their storage make more sense? It seems that the problems right now getting the reactors under control is being hampered by the severe risks of those containment pools for the spent rods draining.

      Precisely because spent rods need to be monitored and maintained, and at a nuclear power plant you already have the technology, expertise, and security in place because you have to for the reactor itself. If you have a remote facility for disposal you need to duplicate a lot of effort, and you have to figure out a secure and safe way to transport highly radioactive materials from the plant to the facility. A truck/train accident involving spent fuel rods would be a Big Deal because it'd be very likely to

  • by tetrahedrassface (675645) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @05:25PM (#35522676) Journal

    Port Royal, Jamaica had a huge earthquake in 1692 pretty much dropping a fair portion of that city under the ocean. It is still there, flooded and under water. Protected as a historical site, divers frequently dive on it. In some places entire buildings are still there, intact as if they were built under the water.. The reason I'm asking is, has the land that is flooded in Japan actually subsided to below sea level due to the earthquake, or is it simply still flooded? It looks to me as if most of the land in Japan that was affected is still at the same height above sea level as pre-quake, however there may be areas that are now below the ocean... in any event Port Royal was pretty much destroyed again in 1909, and has been hit and hit hard by Hurricanes and probably is due for another temblor in 200 odd years.... I sure hope they don't build a nuke plant there, and I hope that Japan and every other country planning a new nuclear plant try their hardest to site them in areas that

    (A): Don't have a history of earthquakes.

    and

    (B) don't have a history of storm surges from Hurricanes/Cyclones/Tsunami's...

  • by siddesu (698447) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @07:05PM (#35523838)

    The plans to "rewire" the power plants were from yesterday and, at the moment, they are just that, plans. This morning Toden announced that the construction of the electric cable that was supposed to be complete yesterday will be delayed until at least tomorrow. At the very end, they said also, in a markedly small voice, that they hope restoring the electricity will go smoothly, but there are worries that the equipment on the ground - pumps and transformers - may be out of order (maybe - after those explosions and all that water dumped on them from the air?), and that could probably hamper the effort.

    In reality, there is no staff (except the firefighters, Chernobyl style) on the ground since Saturday - a relative and a former colleague worked at the plant and are already in Osaka since Tuesday - all measurements are taking place from the helos and from an observation points 30km away, and radiation in excess of 150 microgreys is being reported 30-40 km away upwind from the reactor by the local authorities.

    So, there is only stalling, spinning, and no information.

    Incidentally, here are the radiation reports by the ministry of science and bullshit (japanese, sorry, all data is in microsieverts, and if the last column is without dates, it has the long-term averages) : http://www.mext.go.jp/a_menu/saigaijohou/syousai/1303723.htm [mext.go.jp]

  • Wusses (Score:4, Funny)

    by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @07:15PM (#35523936)

    Everyone is panicking now and buying iodine tablets.

    What a pack of pussies the world has become.

    In the 1950s, people used to watch above ground atom bomb tests in between shows and gambling in Vegas while sipping martinis.

    Our current president had to be roused from his busy schedule of vacation or golf or whatever to make a comment. Former President Teddy Roosevelt once killed a Kodiak bear with his mind, and personally dug the final mile of the Panama Canal.

    Send in Chuck Norris in a lead apron. He'll kill the fuel rods with one punch.

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