Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Everything Is Connected To Everything

In this case, the connection is between WikiLeaks and the Japanese nuclear disasters. HuffPo:

Japan Earthquake 2011: WikiLeaks Reveals Government Warned About Nuclear Plant Safety In 2008

With fears of a possible nuclear meltdown in Japan continuing to escalate, evidence that the nation received warnings over the stability of its power plants from an international watchdog more than two years ago has emerged via a new round of diplomatic cables accessed by WikiLeaks. 

As the Telegraph is reporting, an official from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in December 2008 that safety rules were outdated, and strong earthquakes would pose a "serious problem" for the power stations.

A U.S. embassy cable quoted an unnamed expert who expressed concern that guidance on how to protect nuclear power stations from earthquakes had only been updated three times in the past 35 years. The document states: "He [the IAEA official] explained that safety guides for seismic safety have only been revised three times in the last 35 years and that the IAEA is now re-examining them. Also, the presenter noted recent earthquakes in some cases have exceeded the design basis for some nuclear plants, and that this is a serious problem that is now driving seismic safety work.


(Emphasis mine.)

What more is there to say. Like George W. Bush when he was confronted with warnings in the 8/6/2001 PDB about possible terrorist attacks, some Japanese official, possibly contemplating the money it would cost to do a real refit of the plants, probably responded with something like GeeDubya's infamous "All right, you've covered your ass, now." Barely more than two years later, those living near the Fukushima plant are paying the price for a likely purely political or financial decision.

Is it really true that in a democracy, people end up with the leaders they deserve?

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