Monday, March 14, 2011

Japan: All Hell Breaking Loose At Fukushima Plant

More explosions, high radiation readings near plant, evacuations of employees, evacuations of residents in radius of 20km around the plant, stay-indoors order in radius of 30km, fuel rods possibly exposed in one reactor, possible meltdown in one reactor. Here is an article. Here is a livestream from NHK Japan in English. H/T TPM.


  1. Nice job providing links to information. The four horsemen have arrived in my country of adoption. Fortunate to be living 1,000 miles from the epicenter, but the possibility of radiation clouds wafting across the planet can leave no one feeling safe at this point.

    I've participated in anti-nuclear-power demonstrations in my part of Japan (Kyushu). They have not worked.

  2. terrette, it's good to hear from you. I thought of you yesterday, and I'm glad to hear that you are safe (within some relative meaning of that term in Japan today).

    My worst fear, believe it or not, is NOT that new nuclear plants will be built, though I am not comfortable with that, either. My worst fear is that they WON'T be built: that aging and increasingly dangerous plants from 40 years ago will be granted extensions, probably 10 years at a time, until an incident eventually and inevitably happens. The damned things cost several billion dollars each; the reluctance to replace is understandable but also regrettable.

    Recently, someone objected in an email to my counting Three Mile Island as a catastrophe in enumerating nuclear power incidents in the past 25 years, because no one was killed in the incident. But there was in fact a meltdown there, and the fact is that there are no non-catastrophic nuclear incidents; only luck saves people from catastrophe when a nuclear plant leaks or is breached.

    I know the arguments about energy density, that only combustion and/or fission can meet the energy demands of our technological future. Perhaps that is true. In that case, we need to do triage, to decide what few high-power activities are indispensable and what can be done without. Needless to say, not everyone agrees with that approach.



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