12 May 2011

Fukushima: fuel rods exposed, fuel melted and reactor containment has holes…

It is worse than we thought. This is probably the worst news about Fukushima yet, but it seems to be getting little media play. The short version, Reactor 1 has totally exposed fuel rods, melted fuel pooling at the bottom and holes in the reactor containment vessel. It is exactly

29 Mar 2011

Fukushima: Thinking back from the end scenario

The current critical response will be ‘noisy.’ There will be many ups and downs. It is my hope at least that more catastrophic outcomes can and will be avoided. The initial response will last for at least a year. The engineering effort to entomb the site will last several more years. The overall effect will last more than our lifetimes.

All six nuclear reactors will need to be entombed with sand, boron and cement, as was Chernobyl. All six spent fuel ponds will need to be emptied, the spent fuel will need to be entombed and will most probably be entombed at the same site. An “exclusion” zone will be set up in the area of the plant, at least to the 12km limit currently in effect, and I think, more probably to at least 20km radius. This will be a permanent exclusion zone. Radiological monitoring of the water, ground, seas and agriculture will need to be instituted in Japan as an ongoing and permanent effort. Medical assistance for radiological injury and cancers will increase over many years, particularly for the children affected.

28 Mar 2011

Plutonium detected outside Fukushima

Just yesterday I posted on Firedoglake that this was bound to happen. Now Fox News has confirmed it. This is horrible news. My heart goes out to those workers. They need better equipment and international support asap.

28 Mar 2011

Radioactive water OUTSIDE the Fukushima plant

A disturbing news story this morning: radioactive water is found outside the plants. There is no way to stop this water from entering the environment. Water retrieval is hampered by the fact that all holding tanks for radioactive water waste are full. The water seeping into a trench outside the

27 Mar 2011

When will we be informed that Plutonium has leaked?

I am betting that it is a matter of time before we hear that in fact Plutonium has leaked out of Reactor 3 at Fukushima Dai-ichi. The Time blog reported on a potential breach in the reactor containment vessel, and I heard a similar report on CNN today. Hidehiko Nishiyama,

27 Mar 2011

TEPCO sent workers into ‘hot’ reactor without warning them

Daily Yomiuri Online reported that Tokyo Power company (TEPCO) knew of a leak in the Number 3 reactor at Fukushima Daiichi prior to sending repair workers into the area. Most startling was the fact that the presence of the leak was not shared with workers pulling a power line into

27 Mar 2011

No boots for Japanese Nuclear workers?

And in the posts today there was a confirmation of what I had read: the workers were walking in their own street shoes covered with plastic booties. This is criminal. The workers should have the best protective clothing that Japan can provide, including waterproof and chemical proof boots. These things

25 Feb 2011

More on Firing at the Teachers

The NY Times today had a longish article by Matt Bai on Governor Christie of New Jersey which contrasted his communications strategy with that of the NJ Teachers union. It was somewhat unfavorable for the Union. Christie the stand-up comedian against the whining, ad hominem and off topic meandering of

25 Feb 2011

Providence Fires All Its Teachers

Apparently there is a widespread anti-union movement among local governments. The Providence Journal reports that in that city in Rhode Island ALL of the teachers are being terminated… not laid off. This seems to be a blatant ploy by the School Board to break the union, and to restructure radically

13 Feb 2011

Values and Interests

It occurs to me that the whipsawing of the US position on Egypt over the past few weeks was due to a perceived conflict between our values and our interests. There are legitimate interests in the stability of Egypt: the treaty and continued peace with Israel, the Suez canal, the