Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Here on GOP's Isle (a.k.a. Gullibles Island)

Mitt Romney reminds me of someone. I finally figured out he's trying to do Thurston Howell III.

But that doesn't seem to be the end of it. If you think about it, Rick Perry has been trying out for the part of Gilligan. He's very good at it.

That means the Skipper has to be Newt Gingrich. At least his personal relationships are known to be sailor-like. As the majority leader of the House of Reprehensibles, he was third in line to the presidency. He also skippered that deliberative body into weather that started getting rough, and his tiny ship was tossed.

Sarah Palin is obviously Ginger. MaryAnne, with her homespun midwestern values, could have aged badly and morphed into Michelle Bachman if the series had gone on a few more decades.

Ron Paul is The Professor. When he isn't trying to abolish the fed he's making a radio out of a coconut or something. He is a doctor, after all.

"And the rest" has to cover Herman Cain here. He could be a one-episode character who washed up on the island, gains popularity when he promises to build a pizza restaurant, takes their money with some 9-9-9 scheme, and then leaves, taking their best hopes to be rescued with him. Perhaps an episode featured a campaign to elect the island's leader.

The question is: How could we be living in a Gilligan's Island script gone haywire? What I hypothesize is that a nuclear bomb test in the Pacific coincided with a popular broadcast of Gilligan's Island, somehow amplifying the existing television signal and embedding the plot in the subconscious minds of young impressionable children at the time. These children grew up with a Manchurian candidate syndrome, subconsciously seeking to replicate the plot of the fateful episode.

Alternate explanation: scriptwriter or casting director for Gilligan's Island was plagued by horrific premonitions of the 2011-2012 Republican Presidential candidate nominating process. This was probably caused by the Higgs Boson generated in our time-frame tunneling back through a wormhole into the 1960s.

This is so obvious, excuse me if other people have already noticed and done a skit of the concept on tv. Obviously i haven't watched much tv since the 1960s.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


The remarkable decline of dating in the "herbivore" age:

 Sexes set record in dating disinterest | The Japan Times Online

A record-high 61.4 percent of unmarried Japanese males aged between 18 and 34 have no girlfriend, up 9.2 percentage points from 2005, a June 2010 survey by a research body showed Friday.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Post-human invader

Octopus Walks on Land at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve

We come in peace. To occupy your land.

President 1962

JFK: Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Home radiometry results

 after testing house for radiation October 16

Our house and garden seems to be around 0.11-0.14 microsieverts/hr, according to my friend's dosimeter. It's lower as you go up closer to the roof and eaves, not higher as with some houses. Inside is not much different than outside. We tested the sandbox in the park and at the daycare next door, and it was about the same.

He has found 0.2, 0.3, and 0.4 in Chiba. In one case a house in Matsudo had those numbers for the first, second floor, and eaves, respectively. There is a spot along the river in Noda-shi where he measures 0.4. The hot spot in Andersen Park was 0.5 microsieverts/hr. Reality is about 3 times the silly numbers the gov't reports as seen at http://www.japantimes.co.jp/radiation-levels.html

I don't really need to strip all organic material and topsoil from the garden, because it is not any more or less radioactive than the surrounding area, and it would eventually become the same anyway. And if i did collect radioactivity in my rain catchment system, it was probably radioactive iodine, which would have decayed by now. Hot spots which exist in Chiba are about 6 miles or 10k north of here.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mindmapping your bubble diagram

For the Mac, there is MyMind, a mind-mapping (diagramming) app which converts to and from an outline. Linux has Freemind, VYM(ViewYourMind), Labyrinth, and Semantik, which don't seem to be as good as MyMind. Commercially, there's Inspiration for Windows. Somehow I missed the web-based option of bubbl.us until recently. You can export to png or jpg without creating an account, and control the colors and font sizes easily.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

"Contaminated Zone" in Chiba

Radiation spread reaches Chiba, Saitama prefectures - AJW by The Asahi Shimbun

» In Chiba Prefecture, the highest levels of cesium-137, between 30,000 and 60,000 becquerels per square meter, were detected in northern areas, such as Kashiwa, Matsudo, Abiko and Nagareyama. Cesium-137 has a half-life of 30 years.
In the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident, areas with 37,000 becquerels or more of radioactivity per square meter were designated contaminated zones, while levels of 555,000 becquerels or more required forcible relocation.
In Chiba and Saitama prefectures, the highest radiation levels were 0.2 to 0.5 microsievert per hour. In most other areas, the radiation levels were 0.1 microsievert or less.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Clown Car Update

Accidentally caught the Reptilian party "cnn tea party" "debate". There were 8 cards on the table. All appear challenged and slow. They represent the people who are a few decades behind the rest of the country, primarily the elderly. It seems that Republican candid-8 attending the debates should have the same right (or obligation?) to carry a concealed firearm that they enjoy when they go out for a drink. Let the sniping begin-- or continue. You have to fight for your right to "party". Didn't the Gipper say that?


I'm making more use of DDG. Put it in your Firefox search bar if you use Firefox.

DuckDuckGo is a search engine based in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania that uses information from crowd-sourced sites (like Wikipedia) with the aim of augmenting traditional results and improving relevance. The search engine philosophy emphasizes privacy and does not record user information.

DDG is coded in Perl and JavaScript with help of YUI, served via nginx, FastCGI and memcached, running on FreeBSD and Ubuntu via daemontools. We both run our own servers and have servers on EC2. We use PostgreSQL+bucardo, CDB, Solr, BerkelyDB, S3 and flat files for data.
Google may be a victim of its own success. Yahoo, Altavista, AskJeeves, Google, and nothing much else has come along to challenge Google other than Wolfram Alpha and Bing.

This explains it textually and graphically with good links as examples.

Watch Eli Pariser's TED talk if you haven't already heard his spiel:
As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there's a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a "filter bubble" and don't get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser….

This is also worth reading -- altho I'm not sure they can say they've solved this problem, if I understand their explanation correctly.

Cowboy Junkies session break

As introduced and interviewed by David Byrne. 1998?

I haven't watched it all because it's 2AM and I think I'l watch it tomorrow.

Only 6 views? Hope it doesn't get deleted because i haven't seen it before.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sandbox ban, go.jp document hunt, & To-Dai Prof Tatsuhiko KODAMA

Schools in Tokyo ban use of playground sandboxes over radiation fears - The Mainichi Daily News
When sandboxes are banned, only criminals will play in sandboxes.

=Aug30 radiation map from MAFF.

one from MEXT -- see pp 10, 11, 14, 15


Part 1:
Click on "cc" button to show English subtitles.

Part 2:
Professor Tatsuhiko Kodama is the head of the Radioisotope Center at the University of Tokyo. On July 27, he appeared as a witness to give testimony to the Committee on Welfare and Labor in Japan's Lower House in the Diet. (At the end, Prof. Kodama was able to elaborate only three of his "four requests" probably due to the time constraint.)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Who moved my climate?

Climate warming accelerates Arctic migration for some species
"These changes are equivalent to animals and plants shifting away from the Equator at around 20 cm per hour,” added Thomas, Prof of Conservation Biology. “This has been going on for the last 40 years and is set to continue for at least the rest of this century.”
Call it the Goldilocks syndrome. Animals and plants are moving both higher in latitude and elevation much faster than previously thought in response to climate warming. They're chasing that "just right" sweet spot, but it keeps moving.

Rapid Range Shifts of Species Associated with High Levels of Climate Warming
The distributions of many terrestrial organisms are currently shifting in latitu...de or elevation in response to changing climate. Using a meta-analysis, we estimated that the distributions of species have recently shifted to higher elevations

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

RHCP in Japan


Monday, August 15, 2011

Komatsu Sakyo (Japan Sinks)

Death of a sci-fi pioneer | The Japan Times Online
On July 26, Komatsu Sakyo, a pioneer in Japanese science fiction, died at the age of 80. Born in Osaka in 1931, he witnessed firsthand the devastation of World War II. After graduating from Kyoto University with a degree in Italian literature ...
By chance, the announcement in the book by an American geodesic group of a massive shift in the earth's crust centered on the Japanese archipelago takes place on March 11, with Mount Fuji erupting the next day.

Too hot to burn

Fire festival bans radioactive wood
The Kyoto municipal government has announced that firewood from disaster-hit Rikuzen-Takata, Iwate Prefecture, will not be used in an annual bonfire festival in Kyoto, due to the detection of radioactive cesium in its bark. Rikuzen-Takata is located about 200 km north of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sunflowers (Asahi Shimbun)

Sunflowers in full bloom in Kyoto
About 150,000 sunflowers grown in resting rice fields are in full bloom in the town of Yosano, Kyoto Prefecture, attracting many tourists.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Asahi: Education Ministry's radiation map

Weather, deteriorating reactors exacerbated disaster
Staff Writer of the vernacular Asahi Shimbun
The education ministry measured the accumulated amount of radioactive cesium in areas within a 160-kilometer radius from the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant through the use of aircraft in late July.
Details of the Atomic Energy Society of Japan panel's findings will be published on the society's website.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Daibaek '11

Japan's Population Shrinks in FY 2010: Ministry Data - JIJI PRESS
Japan's population decreased 827,235 from a year earlier to 126,230,625 as of the end of fiscal 2010, registering a fall for the second straight year, the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry said Tuesday. The latest aggregate figure, based on residency registers nationwide, excludes residents in 22 municipalities in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, three northeastern prefectures hardest hit by the tsunami.

Nuukliyur eksplouzhans 1945-1998

Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto has created a beautiful, undeniably scary time-lapse map of the 2053 nuclear explosions which have taken place between 1945 and 1998, beginning with the Manhattan Project's "Trinity" test near Los Alamos and concluding with Pakistan's nuclear tests in May of 1998. This leaves out North Korea's two alleged nuclear tests in this past decade (the legitimacy of both of which is not 100% clear).
Each nation gets a blip and a flashing dot on the map whenever they detonate a nuclear weapon, with a running tally kept on the top and bottom bars of the screen. Hashimoto, who began the project in 2003, says that he created it with the goal of showing"the fear and folly of nuclear weapons." It starts really slow — if you want to see real action, skip ahead to 1962 or so — but the buildup becomes overwhelming.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Boil the ocean!

The government of Minami-Soma has revealed a plan to decontaminate all radiation-polluted areas of the city in cooperation with a University of Tokyo laboratory, with the exception of places inside the no-entry zone.


Sunday, August 07, 2011

Chatbot Dr C

Chat-bot for Mars Rovers: Dr. C. is based on a real Mars scientist, Dr. Phil Christensen.
Dr. C.
He's awfully stupid, even for a chatbot

Saturday, August 06, 2011

The Book of Faces

Profile pics on social media sites pose privacy risk, researcher warns
Imagine walking down a street and having a total stranger being able to instantly pull up your name, date of birth, Social Security number, your last blog item and other data on their smart phone.
It's getting easier for strangers to identify people and infer detailed information about them from their publicly available pictures on sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, a researcher said at Black Hat.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Down the Banksters

Is there any way to get back to common sense and get rid of these two wallstreet parties' duo-cracy?
How to Liberate America from Wall Street Rule
The dominant story of the current political debate is that the government is broke. We can’t afford to pay for public services, put people to work, or service the public debt. Yet as a nation, we are awash in money. A defective system of money, banking, and finance just puts it in the wrong places.

Obama’s 2012 Budget Proposal: How $3.7 Trillion is Spent

How are the grapes now?
BBC News - In Steinbeck's footsteps: America's struggles in 2011
The BBC's Paul Mason retraces the harrowing journey taken by migrant workers the Joad family which John Steinbeck described in his 1939 novel The Grapes of Wrath, set during the Great Depression, to find out how it reflects the realities of America's current economic crisis.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thank you, America.

Declassified papers show U.S. promoted atomic power in Japan | The Japan Times Online
The United States used atomic power cooperation with Japan in the 1950s to ease the Japanese public's aversion to nuclear weapons and remedy their "ignorance" about such energy, declassified U.S. papers showed Saturday.

the reaming » "It is important to our relations with Japan that we seek to remove the strong Japanese notion that atomic and nuclear energy is primarily destructive. We should accordingly attempt at an early point to include Japan in bilateral and multilateral actions intended to develop peaceful uses of atomic energy." That November, Japan got reams of atomic energy documents.

Take this pee and test it!

Public meeting gets a little testy as bureaucrats stonewall. Civil disobedience. It's not right to stoically do nothing, standing firm against radiation -- with other people's children-- instead of evacuating children as a precaution.

Japanese government killing its own people in Fukushima
On the 19th of July 2011, people in Fukushima had a meeting with government officals from Tokyo to demand that the government evacuate people promptly in Fukushima.

Monday, July 25, 2011

SPEEDI, Exelon, Japan's energy

Over four months too late:
原子力安全・保安院 > 東日本大震災の影響について > 緊急時迅速放射能影響予測ネットワークシステム(SPEEDI)の計算結果について

» Nuclear operator Exelon Corporation has been among Barack Obama's biggest campaign donors, and is one of the largest employers in Illinois where Obama was senator. Exelon has donated more than $269,000 to his political campaigns, thus far. Obama also appointed Exelon CEO John Rowe to his Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future.
Fukushima: It's much worse than you think
Scientific experts believe Japan's nuclear disaster to be far worse than governments are revealing to the public.

Powering Japan's future | The Japan Times Online
Last year, Japan produced close to one quadrillion watt-hours of electricity — that's 1 followed by 15 zeros. The vast majority of that — which translates into one billion megawatt hours (MWh) — came from coal, natural gas and nuclear power plants operated by 10 utilities...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Robert Reich

An economics lesson from Robert Reich, complete with notes, in about the same time as a commercial break.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


robotized organs of speech
人間と同様の音声生成器官を持つ発話ロボット #DigInfo
DigInfo TV - http://jp.diginfo.tv/ 2011/7/13 香川大学 発話ロボット

Saturday, July 09, 2011

The Emperor's Speech

The Akihito address used form and content that subconsciously linked the two occasions in listeners’ minds. Through it, the Japanese state implicitly called on the people to appreciate that, beyond the disaster unfolding in northeastern Japan the country itself faces a shift in direction comparable to that of 1945.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Cities in Dust (Pato Fu)

Pato Fu tocando "Cities in dust" - (Siouxsie & The Banshees) no Estúdio Showlivre ao vivo/2007

Thursday, July 07, 2011

This is your space shuttle's brain

It’s true: The brain of NASA’s primary vehicle has the computational power of an IBM 5150, that ’80s icon that goes for $20 at yard sales. According to NASA and IBM, the shuttle’s General Purpose Computer (GPC)—which controls, among other things, the entire launch sequence—is an upgrade of the 500-kilobyte computer the shuttle flew with until 1991.

hevan (=a pleis wer nathin evur haepanz)

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

船橋 Radiation

This testing by Funabashi City shows hot spots of around 0.44 and 0.45 microsieverts/hr (μSv/h). These are just at daycares and so on. Two are in sandboxes, one in a field (or garden?).

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Summary of NISHIO Masamichi: The Problem of Radiation Exposure Countermeasures for the Fukushima Nuclear Accident: Concerns for the Present Situation

Nuclear Workers and Fukushima Residents at Risk: Cancer Expert on the Fukushima Situation  
here (google translate).

Friday, July 01, 2011

Radiation in food: intl'ly suggested limits

Experts urge great caution over radiation risks | The Japan Times Online

Intl comparison of radiation limits in the graph.


Thursday, June 30, 2011

IAEA reports, nuke profits


Radiological Monitoring and Consequences of Fukushima Nuclear Accident (2 June 2011)

IAEA Marine Environment Monitoring of Fukushima Nuclear Accident (2 June 2011)

The Japan Times Online

38 years of nuke profit up in smoke?

By analyzing Tepco's financial statements, Oshima put its cumulative profits from its nuclear power business at ¥3.995 trillion between the business years of 1970 and 2007, which ended in March 2008. Tepco operates three nuclear power plants — the six-reactor Fukushima No. 1 plant, four-reactor Fukushima No. 2 plant and seven-reactor Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata Prefecture.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. faces a potential damages bill exceeding its profits from nuclear power generation over a 38-year period beginning in 1970, the year it opened the crisis-hit Fukushima No. 1 plant, according to a recent study.
The cost of power generation per kilowatt hour came to ¥10.68 for nuclear power, ¥9.90 for thermal power and ¥7.26 for hydraulic power on average during the 38-year period, when expenses for disposal of radioactive waste and subsidizing... local governments hosting nuclear plants are added to direct costs, he said.
The cost of nuclear power rose to ¥12.23 per kwh when pumped-up water power generation using power generated by reactors at night is taken into account, the economist added.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Strontium and strange animals

("Now They Tell Us" Series) Strontium Was Detected 62 Kilometers from Fukushima I in April and May

東日本大震災と原発事故: Mutant Rabbit Born Near Fukushima Daiichi

A new-born rabbit without ears is seen in Namie City which is located just outside the 30km exclusion zone of the Fukushima Daiichi

Cat gets caught barking by a human and resumes meowing


You as a Dog

Soylent Brown

Japan scientist synthesizes meat from human feces
Somehow this feels like a Vonnegut plotline: population boom equals food shortage. Solution? Synthesize food from human waste matter. Absurd yes, but Japanese scientists have actually discovered a way to create edible steaks from human feces.
"Throw another $#!* on the barbee!" Maybe they could aim for catfood or dogfood instead. Algae? Biodiesel? Wouldn't you rather eat soylent green?

Friday, June 17, 2011

My Radiation

Got the little 2-page paper from city hall. Online:
They measured radiation at a dozen or so schools around town. Numbers ranged from 0.14 microsieverts/hr to 0.69 microsieverts/hr. These new official numbers are about 3-15 times the levels reported for Ichikawa or Tokyo at
or at
(0.044µ, 0.051µ)

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Recompute - Sustainable Cardboard Computer
Say Hello to Recompute! Learn what Recompute is all about and how small changes can make a big impact in our world.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

wats gud fr dh guus…

White House & NRC Recommend 50 Mile Fukushima Evacuation, Yet Insist US Safe With Only 10
Fairewinds' chief engineer Arnie Gundersen emphasizes the need to enlarge evacuation zones around US nuclear plants to 50 miles. Reducing US evacuation zones to only 10 miles during a nuclear power accident compromises public safety.

White House & NRC Recommend 50 Mile Fukushima Evacuation, Yet Insist US Safe With Only 10 from Fairewinds Associates on Vimeo.

Feishal rekagnishan (feisbuk)

Facebook rolls out facial recognition for all
Last year Facebook rolled out its facial recognition feature, which allows users to tag their friends in photos based on facial features. When the feature was first announced, it was limited...
Skynet NEEDS facial recognition in order for its terminators to function correctly. That's why it sent "Mark Zuckerberg" back to create it.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Brian Eno as Guest DJ on NPR

Guest DJ Brian Eno : NPR
In advance of his new album Drums Between the Bells, the influential artist and producer shares some of his favorite new and old music.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

This Could Also Explain How Your Blogger CAPTCHA Gets Solved: Chinese prisoners sold to spammers

Chinese Prisoners Allegedly Forced to Play 'World of Warcraft'
One former prisoner says he had to farm virtual gold that the prison guards then sold in the real world for cash.
Prison guards were reportedly able to sell the virtual currency for up to 6,000 yuan a day, which is about $930 -- not a bad sum. The prisoners, who naturally never saw any of the money, also had quotas to meet. According to Dali, "If I couldn't complete my work quota, they would punish me physically. They would make me stand with my hands raised in the air and after I returned to my dormitory they would beat me."

Friday, May 27, 2011





DR. GABOR MATÉ: You know, in other words—see, it never used to be that children grew up in a stressed nuclear family. That wasn’t the normal basis for child development. The normal basis for child development has always been the clan, the tribe, the community, the neighborhood, the extended family. Essentially, post-industrial capitalism has completely destroyed those conditions. People no longer live in communities which are still connected to one another. People don’t work where they live. They don’t shop where they live. The kids don’t go to school, necessarily, where they live. The parents are away most of the day. For the first time in history, children are not spending most of their time around the nurturing adults in their lives. And they’re spending their lives away from the nurturing adults, which is what they need for healthy brain development.

AMY GOODMAN: Canadian physician Dr. Gabor Maté, his book, _Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do about It_.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

May Link Dump - Fukushima

It's actually September, reader. These are some post-dated(?) posts. I tend to throw links up on FB, where they could be read by a few dozen people, and which can be easier than Blogger, altho limited and perishable. I am picking a few links and skipping the handful of news items (mostly Fukushima-related) that I post more or less daily.






New Work Reinforces Megaquake's Harsh Lessons in Geoscience

High-tech analyses of Japan's March earthquake overturn long-held views of fault behavior and warn that another disaster may be looming.... Simons and colleagues see “the possibility of a sibling to the 2011 event” that could be “similar to what just occurred offshore,” but half as far from Tokyo. So researchers are anxious to find out whether the stress transferred southward from the 9 has accelerated slow slip on the fault and thus defused the threat of a quake.
Schoolyard Radiation Policy Brings a Backlash
The Japanese government's most controversial misstep in response to the Fukushima nuclear power plant crisis may have been the release of guidelines on allowable radiological contamination in schoolyards.
The education ministry calculated that children could spend 8 hours a day in a schoolyard exposed to as much as 3.8 microsieverts per hour, and 16 hours a day indoors exposed to 1.52 microsieverts per hour, and not exceed the 20-mSv limit.

Fukushima Revives The Low-Dose Debate
The general public avoided exposure to high levels of radioactivity, but questions linger about the long-term effects of contamination.
Across Fukushima and neighboring prefectures, small amounts of cesium-134 and cesium-137, isotopes with half-lives of 2 and 30 years respectively, lie on the ground. Cleanup workers have stripped contaminated topsoil from some schoolyards, and remediation or permanent evacuation is likely for the worst areas.

Radiation Monitoring Data from Fukushima Area 05/13/2011
In March, the U.S. Department of Energy released data recorded from its Aerial Measuring System as well as ground...
Includes radiation measurements for the Shinkansen route from Tokyo to Sendai between and at stations.

The 60 billion yen project on a vacant 19-hectare site of a former Panasonic plant will see the construction of 1,000 homes as well as various facilities that will be powered using solar power generation and home-use storage battery systems, the consumer electronics giant said. The planned town, called Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town, will also promote the sharing of electric vehicles.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Darkening Tokyo


Dark is the new light.
Before and after the disaster.
The audio track is also a free
Creative Commons licensed
download on Jamendo.
"Sounds From The Past" by mindthings

Friday, May 13, 2011

NASA - Aquarius - Sea Surface Salinity

NASA video release May 10, 2011
[This movie clip contains 10 seconds of surface flows colored by sea surface temperature, followed by 6 seconds of wind currents, followed by ocean currents. ]
Aquarius is a focused satellite mission to measure global Sea Surface Salinity.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Jumieka Langwij


Linggwis dem aidentifai "pior" Jumiekan, fain muosli a konchri, wid riijanal difrans, laka wahn mixcho a sebntiin sentri hIngglish ahn Wes Afrikan, muosli Shwi, kanschrokshan ahn vokiabileri, wid som Panish ahn Puotigiis iin de tu fi a gud mixop. Di haxent ahn kiedens kohn frahn Sikatish ahn hAirish.

Kansda di ischri a Jumieka, dis shudn sopraizn sens di bolk a di papiulieshan dem a disendant frahn slieb kiaa kom frahn Wes Afrika, fos bai di Panish, den dem laan hIngglish frahn dehn British uona, uobasior, hadvenchara, ahn mishaneridem.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Nature: Reactors, residents and risk

. . .

Conventionally, nuclear plant operators have considered some accident sequences so unlikely that they have not built in complete safeguards — such accidents are called 'beyond design basis' events. . . . The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant has seven reactors, making it the world's biggest in terms of electrical output at 7,965 megawatts.

Gundersen: Fukushima Groundwater Contamination Worst in Nuclear History

Fukushima Groundwater Contamination Worst in Nuclear History from Fairewinds Associates on Vimeo.



Thursday, May 05, 2011

SciAM: a path to sustainable energy by 2030


Supplies of wind and solar energy on accessible land dwarf the energy consumed by people around the globe.The authors’ plan calls for 3.8 million large wind turbines, 90,000 solar plants, and numerous geothermal, tidal and rooftop photovoltaic installations worldwide.The cost of generating and transmitting power would be less than the projected cost per kilowatt-hour for fossil-fuel and nuclear power. Shortages of a few specialty materials, along with lack of political will, loom as the greatest obstacles.
You may remember this article. We are swimming in excessive energy. Solar and wind are widely distributed and cannot be as easily controlled and profitized as plutonium radioactive energy can.

A Path to Sustainable Energy by 2030; November 2009; Scientific American Magazine; by Mark Z. Jacobson; Mark A. Delucchi; 8 Page(s)

In December leaders from around the world will meet in Copenhagen to try to agree on cutting back greenhouse gas emissions for decades to come. The most effective step to implement that goal would be a massive shift away from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy sources. If leaders can have confidence that such a transformation is possible, they might commit to an historic agreement. We think they can.

A year ago former vice president Al Gore threw down a gauntlet: to repower America with 100 percent carbon-free electricity within 10 years. As the two of us started to evaluate the feasibility of such a change, we took on an even larger challenge: to determine how 100 percent of the world's energy, for all purposes, could be supplied by wind, water and solar resources, by as early as 2030. Our plan is presented here.

Tsunami at Kesennuma (気仙沼) port

This bldg is visibl:

It looks like it may have been shot from the Kesennuma doboku jimusho 気仙沼土木事務所=office of civil engineering, which was a tsunami shelter, as shown here http://userdisk.webry.biglobe.ne.jp/001/186/39/N000/000/004/130096388295916322861_IMG_3605.jpg and here http://userdisk.webry.biglobe.ne.jp/001/186/39/N000/000/004/130096389032516323297_IMG_3606.jpg on this photoblog in Kesennuma. ("Angler's Fish Diary") http://macoco.at.webry.info/201103/index.html

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

I-131 exposure in the years of atmospheric nuclear bomb tests


IEER's article on I-131 fallout: "Let Them Drink Milk"
By: Pat Ortmeyer and Arjun Makhijani
Article published as "Worse Than We Knew,"
for November/December 1997 issue of
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

On August 1, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) revealed that as a result of U.S. nuclear tests conducted at the Nevada Test Site (NTS), American children were actually exposed to 15 to 70 times as much radiation as had been previously reported to Congress.

LATimes on the Chernobyl zone

"It is the zone that kills the young and leaves the old be," Laptev's mother, Roza Lapteva, said in a quiet, almost indifferent tone. "I don't know how it does it, but the zone is to blame."

"User's Manual"?

All Things Nuclear (Union of Concerned Scientists)


While details of the damage to the nuclear fuel at the site are not known, it appears that more total fuel damage has occurred during this accident than all previous reactor accidents combined.

Currently all of these reactors and pools are being cooled, although normal cooling systems have not been restored. They will require active cooling for many months or years because of the high levels of radioactivity in the fuel they contain.

Links with information about the situation at Fukushima Dai-Ichi:

UCS website and allthingsnuclear.org blog posts on the Japan crisis

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) press releases (in English)

TEPCO videos and photos of Fukushima Dai-Ichi

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) website

New York Times reactor status

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists updates by Tatsujiro Suzuki

Japan Atomic Industrial Forum updates

Rolling Stone on America's Nuke Industry, Safety, and the revolving door of the toothless NRC


Some choice excerpts:

NRC has long served as little more than a lap dog to the nuclear industry, unwilling to crack down on unsafe reactors. "The agency is a wholly owned subsidiary of the nuclear power industry," says Victor Gilinsky, who served on the commission during the Three Mile Island meltdown in 1979.

Even President Obama denounced the NRC during the 2008 campaign, calling it a "moribund agency that needs to be revamped and has become captive of the industries that it regulates."
In the years ahead, nuclear experts warn, the consequences of the agency's inaction could be dire. "The NRC has consistently put industry profits above public safety," says Arnie Gundersen, a former nuclear executive turned whistle-blower. "Consequently, we have a dozen Fukushimas waiting to happen in America."
In his 2012 budget, President Obama included $54 billion in federal loan guarantees for new reactors — far more than the $18 billion available for renewable energy.

Without such taxpayer support, no new reactors would ever be built. Since the Manhattan Project was created to develop the atomic bomb back in the 1940s, the dream of a nuclear future has been fueled almost entirely by Big Government. America's current fleet of reactors exists only because Congress passed the Price-Anderson Act in 1957, limiting the liability of nuclear plant operators in case of disaster. And even with taxpayers assuming most of the risk, Wall Street still won't finance nuclear reactors without direct federal assistance, in part because construction costs are so high (up to $20 billion per plant) and in part because nukes are the only energy investment that can be rendered worthless in a matter of hours. "In a free market, where real risks and costs are accounted for, nuclear power doesn't exist," says Amory Lovins, a leading energy expert at the Rocky Mountain Institute. Nuclear plants "are a creation of government policy and intervention."

They are also a creation of lobbying and campaign contributions. Over the past decade, the nuclear industry has contributed more than $4.6 million to members of Congress — and last year alone, it spent $1.7 million on federal lobbying. Given the generous flow of nuclear money, the NRC is essentially rigged to operate in the industry's favor. The agency has plenty of skilled engineers and scientists at the staff level, but the five commissioners who oversee it often have close ties to the industry they are supposed to regulate. "They are vetted by the industry," says Robert Alvarez, a former senior policy adviser at the Energy Department. "It's the typical revolving-door story — many are coming in or out of jobs with the nuclear power industry. You don't get a lot of skeptics appointed to this job."
Jeffrey Merrifield, a former NRC commissioner who left the agency in 2007, is a case in point. When Merrifield was ready to exit public service, he simply called up the CEO of Exelon, the country's largest nuclear operator, and asked him for a job recommendation. Given his friends in high places, he wound up taking a top job at the Shaw Group, a construction firm that builds nuclear reactors — and he's done his best to return the favor. During the Fukushima disaster, Merrifield appeared on Fox News, as well as in videos for the Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry's lobbying group. In one video — titled "Former NRC Commissioner Confident That Building of New U.S. Nuclear Plants Should Continue" — Merrifield reassures viewers that the meltdown in Japan is no big deal. "We should continue to move forward with building those new plants," he says, "because it's the right thing for our nation and it's the right thing for our future."
America has 31 aging reactors just like Fukushima, and it wouldn't take an earthquake or tsunami to push many of them to the brink of meltdown. A natural disaster may have triggered the crisis in Japan, but the real problem was that the plant lost power and was unable to keep its cooling systems running — a condition known as "station blackout." At U.S. reactors, power failures have been caused by culprits as mundane as squirrels playing on power lines. In the event of a blackout, operators have only a few hours to restore power before a meltdown begins. All nukes are equipped with backup diesel generators, as well as batteries. But at Fukushima, the diesel generators were swamped by floodwaters, and the batteries lasted a mere eight hours — not nearly long enough to get power restored and avert catastrophe. NRC standards do virtually nothing to prevent such a crisis here at home. Only 11 of America's nuclear reactors have batteries designed to supply power for up to eight hours, while the other 93 have batteries that last half that long.
Indeed, the NRC's "safety-last" attitude recalls the industry-friendly approach to regulation that resulted in the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico last year. Nuclear reactors were built to last only 40 years, but the NRC has repeatedly greenlighted industry requests to keep the aging nukes running for another two decades: Of the 63 applications the NRC has received for license extensions, it has approved all 63.
According to a 2003 study, it would cost as much as $7 billion to move the spent fuel out of the pools and into more secure containers known as dry-cask storage. So why hasn't the NRC required such a precaution? "Power companies don't want to pay for it," says Alvarez. "They would rather let the public take the risk." Gilinsky offers another explanation. "After insisting for years that spent fuel pools were not a problem," he says, "the NRC doesn't want to admit what everyone knows after Fukushima: They were wrong."
Some critics argue that it's time for an outside agency, such as the National Academy of Sciences, to take an independent look at the safety and security of America's aging nukes. A better idea might be to simply repeal the Price-Anderson Act and force the nuclear industry to take responsibility for the risks of running these old plants, rather than laying it all off on taxpayers. The meltdown in Japan could cost Tokyo Electric some $130 billion — roughly three times what the Deepwater Horizon spill cost BP. If nuke owners had to put their own money where their atoms are, the crumbling old reactors would get cleaned up or shut down in a heartbeat.
Instead, by allowing the industry to cut safety margins in exchange for profits, the NRC is actually putting the "nuclear renaissance" itself at risk. "It has not been protesters who have brought down the nuclear industry," said Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts. "It has been Wall Street." Wind and natural gas are already cheaper than nukes, and the price of solar is falling fast. And with each new Fukushima, the cost of nukes — as well as the risks — will continue to rise.

Read the article!

Chernobyl of the sea

Surprise, surprise. Radioactive isotopes do not magically disperse evenly across the oceans to trace levels, but are deposited on the sea floor just as they are on the surface of the earth. I've heard of a few tests on the sea surface but haven't heard any mention until now of a mapping of the sea floor.

Seabed radiation 100-1,000 times normal level off Fukushima plant | Kyodo News
Radiation readings have risen to 100-1,000 times the normal level on the Pacific seabed near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the operator said Tuesday.


Amakudari, Japan's "Descent from Heaven" is like a combination of the "revolving door" of government and industry in the USA, and a "Golden Parachute" in the lucrative private jobs available after government service. Americans are less concerned with appearances and can come directly FROM industry into government posts pretending to regulate those industries.


At present, 13 retired career-track METI bureaucrats hold senior positions at electric power companies under the practice of "amakudari" (descent from heaven).

METI, which oversees 10 electric utilities and two electricity wholesalers, investigated the matter after the crisis at Tepco's Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant fueled criticism of the practice.

The fact that former elite bureaucrats land key positions at private-sector companies in industries they previously oversaw has been widely criticized for creating cozy, corrupt relations, as well as allegations that this has led to slack s...upervision of the nuclear power industry.

METI minister Banri Kaieda recently urged his bureaucrats not to accept jobs offered by government-affiliated organizations or companies the ministry oversees, but he has no authority to force retired officials to leave their current jobs.

Five former ministry officials have assumed postretirement positions at Tepco over the past 50 years, including as advisers and board members. The utility is struggling to end the nuclear crisis at its Fukushima plant that was triggered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

The crisis has also cast a spotlight on the relationship between METI and the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, which plays the role of nuclear watchdog but is under the ministry's wings.

The agency, established as a special entity of the METI-affiliated Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, is responsible for ensuring the safety of nuclear plants. The Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan, institutionalized under the Cabinet Office, is supposed to double-check the agency's steps.

Calls are mounting for NISA to be organizationally separated from the ministry, which has long actively promoted nuclear power. Last month, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said he will look into the feasibility of NISA's separation from METI.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011


There has been a lot of reliable and honest content here, via Arnie Gundersen:




Gundersen Postulates Unit 3 Explosion May Have Been Prompt Criticality in Fuel Pool from Fairewinds Associates on Vimeo.

Where is all that Fukushima radiation going, and why does it matter? from Fairewinds Associates on Vimeo.

Dishing the dirt


The new standard of 20 millisieverts a year – equivalent to the annual maximum dose for German nuclear workers – will mean those schools remain open, but parents and nuclear opponents are angry that safety concerns are being ignored.
"I think 20 millisieverts is safe but I don't think it's good," said Itaru Watanabe of the education ministry, drawing howls of derision from the audience of participants.
"How dare they tell us it is safe for our children," said Sachiko Satou of the Protect Fukushima Children from Radiation Association. "This is disgusting. They can't play outside with such risks. If the government won't remove the radioactive dirt then we'll do it ourselves and dump it outside the headquarters of Tokyo Electric."

Real-world ecological half-life longer than expected

I think it's gonna be a long long time...

Reinhabiting the large exclusion zone around the accident site may have to wait longer than expected. Radioactive cesium isn’t disappearing from the environment as quickly as predicted, according to new research presented here Monday at the... meeting of the American Geophysical Union. Cesium 137’s half-life — the time it takes for half of a given amount of material to decay — is 30 years. In addition to that, cesium-137’s total ecological half-life — the time for half the cesium to disappear from the local environment through processes such as migration, weathering, and removal by organisms is also typically 30 years or less, but the amount of cesium in soil near Chernobyl isn’t decreasing nearly that fast. And scientists don’t know why.

It stands to reason that at some point the Ukrainian government would like to be able to use that land again, but the scientists have calculated that what they call cesium’s “ecological half-life” — the time for half the cesium to disappear from the local environment — is between 180 and 320 years.

“Normally you’d say that every 30 years, it’s half as bad as it was. But it’s not,” said Tim Jannik, nuclear scientist at Savannah River National Laboratory and a collaborator on the work. “It’s going to be longer before they repopulate the area.”
The original research pdf is existing here, written in the language English: http://sti.srs.gov/fulltext/SRNL-STI-2009-00770.pdf

This is your kid on radiation.

U.S. doctors hit Tokyo radiation limit for kids

Physicians for Social Responsibility, a U.S. nonprofit organization of medical experts, has condemned as "unconscionable" the Japanese government's safety standards on radiation levels at elementary and junior high schools in nuclear disaster-stricken Fukushima Prefecture.

"(Twenty millisieverts) for children exposes them to a 1 in 200 risk of getting cancer. And if they are exposed to this dose for two years, the risk is 1 in 100. There is no way that this level of exposure can be considered 'safe' for children," the statement said.
The pressure rises. If they can't attend school there, they can't really live there. If the kids can't live there, the parents (or in Japan, at least the mothers) need to leave, too. Once the children and women leave, the towns basically die. It's better (imo) to force evacuation of the contaminated ag areas anyway to keep toxic food out of the supply chain.

A Look Back, ...sideways, and forward

Its population had been around 50,000 prior to the accident. Today, the only residents are deer and wolves along with a solitary guard. It took three days before all permanent residents of Chernobyl were evacuated. Let the story be told by these magical pictures taken ~20 years later...

The Battle of Chernobyl

A film by Thomas Johnson

On 26 April 1986 01:23:45 a.m., at the Vladimir Ilyich Lenin Nuclear Power Station (Чернобыльская АЭС им. В.И.Ленина), the RBMK reactor of block No.4 suffered a catastrophic failure during a routine test. Only 56 deaths have been "officially" attributed to the disaster, however, documentation shows that well over 600,000 men women and children were directly affected by the fallout. In total, the fallout produced by the exposed burning reactor core would be 400 times greater than the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima. The deadly toxic molecules were spread across 100's of miles with nearly 60% of the pollutants falling on Belarus. The radioactive plume touched almost every European country including Sweden, Italy, Hungary, The Netherlands, Britain, and France. It is without question, the biggest nuclear disaster humanity has ever witnessed.



Mistrust of the media has surged among the people of Fukushima Prefecture. In part this is due to reports filed by mainstream journalists who are unwilling to visit the area near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. But above all it is the result of contradictory reports...

...at TEPCO press conferences, which are now being held at company headquarters, foreign correspondents and Japanese freelancers regularly ask probing questions while mainstream journalists simply record and report compa...ny statements reiterating that the situation is basically under control and there is nothing to worry about. One reason for this, Uesugi suggests, is that TEPCO, a giant media sponsor, has an annual 20 billion yen advertising budget. "The media keeps defending the information from TEPCO!”
There is one particularly telling example of the media shielding TEPCO by suppressing information. This concerns “plutonium”. According to Uesugi, after the reactor blew up on March 14, there was concern about the leakage of plutonium. Howe...ver, astonishingly, until two weeks later when Uesugi asked, not a single media representative had raised the question of plutonium at TEPCO's press conferences.
On March 26, in response to Uesugi’s query, TEPCO stated, “We do not measure the level of plutonium and do not even have a detector to scale it.” Ironically, the next day, Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano announced that “plutonium was detected”.
When TEPCO finally released data on radioactive plutonium on March 28, it stated that plutonium -238, -239, and -240 were found in the ground, but insisted that it posed no human risk. Since TEPCO provided no clarification of the meaning of the plutonium radiation findings, the mainstream press merely reported the presence of the radiation without assessment.

Chernobyl Disaster: Ghost City Chronicles

A documentary film about Pripyat from Russia Today.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Secretive Meteorological Agency the new CIA


Weather chief draws flak over plea not to release radiation forecasts
The chief of the Meteorological Society of Japan has drawn flak from within the academic society over a request for member specialists to refrain from releasing forecasts on the spread of radioactive substances from the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Just unbelievable.

The comments and resignation of Toshiso Kosako from his radiation advisory post


Government Adviser Quits Post to Protest Japan's Policy on Radiation Exposure for Fukushima Schools.

TOKYO—A prominent Japanese radiation safety specialist has resigned his governmental advisory post in protest over what he calls "inexcusable" standards for school children in Fukushima Prefecture. The Yomiuri Online news web site reported in Japanese this evening that Toshiso Kosako
Prime Minister Naoto Kan defended his government's handling of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 plant on Saturday, a day after one of his advisers on the emergency vowed to resign in protest at what he called the state's lax response.

Kan told the Lower House Budget Committee the departure of Toshiso Kosako, a professor on antiradiation safety measures at the University of Tokyo's graduate school who assumed the advisory post March 16, is extremely unfortunate.

"We are dealing with the crisis based on the advice that comes as a result of discussions by the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan. Our handling of the crisis has never been impromptu," Kan said.

Kosako told the government Friday he will resign as Kan's adviser.

"The government has belittled laws and taken measures only for the present moment, resulting in delays in bringing the situation under control," Kosako said.

It is extremely rare for an intellectual adviser appointed by the prime minister to resign in protest at measures the government has taken.

Kosako told reporters at the Diet on Friday it is problematic for the government to have delayed the release of forecasts on the spread of radiation from the Fukushima plant, done by the Nuclear Safety Technology Center's computer system, called the System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information (SPEEDI).

He also blasted the government for hiking the upper limit for emergency workers seeking to bring the crippled plant under control to 250 millisieverts from 100 millisieverts after the crisis broke out.

"The prime minister's office and administrative organizations have made impromptu policy decisions, like playing a whack-a-mole game, ignoring proper procedures," the radiation expert said.

He also urged the government to stiffen guidelines on upper limits on radiation levels the education ministry recently announced as allowable levels for elementary school grounds in Fukushima Prefecture, where the radiation-leaking plant is located.

The guidelines announced by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry "are inconsistent with internationally commonsensical figures and they were determined by the administration to serve its interests," he said.

As the only country to experience an atomic bombing, Japan has long had a powerful antinuclear movement, and such protests have become louder.

Yoshiko Nakamura, 50, a part-time worker, was among 450 who gathered Saturday in Tokyo's Yoyogi Park. The demonstrators beat drums, shouted "No more nukes" and held banners that read "Electricity in Tokyo, sacrifice in Fukushima."

"We knew all along nuclear power was dangerous. I just didn't know how to express myself," said Nakamura, taking part in her second demonstration in two weeks. "This is a great opportunity to send a message and voice my fears."

Such demonstrations have become more frequent, including during the Golden Week holidays, which continue through the weekend and this week. "What I had feared might happen has become reality," said Kenji Kitamura, a 48-year-old office worker. "It is outrageous children are being exposed to such high levels of radiation."

Removing soil to reduce radiation at Fukushima schools


A worker removes surface soil from school yard at Kaoru Primary School in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, on Wednesday.

Hamaoka--fool speed ahead!


Chubu Electric eyes restarting Hamaoka nuke reactor in July
Chubu Electric Power Co. plans to restart a nuclear reactor at its Hamaoka plant in Shizuoka Prefecture after the present regular checkups in July, the utility said Thursday despite mounting local concerns about the plant's safety amid a nuclear crisis in Fukushima Prefecture.

Japan Coast Guard footage at Sendai Airport and other tsunami sites

Friday, April 29, 2011

"Children of Fukushima need our protection"

OPINION: Children of Fukushima need our protection | Kyodo News

I was dismayed to learn that the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology earlier this week increased the allowable dose of ionizing radiation for children in Fukushima Prefecture.

In Germany, a recent study of 25 years of the national childhood cancer register showed that even the normal operation of nuclear power plants is associated with a more than doubling of the risk of leukemia for children under 5 years old living within 5 kilometers of a nuclear plant.

Increased risk was seen to more than 50 km away. This was much higher than expected, and highlights the particular vulnerability to radiation of children in and outside the womb.

In addition to exposure measured by typical external radiation counters, the children of Fukushima will also receive internal radiation from particles inhaled and lodged in their lungs, and taken in through contaminated food and water.

A number of radioactive substances are concentrated up the food chain and in people. As a parent, as a physician, the decision to allow the children of Fukushima to be exposed to such injurious levels of radiation is an unacceptable abrogation of the responsibility of care and custodianship for our children and future generations.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cumulative Annual Radiation Doses Calculated

I didn't look up the direct link, but this should indicate to the slow-to-act that a wider evacuation is needed.


The Japanese government unveiled a map of radioactive contamination on April 26, predicting residents in areas near the troubled nuclear power plant could be exposed to radiation far greater than permissible levels.

According to the contamination map unveiled by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, a cumulative dose of radiation for the year to March 11, 2012 is expected to reach 235.4 millisieverts in Akogi Kunugidaira in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, 24 kilometers northwest of the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.

The cities of Fukushima and Minami-Soma are also predicted to receive more than 10 millisieverts of radiation, 10 times the dose of artificial radiation an ordinary person is allowed to be exposed to a year.

Based on data collected from 2,13...8 monitoring points, the ministry calculated total cumulative doses of radiation between March 12 and April 21 and added them up to expected cumulative doses of radiation for the period thereafter to March 11, 2012. Expected radiation exposure was based on the assumption that the nuclear power plant continues to spew the same level of radiation as that detected on April 22. The ministry assumed that people in each monitoring point spend eight hours outdoors and 16 hours inside wooden houses a day. The ministry assumes the level of exposure to radiation in wooden houses is 40 percent lower than outdoors.

As a result, higher levels of radiation were predicted in areas northwest of the nuclear power plant. On April 11, the government designated areas outside a 20-kilometer radius of the nuclear plant that were expected to receive 20 millisievers per year as "planned evacuation zones." Ten locations in the zones including Namie, Iitate and Kawamata were predicted to receive more than 20 millisieverts of radiation. Ryozen in Date, 48 kilometers northwest of the nuclear plant, was predicted to receive 21.2 millisieverts per year.

The ministry had unveiled a similar map on April 11, but the map released this time predicted radiation levels in wider areas based on larger quantities of data. The ministry plans to update the map regularly and release it twice a month.

Fukushima Nuclear News Link Dump

Nuke plants' backups fall way short | The Japan Times Online

Most nuclear reactors in Japan would fail to achieve a stable condition in the event that all regular power sources are lost, even though plant operators have prepared new backup power sources as well as electric generators amid the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, it was learned Monday.

Farmers herd in for protest | The Japan Times Online
More than 200 farmers brought two cows to Tokyo, where they shouted and punched the air Tuesday in a protest to demand compensation for products contaminated by radiation spewing from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

16 prefectures' pastures face radioactivity checks | The Japan Times Online
The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry has set allowable radioactive contamination levels for grazing grass and asked 16 prefectures to check fields in areas where higher-than-normal levels of atmospheric radiation have been detected, they said.

Minamisoma mayor wants to hold rebirth forum | The Japan Times Online
"I want my city to become the (global) center of industries that will transcend nuclear power generation," said Mayor Katsunobu Sakurai.

MEXT is releasing SPEEDI.
It just shows deposition areas in a nasty pdf form.

Suits to halt atomic plants have all failed | The Japan Times Online
Since the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant crisis triggered on March 11, criticism is being directed at judges because of their tendency to side with the state and power companies.

Continued radiation leaks from crippled nuke plant pose serious threat - The Mainichi Daily News
"It's graver than Chernobyl in that no one can predict how the situation will develop," said Atsushi Kasai, a former senior researcher with the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute.

When making purchases, remember that Panasonic and Sharp are the largest solar power companies, Toshiba and Hitachi the largest nuclear power plant makers.
Silver lining in sight for makers of solar panels | The Japan Times Online
"Who can really guarantee that they're 100 percent safe? I want nuclear plants to be halted if they're so frail," said the 53-year-old housewife, who's lived in Shizuoka Prefecture for more than 20 years.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Beyond Nuclear

Beyond Nuclear - Home

Beyond Nuclear aims to educate and activate the public about the connections between nuclear power and nuclear weapons and the need to abandon both to safeguard our future. Beyond Nuclear advocates for an energy future that is sustainable, benign and democratic.

Beyond Nuclear has submitted a Title 10 Code of Federal Regulations Part 2.206 (10CFR2.206) "emergency enforcement petition" to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) urging the suspension of 21 General Electric Boiling Water Reactor ...Mark 1s' operating licenses in the wake of the catastrophic failure of identical containment systems at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant in Japan. In addition, Beyond Nuclear has petitioned that a total of 24 GE BWR Mark 1 storage pools for high-level radioactive waste in the U.S. be required to install backup power supplies for running cooling water circulation systems in the event of a loss of the primary electrical grid, something they now lack, despite their location outside of a primary containment structure.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

BBC: Fukushima vs Chernobyl


BBC News - How does Fukushima differ from Chernobyl?
A table comparing the Chernobyl nuclear disaster with the crisis at Fukushima, Japan.
Officials say radiation leaks are continuing and could eventually exceed those at Chernobyl. The priority is restoring adequate coolant to the fuel ponds and the reactors themselves.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Possible Desktop Wallpaper


Anothr retrospectiv link dump

Japan Radiation map
created by us dept of energy:

List of the Mark 1 BWR reactors (cost-saving early 1970s design used in Fukushima) licensed to operate in AL, NC, MN, NY, IA, IL, GA, MI, NJ, some until 2038 (but these licenses are regularly re-re-extended).

In the US there are 23 reactors using the MK I containment system that are still operating:
Plant Name     STATE OL Issued OL Renewed OL Expires
Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant, Unit 1 AL 12/20/1973 5/4/2006 12/20/2033
Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant, Unit 2 AL 8/2/1974 5/4/2006 6/28/2034
Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant, Unit 3 AL 8/18/1976 5/4/2006 7/2/2036
Brunswick Steam Electric Plant, Unit 1 NC 9/8/1976 6/26/2006 9/8/2036
Brunswick Steam Electric Plant, Unit 2 NC 12/27/1974 6/26/2006 12/27/2034
Cooper Nuclear Station NE 1/18/1974 1/18/2014
Dresden Nuclear Power Station, Unit 2 IL 2/20/1991 10/28/2004 12/22/2029
Dresden Nuclear Power Station, Unit 3 IL 1/12/1971 10/28/2004 1/12/2031
Duane Arnold Energy Center IA 2/22/1974 2/21/2014
Edwin I. Hatch Nuclear Plant, Unit 1 GA 10/13/1974 1/15/2002 8/6/2034
Edwin I. Hatch Nuclear Plant, Unit 2 GA 6/13/1978 1/15/2002 6/13/2038
Fermi, Unit 2 MI 7/15/1985 3/20/2025
Hope Creek Generating Station, Unit 1 NJ 7/25/1986 4/11/2026
James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant NY 10/17/1974 9/8/2008 10/17/2034
Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant, Unit 1 MN 1/9/1981 11/8/2006 9/8/2030
Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station, Unit 1 MI 12/26/1974 10/31/2006 8/22/2029
Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station, Unit 1 NJ 7/2/1991 4/8/2009 4/9/2029
Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Unit 2 MI 10/25/1973 5/7/2003 8/8/2033
Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Unit 3 MI 7/2/1974 5/7/2003 7/2/2034
Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station MI 6/8/1972 6/8/2012
Quad Cities Nuclear Power Station, Unit 1 IL 12/14/1972 10/28/2004 12/14/2032
Quad Cities Nuclear Power Station, Unit 2 IL 12/14/1972 10/28/2004 12/14/2032
Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, Unit 1 VT 3/21/1973 3/21/2012
23 of these BWRs use a smaller GE Mark I pressure suppression containment conceived as a cost-saving alternative to the larger reinforced concrete containments marketed by competitors.
A large inverted light-bulb-shaped steel structure called "the drywell" is constructed of a steel liner and a concrete drywell shield wall enclosing the reactor vessel--this is considered the "primary" containment.. The atmosphere of the drywell is connected through large diameter pipes to a large hollow doughnut-shaped pressure suppression pool called "the torus", or wetwell, which is half-filled with water. In the event of a loss-of-coolant-accident (LOCA), steam would be released into the drywell and directed underwater in the torus where it is supposed to condense, thus suppressing a pressure buildup in the containment.

The outer concrete building is the "secondary" containment and is smaller and less robust (and thus cheaper to build) than the containment buildings used at most reactors.

As early as 1972, Dr. Stephen Hanauer, an Atomic Energy Commission safety official, recommended that the pressure suppression system be discontinued and any further designs not be accepted for construction permits. Hanauer's boss, Joseph Hendrie (later an NRC Commissioner) essentially agreed with Hanauer, but denied the recommendation on the grounds that it could end the nuclear power industry in the U.S.

...the three original AEC memos, including Hendrie's:

November 11, 1971: outlines problems with the design and pressure suppression system containment.

September 20, 1972: memo from Steven Hanauer recommends that U.S. stop licensing reactors using pressure suppression system

September 25, 1972: memo from Joseph Hendrie (top safety official at AEC) agrees with recommendation but rejects it saying it "could well mean the end of nuclear power..."

In 1976, three General Electric nuclear engineers publicly resigned their prestigious positions citing dangerous shortcomings in the GE design.

An NRC analysis of the potential failure of the Mark I under accident conditions concluded in a 1985 report that Mark I failure within the first few hours following core melt would appear rather likely."

In 1986, Harold Denton, then the NRC's top safety official, told an industry trade group that the "Mark I containment, especially being smaller with lower design pressure, in spite of the suppression pool, if you look at the WASH 1400 safety study, you'll find something like a 90% probability of that containment failing."

...electricity is merely a fleeting by-product of nuclear power plants. The real legacy -- the lasting product of nuclear power plants -- is nuclear waste, which will be a hazard to future generations who will not get one watt of electricity, but will get this toxic legacy for millions of years.
PressTV - 'N-waste to haunt US for generations'
Interview with Paul Gunter, president of Beyond Nuclear in the US.
If they cannot be bothered to find a permanent storage for their waste or even transfer if to dry cask storage now, when they are generating electricity and profits from it every day, what are the chances of that happening in the future when the plant is closed, the people who profited from it long dead or moved away, the area too radioactive to work in? Instead of pushing nukes by subsidizing insurance for tens of billions of dollars, Obama should push them to maximize the dry cask storage as Germany has done.

Some steps by the FDA to protect the food supply
FAQs related to Radiation Safety

Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant must be shut down - The Mainichi Daily News
an even worse location

Radiation around TEPCO
These are monitoring posts around the perimeter of the facility.
Only "South Of Main Building" is near reactor 1.

Kan first visited the Tamura city gymnasium where residents, mainly of Okuma, have been taking shelter. When he was about to leave the evacuation center after spending about 10 minutes there, some evacuees angrily shouted out, "Leaving already?" One evacuee told the prime minister, "You should try living here." "If you're going to visit evacuation centers, you should talk to everyone there," said another.

The only news is that they've set a date. This was formerly "within a month or so". Slowly slowly.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan's government on Friday instructed parts of Fukushima Prefecture outside the 20-km no-go zone around the crippled No. 1 nuclear plant to evacuate by the end of May, saying that cumulative radiation levels may pose a health risk to residents.

The breast milk of four Japanese mothers has been found to contain small quantities of radioactive iodine.
A case in Kashiwa, Chiba was the worst!

Susquehanna Spent Fuel Pool Concerns, and How I Ended Up at UCS
In November 1992, Don Prevatte and I submitted a report to the NRC regarding our concerns with spent fuel pools...

Cheating the workers:
Meanwhile, the radiation exposure registration center at the
Radiation Effects Association, which keeps track of workers' radiation
exposure, says, "If we apply the general rules to those workers who are
exposed to radiation of 250 millisieverts, we will have to strip them of
chances to work for a considerable number of years. We will treat them
completely separately.
A 30-year-old worker with a subcontractor engaged in restoration work at the nuclear power plant said he had been told by an official of a primary contractor that "the radiation you are exposed to this time will not be shown on your radiati...on exposure record book." He said he had also been told: "Even if you are exposed to 250 millisieverts, if you are to work at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant, the 250 millisieverts will be exempted."
=Don't worry about it buddy, nobody's counting! You can still work even if you hit the max!

March 24.
The radiation dose received by one-year-old infants outside of a 30-kilometer radius of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant since Saturday's explosion at the plant may have exceeded 100 millisieverts, a computer simulation conducted by the government showed Wednesday.
Haruki Madarame, chairman of the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan, told reporters, ''The figure represents the level that one-year-old infants would have received and accumulated in their thyroids by
midnight Wednesday since the explosion.''
Madarame said the radiation dose accumulated by adults outside the 30-km zone in their thyroids would be lower.