Sunday, October 30, 2011

Glow In The Dark Sushi.

Fukushima May Have Dumped Twice As Much Radiation as Previously Thought:

'via Blog this'

That's right,doublewhat Japanese authorities originally estimated. That's a lot of cesium-137 to miss, so where did it all disappear to?

Out to sea, apparently. A study recently completed by Andreas Stohl of the Norwegian Institute for Air Research pegs the total amount of cesium-137 released at 36,000 terabecquerels through April 20 compared to the 15,000 terabecquerels the Japanese government reported. Stohl's report asserts that the government only gathered data from terrestrial sensors and failed to account for the radiation blown off-shore.

The estimate of much higher levels of radioactive cesium-137 comes from a worldwide network of sensors. Study author Andreas Stohl of the Norwegian Institute for Air Research says the Japanese government estimate came only from data in Japan, and that would have missed emissions blown out to sea.

The study did not consider health implications of the radiation. Cesium-137 is dangerous because it can last for decades in the environment, releasing cancer-causing radiation.


Once again the cover up is turning out to worse than the disaster itself. Fukushima is a mess. A dead Nuclear Power site and a contamination zone much worse than first admitted. And now the seas around Fukushima are poisoned for perhaps a decade. Japan's whole culture is wrapped around the bounties of the sea. To have an entire section of their ocean a no-go zone has to be a gut punch for the Japanese. It just does not seem that the capitalist economy can handle nuclear power. The attempt to squeeze the last bit of profit out of these expensive nuclear plants sooner or later causes bad decisions to be made.

The whole reason Fukushima went with the reactor design it built is because GE advertised it as a less expensive alternative to other plants. The operators then ran the plant longer than it should have been in a seismically dicy landscape. Fukushima might have survived the hit from the earthquake when it was first build, but it did not have a prayer in its aged and weakened condition. Fukushima was still on line because there was still money to be made from the elderly facility.

None of these cautionary tales seem to affect the Obama Administration from pushing nuclear energy as part of the post fossil fuel matrix. Obama is bullish on nuclear as are many in Congress. The decades long love affair for the big, overpriced and dangerous nuclear power plant is head scratcher. Why do so many politicos love these ungainly things? Despite every nerve-wracking oops of big nuclear power, the elites just keep doubling down. Nuclear power plants get bigger, more expensive,and harder to manage. Plus there is non-trivial problem of what to do with all the highly radioactive waste when the plants close down. No solution in the US is forthcoming; the supposed solution of Yucca Mountain lies twitching in its last death throws. There is no plan B.

The worst thing about Fukushima is that it was all so predictable. There seems to be a unwarranted sloppiness about how we handel nuclear power, an inability to understand how much the whole affair balances on a knife's edge. As much as the common people and Greenpeace bang on about the whole affair needing a rethink; the power elites just plow on. What will it take for these men to reconsider? Nuke power just poisoned a stretch of the Pacific Ocean and create a dead zone in a land were real estate comes at a premium, what else need to go horribly wrong?
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