My first job after college was working for a hazardous waste disposal firm who had a secret pipe to the Mississippi River. The owner's favorite saying was, "We'll close the barn door after the horses are gone." Could be a company motto!
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So many promises of "energy too cheap to meter" seem to fall to the wayside when the rules of physics control the outcome!
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One option might be to add two members to the team chosen by the anti-nuclear groups to provide some balance. However, it seems only fair their expenses should be paid by a fee charged to the industry. Like Zichi said, there may be few people with expertise who haven't worked for the industry. Yet, we also know that the pay for environmentalists who oppose this industry is non-existent. Fair is fair, and it would be an interesting group if affiliations were identified and weighed - opinions vs objective assessment. This industry is not used to sophisticated debate on their technologies, so putting forth an idealistic and open method of assessment might not be welcomed.
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Now, the joke will be: You know why the British drink warm beer? They have refrigerators made by Hatachi! E ON and RWE leaving the biz sounds like they know something others haven't seen.
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Regardless of motive - good or cynical, it will be important to track the health issues of youths in this region. As noted above, burning debris from the region is not the same as exposure to radioactive materials, but then again, depending on the method of the burning, combustion of wastes including chlorinated and fluorinated plastics, materials containing heavy metals like chromium and mercury can result in the spreading of a variety of compounds including dioxin-like compounds, species of chrome-chlorides and vapors of mercury that are difficult to capture with scrubbers and particulate control measures. It is difficult to evaluate the extent of complications from afar, but I imagine coupled with dense population the task of management of the debris collected is a difficult task without sharing pollutants with the environment and with the population. And, with such densely populated areas, where does one go to escape. It would be my hope that doing no harm during this process would be the principle measure guiding actions.
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zichi AUG. 15, 2012 - 04:12PM JST Why is TEPCO even still in business? Why are not the board of directors serving time, as much time as it takes to clean up the nuclear disaster?
One of the lessons learned at Hanford is it will take many years to sort out the best resolve of the issues arising at Fukushima, and the problems will not go away in time. I'm curious about civil options for dealing with Tepco - if it is possible to bring suit regarding a public nuisance cause and then expand charges with the discovery process. There will clearly be an attempt to delay, but the sooner things get rolling the better.
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It would appear the minister may be reading "Reinventing Fire - Bold Business Solutions for The New Energy Era" by Amory Lovins. Looking at the business models for the development of nuclear, coal, oil and natural gas, we need to look at resources with an eye to the highest and best use principles. Wasting these resources to boil water has consequences, and yet Mr. Lovins is pointing out the model for decentralizing energy and smart grids to handle small producers as being inevitable and well on its way to becoming a reality. Holding fast to technologies like coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear power may seem reasonable because of the infrastructure in place, but it may be based on the same "wisdom" of holding fast to making typewriters, LP records, and photographic film. Humanity may look back at this transitional period as a call for a paradigm shift pushing Japan ahead of what will ultimately occur in time.
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All should be aware of the profession of aiding in the siting of facilities like a nuclear power plant. More than geological considerations, experts evaluate the citizenry for their behavior, religion, and the propensity to believe "establishment" promises. In the US, the perfect citizenry is middle to moderate income, conservative and family oriented, an older community where young people having migrated from their parents homes. It is my bet TEPCO hired consultants to aid them in "selling" facilities, a group of professionals like a match between an Olympic athlete and an average citizen. Their "art" also notes the least desirable opponent is a single mother and strong-minded women. When they have an opponent who questions details, they are attacked in a personal way. When people question their actions after an incident, they have an apologist who reminds all that they were once welcomed into the community - when in fact "welcomed" may be a word that could interchange with overwhelmed by propaganda making it all seem too good to be true.
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If the nuclear power folks are standing strong based on this one election, more power to them for believing in a snap-shot in a motion picture. FYI - one theme on HBO's "Newsroom" series last night was an interview where a TEPCO official claimed it Fukushima was a level 5 in public, but in private (off the record) he noted it was a level 7. Not many Americans caught the drift of that segment, but the show indicated that TEPCO and the government have something to hide. I keep telling my friends - This story is not going away! I'm also curious if the anti-nuclear candidate appeared too rabid for most conservatives?
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There are always demonstrations instigated by left wing activists. In a word it is an over-reaction.
"over-reaction"! The loss of nearly a thousand people, loss of 150,000 homes, contaminated land that will never be able to used by civilization, cost over-runs and the numerous lies told to the people, plus a captured regulatory agency and most of media owned by the same companies that brought these facilities to Japan and the US??? The game by Schopenhauer is an intellectually corrupt effort to change the topic and blame citizens for an over-reaction spurned by left-wing wackos. From the pictures, the 170,000 people reminded me of the late efforts to end the war in Vietnam, where people from all walks of life went to the streets.
Isoroku Yamamoto's quote: "We have awoken a sleeping giant." seems most appropriate.
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I've been telling folks who will listen to me in the US that something important is happening in Japan. With the recent protest numbers, it would appear change is in the air, and the end of nuclear plants may come quickly as we make a serious shift away to renewables. The US seems to not be paying attention, but I assure all that the industry and funders of this industry are taking heed. If we lost 150,000 homes and nearly a thousand lives due to such an incident it would be a real attention getting event. This is a story that is not going away. It may also get worse before it gets better. I find myself sitting in Kansas City wishing I could have attended the rally. This is not over.
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I'm sure those who once invested in the manufacturing of typewriters thought it was a great plan to stay the course.
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I work for a multinational and continuously see the need to be correct in all comments. Hyperbole works against the message. As for reactions, it is important to note the direction being taken in Germany away from nuclear power and in favor of wind and solar. If possible, I'd recommend viewing Amory Lovins lecture some time back about energy issues shown on This Week in Ted:
He is showing a path that is not confrontational and yet equates those who invest in nuclear, coal and oil as those who are investing in a company to be equated to a typewriter manufacturer. I've written before that generations from now will be scratching their heads as they note we used up tremendous amounts of uranium, created numerous sacrifice zones like at Hanford, have millions of tons of hot waste for our great grandchildren to manage, and all to boil water.
Good to make your acquaintance.
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As zichi notes, information is often easy to find, but it is often difficult to decipher and convert to language most people understand. When dioxins and furans became important to understand, few people had a clue about them, so one of the lessons of Fukushima is how few people really understand the magnitude of the events surrounding them. As for bashing Japan or the industry, the more powerful attack is civil truth without pointing fingers. This method is nearly unimpeachable, and zichi should recognize he has a world-wide audience greatly appreciating his information and objective assessment of this unfolding event. Many in the US are grasping the importance of this experience, and like our wars, the further the public is kept from the fray the less concerned they are about the difficulty of resolving complex problems. Zichi, you have a fan in Kansas City.
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