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Fukushima Actually "Much Worse" Than So Far Disclosed, Say Experts

timothy posted 1 year,24 days | from the don't-drink-the-water-and-don't-breathe-the-air dept.

Japan 274

PuceBaboon writes "The BBC is reporting that experts are casting doubt on the veracity of statements from both the Tokyo Electric Power Company and the Japanese government regarding the seriousness of the problems at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Not only are the constant leaks releasing radioactivity into the ocean (and thus into the food chain), but now there are also worries that the spent fuel rod storage pools may be even more unstable than first thought. An external consultant warns, 'The Japanese have a problem asking for help. It is a big mistake; they badly need it.'"

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274 comments

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screw the spin (1)

nimbius (983462) | 1 year,24 days | (#44643933)

Be optimistic about it. if it gets any worse, we'll be able to use sushi instead of toothpaste.

Multiply any radiation claims by 10x (4, Interesting)

JoeyRox (2711699) | 1 year,24 days | (#44643973)

Rule of thumb (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644053)

Any "bad" news from government should be assumed to be much worse, and any "good" news from government should be assumed to be not nearly as good. That's just common sense when dealing with an organization that takes money from you by force, promising to spend it on things which benefit you, and then turns around and spends billions each year on self-promotion.

Re:Rule of thumb (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644205)

s/government/big corporation.

Re:Rule of thumb (5, Insightful)

akirapill (1137883) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644345)

s/government/big corporation.

Mod AC up. If anything, this incident shows that corporations are _at least_ as bad as the state when it comes to managing nuclear power. Nuclear may be scientifically safe and sound, but the lumbering bureaucracy (public or private) required to actually build and operate a plant guarantee that this type of disaster will keep happening for as long as this technology is in use.

Re:Rule of thumb (5, Insightful)

runeghost (2509522) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644457)

Sadly, I'm coming to around to agreeing with your point of view. On paper, nuclear should be the solution to the world's power needs. In practice, we as a species don't seem to be able to create and sustain the requisite human and material support structures for truly safe nuclear power.

Re:Rule of thumb (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644893)

You say on paper... But on which paper is the solution to the problem of nuclear waste material? Or the problem of finite raw materials? On paper, Sir, it's renewable energies.

Re:Rule of thumb (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644991)

Basically, "on paper" means nothing. Oh, nuclear energy is great, except when we actually do it, there are always problems - the lil'' externalities, like mechanical limits, human error, the "free market", human failings, etc. etc. etc. Other stuff that is great "on paper" - hyperloop, libertariansim, religion, one device for everything...

Re:Rule of thumb (1)

fredklein (532096) | 1 year,24 days | (#44645059)

But on which paper is the solution to the problem of nuclear waste material?

The Yucca Mountain storage facility's operating documents

Basically, find a place many miles away from anyone, a place that's geologically stable, and bury that shit.

Re:Rule of thumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44645075)

Nuclear power has killed very few people (less than 10,000) and supplies a lot of energy. To create two nature preserves is a bonus. This is serious comment.

Re:Rule of thumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644437)

Nobody is denying that corporations work purely in self-interest. The elephant in the closet is that government also works purely in self-interest.

Re:Rule of thumb (1)

BergZ (1680594) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644583)

That's weird. On climate change topics I'm always being told that you can assume governments exaggerate bad news.
How can it be that governments, simultaneously, exaggerate and understate bad news?

Re:Rule of thumb (2)

JWW (79176) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644671)

The better rule of thumb would be that governments exaggerate news such that the exaggeration leads to an increase in their power.

Re:Rule of thumb (2)

mikael (484) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644747)

They exaggerate bad new when taxes need to be raised, or corporate donors need government contracts, they understate bad news when compensation claims are likely (military experiments, privatized companies mess up bad).

Re:Rule of thumb (3, Insightful)

rwise2112 (648849) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644865)

It's called spin. Apply spin to either under- or over-estimate to make the government/corp to look better.

Re:Rule of thumb (2)

tibit (1762298) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644761)

This is Japanese government, not just any government. They are culturally averse to asking for help. Almost any other government in their place would be screaming for aid left right and center.

Rule of tards (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644887)

I was on food stamps once, and did anyone help me? FUCK NO! Like Ayn Rand herself, I had to pull myself up by my own bootstraps and line up for food stamps so that I could eat until society finally understood how great I was.

Re:Multiply any radiation claims by 10x (5, Informative)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644343)

18 children already have thyroid cancer, 25 more waiting to be confirmed. [nhk.or.jp] For reference the usual incidence rate is one is a few hundred thousand, and these children are from a group of about 300,000 being monitored so the normal rate would be about 2-3 a year.

It's pretty bad.

Re:Multiply any radiation claims by 10x (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644441)

And what would the rate be if we examined all kids that thoroughly?

Re:Multiply any radiation claims by 10x (4, Informative)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,24 days | (#44645109)

The same. Thyroid cancer has some hard to ignore symptoms and eventually spreads and kills you if untreated. I suppose if there were zero more detections for the next couple of decades we could write it off to early detection, but somehow I doubt that is very likely.

Re:Multiply any radiation claims by 10x (3, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644497)

I dont believe cancer generally develops that fast, and would highly suspect an agenda from any organization that tries to claim it does-- particularly when the estimates for radiation exposure even for the 3 workers most seriously exposed are just on the fringe of "elevated risk of cancer".

Re:Multiply any radiation claims by 10x (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644781)

Its been years since the accident. It seems like enough time to me, but I am not a doctor or know that much about medicine.

Re:Multiply any radiation claims by 10x (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644953)

It happens fairly quickly in children. Besides, what other explanation is there? Are you saying that doctors are lying about this and will perform surgery and chemotherapy followed by lifelong medication because...?

Chernobyl is estimated to have caused at least 6000 extra cases of thyroid cancer, beyond the normal background level. I don't see how any can seriously deny the probable link any more.

Re:Multiply any radiation claims by 10x (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | 1 year,24 days | (#44645011)

It happens fairly quickly in children. Besides, what other explanation is there?

That maybe children dont regularly get checked for thyroid cancer, but that it is nevertheless present in a given population, and theyre catching the ones that were already there?

Re:Multiply any radiation claims by 10x (4, Informative)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,24 days | (#44645081)

You would know if you had thyroid cancer. The symptoms are not something you can ignore, and eventually you would die. I think it's safe to say there are not many unexplained deaths due to undiagnosed thyroid cancer.

Re:Multiply any radiation claims by 10x (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44645003)

"I dont believe cancer generally develops that fast," Too bad you have no data, non-scientist.

Re:Multiply any radiation claims by 10x (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644503)

the normal rate would be one child with thyroid cancer in 300,000. not 2-3 as you say. it says "The incidence rate of thyroid cancer in children is said to be one in hundreds of thousands".

the thyroid cancer rate is therefore 43x normal. given that they underestimate and underdetect, the cautious factor is 100x not 10x.

Pride Always Sucks (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644011)

Yet nobody cares about your pride except you

Re:Pride Always Sucks (1)

tatman (1076111) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644131)

Despite the anon coward post, there is a bit of truth to this. Rather than making it sound bad as pride, there is a cultural thing to consider. The Japanese are great and noble people.

Re:Pride Always Sucks (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644321)

There's nothing "noble" about being overproud to the point of denial causing deaths.

Re:Pride Always Sucks (5, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644585)

Just like the soviets were after chernobyl..From the locals at the plant doing the 'safety' test, to just after the initial accident, to the delays in evacuations, to the kremlin's international response..

Pride is ok, but it's gotta be rational.. There's no reason to feel prideful when you fuck up. Now, I could see the argument for 'honor' (It's our mess, we should be the ones to clean it up), but for something like this, if you need help, you should ask. Governments with strong ideological bias often have trouble accepting that the laws of physics don't care about political borders.

Re:Pride Always Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644827)

Pretty much any government in a similar position would act in the same way. It's not pride, it's that people over-react, try to push their own agenda at every opportunity. Soon as something happens, groups come out of the woodwork pointing fingers and shouting "told you so!" This will go on as long as the majority of worldwide population doesn't say "ok shit happened, we're all in this together let's fix it together." Instead the Americans take cheap shots at the Russians and vice versa, the Chinese take cheap shots at the Japanese and vice versa, Greenpeace rams fishing boats, and everybody gets ultra-defensive.

Re:Pride Always Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644901)

Go jack off to your animes some more. The japanese are fucking assholes all the way around.

Re:Pride Always Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644913)

The Japanese are great and noble people.

And about as racist as any people you will find anywhere on earth.

level 1 to level 3 (1)

schneidafunk (795759) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644041)

I don't really understand what the levels mean, anyone want to enlighten me with a simple explanation?

Re:level 1 to level 3 (1)

schneidafunk (795759) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644065)

* I am referring to the levels described in the article here: "The Japanese nuclear energy watchdog raised the incident level from one to three on the international scale that measures the severity of atomic accidents. "

Re:level 1 to level 3 (1)

Opportunist (166417) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644251)

If this is a three, what's a 7? Hiroshima reloaded?

Re:level 1 to level 3 (1)

Ken D (100098) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644639)

After reading the article, it's clear that they mean that this leak by itself is a Level 3 incident. Not "Fukushima" is a Level 3 incident.

Re:level 1 to level 3 (4, Informative)

Dins (2538550) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644711)

Actually, the Fukushima disaster has already released over 168 times [telegraph.co.uk] the amount of radiation as the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

Re:level 1 to level 3 (1)

Dins (2538550) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644749)

In retrospect, my article is outdated. As cyfer2000 posted above while I was typing mine, Fukushima is WAY worse than that, and apparently getting worse by the day.

Re:level 1 to level 3 (5, Informative)

nedlohs (1335013) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644121)

Re:level 1 to level 3 (1)

schneidafunk (795759) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644537)

Thanks!

Re:level 1 to level 3 (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644221)

It means at least one of the 'level 3' conditions has been met. [wikipedia.org]

Most likely:

Severe contamination in an area not expected by design, with a low probability of significant public exposure.

Re:level 1 to level 3 (1)

Opportunist (166417) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644227)

A weak attempt to measure what can't sensibly be measured. Think defcon, but with kickback levels working in reverse (i.e. the more severe, the less money).

Different than Deepwater Horizon (2)

EMG at MU (1194965) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644075)

When a corporation/government has no independent oversight and an interest in minimising the severity of a disaster the public should have no expectation of receiving accurate information.

Re:Different than Deepwater Horizon (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644255)

That doesn't make it actually much different, Corexit was simply used to hide the problem.

Re:Different than Deepwater Horizon (1)

brian0918 (638904) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644287)

Why does the corporation have no incentive to minimize pollution? Because the open waterways have been deemed "public" property by the government. Whereas if you dumped your waste on your neighbor's property, he could sue you for contamination, with public property - such as rivers, lakes, even oceans - there is the potential for corruption and political pull to override all legal deterrents.

Re:Different than Deepwater Horizon (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644469)

If you are BP you can dump your waste on your neighbors property all you like. You can keep him tied up in court forever.

Polluting public property should be a criminal act not a civil issue. With public property the government could also sue.

Re:Different than Deepwater Horizon (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644473)

So, everything and everyone should be owned by corporations, resulting in a better world.

Re:Different than Deepwater Horizon (1)

WindBourne (631190) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644533)

yeah, this is quite a bit more like Leviathan and Tri-Oceanic Corp.

It's like this (5, Informative)

djupedal (584558) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644127)

Anyone that has lived and worked in Japan with the local engineers and agencies knows it's not a good idea to take safety statements and claims at face value. Trusting the boys with nuclear reactors is asking for incidents like Fukushima to be downplayed.

Example - the locals in our apartment building told us if there was a fire to order a pizza before calling the fire dept. and tell the fd to follow the pizza delivery guy - they now the neighborhoods much better than the authorities.

Other example - our R & D center had a super-efficient furnace that was supposed to burn trash at 900. The furnace operators decided on their own to run at lower temps so the equipment would 'last longer'...that coked up the 2nd combustion chamber. One day someone tossed a 5 gal. container of cutting oil into the trash, and when they tried to burn it, the whole thing exploded, sending thousands of confidential documents out across the neighborhood. Everyone had to run out and pick them up. The community gave our company an award for being so good at the cleanup. No mention of the explosion.

Yet another example - to be counted as a highway fatality in Japan, you have to die in the first 12 hours. This isn't how other countries tally such stats, leaving Japan to appear to be much safer.

Final example - fire drills in the company were typically over-organized. We were instructed to gather at a pre-detemined location with our assigned fire monitor, and then leave the building in order. We told them that in our country, we simply get the hell out...

Re:It's like this (1)

ttucker (2884057) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644435)

Thank you for this, it was very interesting.

Re:It's like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644801)

"Yet another example - to be counted as a highway fatality in Japan, you have to die in the first 12 hours. This isn't how other countries tally such stats, leaving Japan to appear to be much safer. "

You could have a point if highway fatalities weren't much lower there too. The fact is, everything you pointed are common practices in all countries, not only in Japan; Irresponsible people exist everywhere and data manipulation too.

Re:It's like this (1)

i (8254) | 1 year,24 days | (#44645131)

AFAIK, not here in Sweden.

Asking for help? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644133)

'The Japanese have a problem asking for help. It is a big mistake; they badly need it.'" Wouldn't that be a cultural thing? Japanese are reserved and taught not to bother others with their problems even if it is apparent to the rest of us they probably need help.

Nuke it (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644139)

Why don't they just nuke it from low earth orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Re:Nuke it (3, Funny)

ciderbrew (1860166) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644197)

The USA did that twice. it didn't stop the Tsunami.

Re:Nuke it (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644495)

I laughed, and immediately felt horribly guilty.

Re:Nuke it (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644923)

The atom bombs CAUSED the tsunami. /tinfoilhat

So this is how the awakening begins... (2)

oraclese (1039520) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644141)

I, for one, can't wait for my new superpowers!

Cue the XKCD cartoon apologists (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644155)

.... now! "Fukushima is just the same as eating ten bananas, see? I saw it on xkcd!"

Re:Cue the XKCD cartoon apologists (1)

Opportunist (166417) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644307)

If you knew my digestive system, you would KNOW that yes, me eating 10 bananas is on par with Fukushima. It's just a biohazard disaster, not an atomic one.

Re:Cue the XKCD cartoon apologists (3, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644309)

.... now! "Fukushima is just the same as eating ten bananas, see? I saw it on xkcd!"

Radiation exists in the environment. Fukushima being worse than they're disclosing is, generally speaking, a very localized problem. There's lots of radioactive stuff in the "food chain", and only nebulous comments about potential "health concerns" in the article.

The oceans are big, and the radioactive tanks there are small. Its the radioactive equivalent of homeopathy, when you look at things on the global scale.

So, XKCD (although I don't recall the comic you're talking about ) would be absolutely correct if they're mocking the overhyped concern about the food chain.

Re:Cue the XKCD cartoon apologists (5, Informative)

SrLnclt (870345) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644419)

Re:Cue the XKCD cartoon apologists (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644453)

c.f. Carbon 14

Re:Cue the XKCD cartoon apologists (1)

FirstOne (193462) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644999)

Yes, the pacific Ocean is very large, but it also takes a very long time to to mix evenly.. "(hundreds or thousand+ years.)" [wikipedia.org] Thus a large portion of the contamination will remain in the surface layer for generations to come. These relatively hot isotopes also tend to bio-concentrate/bio-accumulate [iaea.org] up the food chain.

Recommendation.. "Eat low on the food chain" [blogspot.com] and avoid Meat products, especially those that were caught, or were fed fish meal products [ens-newswire.com] from the Pacific ocean.

Re:Cue the XKCD cartoon apologists (1)

tibit (1762298) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644831)

Bullshit. You're off by a couple orders of magnitude, and XKCD says just as much.

Fear Mongering (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644179)

See the articles (latest link included) by El Reg's Lewis Page :

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/08/21/omg_new_crisis_disaster_at_fukushima_oh_wait_its_nothing_again/

Re:Fear Mongering (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644597)

See the articles (latest link included) by El Reg's Lewis Page :

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/08/21/omg_new_crisis_disaster_at_fukushima_oh_wait_its_nothing_again/

Anything in the news to bump down the hate crime against Chris Lane being gunned down in the back by a bunch of bored black teens...

too bad actually (2, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644181)

A lot of these isotopes are being shunted aside and stored (from which they are leaking), are useful ones. In particular, st-90 is a beta- and can be used to create long-lived batteries (20-50 years) without worrying about mechanical issues. These are ideal for putting on rovers on the moon/mars. Basically, a company should be filtering that water quickly and getting all of those isotopes out for use.

Re:too bad actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644571)

If only you had a koi pond, and ground fish-bone powder... that'd concentrate 90Sr real quick...

Re:too bad actually (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644741)

Strontium-90 is also notorious for behaving a lot like calcium in the human body and other biological systems. While a useful industrial material, because it is bioaccumulative [wikipedia.org] it is also more dangerous than its status as a mere beta emitter implies.

Re:too bad actually (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644897)

How do you filter a water soluble?

If you can do that you've solved the fresh water problem, world wide.

Re:too bad actually (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,24 days | (#44645021)

Could you not use membranes like they do for desalination?

Wat (3, Informative)

Antipater (2053064) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644327)

I'm not disputing that the situation is serious, given that even TEPCO agreed to up the incident level.

But this entire article reads like a piece of tabloid trash:

"It's really bad!" says a famous anti-nuclear activist (aka an "independent consultant").
"It's even worse!" says the same activist/consultant.
"It could be bad; we don't know. We should be prepared, though," says a former regulatory official.
"Holy crap, if that first guy's assumptions are right, then we're in deep shit!" says an oceanographer.
"I didn't even tell you the worst part!" continues the first guy. "This completely unrelated thing might possibly be happening and then we're dooooooomed!!"

Re:Wat (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,24 days | (#44645017)

He seems [wikipedia.org] fairly serious and level headed, like he actually understands the issues and came to an informed decision that we are probably better off moving away from nuclear power. Clearly many governments trust him, including the very pro-nuclear French.

Of course ad hominem attacks are easy and since everyone has an opinion, especially people who are experts on a particular subject, you can brand them an "anti-whatever activist". Has he ever protested? He wrote some books with very boring titles that don't appear to be sensationalist at all.

Re:Wat (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,24 days | (#44645051)

Actually, I take it back, the guy is something of an activist. Still, rather than attacking him why not address the points he makes directly?

Obama's Take (-1, Troll)

ioconnor (2581137) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644351)

I'm sure the Obama administration will continue to state a glass of milk has more radiation in it than what is escaping from Japan. Oh yes, and that nobody has died from nuclear poisoning. Then he will take off his jacket and bring out a napkin in each hand to wipe the imaginary sweat from his face and say we need more nuclear power to fight global warming. (While sending coal to the rest of the world and subsidizing their coal plants.)

Re:Obama's Take (1)

ttucker (2884057) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644467)

I'm sure the Obama administration will continue to state a glass of milk has more radiation in it than what is escaping from Japan. Oh yes, and that nobody has died from nuclear poisoning. Then he will take off his jacket and bring out a napkin in each hand to wipe the imaginary sweat from his face and say we need more nuclear power to fight global warming. (While sending coal to the rest of the world and subsidizing their coal plants.)

After all this hard work, maybe take Air Force One for a spin to Hawaii. Well, not Hawaii, that is closer to the radiation.

Re:Obama's Take (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644635)

Perfect time for another "America Apologizes" tour of the Middle East, all while continuing to illegally fund an Egyptian military coup, er, wait, no, it's not a coup, so it's perfectly legal.

Re:Obama's Take (0)

WindBourne (631190) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644595)

So, do you have your rope handy and a tree picked out as well?

"expert" is a kook (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644401)

Mycle Schneider only has honorary, not the actual education, and has been a WISE(an anti-nuclear group) activist in France for 30+ years. He is the person who gets consult jobs from the government when they want to appear as showing both sides.

Two versions of his Wikipedia page:
http://i.imgur.com/y2dxdFo.png
http://i.imgur.com/XUS0duU.png

Oak Ridge Troll (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644411)

We showed you how to fix this with Thorium in the early 1970s.

Re:Oak Ridge Troll (1)

WindBourne (631190) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644609)

Yes, it would have. Still can stop FUTURE issues. The question is, will we? Or will be stupid and scared.

Re:Oak Ridge Troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644657)

Who is "we"? And are "we" using Thorium Reactors today...?

Re:Oak Ridge Troll (1)

imikem (767509) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644861)

Oh for mod points right now. And a great big "Fuck you very much," to the Nixon administration for derailing the thorium reactor program just to enrich a crony in California. And massively screwing up health care in this country with a sweetheart deal for Kaiser (more cronyism for CA). And the escalation of the "war on drugs." I used to think Nixon maybe wasn't so bad. I have learned.

If government is good for ONE THING... (1)

catfood (40112) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644449)

...it should be keeping corporations from pulling stunts like this. It's not like you and I have the means to confront TEPCO over this.

Re:If government is good for ONE THING... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644615)

No way!

We don't need government regulations getting in the way of doing business. Those pesky government regs actually increase the risk because they increase the cost of doing business.

If companies were further deregulated, things would actually be safer, because they wouldn't have to spend money that could be used on safety features on government paperwork instead. And for companies that didn't have those safety features, the market would quickly take care of things.

Or so I've been told by Ron and Rand Paul.

nuke it (1)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644515)

Nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.

Its not really that bad (1)

Shilly_McShillington (3026703) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644539)

I've been considering opening a side business called Fuk-u tritium enhanced water. Cancer patients will love it. People know that radiation also causes people to gain super powers. It will practically market itself!

I wouldn't trust TEPCO with a backyard grill (1)

swschrad (312009) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644617)

those guys are woefully uninformed liars who have proven over and over they just don't get it. it's really time to cut the Japanese authorities out of it, except for writing checks, and bring in the RANET team of the IAEA to overhaul the whole containment/cleanup effort. it's really two years too late.

No water processing plant (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644649)

It's been years since the event, and Fukushima still doesn't have a radioactive water processing plant. [wmsym.org] The US has dealt with this problem before, both at 3 Mile Island and some Superfund sites. Water itself doesn't become radioactive (except for tritium, which has a 12 year half life); as with fallout, the radioactives are mostly solids in the water, and can be removed and converted to smaller amounts of solid waste.

With a processing plant, they could reuse the cooling water, instead of building more and more storage tanks.

Re:No water processing plant (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44645123)

Ssssh, you're not one of their superiors, so your opinions and expertise don't matter to them, gaijin.

When the Russians had the same problem... (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644721)

When the Russians suffered the previous greatest (admitted) nuclear disaster, they moved as quickly as possible to entomb the site in actively cooled concrete, and used as much man power as possible IN THE FIRST INSTANCE to render the site as safe as possible for the foreseeable future. The Russians lost vast numbers of Humans to the consequences of radiation, but being a REAL nation, didn't feel the need to seed media sites across the planet with lies about the 'safety' of nuclear contamination and radiation.

Japan did the exact opposite. They employed ZERO real engineering at Fukushima to deal with the disaster. Instead, they launched, with the full co-operation of the owner of major media outlets across Asia and the West (Slashdot included) the world's greatest propaganda psy-op. Large numbers of people have died as a result of on-site radiation effects, but the Japanese government silences the families of the dead by linking compensation packages with confidentiality agreements. Filthy pro-nuclear power shills use this silence to claim that no-one died as a result of this 'accident' (if you consider extremely gross negligence to ever be an 'accident').

Unlike after Chernobyl, after Fukushima, governments in the West immediately switched off their public radiation monitoring services, so they could claim whatever lies they desired about the spread of radiation through the atmosphere. This meant that where, for instance, sheep from certain,locales in the UK were declared "unfit for Human consumption" for years after Chernobyl, the population of the Earth were informed that there was NO significant atmospheric fallout from Fukushima. And yet Fukushima actually placed hundreds of times more radiation into the atmosphere than Chernobyl.

Explosions at Fukushima actually vaporised an incredible amount of plutonium. This was the worst possible early outcome of a nuclear accident, but sites like Slashdot immediately declared that decades old scientific consensus about plutonium was 'wrong', and that ingesting such materials is actually 'good' for Humans. The usual industry lies about 'safe' levels of radiation exposure got trotted out too, and governments across the planet raised the 'safe' levels for public exposure to moronic degrees.

Radiation is like being shot at by bullets. ONE bullet can kill you, but if you are far enough away from a random shooter, it becomes a probability game. So, you might say after 1000 bullets, your chance of being shot is 50%, but that does not make ONE BULLET a 'safe' level. And yet, the people around Fukushima were definitively told by government scientists that radiation below a certain level was COMPLETELY harmless.

Why didn't the world insist that Japan, with its incredible industrial resources, neutralise the threat of Fukushima as well as the Russians did with Chernobyl? Here's why. Every major nation wanted the disaster to play out, so they could study the full aspects of an uncontrolled contamination accident. This area of Japan is one giant experimental research environment. The people living there are lab rats. Remember all those medical atrocities inflicted on blacks, orphans, prisoners, and other unfortunates in US history, in the name of 'research'? Fukushima is being used in the same way.

Re:When the Russians had the same problem... (2)

imikem (767509) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644899)

Nice rant. Have any actual evidence, Mr. AC?

Re:When the Russians had the same problem... (2)

tibit (1762298) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644939)

Those hydrogen explosions outside of the containment structures vaporised plutonium? How the heck did that plutonium get there, and why would it be vaporized, while, say, the structure itself wasn't vaporized? How do you know that significant (say >10% by weight) of released plutonium got vaporised? Doesn't vaporised plutonium, like, condense at room temperature as you'd expect any other room temperature solid to behave? Does it subsequently sublimate if it has small particle size? I mean, man, what the fuck, do you have nothing specific to say? Get real.

Don't demand perfection in defiance of reality (5, Insightful)

tp1024 (2409684) | 1 year,24 days | (#44644759)

The only reason there are so many water tanks to begin with is the perfunctionary insistence that "no radiation must be released into nature". The problem is: It's too late. Any of the releases that are reported as if it were a disaster completely pale in comparison to what happened in the days after March 11th 2011.

The water from the reactor is being filtered and cleaned of Caesium and Strontium. The process is good, but not perfect. But since absolute perfection is being demanded, none of the water is allowed to be released into the environment. Hence it must be stored in thousands of tanks, safely, which is as impossible a task as the ludicrous targets for radioactivity in the water.

Those tanks are necessarily makeshift in nature. The tanks cannot be individually monitored 24/7 by a limited number of people on the ground whose time in the contaminated area around the nuclear power plant is further limited by the maximum radiation dose of 20mSv per year. Yet, the government, the media and of course the usual activist groups demand the impossible. Each for their own petty reasons.

How about asking people in Fukushima Daiichi to do the possible instead of the impossible? Clean up the water as much as possible and release it into the sea. Yes, there will be some Tritium and trace amount of residual Cs and Sr - it will be a very small fraction to what was released into the sea in 2011. This would allow the people there to concentrate on actually making sure that the core equipment is running and the site as a whole is making progress to being in a better more workable state - instead of setting up new water tanks every day and worrying about leaks.

It is a marvel all of its own that workers there were at all able to keep up with setting up all those water tanks. But you should keep in mind that this isn't actually what they should be doing. They should have concentrated to bringing the plant back into a stable stead state. This will include allowing for some minor emissions of radioactive water. Provided that this is done in a controlled and closely monitored manner, this does not pose any problem that even approaches the scale of rainwater washing Caesium from the countryside into the sea (thus being part of natural decontamination processes). It will be diluted to levels that will not be harmful to the population.

Dilution is a temporary solution to pollution. And I'm not saying this should be anything more than a temporary emergency measure. I'm very surely not advocating this to be a general way to dispose of radioactive waste. But given the circumstances, it is the most reasonable solution. You should remember that the old way of diluting pollutants was not in itself false. It was just the case that it done by everyone in ever increasing scale, to the point where dilution was perfectly meaningless. But as a temporary, local, emergency measure - instead of a permanent, global and general way of doing things - it is perfectly viable.

Nobody demanded that no oil must leak from the Cosmo Oil Refinery [youtube.com] either and for some reason nobody demands that water below that refinery conforms to drinking water standards either, nobody asks wether any of the oil that contaminated the ground there will seep into the sea (it did and it will continue to do so) - while they do demand that the water below Fukushima Daiichi must not exceed limits for driniking water safety.

removing the radioactive rods (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44644941)

dumb question..... but why aren't they removing the radioactive rods or whatever from that particular site and storing them else where? or is it a giant melted mess?

You don't say (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44645027)

Fukushima Actually "Much Worse" Than So Far Disclosed, Say Experts

"Water is actually 'much wetter' than ice," say Experts

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