Monday, April 04, 2011

Bust of Plato, a Roman copy of a Greek Original in the Vatican

Monday Morning EDT/
Monday Evening Japan Time
Calamity Update

With the words of Plato, a Greek Philosopher who lived 429-327 BCE

"What is at issue is the conversion of the mind from the twilight of error to the truth, that climb up into the real world which we shall call true philosophy."                 

The New York Times is reporting on the dilemma of radioactive water faced by Japanese authorities which I described a while back. The need to keep the reactor cores cool to prevent fission and the need to keep the spent fuel rods covered with water to keep them cool to prevent spontaneous iginition are primary objectives. Either event will spread dangerous radioactivity. However, the vast quantities of water needed to achieve this goal becomes radioactive once it is in contact with these materials. Obviously the plant complex has been heavily damaged by the earthquake and tsunami and the water is draining out of these areas willy nilly. In fact a big story of the past week has been the futile attempts to prevent highly radioactive water from flowing out of a "maintenance pit" at reactor 2, at first using concrete and then plastic powder, sawdust and ground up newspapers!
"After an unsuccessful attempt to flood the pit with concrete to stop the leak, workers on Sunday turned to trying to plug the apparent source of the water — an underground shaft thought to lead to the damaged reactor building — with more than 120 pounds of sawdust, three garbage bags full of shredded newspaper and about nine pounds of a polymeric powder that officials said absorbed 50 times its volume of water." -The New York Times today, link above
Japanese authorities officially announced today they plan to dump 11,500 tons of contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean Monday evening (about now as I write). 10,000 tons is said to be "less contaminated". Another 1,500 tons will be released from reactors 5 and 6. This water is threatening the pumps and diesel back up power at these plants.
We all know vast quantities of radioactive water have been draining into the Pacific since the spraying and pumping activities began shortly after the disaster. This is merely official confirmation of the obvious. Much of this water has evaporated with the heat of the radioactive materials. Some has remained in place. Most, I suspect,  has drained away already.
“Unfortunately, the water contains a certain amount of radiation.This is an unavoidable measure to prevent even higher amounts of radiation from reaching the sea.”- Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano, quoted in the Times.

My guess is that they were never serious about stopping that highly radioactive water because if they do it must back up and go somewhere in the plant complex. It's basic hydraulics. Their preferred somewhere has got to be the ocean since they don't want their workers walking around in it.

"The object of knowledge is what exists and its function to know about reality."

After what CNN called a "search surge" another 70 bodies were found over the weekend.
12,087 are now officially dead and 15,552 are officially missing.

"I don't know anything that gives me greater pleasure, or profit either, than talking or listening to philosophy. But when it comes to ordinary conversation, such as the stuff you talk about financiers and the money market, well, I find it pretty tiresome personally, and I feel sorry that my friends should think they're being very busy when they're really doing absolutely nothing. Of course, I know your idea of me: you think I'm just a poor unfortunate, and I shouldn't wonder if your right. But then I don't THINK that you're unfortunate - I know you are."

Reuters is reporting that the material damages of the earthquake are now estimated as $300 billion by the Japanese government; and, apart from that, the civil liability will be the largest in the history of Japan. Japan's 1961 Act on Compensation for Nuclear Damage has no liability limits for the nuclear industry. Here in the United State, as I have been repeating now for weeks, we have the great gift of Congress to the nuclear industry known as the Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act which protects the heavily subsidized nuclear industry from liability over $12.9 billion. The taxpayers foot the bill for the atomic wasteland nuclear plants eventually create. And the nuclear industry has a slush fund to cover that first $12.9 billion. 
Great job, General Electric! 
And the Repubicans are worried about unionized workers making  fair wages and benefits. 
Yup, they think workers making too much and getting too uppity is the problem with this country.
Why don't they move to China where unions are illegal and they have very little regulation of industry and few environmental laws?

"When the mind's eye rests on objects illuminated by truth and reality, it understands and comprehends them, and functions intelligently; but when it turns to the twilight world of change and decay, it can only form opinions, its vision is confused and its beliefs shifting, and it seems to lack intelligence."

Ban, the bitch who was rescued after three weeks at sea on a floating chunk of roof was reunited with her owner today reported the Kyodo News. 

"And once we have given our community a good start, the process will be cumulative. By maintaining a sound system of education you produce citizens of good character, and citizens of sound character, with the advantage of a good education, produce in turn children better than themselves and better able to produce still better children in their turn, as can be seen with animals."

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