Saturday, April 02, 2011

Saturday Morning EDT/ Saturday Evening Japan Time
Life Is A Shipwreck Update

With Assistance from Proto-Existentialist
 Danish Philosoper Søren Aabye Kierkegaard 
(5 May 1813 – 11 November 1855)

“Old age realizes the dreams of youth; look at Swift: in his youth he built an asylum, in his old age he himself entered it”

A source of the highly radioactive water being discharged into the sea from the Fukushima Daiichi plant has been discovered. It is a twenty centimeter crack in some kind of a "maintenance pit". This is the (or one of, who knows?) source of high radioactivity detected in the sea  40 kilometers from the plant. There is no word on rate of flow or the details of the plan to stop it.
TEPCO does have a general plan. Two Putzmeister (I love that name) giant crane/concrete pumps are on the way from the United States. Supposedly the whole complex is to be encased in concrete. The pumps themselves will have to be scrapped as too dangerously radioactive after use. Have you seen the size of that complex? It may be a good time to buy stock in big cement companies. Whoops, somebody has already figured it out. Lafarge Cement (WAPCO) started spiking around St. Patrick's Day but has a ways to go to reach its previous high.  We observe the same pattern in Holcim Ltd. (VX). Both are profitable, unsexy companies that pay nice dividends and control a huge chunk of the cement market. This Fukushima project will generate business for decades.
Don't worry GE/Hitachi. Don't worry Westinghouse/Toshiba.  In a few years people will forget and allow themselves to be brainwashed again by your vile hired proponents of killing, dangerous, expensive, and dirty nuclear power. Be patient.

“Listen to the cry of a woman in labor at the hour of giving birth — look at the dying man’s struggle at his last extremity, and then tell me whether something that begins and ends thus could be intended for enjoyment.”

The Boston Globe is reporting today that reactor 1's core experienced a 70% meltdown according to Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Reactor 2 had a partial meltdown of 33%. Chu stated these were "more of a calculation" (translation: an educated guess) because radiation levels did not allow first hand inspection of the cores. Chu also told the Globe that the cores and spent fuel pools were covered in water and the situation was "now under control". We are all interested in what the Secretary has to say  but we have heard this same kind of reassurances several times in the past three weeks. I am a skeptic. We must remember that the Nobel Prize winning Chu is also a nuclear industry poodle. He long ago embraced the notion that the only solution to global warming is nuclear energy.

“There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.”

The entirely appropriate debate on whether the risk of poisoning large sections of the planet for thousands of years is worth taking for the chance of decreasing the risk of climate change has now been resumed in earnest. So far, in my opinion, we are being given a fallacious false choice argument of coal versus nuclear. Both are no damn good.
The Huffington Post presents to us video of a debate between Helen Caldicott and George Monbiot.

“I think I have the courage to doubt everything; I think I have the courage to fight everything. But I do not have the courage to know anything, nor to possess, to own anything. Most people complain that the world is so prosaic, that life isn’t like a romantic novel where opportunities are always so favorable. What I complain of is that life is not like the novel where there are hard-hearted fathers, and goblins and trolls to fight with, enchanted princesses to free. What are all such enemies taken together compared to the pallid, glutinous nocturnal shapes with which I fight and to which I myself give life and being”

Here it is, April 2, over three weeks since the earthquake and tsunami and the IAEA (the UN's nuclear agency) announced today their decision to send two experts to Fukushima Daiishi.

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

April 1, New Snow, Three Visitors,  My Rhododendron Buds In Their Stomachs 

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