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From Reuters:
The historic earthquake that shut down Dominion Resources Inc's (D.N) North Anna nuclear plant in Virginia last week may have shaken the plant more than it was designed to withstand, the U.S. nuclear regulator said on Monday.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said it has dispatched a special team of inspectors to the Virginia plant that was rocked by the 5.8 magnitude earthquake last week, after initial reviews from Dominion indicated the ground motion may have exceeded the plant's design parameters. [...]

The NRC has been reviewing the ability of U.S. plants to cope with major disasters after a massive earthquake and tsunami nearly led to a complete meltdown at Japan's Fukushima nuclear complex earlier this year --- the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl.

The article also notes that the task force involved has "urged a shift" in the NRC safety protocols so that nuclear plant operators would be required to have plans for natural disasters worse than what the plant was specifically designed to withstand. Wait—what? They currently don't have to plan for what might happen if they get an earthquake (flood, hurricane, etc.) that is more severe than the plant was designed to handle? What was the old non-plan, for everyone to just run like hell?

In Fukushima, disaster came about because of two separate (but closely linked) events: an earthquake that damaged the plant, followed by a tsunami that flooded critical plant infrastructure. Nobody could have foreseen that those two events would happen at once, we were told, even though Japan has a very long and well-understood history of quake-caused tsunamis.

In this country, the east coast experienced a rare earthquake, closely followed by a hurricane causing extraordinary flooding. In this case, two unrelated and extraordinary natural disasters, coming one on the heels of another. Improbable? Of course. But not impossible. And either earthquake or hurricane could certainly have been much, much worse.

The most obvious lesson to be learned here is that God hates Eric Cantor personally, or at least doesn't care much for his district. Something else to be pointed out, however, is that it may not necessarily a good idea to rely on any infrastructure that, if something happens that the original designers didn't expect, might render an area the size of Rhode Island uninhabitable:

Areas surrounding Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant could remain uninhabitable for decades due to high radiation, the government warned on Saturday as it struggles to clean up after the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. [...]

In a meeting with local officials on Saturday, the government estimated it could take more than 20 years before residents could safely return to areas with current radiation readings of 200 millisieverts per year, and a decade for areas at 100 millisieverts per year. [...]

Japan has banned people from entering within 20 km (12 miles) of the Fukushima plant, located 240 km northeast of Tokyo. Around 80,000 people have been evacuated since the March 11 quake and tsunami and many are living in shelters or temporary homes.

We've gone past the point where "nobody could have foreseen" is a viable excuse. We've foreseen, been there, and done that. The question is what we do in response.

Top Comments for today are here.

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Comment Preferences

  •  the new york times smacks down... (30+ / 0-)

    issa for his darrell-iction of duty and his demand for a retraction...


    larger version

    I didn't get Jack from Abramoff...I'm not a Republican!

    by nonnie9999 on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 08:32:08 PM PDT

    •  Repeal NRC GI-199!!!!! (9+ / 0-)

      Wait for it.  The next battle cry from the Gollum crowd.  (McCain had that wrong.  Hobbits are much too nice.)  

      They'll want us to get off the backs of the nuclear power industry (poor sweetums.)

      They'll want to avoid 'over-reaction' to the 'one-off' 'abberations of Fukushima.  

      Governors may have a different perspective.

      But even if the 5.8 was within spec, the actual ground motion may be been an issue.  I'm a bit confused on how it all works, but it might be interesting to see how this new example fits into the larger issue currently under review by the NRC:

      On May 26, 2005, the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation’s Division of Engineering (NRR/DE) recommended that issues related to a closed generic seismic issue (GI-194, “Implications of Updated Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Estimates,” dated September 23, 2003), and the impact of higher seismic hazard on current nuclear power plants in the Central and Eastern United States (CEUS) region, be examined under the Generic Issue (GI) identification and resolution process.1930 On June 9, 2005, GI-199, “Implications of Updated Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Estimates in Central and Eastern United States, joined the list of GIs.

      Safety Significance

      Recent data and models indicate that estimates of the potential for earthquake hazards for some nuclear power plants in the Central and Eastern United States may be larger than previous estimates. While it has been determined that currently operating plants remain safe, the recent seismic data and models warrant further study and analysis. This further analysis will allow the NRC to better understand the current margins at plants for earthquakes.

      Regulatory Guide 1.165,1932 developed in the early 1990s, specifies a reference probability for exceedance of a safe shutdown earthquake (SSE) ground motion, i.e., seismic hazard, at a median annual value of 1E-5. This reference probability value is based on the annual probability of exceeding the SSEs for 29 CEUS nuclear power sites and is used to establish the SSEs for future nuclear facilities. Based on preliminary results from work performed by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in 2004, it appears the reference probability for the 29 CEUS has increased to about 6 to 7E-5. The increase in the reference probability value is primarily due to recent developments in the modeling of earthquake ground motion in the CEUS. When the staff first identified this issue, no new plants had applied for a Construction Permit or Early Site Permit (ESP) since 10 CFR Part 100 was revised and Regulatory Guide 1.165 1932 was issued in 1997. When the staff began review of the ESP applications, the staff realized the impact of the revised regulation and the regulatory guide as they relate to future plants and operating reactors. ...

      The NRC's August 2010 report describes the issue in more detail.

      Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

      by Into The Woods on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 08:51:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But if you read this SSE guide correctly.......... (0+ / 0-)

        along with considering the diary text:

        In Fukushima, disaster came about because of two separate (but closely linked) events: an earthquake that damaged the plant, followed by a tsunami that flooded critical plant infrastructure. Nobody could have foreseen that those two events would happen at once, we were told, even though Japan has a very long and well-understood history of quake-caused tsunamis.

        The both of you are dead lost for the facts, what engineering work is involved, and the results.

        Fukushima was built for a combined earthquake+tsunami event. They built a 30+-foot sea wall for exactly that combined event. The failure came with that estimate for the tsunami. The best people available underestimated it.

        Sea walls are cheap. Compared to the billions of dollars for the plants -- insignificant. They could easily had built a 75-foot sea wall. And obviously everybody made the same mistake, because areas with millions of people in them were left with 30-foot sea walls max. Blaming TEPCO and frequently seeing them called dishonest and worse for a societally affirmed geology mistake is silly.

        Virginia's recent safe shutdown earthquake (SSE) ground motion event resulted in exactly that. An 8-second or less shutdown. Safety rods were dropped into the power rods. Power production stopped instantly.

        Yes, indeed, the Dominion Resources North Anna nuclear plant "exceeded" the limits for producing power.

        Yes, it shut down.

        Big whoop. If you're actually worried about killing humans, here's the actual risk numbers from 60+ years experience.

        Coal fired electricity kills 4000 people for every 1 person killed by nuclear plants.

        Plus there's a shitload of mercury dumped out the smoke stacks and some of us believe in this thingie called Global Warming. Coal burns at 15:1 more environmental impact than nukes in the most hyper-conservative estimates -- 200:1 is more like it.

        Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

        by vets74 on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 12:02:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Shut Down Because They Lost Offsite Power (0+ / 0-)

          They also may have exceeded the levels of ground motion they were "designed to withstand" according to the published reports.  

          We'll see.  

          I know you assume that everything is always fine, always has been fine and always will be fine.  

          I've already responded to your inaccuracies about Tepco's refusal to accept expert recommendations that might would have led them to establish more robust tsunami protections.

          And the fact that this NPP shut down successfully is not the issue.  The issue is whether they are using adequate assumptions when it comes to the probability and severity of this kind of event.  (As you admit, one of the main problems at Fukushima.)

          The GI-199 process was begun because the USGS revised their assessments of seismic risk.   We could just assume that everything in the design, contruction, operation, maintenance and preparedness of Nuclear Power Plants will withstand the potentially more severe earthquakes not projected by the USGS in many cases, or we could just take the industry's self-interested word for that.  

          That's very much what we did in the BP Gulf Oil Drilling disaster of course, relied on the industry to properly balance risk (not just to itself, but to others and the environment) against profits.  But we lost that bet.

          Do you believe the whole GI-199 is an unnecessary task, a waste of time and money?

          You forgot to mention how or why either the diary or my comment (most of which came straight out of the NRC publication) was somehow an 'incorrect reading of the SSE'.

          (Oh and keep looking for the link to the sources of data for those graphs you keep pasting into your comments, because without some indication they are not just pulled out of a hat they're just nice decoration for your posts.)

          Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

          by Into The Woods on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 12:50:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Try attacking the industry that kills people. (0+ / 0-)

            4000 to 1.

            Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

            by vets74 on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 04:42:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No link. No "correct reading". Just more (0+ / 0-)

              coal is teh 'evil'.

              Yup.  I agree.

              So is oil.  

              And so is nuclear power.

              A myopic offense is not always the best defense.  

              Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

              by Into The Woods on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 08:11:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Since introduction of the modern Standard Design (0+ / 0-)

                nuclear power plants, how many people have these plants killed ?

                Yes, that excludes Chernobyl. We also exclude the benighted Soviet Navy. That society was too drunk to do much of anything right.

                You're going to find that the total for all industrial nuke accidents is under 300 people worldwide -- mostly during construction and painting and other ladder falls.

                Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

                by vets74 on Wed Aug 31, 2011 at 05:14:22 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Death is your only measure. (0+ / 0-)

                  The deaths caused by Chernobyl are under 300?

                  Cancer deaths included?

                  I would guess that you're probably more right than wrong in the number of deaths caused by coal and oil and natural gas.  You act as if that's our point of disagreement and it is not, never has been.

                  But is death the only measure you apply to determine whether a power source is something we should encourage or phase out?

                  Are there less than fatal impacts that bear on this discussion?

                  How about the birth deformities?  Does that have no place in your measure?

                  How about the exclusion zones?  

                  How about the on-going unmet need for 1000s of years of storage of the waste produced from these plants?  

                  Still no link.  Still no 'correct reading'.  

                  Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

                  by Into The Woods on Wed Aug 31, 2011 at 01:52:39 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  I Posted about this problem LAST WEEK! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Russgirl

      Plutocracy too long tolerated leaves democracy on the auction block, subject to the highest bidder ~ BILL MOYERS

      by Lefty Coaster on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 03:45:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  More of those job-killing regulations (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Russgirl

      trying to prevent people-killing adverse events.

  •  Rocked by a 5.8 Quake.. (15+ / 0-)

    Is a kind of Statement Larry David would follow with:

    "That's how we know you're not from California"

    Having Hope and using action to give people hope are different things. Make a difference for someone.

    by Chris Reeves on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 08:33:13 PM PDT

    •  Heh... (7+ / 0-)

      I'm a New Yorker, and after my junior year of high school I took Summer classes at UCLA.

      One morning while I was walking to class with my roommate, all of the buildings started to shake.

      I didn't really feel anything, and had a hard time believing it was an earthquake (it was a 5.4), but when my roommate insisted it was, I decided that made a good excuse for skipping class, and headed back to the dorm.

      Frankly, I expected more out of California earthquakes.

      :-)

      •  That disdain would make you an EXCELLENT (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Trix, cany, eeff, JeffW, Russgirl

        Californian.

        I was downtown in San Francisco, working in a high rise building, when the 89 earthquake hit. The building was swaying, and ceiling tiles were starting to fall, and we were all sitting in our cubicles, discussing whether we should actually get under our desks. Finally someone remembered that VDTs can explode in earthquakes.

        So under our desks we went. And we cracked jokes until the building stopped swaying. It was several minutes. That building is built on rollers, so it was a nice ride. We tried to figure out if the bars would be open or should we just go home?

        For those of us who lived in East Bay -- needing to cross the Bay Bridge -- going home was kind of a rude awakening.

        But until that point, we were all just, "eh, it's just another earthquake...."

        © grover


        "Overflow zone. So much thinking going on." -- Meteor Blades, August 2, 2004.

        by grover on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 11:13:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Its all relative. It's exceedence we're looking (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alizard, Egalitare, JeffW, Nailbanger

      at, what the probabilities are of having something happen that exceeds the design and construction and operating thresholds for safety.

      Note, almost none of the GI-199 concerned the spent fuel pools, only reactor core issues, at least until Fukushima schooled them on the potential risk of long-duration power outages on spent fuel pool and how multiple reactors included in the same accident can, in effect, leverage up the risk and potential damage.  

      Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

      by Into The Woods on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 08:54:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We have our very own Teabagger (8+ / 0-)

    Meet "Libsarirrational"

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    I'm not sure if we should play with him or put him down. But if you want to make him mad, just call him a teabagger. That really seems to hurt his fee fees.

    Will work for food
    Will die for oil
    Will fight for power and to the rich go the spoils
    The millionaires get to pay less tax
    The working poor get to fall through the cracks
    -James McMurtry
    -9.75/-8.26

    by SwedishJewfish on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 08:34:42 PM PDT

  •  Related to quake story--Irene left 3/4 million (12+ / 0-)

    without power here in CT.  I was lucky; had power but not internet/TV for a day.  Listened to the radio (remember that?)--people are so stupid; bitching because it's almost 24 hours or more without power!!!!  

    Three fucking quarter MILLION without power----and they expect theirs to be on in a day!!!!

    Jerks!!!!!  

  •  great interview w/ Rick Perlstein today (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alizard, Jeff Y, OLinda

    on the Majority Report with Sam Seder.

    Good insights on my favorite topic - why the Democratic Party is so screwed up. It goes back a ways ....

    yeah there is some NEGATIVITY - but therein lies insight about how to get our mojo back.

    Here I am! I'm up here! Where are you? - the Red-eyed Vireo

    by mightymouse on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 08:44:29 PM PDT

  •  The latest on Tropical Depression 12 (18+ / 0-)

    is that the NHC says it's very near becoming Tropical Storm Name-I'm-Not-Allowed-To-Object-To-Because-It's-Not-Important-On-The-Very-Serious-People-League's-Agenda, and will slowly but steadily strengthen into a formidable hurricane by the end of the week. Still too far out for models to accurately predict any US impacts, but it's worth keeping an eye on.

    Click to enlarge in new window.

    Follow me on Facebook for up-to-date weather news 'n' junk.

    by weatherdude on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 08:47:21 PM PDT

  •  I lived in VA at the time North Anna (11+ / 0-)

    was being built and and I remember the reassurances about the geologic fault below the plant.  I was skeptical at the time and, it would seem, rightly so.  One thing mankind has in abundance is hubris.

  •  awww. guess virginia will have to (8+ / 0-)

    foot the bill. usa can't spend anything new without cutting something old, so we can't spend anything new cos we're not cutting nuttin, can'tor.

    (i'm crotchety! what happened!)

    Addington's perpwalk is the trailhead of accountability for this wound to our national psyche. 48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam

    by greenbird on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 08:47:42 PM PDT

  •  Read the "The Election March of the Trolls"... (0+ / 0-)

    by Chris Hedges writes about the Fear Trolls on both the left and right.  http://www.truthdig.com/...

    Some quotes: (emphasis added)

    1. "For those, usually liberals, still rooted in a reality-based world, one that believes in evolutionary science, the corporate trolls offer a more refined, fear-based message of impending doom: If you abandon the Democrats we will be governed by Bible-thumping idiots who will make us chant the Pledge of Allegiance in mass rallies and teach the account of Genesis as historical and biological fact in our nation’s schools."

    The fear trolls post that one on KOS regularly.

    2. "Most important, we must stop being afraid. We have to turn our backs for good on the Democrats, no matter what ghoulish candidate the Republicans offer up for president. ... We have to listen closely to the moral voices in our society... and ignore feckless liberals who have been one of the most effective tools of our disempowerment."

    First read Chris Hedges article, then tell us what you think.

    •  Chris Hedges is one of my favorite writers (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nailbanger, a gilas girl

      "Death of the Liberal Class" and "Life as it is" are great books, I recommend them to everyone. One thing you should know about him though is he's not a democrat and he never voted for Obama in the first place. He considers himself a socialist and he says in his book he voted for McKinney. So for him to say it's time to abandon the democrats- for him that's not a big deal because he has no attachment to the democratic party. He is like Noam Chomsky in that respect. Another writer I greatly admire, but do not necessarily follow their political advice. I still consider myself a traditional liberal Democrat and I think the party is fixable, but we do need to get away from the Third Way/DLC prototype if we have any hope of surviving.

      I do have to say, it is quite ironic that he's now saying that the Christian Right is an overblown threat- he actually wrote a book called "Christian Fascists" which was about how the religious right want to take over the government.

      Will work for food
      Will die for oil
      Will fight for power and to the rich go the spoils
      The millionaires get to pay less tax
      The working poor get to fall through the cracks
      -James McMurtry
      -9.75/-8.26

      by SwedishJewfish on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 09:19:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the reply ... (0+ / 0-)

        My main point was that the fear trolls he mentioned are here on dKos. Every time someone mentions one of Obama's shot comings, a fear troll will say "do you prefer a BatShitCrazy Republican?" Which is Hedge's point.

        Saying that our candidate may suck, but he sucks less than their candidate isn't a positive way to run a political party. The Democrats need to run candidates who don't suck at all.

        •  Oh I agree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cdembrey

          absolutely. I do think that there is a lot to fear about our current crop of republican candidates, but we need to run on something much more substinative than that.

          Quite frankly there just cannot be 2 parties for business- the democrats were never intended to be the business party, we have traditionally been the economic populists and the only way we win is by going back to that. That's also the only way we can govern- you can't have a 2 party system when both parties are feeding from the same trough and fighting for the favors of the same small group of rich and powerful people. But the only way we can do that is by getting money out of the system altoghether. And I have absolutely no clue how we can accomplish that.

          Will work for food
          Will die for oil
          Will fight for power and to the rich go the spoils
          The millionaires get to pay less tax
          The working poor get to fall through the cracks
          -James McMurtry
          -9.75/-8.26

          by SwedishJewfish on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 10:33:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  If they yanked all the Seismometers out of Nuke (12+ / 0-)

    plant then ooops.......

    http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/...

    A nuclear power plant that was shut down after an earthquake struck central Virginia Tuesday had seismographs removed in 1990s due to budget cuts.

    U.S. nuclear officials said that the North Anna Power Station, which has two nuclear reactors, had lost offsite power and was using diesel generators to maintain cooling operations after an 5.9 earthquake hit the region.

    The North Anna plant, which was near the epicenter of Tuesday's quake, is reportedly located on a fault line.

    Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) Senior Scholar Bob Alvarez told the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) that the North Anna plant was built to withstand a 5.9-6.1 quake.

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission rates the plant as the seventh most likely to receive core damage from a quake. But they say the chances of that are only 1 in 22,727.

    So it's The Why do you hate this country You're Obsessed with misquoting me out of context while I was in the process of misspeaking with the sun in my eyes while chowing down and bashing Sharia law God Bless America defense.......

    by JML9999 on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 08:57:16 PM PDT

    •  The chances are 1 in 22,727 ??? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JML9999, WisePiper

      This is voodoo.  They can't compute the odds precisely like that.  Outrageous.  They just pull that out of their ass and people think they have credibility because it has numbers in it?

      Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

      by yet another liberal on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 10:03:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  On the contrary, (3+ / 0-)

        1 in 22,728 would give the impression that they weren't taking the threat seriously, and

        1 in 22,726 would be perceived as fear mongering.

        I think 1 in 22,727 strikes the perfect balance.

        Riddle me this: WHAT exactly would Obama lose if he were to forcefully and consistently advocate Keynesian solutions, REGARDLESS of the current impossibility of achieving Keynesian legislation?

        by WisePiper on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 12:04:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  "nearly led to a Meltdown" WRONG it was a meltdown (8+ / 0-)

    I think it has been well stated in the press that the cores of two or three of the reactors at Fukushima breached their reactor vessels.

  •  Wow, Evidently Our Resident Nuke Lobbyists Won't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbird

    venture into a front page post to explain how they're smarter than all the rest of us put together and there's no way the sun can power the national fleet of VW bugs.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 09:30:42 PM PDT

  •  Hey, everyone Google Santorum. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Jeff Y, bear83

    We don't want him losing first place, since he's actually putting his ugly mug out in public again.

    Yes, there is a correlation between President Barack Obama and Neville Chamberlain. Both have brought us "peas in our time."

    by Jonathan Hoag on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 09:32:03 PM PDT

  •  I need some help here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, ontheleftcoast

    This troll needs more donuts (I already wasted mine on him).

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    If you all could be so kind as to drop a load on him it would be much appreciated.

    Read through his comments, it's like Rush sent an 'undercover' low IQ dittohead over here or something.

    "He's the one, who likes all our pretty songs. And he likes to sing along. And he likes to shoot his gun. But he knows not what it means" - Kurt Cobain

    by Jeff Y on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 09:36:16 PM PDT

  •  Just updated my diary. or "post" now. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Y, JeffW, middleagedhousewife

    Laundry soap is a normal gift in my circle, so I wrote a small diary about why that is.

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    I write the series Confessions of a Retail Worker here on DK. It documents my life in a non-unionized workplace.

    by Lightbulb on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 09:37:28 PM PDT

  •  New details of US experiments revealed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cdembrey, Nailbanger
    presidential panel has disclosed shocking new details of US medical experiments done in Guatemala in the 1940s, including a decision to re-infect a dying woman in a syphilis study.

    The Guatemala experiments are already considered one of the darker episodes of medical research in US history, but panel members say the new information indicates that the researchers were unusually unethical, even when placed into the historical context of a different era.

    Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/...

    May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back.

    by GlowNZ on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 09:56:55 PM PDT

  •  It should never have been built there (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cdembrey, JML9999, JeffW

    We protested and were ignored as usual.  Cantor and his ilk are even worse than those in power at the time.

    An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 10:04:20 PM PDT

  •  When this site (7+ / 0-)

    can figure out moderation and not allow someone to use a donation to refer to an email account herein -- I'll take all of the admins seriously -- until then, I'll focus on the real people who count here -- those who write about disability, our soldiers who have died, our fellow kossacks in need of a quilt, witnessing revolutions, etc.

    Either figure out moderation or accept chaos.

    End of rant in open thread -- and apologies only to Trix.

    Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 10:19:32 PM PDT

  •  Of course (0+ / 0-)

    there is going to be some semi arbitrary cut off on what level of catastrophe they plan for.  Or should they have a back up plan encase of the second coming?

    So your telling me some company is going to spend many many many millions building a nuclear reactor to withstand  whatever is calculated to be the worth possible disaster that could be reasonably expected to occur. Get done building the plant and than say " You know what we didn't build this plant safe enough lets plan for something even worse"  

    I am not saying that their predictions of the worst case scenario were accurate.  However there is some reasonable logic for not planning beyond what they could ever imagine as the worst case scenario for a plant.

    The moment that you say "you know what the plan should go an extra step" That means that the plant should go the extra step so they SHOULD be in sync.
     

  •  Eric Cantor determined to attack uranium (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, JeffW

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 11:10:41 PM PDT

  •  Re This: (0+ / 0-)
    Wait—what? They currently don't have to plan for what might happen if they get an earthquake (flood, hurricane, etc.) that is more severe than the plant was designed to handle? What was the old non-plan, for everyone to just run like hell?

    Answer:  Yes.

    Now, carry on and congrats on a funny if too-true observation.

    866-338-1015 toll-free to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

    by cany on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 11:54:56 PM PDT

    •  This is nonsense (0+ / 0-)

      If you estimate the worst that can happen, on a scale from 1 to 10 for instance, is a 3 and you design to be safe at 5, then that's all you plan for. It's NOT unreasonable to forgo planning for a 6 in that case.

      Now if you want to argue that the design and plan should have been for a 6 in the first place (or maybe even a 7 or 8), then that's another argument.

      But it's unreasonable to suggest that every contingency plan should also include what-if's for the sun going nova, rogue comets and the heat death of the universe.

      That's not how science and engineering work. Hunter's question is unreasonable in this context. First time I ever disagreed with one of his observations or comments, tbh.

      •  Hmm, "the worst that can happen"? (0+ / 0-)

        That's not how distributions work -- you make a cost-benefit cutoff, not a "worst that can happen".

        Therefore, it would make perfect sense to have high-cost contingencies involving pre-placed safety equipment for likely events, and plans that don't involve current economic allocations for less likely events.

        That's how science and engineering works -- what you're giving us is pseudo-skepticism, the white-washing of science and engineering.

        That's not even considering the fact that most risk assessments are woefully out of whack by not considering either the failure of independence assumption and the full panoply of selections that make the distribution of unlikely events actually not so unlikely. Another pseudo-skeptic failure.

  •  The only thing to avoid a combination (0+ / 0-)

    of incidents and coincidences that can lead to a meltdown is to shut down the nuclear plants.
    Relying on earthquakes being not stronger than they can normally expected to be, floods not to be higher than expected, human fear, stupidity, mistakes and greed not leading them to wrong decisions in difficult situations...all these and many more ideas are just rubbish.
    And if we have an ounce of sense and objectivity left we know that. Remember Murphy's Law.
    We are humans, there will be mistakes. The plants were constructed and are run by humans (out to maximise profits, I might add) and there will be accidents.
    The plants are safe- until they aren't any more.
    Shut down the plants. Start with those in especially vulnerable places and those who are especially old or have a record which shows them to be especially prone to problems.
    Make a plan- now. Take 7 or  8 years, shut them down.
    Use renewables and efficiency instead.
    The US wastes energy as if there is no tomorrow anyway, no problem increasing efficiency, large potentials.
    Same goes for renewables. There's huge potential everywhere in the US and there's the desert - a pure gift as far as generating solar power is concerned.
    Shut down the nuclear power plants. Start doing it now.

    The future is renewable.

    by KiB on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 01:05:28 AM PDT

    •  And where will you get the power from? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stevemb

      Here in Illinois, we were getting about 58% of our power from fission. Lately, the fraction from natural gas has been rising, nuclear is down to 56%, and coal remains steady at 40%. Wind power is slowly coming up, but is nowhere near enough to supplant either of the other three, yet.

      But hey, if you want brownouts in your neck of the woods, well...

      Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

      by JeffW on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 07:13:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The US produces about 30% of electricity (0+ / 0-)

        in nuclear plants. Rejoice, Illinois is not exactly disconnected from the rest.

        These 30 per cent can be replaced within the next few years by
        - increasing efficiency in production and comsumption of electricity; there are huge potentials if you compare the US with other industrialized countries such as Germany (and even Germany has a lot of room for more efficiency)
        - increasing renewables (wind, solar, geothermal and others)

        As an added bonus you get
        - loads of jobs
        - less pollution
        - independence

        Open your mind.

        Although interestingly, people commenting in this thread have been trying to avoid the topic of phasing out nuclear energy from the start. If you look at the top, threadjacking started immediately...
        I must say that if you are one of those guys trying to keep the topics of phasing out nuclear power plants and building up a new electricity supply system off the radar you are doing a good job. snark

        The future is renewable.

        by KiB on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 10:19:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  as long as you're up (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    ingest this tasty piece of diary promotion. bachmania foreclosed has at least one laugh line noted by commenter, two semi-famous quotations (faulkner and mencken) for decoration and support, and a nicely twisted view of why rick perry is blowing michelle bachmann out of the nominatorial waters...

    "Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible." - Janet Malcolm

    by slangist on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 01:07:23 AM PDT

  •  It just keeps happening. (0+ / 0-)

    Once again the "dirty hippies" are right, and once again, ignored. We're facing a number of fundamental crises in rapid succession that are repeatedly and irrefutably proving the conservative to be both incorrect and dangerous, and like the sheep trapped in the corner, we just keep trying to charge ahead in the same direction.

  •  Simpsons (0+ / 0-)

    If only we had listen to the Simpsons!

    Far be it for logic to stand in the way of overwhelming stupidity

    by ronindave on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 01:59:33 AM PDT

  •  I like science. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    I mean, a whole lot. Not just because it is so important, and not just because it makes the conservatives look insane for reasons even more insane than normal (though it is a lovely byproduct.)

    Nah. In the end, I love when it smashes apart everything we think we know, and breaks all the rules we thought matterd.

    Heres what I'd like to share today. Its known as "Arnold's Cat Map, though this animation is of a cherry.

    Theres no trickery, no hidden code, nor loophole. It just does this all on its own.

    Its been a really annoying few weeks hasnt it? Yeah..too much fighting. So, I want to post a picture I hope will help. Please keep in mind that A)I made this to taunt conservatives (Yeah im kinda a jerk, but its so easy...!) and B) Im poisting it here just to give a sense of scale to our issues.

    This is our world and we consider ourselves to be very iimportant. And so we should! But sometimes, it helps just to look at things from a different angle.

    it really does feel petty quite often.

    It felt like rather a long time, but then long times get longer when you're standing around thinking about them. A curious thing, that. Long roads get longer too, if you're thinking about them, but what about long words? They don't change nearly as much

    by kamrom on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 02:11:36 AM PDT

    •  just to be clear. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW

      Thugh I played off it a bit, im actually just too feverish to change the caption right now. Thats like four steps more than i care to take when feeling like this. It does not, in reality, apply to this group;It was for that group that claims to be biblical literalists, who then go on to claim our world is 6,000 years old, despite that being nowhere in the bible.

      I have a fair deal of free time.

      It felt like rather a long time, but then long times get longer when you're standing around thinking about them. A curious thing, that. Long roads get longer too, if you're thinking about them, but what about long words? They don't change nearly as much

      by kamrom on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 02:15:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  One of my favorite comments (0+ / 0-)

    from a long-time American peace activist, Jonathan Schell:

    'Our Most Dangerous Illusion Is that We Can Control Nuclear Energy'

    from an interview with "Der Spiegel" in March of this year:

    http://www.spiegel.de/...

    A proud supporting member of Native American Netroots

    by translatorpro on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 02:13:57 AM PDT

  •  Flying Aluminum Siding Shuts Maryland Nuke (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Churchill, JeffW, a gilas girl

    how's this for exceeding design parameters?

    Calvert Cliffs Unit 1 Offline After Wind Gusts...

    I wonder what it costs to inspect and restart after such an unplanned shutdown.

    Hope is, after all, the currency of popular politics, and a coin surprisingly hard to devalue. -- Fred Anderson, Crucible of War

    by ornerydad on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 02:22:32 AM PDT

  •  It's becoming the lesson for all complex (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, RandomSequence

    systems, including computer networks and the environment:

    Bad shit is going to happen.
    Count on it.

    Be prepared to fix it or live with it.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 03:37:32 AM PDT

  •  Think you've hit it out of the park with this one: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW
    The most obvious lesson to be learned here is that God hates Eric Cantor personally, or at least doesn't care much for his district.

    Indubitably!

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 05:04:40 AM PDT

  •  What would Homer say? (0+ / 0-)
    Nobody could have foreseen that those two events would happen at once, we were told, even though Japan has a very long and well-understood history of quake-caused tsunamis.

    "D'oh!!!"

    "To know what is right and to do it are two different things." - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin "It was like that when I got here." - Homer Simpson

    by rbird on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 08:56:07 AM PDT

  •  Automatic attacks on nuclear power ??? Why ? (0+ / 0-)

    This is comments along with diary text:

    In Fukushima, disaster came about because of two separate (but closely linked) events: an earthquake that damaged the plant, followed by a tsunami that flooded critical plant infrastructure. Nobody could have foreseen that those two events would happen at once, we were told, even though Japan has a very long and well-understood history of quake-caused tsunamis.

    This site, generally, is dead lost on the facts, what engineering work is/was involved, and the results.

    Fukushima was built for a combined earthquake+tsunami event. They built a 30+-foot sea wall for exactly that combined event. The failure came with that estimate for the tsunami. The best people available underestimated it.

    Sea walls are cheap. Compared to the billions of dollars for the plants -- insignificant. They could easily had built a 75-foot sea wall. And obviously everybody in Japan made the same mistake, because areas with millions of people in them were left with 30-foot sea walls max.

    Blaming TEPCO and frequently seeing them called dishonest and worse for a nationally affirmed geology mistake is silly. And still, the aerial radiation release out of Fukushima has been tiny when compared to the 1950s thermonuclear bomb test fallout. The real numbers for estimating extra cancer deaths ??? -- most likely 0 or 1 or maybe 2. What the population would get if they took up mountain climbing and exposed themselves to cosmic rays.

    Virginia's recent safe shutdown earthquake (SSE) ground motion event resulted in exactly that. An 8-second or less safe shutdown. Safety rods were dropped into the power rods. Power production stopped instantly.

    -- Yes, indeed, the Dominion Resources North Anna nuclear plant "exceeded" the limits for producing power.

    -- Yes, it shut down.

    Big whoop. If you're actually worried about killing humans, here's the actual risk numbers from 60+ years experience.

    Coal fired electricity kills 4000 people for every 1 person killed by nuclear plants.

    Plus there's a huge load of mercury dumped out the smoke stacks and some of us believe in this thingie called Global Warming. Coal burns with 15:1 more environmental impact than nukes in the most hyper-conservative GOPer-propaganda estimates -- 200:1 is more like it.

    Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

    by vets74 on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 09:28:25 AM PDT

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