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If George W. Bush stood up before Congress and told the American people that the petroleum industry were run by secret Stalinists whose goal was to destroy America and the world, it would be less surprising than to have former Prime Minister Naoto Kan say that Japan is ruled by a nuclear industry dictatorship, comparing them to the men who bombed Pearl Harbor and led the nation into a war that left the nation in ruins. Japanese leaders rarely speak so bluntly.  

Just as interesting is the apparent treatment of the story by the world media. The Voice of America blog, to my surprise, gave the fullest reporting of the comments. Most media outlets gave truncated versions. Der Spiegel gave some excellent contextual reporting, exposing the breadth of corruption through academia, the press, and the Parliament, but has not yet mentioned Kan's testimony.

(crossposted from Mercury Rising)

The former Prime Minister of Japan, Naoto Kan, has given striking testimony to Parliament, in which he accepted blame for his own poor response during the Fukushima meltdown, but also attempted to obtain some degree of absolution because of the degree of corruption of the nuclear industry. He also urged Parliament to abandon nuclear power. To my surprise, Voice of America had some of the best coverage, reporting Kan saying:

“TEPCO and the Electric Power Companies of Japan have dominated the nuclear power industry for the last 40 years. Through this nuclear clique and the rules they created, they expelled and isolated industry experts, politicians and bureaucrats who were critical, while the rest just looked on because of self-protection and an attitude of peace-at-any-cost. I'm saying this because I feel partly responsible.”
“This nuclear clique, which has been created by the vested interest, is similar to the former Imperial Japanese military. We have to totally destroy and eradicate the organizational structure of the vested interests and (the) influence it has on the public. I think this should be the first step in reforming the nuclear industry.”
Comparing the nuclear industry to the Imperial Japanese military is to call that industry a fascist state.

Contrast this with Martin Fackler of The New York Times. This version excludes any reference to the Japanese Empire, substituting a milder reference to "the sickness of the system" with a comparison to Chernobyl and Soviet Communism. There are jabs and digs at Kan in the article that look like an attempt to discredit him. Mainichi Shimbun goes further and excises any reference to the corruption of the industry. The Washington Post (i.e., AP) is possibly even less useful. The Straits Times has a short but pointed piece that makes the connection between the nuclear industry and the fascists. The Guardian's coverage is strangely muted. The Independent is missing in action. Ditto, FT. Reuters, useless. The Age, ditto. Yomiuri, ditto. Cordula Meyer of Der Spiegel has excellent background, but hasn't commented on Kan's testimony:

In Japan, the term "The Atomic Village" refers to an isolated elite that has formed around the country's nuclear complex. ...It's as if Austrian writer Robert Jungk's horrific vision of the "nuclear state" had become reality....Even many media organizations, as recipients of generous payments for the electricity industry, are part of the cartel...."Our country was literally brainwashed," says Taro Kono, a member of the lower house of the Japanese Diet for the conservative LDP. "Atomic energy is a cult in Japan." ...Many scientists, especially at the University of Tokyo, are partial to TEPCO. The company contributes millions to the university and supports many associations, think tanks and commissions....Meanwhile, the Japanese government has begun asking Internet providers to remove "false reports" about Fukushima from the web...In Japan, the insiders who talked about the abuses at TEPCO were intimidated, as were journalists who reported on these abuses....
Of course, Germany is on a path to become nuclear free, so the nuclear industry doesn't have much sway there. Think that the "Atomic Village" might actually be an international metropolis?  

This is a major story. Japanese, at least Japanese in positions of leadership, simply do not use such direct language except in extremis. It would be as big as if George W. Bush got up in front of Congress and said that the petroleum industry, from academia to the engineering firms that build the plants to their boosters in Congress were secret Stalinists, destroying America from within.

And the biggest story is who is not covering it.

This is an excellent case history in propaganda. A propaganda system does not completely squelch stories. It is careful to tell only lies that are too big or unverifiable to be detected. Propaganda systems tell a portion of the truth, in such a way as to distort the meaning. And if one can find a portion of the information system where what they are covering up differs from what the rest of the system is covering up--like Der Spiegel's reporting on an industry that has no political power in Germany--then occasionally the truth leaks out.

Originally posted to CharlesII on Tue May 29, 2012 at 07:33 AM PDT.

Also republished by Nuclear Free DK.

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  •  Tip Jar (329+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
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  •  I would love to hear Joieau's opinion on this (43+ / 0-)

    its to bad she was banned for calling a self labeled , self admitted asshole an "a-hole" .

    If you say a skunk stinks like a skunk , is it an insult .

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Tue May 29, 2012 at 07:52:08 AM PDT

      •  Seconded!! (33+ / 0-)

        if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

        by mrsgoo on Tue May 29, 2012 at 08:06:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think she would come back if she could . (15+ / 0-)

        "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

        by indycam on Tue May 29, 2012 at 08:16:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I believe we should have periodic "amnesties" (13+ / 0-)

          for those banned "forever."  Forever, is getting longer every day, in these modern times.

          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by HoundDog on Tue May 29, 2012 at 10:16:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Kos always lets people come back after (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            randallt, HoundDog

            a cooling off period, unless they were banned for outing or threats of violence.

            Sometimes even then.

            The club is all their law, to keep all men in awe That they no vision saw to maintain such a law

            by JesseCW on Tue May 29, 2012 at 12:50:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  He does not always . (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pgm 01, randallt, DollyMadison, HoundDog

              Some stay banned .

              "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

              by indycam on Tue May 29, 2012 at 01:25:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  FYI--the one who attacked Joieau (6+ / 0-)

              was back using his original username within 24 hours.  Joieau, the victim of hate speech against her still banned.

              How can that possibly be fair?

              Speak the truth, but ride a fast horse.

              by Deep Harm on Tue May 29, 2012 at 03:18:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I did not say it was fair. (0+ / 0-)

                I said that Kos almost always lets people come back after a cooling off period if they apologize (and it wasn't the umpteenth major offense in the first place).

                The club is all their law, to keep all men in awe That they no vision saw to maintain such a law

                by JesseCW on Tue May 29, 2012 at 05:41:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Because Joieau was scientifically wrong (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Science doesn't have:
                ...but how is this compatible with our sustainable locavore future?
                ...but how does this help the oppressed fight their oppressors?
       this idea liberal or conservative?

                Science has right and wrong, and Joieau was using sciency terminology while demonstrating no understanding of it.  She should stay banned.

                Maybe let her back in when she promises to ensure her posts are consistent with current theories of physics, chemistry, geology.

                •  Unsupported assertion is not science (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sandino, Deep Harm, translatorpro

                  You assert very well, arrogant, but can you back it up with evidence?  If so, you have utterly failed to demonstrate it.

                  Your strawmen are amusing, though, I must admit.

                  Unfortunately, people like you who demonstrate a truly appalling lack of understanding of the biophysics of hundreds of thousands of tons of high-level nuclear waste and its inevitable effect on DNA, are highly likely to render a great many species extinct after several painful generations of grotesque mutation.

                  How does it feel to know that your mutant grandchildren will curse your name?  I hope your paymasters compensate you extremely well for what you do.

                  I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes. - Walt Whitman

                  by CharlieHipHop on Tue May 29, 2012 at 07:31:42 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  you're f'ing nuts (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mrsgoo, mrkvica, Sandino, Deep Harm, randallt

                  nobody gets banned for not being

                  consistent with current theories of physics, chemistry, geology
                  and besides you you joined like what, last week? How could you even have an well-founded opinion on this?

                  This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

                  by Karl Rover on Tue May 29, 2012 at 09:24:47 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Joieau was NOT a "victim" here (0+ / 0-)

                She purposefully dragged a fight from one diary into another. She repeatedly posted a link to that fight in replying to multiple people whose comments had nothing whatsoever to do with the previous argument.

                That's almost certainly what got her banned.

                •  She fought the good fight (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Deep Harm, mrsgoo, Tonedevil, Sandino, randallt

                  These nuke whores constantly drag the fight from one diary to another.  Joieau was simply countering you with facts.

                  If they ban me, I regret that I have but one account to give.  The fate of the planet matters more to me than any amount of money and certainly more than my Kos posting privileges.

                  I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes. - Walt Whitman

                  by CharlieHipHop on Tue May 29, 2012 at 07:34:41 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  You're one to talk, Dolly (5+ / 0-)

                  I've seen you do that yourself--and, wonder of wonders, you're still here.

                  It seems only there are different rules for the pro-nuke crowd.

                  Speak the truth, but ride a fast horse.

                  by Deep Harm on Tue May 29, 2012 at 08:05:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yeah, I understand your hatred of me (0+ / 0-)

                    I called you to account for your dishonest diaries, and your failure to update them when new info was provided.

                    I understand you'd have preferred to NOT have to admit you were wrong.

                    You have NOT "seen me do that myself". You're a liar who makes baseless assertions,, without even TRYING to back them up with evidence to support them. And the real underlying reason you didn't provide any evidence to support your assertions? Because you couldn't if you tried ALL DAY.

                    She dragged an irrelevant fight into another diary, linking to a post that had nothing to do with the posts she was replying to.

                    I've never done that. Not once.

                    It does NOT seem that there are different rules for the pro-nuke crowd. There are the SAME RULES for everyone - but I haven't broken the rules, and Joieau did. She is NOT a victim here. She did herself in with CT diaries and with spamming comments, bringing unrelated piefights into other diaries.

                    Hmmm, sorta like the OP who brought up Joieau did here in THIS diary. Or sorta like YOU did with YOUR baseless attacks on me. Your vendetta against me has NOTHING to do with Joieau, nor with this diary - yet YOU pulled it into this diary.

                    Please, keep digging.

                    •  She was attacked for using the word A**hole (4+ / 0-)

                      Though I'm not sure whether that was what led to her banning by kos. She did spam the evidence of the horrible nasty personal attack against her in another nuclear dkos diary.

                      And those kossacks who uprated her comment with the word a**hole were given NRs for several weeks or so someone said.

                      And she initially used the word in response to someone who had called her a "s_nile F-ing C_nt. That person was banned and two (2) of the three (3) kossacks who uprated that vile nasty comment were NRed.

                      You, DollyMadison, were one of the 3 people who uprated that vile denigrating statement (which has been removed from DailyKos now and the only record of it is to search for those comments that screen captured the proof of the comment ratings). And for some reason beyond my pay grade, you were not NRed for uprating that vileness.

                      Some of our most trusted kossacks HRed the vile comment that you approved of and uprated... long time trusted kossacks like MB, bjm, and numerous others. But, not you. For some reason, you approved that language and its attack and you uprated it.

                      Of the 3 people who uprated that nasty comment, arroganceisstrength has NR ratings ability. And malenfant has the NR also. But, not the third uprater. Not you Dolly. You are clean as a whistle.

                      It's quite astonishing that the punishment was meted out so disproportionately in this incident.

                      And, here you are with this comment raking this kossack over the coals... as you always do... in a demeaning personal attack upon their character.  

                      In my honor he pulled out old forgotten dignity and walked straight in a crooked world. ~~poetry of young Barack Obama

                      by bronte17 on Wed May 30, 2012 at 09:30:53 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  bryfry (or someone else) (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Deep Harm, MadRuth

                        apparently hacked back in to clear his account, and for some unexplainable reason Dolly was restored at the same time. He was quickly re-banned when the situation was reported, Dolly's coincidental benefit escaped notice.

                        I imagine Markos is not too fond of hackers, but I am not admin and don't know that for a fact. Bryfry was bojo'd again, his upraters remain NR'd. Except for Dolly.

                        •  Is kos aware of this? (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          randallt, MadRuth, PreciousLittle

                          In my honor he pulled out old forgotten dignity and walked straight in a crooked world. ~~poetry of young Barack Obama

                          by bronte17 on Wed May 30, 2012 at 09:54:41 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Bryfry (0+ / 0-)

                          was briefly reinstated so he could send a personal message to the upraters. At least to me and possibly the others.

                          Dollymadison was reinstated for reasons she explained elsewhere and explained to Kos I believe.

                          For the record I uprated the point bryfry was making. The language he used was Incedental to my mind.

                          •  How do you know (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            randallt, PreciousLittle
                            was briefly reinstated so he could send a personal message to the upraters.
                            He did more than send a personal message , he commented and changed his page .

                            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                            by indycam on Wed May 30, 2012 at 01:24:34 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The one doesn't discount the others. N/T. (0+ / 0-)
                          •  Once again , how do you know (0+ / 0-)
                            Bryfry was briefly reinstated so he could send a personal message to the upraters.

                            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                            by indycam on Wed May 30, 2012 at 01:48:18 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  What can I tell you? (0+ / 0-)

                            I'm offering a rational and reasonable explanation given the facts as I understand them.

                            Not good enough? Then talk to Kos directly.

                          •  So you are just making it up ? (0+ / 0-)

                            No one said that to you ?
                            You just pulled it out of thin air ?

                            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                            by indycam on Wed May 30, 2012 at 02:09:11 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I get it. (0+ / 0-)

                            Nothing I say will convince you. You apparently find the hacking scenario more to your taste. Fine.

                            Have you contacted Kos yet? You could clear this up in no time. No? You think you have a horse in this race but none of you have made an effort to find out. You just want to talk shit.

                          •  You are not saying anything (0+ / 0-)

                            so how could you convince me ?

                            You apparently find the hacking scenario more to your taste. Fine.
                            Eh ? Proof ? Any ? Any at all ?
                            You think you have a horse in this race but none of you have made an effort to find out.
                            How do you know this ?
                            Are you informed by Kos as to who has and has not contacted him and what was said ?
                            Or is this yet another thing you have pulled out of thin air ?
                            You just want to talk shit.
                            Ha Ha Ha , you say things that you can not support .

                            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                            by indycam on Wed May 30, 2012 at 02:38:31 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ok (0+ / 0-)

                            Have you made demands for evidence from those suggesting hacking?

                            Has anyone to your knowledge contacted Kos for an explanation? If so lets hear it. Because from what I read here no one has. If I'm wrong I would like to know.

                            Enough with the ...out of thin air. If you think I'm lying at least have the nuts To call me a liar.

                            As for talking shit. That was just an opinion. I like to think I know a shit talker when I hear one.

                          •  ... (0+ / 0-)
                            Have you made demands for evidence from those suggesting hacking?
                            If that matters to you , go for it . But don't even try to tell me that I must do something else to justify my questions to you . It does not work that way . You made statements , I asked and you failed to show any support .
                            Has anyone to your knowledge contacted Kos for an explanation? If so lets hear it.
                            I have not said that they have or have not , you on the other hand said it had not been done , its up to you to show that your statements are anything more than something you pulled out of thin air .
                            Enough with the ...out of thin air. If you think I'm lying at least have the nuts To call me a liar.
                            I'll say what I wish to say . And that thing about "nuts" , that will get you into some trouble , some think it to be sexist . Are you a sexist ?
                            I like to think I know a shit talker when I hear one.
                            When you hear your own voice ?

                            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                            by indycam on Wed May 30, 2012 at 03:36:31 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sorry about that question about sexist , (0+ / 0-)

                            I forgot that you recommended bryfry's comment .

                            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                            by indycam on Wed May 30, 2012 at 03:42:05 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh and that thing about (0+ / 0-)
                            I like to think I know a shit talker when I hear one.
                            you reccommended the comment that got bryfry banned , so you may want to reevaluate your opinion re your ability to
                            know a shit talker when I hear one

                            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                            by indycam on Wed May 30, 2012 at 03:46:07 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  What was the private message (0+ / 0-)

                            that he sent to you? This info is very interesting. You are still NR'd as an uprater, so I am curious as to how deep the private contact among pro-nukes here is that would justify Markos un-banning him, even "briefly," just so he could send you and Dolly and ais a private message.

                            Does that work for everyone who gets banned if they wish to PM their posse after they get banned?

                          •  As you say. The message was private. (0+ / 0-)

                            I suspect if he wanted to make a public statement he would have done so on a relevant thread.

                            Yes I'm NRd. I haven't bothered to argue my case to Kos for what it's worth. But that's neither here nor there.

                            I don't know that there's any private contact between pro-nukes. I only stated that I received a single message from bryfry. I can't speak for the others.

                            Is what I'm saying so hard to believe? Don't answer that. I don't want to get into another pissing contest.

                            And I don't know if "that" works for anyone.

                          •  Just wondered. (0+ / 0-)

                            Since you brought it up, and it seems very unusual to me. Bryfry could not have posted to other threads if he was bojo'd. That is the result of being bojo'd. Far as I can tell.

                            But maybe bryfry is special.

                      •  No, SHE USED IT FIRST (0+ / 0-)

                        I swear, can you not even get THAT right?

                        The person who replied to her "a-hole" comment made that COMMENT, leaving out specific letters, in direct response to HER comment calling him an asshole by leaving out a few letters from that swear word.

                        She didn't use that word IN RESPONSE to being called a terribly misogynist comment.

                        And I did NOT "rake anyone over the coals" with a demeaning personal attack.

                        It's NOT a personal attack if it's true. Deep Harm dislikes me for the same reason that MANY HERE, including you, dislike me - because I point out glaring errors on your arguments, errors you'd have preferred remain unexposed. Too bad, so sad. That's not equivalent to making a demeaning personal attack.

                        I didn't agree that the poster who used the horribly misogynist comment intended it to be directed towards Joieau - I believe that he was using a much more vile comment than what Joieau had used to make the point that taking a few letters out of that comment didn't change the meaning behind it. I think it was used in a hyperbolic sense, and I rated the ENTIRE comment, not simply that 3 word phrase - a phrase, again, that I didn't believe he was directing towards her. Had I THOUGHT that he was directing it towards her, I would NOT have uprated his post.

                        The poster "bryfry", who later got banned also, didn't go after her because of her usage of the word "a-hole". It was about the content of her post other than that word. Others went after her, and others in that diary, who were trying to defend the indefensible CT in that diary - that there's a potential for the fuel rods to catch on fire at this late date, for example, even though experts in the field state that there's no chance that these fuel rods, more than a year later, could catch on fire. Pushing CT on this site is supposed to be verboten.

                        •  You are a major bullshit artist Dolly (4+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Deep Harm, randallt, amsterdam, MadRuth

                          You uprated that vile comment because "it was used in a hyperbolic sense, and I rated the ENTIRE comment..."


                          You've been pretty horrible in your interactions with people here, but this one just takes the cake.

                          In my honor he pulled out old forgotten dignity and walked straight in a crooked world. ~~poetry of young Barack Obama

                          by bronte17 on Wed May 30, 2012 at 10:06:28 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  wow (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          randallt, amsterdam, MadRuth

                          he wasn't directing it to her?

                          Still won't let go of the lie will you, s-nile f-ing c-nt? (See, you're not the only one who can use salty language that is hidden behind a hyphen sign.)
                          On what planet is that not directed at her?

                          And Bryfry's profile picture is a quote:

                          Being an asshole is all part of my manly essence
                          so he obviously didn't mind being called an a-hole.

                          Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                          by jam on Wed May 30, 2012 at 11:16:25 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  He said very clearly , more than once (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            that he was an asshole . That he knew he was one and styled himself as one . He made no secret of the fact but he acted as if it was terrible for others to agree with him in his assessment .

                            "Well, my style might be a little harsh, but I do style myself as an asshole, so at least I'm honest. Is that fair?"

                            "Hey look I know that I'm an asshole, but at least I'm honest and upfront about it."

                            "Why am I an asshole? It's for the simple reason that I have met too many lobotomized pricks like you."

                            "I call myself an asshole all the time, so if I did call you an asshole, you are in good company"

                            "I already claim to be an asshole. Check my profile description. That just means that I'm honest."

                            And he called others asshole also
                            "I gave up on commenting on education a couple of years ago, after I realized that most of the people here on DailyKos who wrote about education were middle-class yuppie assholes who were only interested in finding a way for the government to pay the college tuition for their underachieving, spoiled, stupid, lazy brats to go to school and drink beer for four or five years."

                            "Sticks and stones asshole .."

                            "Well, it came from anti-nuke assholes and incompetent or corrupt bureaucrats telling these poor people that they were all going to die from radiation."

                            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                            by indycam on Wed May 30, 2012 at 01:36:37 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I used to be an asshole (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            but it just takes up too much energy. I'm actually too lazy to be much of an asshole any more.

                            Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                            by jam on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:46:28 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  ? (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          bronte17, MadRuth, PreciousLittle

                          You are confused. Bryfry's avatar proudly proclaims that he is an "asshole." Why would he be insulted by being called what he calls himself? That makes no sense.

                          You also seem confused about what Joieau and Bryfry were arguing in that comment thread. Please refer to the comment that got her banned, in response to an assertion by bryfry - Here.

                          The content of that post refers to what happened at Three Mile Island in 1979, not to what is happening at Fukushima Daiichi today (or 14 months ago). It is an obscure and highly technical subject. Only a couple of commenters here could have followed the reference.

                          His sexist slur was in response to her defense. She helped conduct the investigation, drafted the reports, and submitted them to the US Congress and NRC in 1985. There is amply documented US history here, specific to a nuclear meltdown. Just not to the Daiichi meltdowns.

                          So you are wrong in your assumptions about what happened to get 2 users banned and 3 users NR'd. Please stop spreading falsehoods.

                        •  You called me an asshole (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          bronte17, MadRuth

                          And people don't hate you because you point out glaring errors in their arguments. They dislike you because you are a beligerent bully.

                          •  Hey (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            It's NOT a personal attack if it's true.
                            so by Dolly's own admission, she is amply open to personal attack because, as you say, she is a belligerent  bully. It ain't rocket science.

                            If the Republicans ever find out that Barack Obama favors respiration, we'll be a one-party system inside two minutes. - Alan Lewis

                            by MadRuth on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:42:09 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  "Others went after her, and others in that ... (5+ / 0-)

                          ...diary, who were trying to defend the indefensible CT in that diary - that there's a potential for the fuel rods to catch on fire at this late date, for example, even though experts in the field state that there's no chance that these fuel rods, more than a year later, could catch on fire."

                          There was plenty of ridiculous CT in that diary, bannable CT. But the idea that the fuel rods can still catch fire is not among them. Those that still have cladding, if exposed to the air long enough, could catch fire. We don't know how much cladding they may still have; nobody does.

                          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                          by Meteor Blades on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:50:37 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Right, MB: Fuku's spent fuel can still catch fire. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            Nevertheless, as you may be aware, a Daily Kos member (David Walters) recently posted a guest diary by Will Davis, from ANS Nuclear Cafe. See: Spent Fuel at Fukushima-Daiichi-Safer Than Asserted. This guest diarist, evidently, picked a limited amount of data from an NRC document and then falsely assured readers that a radiological fire is currently "impossible", given that the spent fuel has been cooled for more than a year at Fukushima-Diiachi.

                            However, this extraordinarily reassuring conclusion definitely does NOT comport with a closer reading of the same NRC documents when attention is turned to high density spent fuel racks, such as those at the Fukushima-Diiachi site. Per the following:

                            ~ NUREG/CR-4982; BNL-NUREG-52093 – Issue 82; Severe Accidents in Spent Fuel Pools in Support of Generic Safety, (published 1987):

                            The likelihood of clad fire initiation is most sensitive to the decay heat level and the storage rack configuration (which controls the extent of natural convection cooling)…The limited flow area of the high density designs makes it difficult to ensure adequate cooling by natural convection of air. For the new high density fuel racks, natural convective flows are so restricted that even after cooling for a year there is potential for self-sustaining oxidation...
                            ~ NUREG-1738; NRC Technical Study of Spent Fuel Pool Accident Risk at Decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants, (published 2001):
                            It was not feasible, without numerous constraints, to establish a generic decay heat level (and therefore a decay time) beyond which a zirconium fire is physically impossible.

                            Heat removal is very sensitive to factors such as fuel assembly geometry and spent fuel pool rack configuration which are plant specific and subject to unpredictable changes after an earthquake or cask drop that drains the pool.

                            Therefore, since a non-negligible decay heat source lasts many years, and since configurations ensuring sufficient air flow for cooling cannot be assured, the possibility of reaching the zirconium ignition temperature cannot be precluded on a generic basis.

                            Bottom line: in the event of a loss of coolant accident (if Fukushima's spent fuel pools lose their water for any reason), it is still possible for the spent fuel rods to catch fire.

                          •  Yes. I was aware. But I should have posted... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...the excerpt and link you have included to punctuate my comment. Thanks for that and the rest of your comment.

                            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                            by Meteor Blades on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 04:00:05 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  ... (0+ / 0-)


                          She didn't use that word IN RESPONSE to being called a terribly misogynist comment.
                          Looks like she did .

                          "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                          by indycam on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 08:21:48 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

    •  Please add my name to that list (21+ / 0-)

      Of course there's also the user who was recently banned for repeatedly posting the same story about unit #4 in danger of falling.

      That story was finally reported in the NYTimes the other day.

      The worries picked up new traction in recent days after the operator of the plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company, or Tepco, said it had found a slight bulge in one of the walls of the reactor building, stoking fears over the building’s safety.

      To try to quell such worries, the government sent the environment and nuclear minister to the plant on Saturday, where he climbed a makeshift staircase in protective garb to look at the structure supporting the pool, which he said appeared sound. The minister, Goshi Hosono, added that although the government accepted Tepco’s assurances that reinforcement work had shored up the building, it ordered the company to conduct further studies because of the bulge.

      Whew...I feel better now. Goshi Hosono looked at it and he says it's fine.

      Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

      by Just Bob on Tue May 29, 2012 at 10:50:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The story that the banned user was spamming (0+ / 0-)

        Is NOT equivalent to the story that the NY Times pushed.

        Were the two stories the same, that banned user wouldn't have been banned.

        No one here has said that everything is "fine", and there's no potential worries.

        •  Really? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino, randallt

          I am confident that a number of our resident nuke whores have stated fairly directly that everything is fine and that there's nothing to worry about with regard to Fukushima.  

          Would you care to place a wager on it?  I would be happy to sift through old comments if the price is right.

          I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes. - Walt Whitman

          by CharlieHipHop on Tue May 29, 2012 at 07:42:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

            You couldn't find a single comment that says that everything is okay and there's nothing possible to be worried about.

            And for your "whores" comment, as well as your non-sourced assertions, you should get an HR from any fair minded person - instead, you get one uprate. There's nothing upratable about that comment. The problematic behavior comes from those with kneejerk reactions and belief in CT's from the other side of the fence. The repeated CT diaries from a now banned user are but one example. The one I linked to above had 9 uprates - all ridiculous. It was unsupportable CT every time that banned diarist posted it - yet Joieau uprated it.

        •  The stories are based on unit#4 falling (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          randallt, PreciousLittle

          The tone of the stories differ. The Gray Lady is more restrained and dignified.

          Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

          by Just Bob on Wed May 30, 2012 at 10:29:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I could not believe my eyes (10+ / 0-)

      when I read the comment that got her banned.  I'm tempted to write to kos on her behalf, but I'm half afraid that pleas for the banned may be like uprating an HRed comment.

      OTOH, I'm sure it was a right-in campaign that got the formally, publicly warned slinkerwink un-banned, so it's worth a shot.

      Can you call yourself a real liberal if you aren't reading driftglass?

      by CJB on Tue May 29, 2012 at 11:54:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. It's still an insult. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      randallt, DvCM

      Whether it's worth a banning or not is another matter entirely.

      See also: Your sig line.  

      The club is all their law, to keep all men in awe That they no vision saw to maintain such a law

      by JesseCW on Tue May 29, 2012 at 12:49:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  oh indycam, I hope Joieau comes back! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      means are the ends, DvCM, BusyinCA

      I didn't know she was banned....

      I belong to the “US” of America, not the “ME,$,ME,$,ME,$,ME,$” of America!

      by SeaTurtle on Tue May 29, 2012 at 03:01:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  She was banned for spamming comments (0+ / 0-)

      With repeated postings from another diary I believe the evidence shows us.

      The RULE is that you don't bring pie fights from other diaries into unrelated diaries.

      But she did. She repeatedly replied to unrelated posts from multiple people with a rehash of the misdeeds of another user.

      That's what really happened.

      And I expect she also was already on probation for having pushed multiple conspiracy diaries in the recent past. The most recent one I saw was hers about shrimp harvesting being suspended in Alabama's waters. Turns out that after I did a little research (and I DO mean "a little"), what was really happening with that CT was that there was a linkage of two unrelated things. The temporary ban on shrimping (related to the SIZE of the shrimp in the areas where they hang out) happened a full week before the report came out about deformed seafood that's been found in the Gulf, and so it's IMPOSSIBLE for the thing that happened a week later to have influenced the decision that happened a week earlier! I explained that to Joieau, with links, yet she failed to ever acknowledge that. It was one site running to conclusions that she bought into and then pushed on this site - a conclusion she leapt to without sufficient evidence, and a conclusion she refused to let go of despite multiple people besides me explaining it to her.

      Pushing conspiracy theories like that, and having so many people buy into them, is NOT good for this site, and Kos knows it.

      I've seen no evidence that she was banned for calling someone an "a-hole". I believe that's a gross distortion of reality.

      •  Prove this to be the truth ! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrsgoo, Tonedevil, Sandino
        She was banned for spamming comments

        "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

        by indycam on Tue May 29, 2012 at 07:25:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Can you NOT read anything besides the one line? (0+ / 0-)


          I believe that her behavior in spamming comments is what she was banned for.

          It's what I reported her about - going on and on. It's what others objected to - directly challenging her on it when she did it. It's what is disallowed at this site, and it's what Kos has said will get you banned.

          He's explicitly said that swearing at another person will NOT get one banned.

          So, Joieau got banned. You think it's unreasonable for ME to assume that Kos banned her for things he has said are bannable offenses? Really?

      •  Oh and you are calling Kos a liar . (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sandino, randallt

        I guess when he said what he said , you knew better ?
        And now you are saying he was lying when he said what he said .

        "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

        by indycam on Tue May 29, 2012 at 07:32:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  When did he say that? NT (0+ / 0-)
          •  In the threat since removed. n/t (0+ / 0-)
          •  I'd have to have KNOWN he said that (0+ / 0-)

            In order to be calling him a liar.

            Yet somehow, that seemingly confused you. I said I'd seen no evidence of that, and I hadn't.

            So no, I wasn't "saying he was lying". I didn't know that he'd said that - I didn't read that comment from him, although I was active in that thread. And I know that I reported her spamming the site with a link to that comment - and that's what I reported to Kos, with an explanation about why I did what I did in that string.

            And just because the final straw might have been the insult, that doesn't mean that other things didn't factor into it.

            But yeah, Kos said that it was for the insult, and I have no reason to doubt that now that I've read that comment.

            And "randallt"? I see no "threat", but I can still see Kos' statement as to why he banned Joieau - it happened on May 21st.

            •  Then you see that (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              indycam, Tonedevil

              he banned her for "a-hole" and not for any of the other things you have asserted here. Why are you still asserting them?

            •  So you admit to being ill-informed (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              and out of touch with the reality while posting your opinions ?

              "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

              by indycam on Wed May 30, 2012 at 12:32:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Regarding the ban of Joieau... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                FWIW, here is a partial sequence of the events in question, leading to the May 20th banning of Joieau and bryfry, which took place on David Walters' diary -- Spent fuel at Fukushima Daiichi Safer Than Asserted, dated May 17, 2012:

                Sorry, it ain't gonna work, (1+ / 0-)

                a-hole. APSRs are the bullshit of the century - the one past, Fuku's gonna be the bullshit of this one. APSRs exist as part of the retinue of shaping absorber rods, mostly in the periphery, and always have. They are not among the bundled control rods that MUST fall in order to stop fission in a reactor.

                You are saying that all the 'expert' engineers and physicists on the Kemeny Commission AND the Rogovin Commission (which was an NRC snow job) perpetrated a grotesque LIE about the accident at TMI2 swearing - some of them under oath - that 69 rods fell. A LIE that apparently had no reason for existing until 3 years later when we pointed out that 8 of the 69 control rods they universally deemed "necessary" to successful scram never managed to fall. What's 8 rods between friends in a reactor deprived completely of heat removal, eh?

                Nothing you can say at ten bucks a pop changes reality one bit. At TMI2, or at Fukushima Daiichi/Daiini.

                Now I've some ducks and chickens to tend to, a beautiful evening to enjoy, and lots of loved ones to enjoy it with. Bye.

                Home Health Physics: Now Bilingual.

                by Joieau on Sun May 20, 2012 at 05:55:25 PM EDT

                [ Parent | Reply to This ]

                Still won't let go of the lie (3+ / 19-)

                will you, s-nile f-ing c-nt? (See, you're not the only one who can use salty language that is hidden behind a hyphen sign.)

                You and your equally clueless "colleagues" (a bunch of people with, what ... a high school education? ... I'm guessing here) merely stumbled upon the  eight ASPR's, and not having the first clue how a B&W nuclear reactor is controlled, you made the mistake of turning it all into a giant, but rather pathetic, conspiracy theory.

                I can understand why you're frustrated, since I can't imagine that anyone with any knowledge about the accident ever took you seriously — although I'm sure that a few enjoyed a good laugh — but here you are, over 30 years later, still making up conspiracy theory crap.

                It's rather cute, actually. You're kind of like a pet of this site — our very own electronic version of the guy on the corner wearing the sandwich board claiming that the world will end tomorrow.

                Although, I have to admit that you have some serious competition in the nuttiness department from ngk01001, who appears to be making a hobby out of posting diaries that collect well-deserved HR's in the tip jar.

                Better get crack'n if you don't want to be outdone.

                Quid novi ex Africa

                by bryfry on Sun May 20, 2012 at 07:04:58 PM EDT

                [ Parent | Reply to This ]

                [bryfry] Banned for insults (11+ / 0-)

                and upraters have lost their ratings ability.

                by kos on Mon May 21, 2012 at 04:54:00 PM EDT

                [ Parent | Reply to This | Recommend Hide ]

                   [Joieau] Banned for personal insult (3+ / 0-)

                and uprater has lost ratings ability.

                by kos on Mon May 21, 2012 at 04:54:44 PM EDT

                [ Parent | Reply to This | Recommend Hide ]

                •  Joieau was a tremendous asset to Daily Kos... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  I have no idea whether she wishes to return but, if she does, I hope Kos will see fit to welcome her back without hesitation. I have the utmost appreciation for the diaries and comments Joieau has contributed to this site on the subject of the nuclear industry and the Fukushima-Diiachi disaster.

      •  Conspiracy theory (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        indycam, mrsgoo, mrkvica, Sandino, native, randallt

        Interestingly, the topic of this diary seems to validate a great number of conspiracy theories with regard to the nuke industry and their stranglehold on power in Japan.  If the Prime Minister of Japan posits a conspiracy, is it still a theory?

        I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes. - Walt Whitman

        by CharlieHipHop on Tue May 29, 2012 at 07:43:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is apparently NOT a conspiracy theory (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino, randallt

          Japan Radiation found in California Bluefin Tuna

          This does not make me happy. Also makes me wonder about WTF exactly is the safe level of cesium  to be consumed with my fukin' fish dinner. Oh yea, that's right - I should just believe whatever my government tells me. Coz they haven't been co-opted by big business or anything?

          FUCK ME RUNNIN' And Joieau is banned over a pissin contest? That is just wrong. Period. Wrong. And just go ahead and ban my fat white 52 yr old azz too then.

          if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

          by mrsgoo on Tue May 29, 2012 at 09:46:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Not true. nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

        by translatorpro on Wed May 30, 2012 at 03:09:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, actually, everything I said WAS true (0+ / 0-)

          Calling someone an a-hole is NOT a bannable offense.

          Repeatedly pushing CT - and she undeniably did - that's bannable. A study that documented deformed fish which came out in mid-April could not have caused a temporary fishing ban that came out in early April. This is a fact. Without a time machine, a later study cannot affect an earlier event. Yet after that was explained to her, with links, she refused to acknowledge it - because facts destroyed her CT.

          Carrying pie fights into unrelate diaries? Also bannable. And she undeniably did that too. I provided a couple of links, but she did it several more times.

          •  As beneficiary of a hack (0+ / 0-)

            I do not think you want to keep asserting misguided assumptions where the person who NR'd you may see them.

            •  ONE INSULT (a-hole) won't get you banned (0+ / 0-)

              There had to be a LOT more going on that caused the banning.

              One usage of the word "a-hole" isn't going to be sufficient, according to Kos' own statements.

              But carrying pie fights into unrelated diaries? Doing that one time CAN get one banned. Pushing CT repeatedly CAN get one banned.

              •  Still not true. I read the anti-/pro-nuke (4+ / 0-)

                diaries regularly and often comment in them. I do not remember ever seeing you in them as a participant, but I did witness many a piefight between Joieau and the pro-nukes, who baited and goaded her incessantly. Let me be clear, I did not always agree with her, but felt she had good stuff to contribute and ignored what I didn't agree with. But it was quite obvious, though, too: Joieau would post a diary, and not 30 minutes would go by without the pro-nuclear folks swarming in there and insulting and denigrating her. It was bullying, no two ways about it.
                There was one incident some months ago which got Kos' attention - I think it was also around September, when Markos was on the warpath. That incident also involved insults and uprates/hyderate abuse, which led to several people, including Joieau and bryfry, having their ratings ability pulled. I was reading that thread as it happened. The incident last week was the second time between those two and kos lost patience, just as he had announced he would in his meta diary a couple of weeks ago. THAT is the history of this particular event and has nothing to do with CT.

                „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

                by translatorpro on Wed May 30, 2012 at 10:50:33 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  You know, everyone here is not an expert (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sa650701, PreciousLittle

        on every subject. And yet they have the audacity to write diaries for others to read.

        And even amongst experts on specialty topics, there is much heated disagreement.

        So, your ban hammer is cocked too strongly if you think banning is appropriate because her line of logic may have been faulty in a diary AND because she wouldn't listen to you specifically and she had another line of thought on the subject other than what you perceive to be truth.

        In my honor he pulled out old forgotten dignity and walked straight in a crooked world. ~~poetry of young Barack Obama

        by bronte17 on Wed May 30, 2012 at 09:51:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not to worry. (0+ / 0-)

      She'll be back as a sockpuppet in no time, just like the last time she was banned.

      And she'll be just in time to cheer on all the people who hate the sciences out of ignorance that she hates out of ignorance.

      And she'll be right there to add posts like this one, in which she gets 100% of the half-lives of every nuclide wrong:

      Joy's very special re-invention of physics.

      Not ONE, zero, zilch right.

      Zero.   I mean it's not like you have to know anything at all about a science to hate it deeply and irrationally.

      I mean who cares about being right?

      The right thing is to have paranoid fantasies in which the 3.3 million people who will die this year from air pollution don't count, and imaginary deaths from nuclear energy are the most important thing in the universe, more important than the planetary atmosphere, more important than ecosystems, more important than anything.

      How come you never wanted to hear what that woman had to say about air pollution deaths?

      Because she, like you, had nothing to say about them because you couldn't care less.

      The rote hatred of science is killing people, more than 6 people per minute, 377 per hour.

      Predictably no one here could care less.

      Heckuva job.  You must be very proud.

      Nuclear power saves lives, and all the conspiracy theories in the world - and all the hatred of science that goes with it - will not bring back even one of the 377 people who die this hour from air pollution.

      According to the World Health Organization, half of the dead will be under the age of 5.

      Heckuva job.  You must be very, very, very proud.

      You all must be very proud.

      The smug illiterate Western World more or less deserves what it is going to get, but the problem is that, as is almost always the case, the purveyors of fear, ignorance and superstition will drag the innocent down with them.

      Have a nice evening.

  •  Thank You - N/T (10+ / 0-)

    "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

    by linkage on Tue May 29, 2012 at 08:06:25 AM PDT

  •  I guess the modern (8+ / 0-)

    military industrial complex wishes to avoid references to its facist leanings.   Blame the communists.  After all, the Soviet, I mean Russian Republic is after all our greatest national security threat.

    •  Corporate state, jfromga (24+ / 0-)

      Unlike in the US, Japan's military is not much of a political force. But, like the petroleum industry in the US, the nuclear industry has had immense political power.  

      That these people are no friends of democracy is absoutely true.

      •  the corporate media white washing (6+ / 0-)

        the statements about the Japanese military of WWII is ours,  US based and controlled by the MIC.   If the Japanese papers won't print it, then it might be the corporate state doing the white washing.

        •  Not sure I follow (11+ / 0-)

          It's true that what military Japan has is there at US behest. Many Japanese tried to enforce the Constitutional limitation on the size and scope of the military.

          My point is that unlike Lockheed, Boeing, Honeywell, GE, and so on buying influence in Washington, the corporations who have sway in Tokyo tend not to have much at stake in weapons systems or other military issues. But some, like Toshiba, have huge stakes in the continuation of the nuclear industry.

          Therefore, the best comparison is between their nuclear industry and our petroleum industry.  

          •  Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (15+ / 0-)

            Has interests in both Nukes and Military Hardware.

            And then you have companies such as Japan Steel Works (JSW) that, until about 10 years ago, had a virtual monopoly on the reactor pressure vessels it makes by forging (while the newbies weld); so much so, that the world capacity for building nukes was more or less limited to what they could forge from a huge chunk of steel.

            I work for a major Japanese industrial (not the above) and suggest that, although the Industrial-Government partnerships are structured somewhat different than the US MIC, some of them are just as influential and for some of the same reasons, e.g., in a lot of cases, you don't need or can't support more than one or two companies making widget A, so if you want a basket of widgets from time to time, you have to keep them working.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Tue May 29, 2012 at 09:07:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  To be more percise, knNko, JSW had a (7+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FG, Tinfoil Hat, melo, ColoTim, SherriG, koNko, native

              engineering monopoly on forgings over a certain weight. That is for reactors over 1000MWs/1GW they were it. There are about half a dozen other countries that could forge smaller forgings for nuclear components.

              JSW had the only 15,000 tone hydraulic forge capable of creating single piece components up to 600 tons. Now the Chinese and Koreans can also produce such forgings and the Indians are building several of these.

              More on this here:

              Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

              by davidwalters on Tue May 29, 2012 at 09:18:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Fair points, but... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Just Bob, koNko, native

              ...when you say that Mitsubishi has interests in both nukes and military hardware, can you compare the military component of the Japanese budget to that of the US?  I don't think so. The US is almost 5% of GDP, Japan is around 1%.  And most of Japan's is focused on personnel rather than weapons systems, while the figure for the US does not include hidden costs like care for wounded military personnel, interest on the debt from unpaid-for wars, etc.

              I am drawing a narrow distinction: In Japan's corporate state, many industries call the tune, and military interests are not particularly large. In the US's corporate state, military corporate interests are a full 5% or more of the nation's income.

              •  but even Japan's small (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                koNko, RWood

                spending on military benefits from dual use technology, for example,  bullet train brakes are a variation on aircraft brakes from a fighter,  the basic r&d and technology was out of US military contracts.   So I am not sure that it is easy to quantify the effect of military spending, direct and indirect in the Japanese economy.  Plus the military transfers post WWII helped Japan's technological edge, an important national goal.  So the thinking and uses aren't all monetary in GDP.

                But I was still referring to reports in US sources that you were contrasting.

          •  you were linking US sources (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Calamity Jean

            such as the NYT's report.   I think it is pretty clear that most major US news outlets are very aware of their corporate sponsors, owners, etc. and their expectations.  And that is very MIC dominated.  

            •  No question that newspapers know their sponsors (0+ / 0-)

              ...and tailor coverage to their corporate interests.

              Isn't it true, however, that Japanese newspapers are more reliant on subscription fees than on ad revenues?  In the US, subscription fees are a tiny fraction of newspaper revenues. Plus, at least as of a decade ago, Japan had resisted the corporatization of the media.

              •  I can't say I know (0+ / 0-)

                for sure about ad revenue in Japanese papers, but it certainly plays a dominant role in US media today.   Please the sponsors.   Plus I think that there was a concerted effort to establish a more right wing editorial policy as the press was consolidated here in the US and subscription payments became almost a negligible source of income.

                But Sony has to be a huge player in Japan as well as here in non paper media.  And the synergy between popular culture, movies, video, etc. and attitudes that bleed into social policy can't be ignored.  The right wing sure doesn't.

  •  I have to wonder if his words had (40+ / 0-)

    anything to do with the panel being suspended. They are very much aware that they have lost the public trust.

    From NHK - Review of Japan's Nuclear Policy Suspended

    The Japan Atomic Energy Commission has decided to suspend a review of the country's nuclear policy guidelines currently being conducted by an expert panel.

    In a meeting on Tuesday, some of the panelists expressed concerns over the selection of some of the panel, which includes members from power companies and research institutes that are promoting nuclear power.


    The panel plans to come up with a review of the guidelines by this summer. The commission decided to temporarily halt its review of the guidelines and exclude from the panel any persons from the nuclear industry and research institutes promoting nuclear power.

    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

    by Siri on Tue May 29, 2012 at 08:12:20 AM PDT

  •  I do hope he has good bodyguards n/t (4+ / 0-)

    "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abby

    by SaraBeth on Tue May 29, 2012 at 08:22:19 AM PDT

    •  Yes, this was inevitable (27+ / 0-)

      given the amount of contaminated water that was both spilled accidentally and dumped on purpose as they battled the leaking reactors. When they banned fishing along the Fukushima coastline, I found it crazy that they considered the problem solved while never considering the fact that fish being fish will swim.

      They are stating that the levels are below what is dangerous for human consumption. I'm still not comfortable with it.

      Here's a link

      The bluefin spawn off Japan, and many migrate across the Pacific Ocean. Tissue samples taken from 15 bluefin caught in August, five months after the meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi, all contained reactor byproducts cesium-134 and cesium-137 at levels that produced radiation about 3% higher than natural background sources -- but well below levels considered dangerous for human consumption, the researchers say.

      Cesium-137 has a radioactive half-life of about 30 years, and traces of the isotope still persist from above-ground nuclear bomb tests in the 1950s and '60s. But cesium-134, which has a half-life of only two years, "is inarguably from Fukushima Daiichi," Stanford University marine ecologist Dan Madigan told CNN.

      48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

      by Siri on Tue May 29, 2012 at 08:54:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  and the biological half-life of C134 is (10+ / 0-)

        only 70 days.

        The BBC artcle on this is excellent. Had toro yesterday in fact (I assume it was Pacific Bluefin, damn expensive too).

        The levels are inconsequential. if it was S-90, which bio-concentrates, that might be different.

        The article also noted that the level of Cs is about 300 times LESS than that of radioactive Potassium, which is a naturally occurring radiation in the fish.


        Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

        by davidwalters on Tue May 29, 2012 at 09:10:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Releases from Fukushima were not limited... (14+ / 0-)

          to short half-life isotopes.

          What has been discovered so far is not dangerous. But "so far" only means "so far."  

          •  Yes, but ONLY Cs has shown up in the (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Siri, sethtriggs, DollyMadison, O112358

            Blue Fin tuna. They are considered biological 'indicators' of exposure to all sorts of nasties be they salts (cs) or heavy metals like mercury. The bigger issue is all that nasty 500 million tons of stuff floating about the ocean now that has nothing to do with radiation. This scares me a lot more and is already doing damage to the coast and fisheries in Alaska.

            Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

            by davidwalters on Tue May 29, 2012 at 09:40:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  To each his own source of fear... (8+ / 0-)

              Ocean debris is a serious problem.

              Unlike radiation, people are doing something about it. And that's just one effort.  

              Nothing forbids us from dealing with both problems at the same time.

              •  Hey, when this crap shows up on my beach in (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Babsnc, Siri, worldlotus, sethtriggs

                NorCal, I'm there volunteering to clean it up. What a pain, though. We'll be organizing from San Francisco down to Half-Moon Bay. We got some months however to get ready.

                Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

                by davidwalters on Tue May 29, 2012 at 09:52:35 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Good on you for joining the cleanup (6+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Babsnc, Russgirl, melo, Siri, worldlotus, sethtriggs

                  I mean that sincerely. Americans have been pretending that we can all lead separate lives and let problems pile up.

                  But, as you are finding, eventually they land back on one's doorstep.  

                  Maybe we can prevent ocean debris from landing there in the future.  But only if we set aside out provincial interests and work together.

                  •  I think there will be a great outpouring of suppor (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Siri, phonegery

                    t for this clean up, as there is Alaska. It'll bring people together and make them more conscious of the ecology out there. Beaches are a BIG deal in California as you know. I'm not one of the actual organizers but I signed up to be contacted so I, and my family, can join the effort. I suspect too that both the Fed and state part authorities will also join in. I'm hoping.

                    The big issue too is the Gulf of Alaska. I like to fish, and eat fish from there. Obviously the surface stuff won't likely contaminate immediately the bottom feeders (ling cod, halibut, etc) but you never know. Sad.

                    Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

                    by davidwalters on Tue May 29, 2012 at 09:59:57 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  false equivalencies. (0+ / 0-)

                When someone is scared of snakes we may think "well thats somewhat reasonable" but when someone is scared of potatoes........

                And yes there are things forbidding us from dealing with both at the same time.....

        •  Bad Analysis (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          means are the ends, ozsea1, Sandino

          This is because the K in your body has reached equilibrium.

          But now by eating this Tuna a new source of radiation is entering your body.  

          Eating a banana will not increase your level of radiation risk because the K you eat will be balanced by the K already in your system.  Eating the banana will merely replenish K stores, but these K stores in your body are already radioactive.

          Eating this tuna clearly raises the radiation in your system.

          •  Dude (0+ / 0-)

            Your words could be summarised in the equation

            X + 1 = X

            Thats not a good thing.

          •  A biological halflife on 70 days (0+ / 0-)

            gives an equilibrium concentration of about 100x the daily intake (70/ln(2) = 100). I wouldn't even be slightly worried about eating 1kBq of Cs-134/137 per day.

            •  No, the 'raising' of radiation to such small level (0+ / 0-)

              s does ZERO to your body. it when it approaches something that threatens your the real world not the make believe world that 'all radiation is bad'...that you need to worry. You'd have to eat about 2 metric tons of tuna a year to come even close to that level of health risk. The mercury would get you way before this.

              Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

              by davidwalters on Wed May 30, 2012 at 07:31:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Where did you get that biological half life #? (0+ / 0-)

              It doesn't square too well with the tuna's contamination levels.  Does this mean the tuna's were much more contaminated earlier?

              And this is pure radioactive poison being absorbed by your body like a sponge.

              And it not only is a cancer risk but also it harms your muscles including your heart.

              •  70 days is for humans (0+ / 0-)

                it may be different for tuna.

                Anyway, the level of Cs-134/137 is far too small to pose any danger. From the original research paper:

                All 15 PBFT collected in 2011 contained 134Cs (4.0 ± 1.4 Bq kg−1
                dry wt) and 137Cs (6.3 ±1.5 Bq kg−1) in white muscle tissue
                Mean concentrations of
                the naturally occurring γ-emitting 40K in the 2011 PBFT were 347
                ± 49 Bq kg−1 (Table 1).
                Your body doesn't care whether the radiation is from K-40 or Cs-137, since they are chemically similar and have similar decay energies. Nobody is denying that large doses of radiation is dangerous, but the radioactivity of the tuna was only increased by ~3% from background level, and thus is COMPLETELY harmless.

                I recommend OMG OMG Radioactive Tuna From Fukushima!! for further commentary and links to news reports.

                •  Cesium is a poison (0+ / 0-)

                  potassium is a necessary element

                  •  The dose makes the poison (0+ / 0-)

                    You're right that K is absolutely necessary, but it'll also kill you  if you get to much of it. In fact, KCl is used by the US government for murdering prisoners (the lethal IV dose is much lower than the lethal oral dose). Cs, like Rb, is not needed by our bodies, but is generally treated like K, but is slightly more (chemically) toxic.

                    Cs-134 and 137 is of course much more radiologically toxic than K-40 per mass due to the far shorter halflife, but that's not measured here. Instead the radioactivity is measured in Becquerel, which is one decay per second. One Bq of Cs-137 will do almost exactly the same to your body as one Bq of K-40 due to the similar decay energies (Cs-137 is a bit lower, i.e. less dangerous per Bq) and similar chemistry.

                    Cs-137 decays to Ba-137, 5,4% of the time with a 1,17MeV beta, 94,6% of the time with a 0,51MeV beta and a 0,66MeV gamma.
                    K-40 decays to Ca-40 89,3% of the time with a 1,33MeV beta, and to Ar-40 10,7% of the time with a 1,46MeV gamma.

                    I realize that this comment is a complete waste, since no anti-nuke will ever be bothered by facts.

  •  Scientific cover ups cannot go on forever (18+ / 0-)

    this radiation can be measured

    this risk is real

    there is a time and place that it happened and it is spreading

    the cover up of global climate change has worked for several decades

    will this summer's environmental disasters finally bring home the message?

    A short hand for the systems problems of the world is the systems philosopher C. West Churchman.

    His slogan from the late 70's was that the world's problems are M P cubed. In algebra that is M*P*P*P

    M is for militarism, P for population P for pollution and P poverty.

    It has been over 30 years and these problems are harder and harder to ignore.

  •  Guess that explains why zero nuclear power (5+ / 0-)

    plants are now operating in that country.

    •  Public opinion is against a re-start (10+ / 0-)

      But there are some municipalities, like Oi, that want to re-start the reactor.

      It will be a hot summer in Japan. There will be pressure to ignore safety.

      •  No, Charles, there will be pressure to avoid (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NYFM, melo, sethtriggs, DollyMadison, O112358

        blackouts and brownouts, and, pressure, though not enough, to avoid the HUGE increase in carbon output since shutting down their nuclear reactors, not to mention the first, and fossil fuel caused, trade deficit in Japan since Reagan was president.

        Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

        by davidwalters on Tue May 29, 2012 at 09:12:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Will there be enough pressure... (13+ / 0-)

          ...for Japan to start doing the right thing, namely accelerating the use of solar, wind, and tidal power?  

          As I have pointed out in other comments, Japan is simply not large enough to endure another nuclear accident--or even an extension of the present crisis.

          •  Well, not to be glib, but I sure as hell hope not. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rick Aucoin, mojo workin

            Japan needs to restart their nuclear plants now to cut their carbon emissions which have jumped since they shut down their nukes. Wind and solar will take decades of very expensive investment and even then, just like Germany will be forced to rely on more gas and coal plants. We don't want that.

            I'm hoping the plant that will start up in a few weeks (approved by the majority of the residents of the area) will show that Japan needs his low carbon energy.

            Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

            by davidwalters on Tue May 29, 2012 at 09:42:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Japan is famous for turning on a dime (6+ / 0-)

              If they decide to go for alternatives, it will happen much more quickly than anyone imagines.

              I am aware of the issue of peak load and how that has caused Germany to build gas plants, just as Japan is buying huge amounts of LNG to fill the gap. In the long term,none of this is an issue.  

              •  Yes, it is an issue, Charles. That's the point (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mojo workin, DollyMadison

                that huge megatonage of GHG emissions are increased because of the lack of nuclear energy. It is an ISSUE now. You should read James Hansen on this, probably the worlds foremost climatologist.

                Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

                by davidwalters on Tue May 29, 2012 at 09:54:03 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Have read Hansen, just happen to disagree (13+ / 0-)

                  Even the most qualified scientists can have a blind spot.

                  I am not, I should point out, calling for the immediate shutdown of US nuclear reactors, although there are a few (Vermont Yankee, Diablo, and Indian Point come to mind) that pose such a substantial risk of catastrophe that they should probably be shut down.

                  But Japan is different. Japan is small. Most reactors are not even off in the countryside, like Fukushima.  

                  And Japan is on the seismically active Pacific "Ring of Fire".  

                  And Japan is not exploiting its tidal power anywhere near capacity.  

                  If we want to lower greenhouse emissions, the answer is for the US to stop blocking progress and start carrying its weight.

                  •  I think, to quote Hansen, that he had a blind (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    spot and now it's gone. Which is why he's for renewables AND nuclear.

                    Your approach, obviously, is different than mine. I see problems as well with nuclear. but I prefer to address these very problems. Take quakes. The biggest single danger ever with quakes is what's called a station black out or SBO.

                    Several countries, most notably the U.S. and since Fukushima, Japan, have come up with plans to retrofit for better SBO conditions. It is largely SBO conditions, what caused the meltdowns at Fukushima, that the new Gen III reactors they are now building in Georgia and China, the UAE and India, that spawned the newer reactors. Places like diablo canyon, for example, years ago reinforced their diesel fuel tanks and so on.

                    The Koreans, mindful of Fukushima, have already completed a massive retrofit for hardening their seaside reactors against tsunamis and are building higher, stronger sea walls.

                    I think this is the correct approach, so we can have safer, retrofitted and new nuclear energy. Because as James Hansen notes, renewables can't do it alone.

                    I have to good. Good respectful discussion, especially with you Charles.

                    Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

                    by davidwalters on Tue May 29, 2012 at 10:12:39 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Exactly. The Germans view gas as a (10+ / 0-)

                temporary, stop-gap measure.
                This is is an example of what the Germans' thinking in the longer term is (expressed by a member of the Green Party who is on the staff of the Green Party's energy expert, Member of Parliament Hans-Josef Fell):  

                No one needs (11+ / 0-)
                base load power plants anymore. The base load requirements must be covered, that’s obvious. But the concept of base load power plants is completely outdated. What is needed in the future is back-up capacity for solar and wind. Coal-powered plants are much too expensive to serve that purpose. The cost of capital is way too high and can’t be paid off in view of the diminishing full load hour output.
                Back-up capacity, which will be used only when there is no wind or sunshine, will consist of a variety of options, such as biomass, which is already at 6 GW output and can easily be increased to 20 GW output. Pumped storage hydropower stations are another possibility, as are gas turbines with renewable gas.

                by Georg Bonsiepe on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 08:16:22 PM CET


                „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

                by translatorpro on Tue May 29, 2012 at 11:11:18 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Hello David, back to spreading (15+ / 0-)

              misinformation about Germany again, I see. I guess you missed this important story this past weekend. It's a BFD!

              On last Friday afternoon, because of clear skies and good weather, Germany was at one point producing 22 gigawatts of solar power, a new record. Today (Monday) is a holiday in Germany, and electricity needs will be only a third of normal. So, for a couple hours this afternoon, all Germany’s electrical power needs will be supplied by renewable energy. That must be a first for an industrialized, G8 country.

              Germany has defied the predictions of those who said that mothballing its nuclear plants would cause it to produce more CO2. Its carbon dioxide production was down 2% in the past year. It replaced 60% of its formerly nuclear-generated electricity production with renewables, and became 5% more efficient in using energy.

              Germany’s achievement is owing in part to the influence in the 1990s of the Green Party on energy policy in that country. But soon investing in solar energy will no longer be high-minded, it will just be economic common sense. By 2017, even if you don’t count all the damage hydrocarbons do to the atmosphere, solar power will reach grid parity with them. That is, it will be economically competitive to put in a solar plant instead of a coal one. (In some areas of the US, solar grid parity will be reached in 2014). Of course if you factor in the health and climate damage caused by CO2 and other dirty emissions, solar is already much cheaper than hydrocarbons.

              Bolding is mine for emphasis.

              The article contains numerous links to sources, which are glaringly absent in your statement, because that's what you want to believe, not how it is.

              „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

              by translatorpro on Tue May 29, 2012 at 10:12:20 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Please, still trying to greenwash German gas (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Roadbed Guy, mojo workin

                usage, translaorpro? For like a few hours they had all this solar. Big deal. As soon as the sun started going down about 3pm, those Gas Turbines came roaring back to life to provide your expensive energy. "Gas Loves Solar". Indeed.

                Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

                by davidwalters on Tue May 29, 2012 at 10:15:14 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It IS a BFD, David, you will never admit it. (13+ / 0-)

                  It's a BFD because Germany is so far north, mostly on the same latitudes as Canada. If they can do it, what CAN'T the US accomplish? That's what the pro-nuclear folk are so worried about - that Germany will prove them wrong, that it's possible for a major industrialized nation to power their country without nuclear energy. Germany is only 12 years along after they passed the Renewable Energy Resources Act 2000. It is a BFD. You just can't stand the idea that they could be successful.

                   And what happened to your many, many statements about all those coal plants Germany was going to build? Ooops, disappeared down the proverbial rabbit hole, I guess. Now the bogeyman is gas, whatever. We'll see where things stand five years from now.  

                  „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

                  by translatorpro on Tue May 29, 2012 at 10:37:36 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  germany is pretty far north (5+ / 0-)

                  in may, i would be very surprised if the sun started going down at 3pm. here in california we're well south of japan, and it gets dark here between 8 and 9 nowadays.

                  •  It doesn't. I live here in Germany and the sun (0+ / 0-)

                    is setting at 9:16 p.m. today. We have wonderful long evenings in the summer, when it's light beyond 10 p.m.

                    „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

                    by translatorpro on Wed May 30, 2012 at 01:08:32 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  And what I find really hilarious (or at least a (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mojo workin

                  bit dubious) is the claim that they went "100% renewable" for 2 or 3 hours yesterday.

                  Did they really shut down the coal plants completely for 2 or 3 hours? Really??

                  Even Enron-type manipulations didn't rise to THAT level of unbelievability.

                  •  I don't post lies, dude. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

                    by translatorpro on Wed May 30, 2012 at 02:54:44 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I have yet to find a reliable source (0+ / 0-)

                      that confirms the "100% renewable" claim.

                      All I found were links that said 50%, briefly, on a day with low demand.  

                      To me those things are rather different, and don't counter at all my point, which is that overall hydrocarbons are doing the lion's share of replacing the shut down nuclear power plants in Germany.  The proof is in the pudding, really, in the IEA analyses that show overall carbon emissions rising last year becasue of that.  

                      I can see how you are being very clever, perhaps, to not blatantly lie, but skirting the truth by highlighting an anomolous happening that obscures a larger and uglier reality isn't necessary a level of honesty to strive for IMHO.

              •  Like usual, that's all quite disingenuous (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                since you continue to focus on Germany in the absence of the consequences of their imported power from neighboring countries.

                Last year's shuttering of eight of the country's 17 reactors has led to an increase in carbon dioxide emissions of 25 million tons annually in Europe, said Laszlo Varro of the International Energy Agency, a European intergovernmental organization.
                while this happens IN Germany:
                To make up for the lost nuclear power, which supplied 22% of Germany's electricity before the phaseout began, the country has increased its reliance on brown coal, a particularly high emitter of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and a major contributor to global warming. Brown coal now supplies 25% of Germany's electricity, up from 23% a year ago.

                Meanwhile, back in the USA where we're NOT phasing out nuclear power:

                U.S. fossil-fuel based carbon emissions should fall 0.6 percent this year (in 2011) to 5.587 million tonnes, the Energy Information Administration said in a monthly report.

                In 2012 U.S. carbon emissions from fuels should grow about 2.39 percent to 5.720 million tonnes, as an improved economy drives demand for electricity and motor fuels, the EIA said.

                Even with the gain, U.S. fossil fuel emissions in 2012 will remain below levels seen since 1999 and will be 4.4 percent below emissions levels in 2005, the baseline year for the U.S. emissions target.

                •  I've debunked this over and over RBG. You keep (10+ / 0-)

                  bringing up the same old stuff, I'm tired of refuting it. Don't you remember our exchange just a few days ago? Not going to bother rehashing this all over again. Your sources are not very reliable, and you cherrypick what you want to believe, also several of your sources come from Murdoch(Fox. No thanks. Not arguing with a brick wall.

                  „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

                  by translatorpro on Tue May 29, 2012 at 10:41:32 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Ditto and thanks for your clairty tpro! (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    translatorpro, Just Bob, ozsea1, Sandino
                  •  Yes, I remember the misinformation you (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    put up then, so if you keep doing it, I don't see why I can't offer a fact-based rebuttal.

                    Although I must say, today's post reached a new high (low?) in ridiculousness.

                    But anyways, since you can't actually debunk anything I post except through ad hominen type methods, I'll just go ahead and make the best of it and sit here and chuckle for a while.

                    And ponder what will happen if it stays hot in Germany and people decide to buy air conditioners to stay cool on Saturdays . . . .

                    •  Pfft. I don't think ad hominem means what you (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      JesseCW, ozsea1, Sandino

                      think it means.

                      „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

                      by translatorpro on Tue May 29, 2012 at 11:21:58 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Huh, methinks that's the very epitome (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        mojo workin, DollyMadison

                        of an ad hominen attack, inferring that i'm stupid rather than debunking the information that I've provided, which is

                        On a Europe-wide basis, over the course of an entire year, Germany's shutdown of its nuclear power plants increased carbon emissions.

                        Instead you throw up a smokescreen about how on the sunniest day ever, when no one is at work, renewables will provide 50% of Germany's electricity supply.

                        Yeah, that's fucking great, but so what?  When in the "big picture" use of the dirtiest coal is increasing IN Germany and emissions are rising continent wide. Because, surprise, surprise, the sun doesn't shine 24/7 . .. .  But go ahead and post some more assurances that all that will have resolved itself in 5, 7, 20 or 50 years.  I'm old enough to seen this scenario play itself out before over the past 30 years - and guess what, solartopia has yet to arrive.  

                        •  yeah, but... (4+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          JesseCW, ozsea1, mrkvica, translatorpro

                          It increased carbon emissions continent-wide because they aren't exporting as much low carbon energy. You can't really blame that on them. That's Poland's fault.

                          You have to admit, we all thought that German emissions were going to sky-rocket when they shutdown the nukes and the fact that they didn't and all you can come up with is a 0.5% increase for the continent because Poland likes burning dirt is pretty impressive.

                          Nuclear was 22%. Brown coal only went up 3 percentage points. It could have gone up all 22 points.

                          Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                          by jam on Tue May 29, 2012 at 12:21:08 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm not sure if everybody is being deliberately (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            mojo workin, DollyMadison, O112358

                            obtuse or not - but the main point is the emissions could have dramatically and unambigously decreased if Germany had simultaneously kept their well run nuclear power plants in operation AND embarked on their (very laudable) expansion of renewable energy.

                            Instead they almost completely, or very likely more than completely (either way, the gains or losses in carbon emissions are more or less "in the noise"), offset any gains from the renewables by shutting down their nukes.

                            Really, that's complete idiocy.

                          •  Actually, brown coal use went up 2% not 3, but (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            Germany managed to lower their emissions anyway through improving energy efficiency elsewhere. You make excellent points. Another fact that isn't talked about enough here is that the environmental movement in Germany is very strong, and they have succeeded in stopping the construction of a number of new coal-powered plants over the past few years. That is not the government's doing.
                            Here's a map - the ones with the red Xs have been stopped, the ones with the ? will probably never see the light of day:

                            If everything were up to the current, business-friendly government, things may have been worse. However,
                            the states are responsible for the grid, not the federal government, and are the ones who decide which type  of power plants are built.
                            In the meantime, the cost of energy from renewables has dropped so radically and so fast that it has become financially unattractive for the utilities/states to build new coal-powered plants, because power from renewables always has top priority in the grid, i.e. green energy will flow before anything else does, and any excess is exported. That is what a lot of pro-nuke, Germany-bashing folks don't understand. It's all automated, so no one has to stand there with a finger on a button to "shut off the coal plants", lol.

                            I could write a lot more, but have to make a living, so off to do some work.

                            „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

                            by translatorpro on Wed May 30, 2012 at 01:50:23 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Like usual, your figures are at odds (0+ / 0-)

                            with what is widely reported - which is an increase in brown coal of 8.7% (from 23 to 25% of overall generation).

                          •  percent vs percentage points (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            I tried to be clear that I was referring to "percentage points" - in other words 23 to 25 is a rise of 8.7% or 2 percentage points. I said 3 because I had the number "22" in my head but that was incorrect. It was 2 percentage points. My point being is that if nuclear went from 22% to 0% what filled that gap? 2 percentage points, aka 9% of nuclear's share, was filled by brown coal.

                            Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                            by jam on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:58:22 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                •  sorry, Guy (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ozsea1, translatorpro

                  a newspaper article doesn't count as a "fact-based rebuttal" when you talking carbon dioxide levels. Show me a paper.

                  Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                  by jam on Tue May 29, 2012 at 12:14:49 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Funny funny stuff! (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mojo workin, jam, DollyMadison

                    So a blog link is OK but the LA Times is not?

                    Whatever - but it is just a tad amusing how the level of evidence one is willing believe depends on whether or not it fits one's world view.

                    Somebody should do a study on that!

                    •  The blog is Juan Cole's (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      who I am sure is a great guy, but there is absolutely nothing in his biography that suggests any expertise in energy -related matters:

                      John Ricardo I. "Juan" Cole (born October 1952) is an American scholar, public intellectual, and historian of the modern Middle East and South Asia.[1][2][3] He is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. As a commentator on Middle Eastern affairs, he has appeared in print and on television, and testified before the United States Senate. He has published several peer-reviewed books on the modern Middle East and is a translator of both Arabic and Persian. Since 2002, he has written a weblog, Informed Comment (

                      yet we are supposed to take his blog as gospel truth on this?

                      strange, strange stuff!!

                      But just amusing enough to keep me coming back (for better or for worse) !!!!

                    •  good point (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      translatorpro, Sandino

                      neither of your positions are defensible. Happy now?

                      Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                      by jam on Tue May 29, 2012 at 06:29:37 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yet again, ad hominems instead of debate (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Roadbed Guy

                        It's not true that neither position is defensible.

                        It's not true that a blog post by someone who is not well-educated on a topic is equivalent to a newspaper article with quotes from well-educated specialists on the topic.

                      •  Juan Cole's text contains several links to (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        reliable sources, i.e. he merges several threads of information in a summary in one place. He's a well-known scholar, and thinker, and seems to have an ability to read a bunch of sources, extract the main points and knit them together to make a consistent whole, which is a great talent. Obama haz it, too. :-)

                        „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

                        by translatorpro on Wed May 30, 2012 at 02:03:52 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  He seems to have the ability to cherry pick (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          information - much like you - that suits his POV while ignoring the 900 pound gorilla in the room.

                          I really have no idea if that's out of malice or simply over optimistic thinking - either way, when a respected organization like the IEA puts out information that runs directly counter to what you are saying, methinks they deserve to be heard out.  Not dismissed by equating them with Fox News (which was nowhere to be seen, btw, that was a flat out smear).

                          •  you take it one step too far (0+ / 0-)

                            Look, I agree with you that it is bloody likely that a good hunk of the gap was filled by FF. I disagreed with the immediate shutdown of all nukes in Germany.

                            However, my point is that a throw-away quote by Lazlo is not the same as "IEA puts out information that runs directly counter to what you are saying".

                            For what it's worth, I followed Cole's links to a dead end, too, so I don't necessarily believe them, either. I don't know what to think.

                            Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                            by jam on Wed May 30, 2012 at 06:05:24 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  My main beef is the blatant dishonesty (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            inherent in focusing in on a tiny slice of what's going on:

                            For example, from this link we find that 8 nuclear reactors have recently been closed down, with a total nominal generating capacity of 8.336 GWh.   Nuclear power plants typically operate at about 90% of capacity, so that leaves a deficit of about 7.5 GWh to be made up.

                            The TOTAL solar generating capacity (not the amount installed during the period when these reactors were closed, which is lower) in Germany is about 25 GWh - but solar power operates over time at about 15 to 19% nomimal capacity - so (to be generous and use the upper range, which is based on sunny Arizona, btw) - 39.49 GWh of NEW solar would have had to be installed.  It wasn't - so the LA Times/IEA figures most likely are correct - i.e., that the deficit was made up from increased fossil fuel combustion.  The numbers simply do not make sense any other way.

                            Another nugget is:

                            Germany remained a net exporter of about 5 terawatt hours (TW·h) of power in 2011 after exporting 17.7 TW·h last year, according to data published by the energy utility association "AG Energiebilanzen" in February 2012.[21]
                            IOW, overall electricity exports decreased over 3-fold during this time, or else things would have been even worse . ...
                          •  I don't see that anyone is telling (0+ / 0-)

                            the "whole" truth. Here's what happened:

                            1/ Renewables increased by A%
                            2/ Fossil Fuels increased by B%
                            3/ Demand decreased by C%
                            4/ Exports decreased by D%

                            A+B+C+D = Nuclear

                            I've yet to see clearly what A, B, C, & D are in real numbers. A and C are good. B is bad. D is potentially either good or bad, most likely bad (maybe?).

                            Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                            by jam on Wed May 30, 2012 at 07:08:55 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  sigh (0+ / 0-)

                            my comment is mathematically incorrect, but you understand my point, right?

                            color me embarrassed. Too little coffee. Yeah, that's the ticket.

                            Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                            by jam on Wed May 30, 2012 at 07:11:28 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes, D is bad (0+ / 0-)

                            I'd much rather see Germany generating power via (most likely well designed and run) nuclear reactors than the Czechs stepping up with their Soviet era reactors or the Poles burning more coal or gas . . .

                          •  agreed (0+ / 0-)

                            I was speaking from a purely internal to Germany economic POV, but certainly from a global/Euro-centric big picture POV, D is sub-optimal.

                            Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                            by jam on Wed May 30, 2012 at 07:20:47 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  wikiLink (0+ / 0-)

                            German Solar CF appears to be around 10-13%. The usual wikipedia disclaimers apply.

                            Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                            by jam on Wed May 30, 2012 at 07:14:55 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The information at that link (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            essentially backs up my point, namely that

                            solar PV provided 18 TWh of electricity in 2011, about 3% of total electricity
                            in 2010, solar provided about 2% - so the 1% (in essence, an admirable 50% increase) was freakin' great.

                            But hardly compensated for nukes going down from something like 22 to 17% - again, where did the "missing" 4% come from?

                            The smoking gun would seem to be - to reiterate - fossil fuels!

                          •  5% from efficiency (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            or recession - whichever you prefer to call it.
                            2% from brown coal
                            1% from solar

                            Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                            by jam on Wed May 30, 2012 at 07:52:40 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  But that seems to be temporary (0+ / 0-)

                            The top Google return for "electricity generation in germany in 2011" gave a IEA pdf that won't load for me (I suspect the 550 euro subscription issue I referred to earliear comes into play) but the preview on the Google returns page says:

                            Electricity production was 880.1 TWh in February 2012. - This was higher by 34.8 TWh, or 4.1%, compared to February 2011
                            IOW, the 5% "efficiency/recession" effect seems to be over . . ..
                          •  it appears all of is down n/t (0+ / 0-)

                            Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                            by jam on Wed May 30, 2012 at 08:30:15 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm not surprised (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            it seems like whenever I get this close (you probably can't see me, but I'm holding my thumb and index finger only millimeters apart) to something definitive, The Man always seems to engineer internet glitches to thwart me.

                          •  here is something useful (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Roadbed Guy


                            There is a link to a pdf (auf Deutsch) that appears to be quite useful.

                            Nuclear was down 32.5 TWh
                            Soft Coal (brown/lignite) was up 7.1 TWh
                            Hard Coal (anthracite/bituminous) was down 2.5 TWh
                            Natural Gas was down 2.8 TWh
                            Oil was down 1.4 TWh
                            Hydro was down 1.5 TWh
                            Wind was up 8.7 TWh
                            Biomass was up 4.4 TWh
                            PV was up 7.3 TWh

                            Usage was down 13.6 TWh
                            Exports were down 11.7 TWh

                            So, in total, (direct*) FF usage was up by only 0.4 TWh but soft coal increased its percentage by 5% (from 40.7% to 42.7% of FF).

                            Renewables were up 19.2 TWh, but that includes 4.4 TWh of biomass.

                            However, your point still stands. It would have been nicer to see soft coal down 32.5 TWh rather than a low carbon source.

                            * I say "direct" to avoid the subject of indirect emissions "caused" by the lowering of exports.

                            Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                            by jam on Wed May 30, 2012 at 08:54:18 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I turned this into a diary (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                            by jam on Wed May 30, 2012 at 09:25:10 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm waiting to see what happens in (0+ / 0-)

                            2012 now that the recession is over.

                            Of course, in Europe that might not be the case and the early 2012 v. 2011 year over year increase might not pan out over the entire year.

                            Even in the USA, emissions are (were) down during the economic meltdown. . ..

                  •  I might also point out that the LA Times (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    cited IEA statistics, an organization that is "Working together to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy"

                    Unfortunately, the latest free online stats they have seem to be from 2009.

                    For up to date month by month information, you apparently have to pay 550 Euros.  

                    Winning this argument simply isn't worth that much to me.

                    However, it is amusing how the other poster constantly posts "Hey, look at that shiny object over there" type information.

                    For example, last year it was that on SuperBowl Sunday (I don't know if that's big over there or it was simply a coincidence) he (or maybe somebody else like him) posted how the country hit 33% renewables for 7 minutes or so. Yay!

                    But then at the end of the year, yup, carbon emissions (most likely) were up.  And I say most likely because the LA Times may have made up their stats, but since it only takes 550 Euros to debunk that, I really doubt they'd stake their reputation on such a paltry sum of money.

                •  Our emissions are dropping because we're in a (5+ / 0-)

                  fucking Depression.  

                  Bullshit GDP numbers bloated with people kiting stocks back and forth obscure that reality, but our emissions are down because people can't afford gas.

                  The club is all their law, to keep all men in awe That they no vision saw to maintain such a law

                  by JesseCW on Tue May 29, 2012 at 01:01:36 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes, apparently our "liquid fuels" demand (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    has dropped by about 3 millions bbls per day, or the entire output of the fully developed Alberta Tar Sands.

                    Which means, since the converse (i.e., carbon emissions equivalent to the Tar Sands) meant "Game Over" the economic depression you refer to has at least saved the environment.  

                    IOW, thank gawd for small mercies.

            •  Again and again David - clean up your mess! (13+ / 0-)

              Taxpayers in Japan and USA ...
              .....ALL PAY for this poison with no "say" in the decision.
              No more... NO!

              Nukes Run Wild – Momentous week in nuclear world
              ...As costs for new nuclear plants keep rising along with the overt and hidden government subsidies without which the industry could not compete, the few plants ordered in the United States are running headlong into citizen groups and state utility commission resistance.

              Even without factoring future costs of decommissioning and long term waste disposal (which still doesn’t exist after half a century), nuclear weighs in at more than $10,800 per kilowatt hour and rising (as of 2009).
              That’s two to three times the cost of renewable alternatives, for which per-kilowatt costs are steadily falling.

              Forcing yet more dangerous nukes on income-strapped Americans struggling to make ends meet in the worst economy since the Great Depression makes no rational sense no matter how you parse the data.

              As for those future costs the nuclear industry has studiously kept hidden for the entirety of its existence, the Government Accountability Office [GAO] found in a report released in April of this year that utility accounts toward future decommissioning costs are badly underfunded and at risk of losses. GAO made a series of recommendations to the NRC on how to strengthen the funds, but no one really expects the now consolidated Nuclear Regulatory Commission to do anything about it. Heck, nobody expected that much even during the nearly 7.5 years of Jaczko’s tenure on the commission.

              This means there is not enough money in the funds to properly decommission any of the nation’s 104 commercial nuclear reactors, so we can expect when the time comes that taxpayers will once again be tapped to pay far more than we ever bargained for.

              Should any of our nukes suffer serious accident, taxpayers will also foot the bill for damages and clean-up.

              Of course, the NRC has now publicly embraced a singular biased study to assert that radiation poses no danger to the public health, thus no one need be evacuated when multi-megawatt power reactors melt down, melt through, explode and/or burn.

              •  The San Onofre costs are, purportedly, being (9+ / 0-)

                passed along to ratepayers. Pisses me off.

                Didn't want the damn things to begin with.  I seriously conserve on my electricity and get dinged no matter which way I turn.


                202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

                by cany on Tue May 29, 2012 at 10:47:24 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I do. They are the largest sources of non-carbon (0+ / 0-)

                  generation in California. I don't want the 40, read that 40 gas turbines running polluting the countryside, I want them dismantled.

                  Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

                  by davidwalters on Wed May 30, 2012 at 07:38:36 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  If you are concerned about costs, you (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                must really, really hate solar.

                Since in Germany, solar has been subsidized to the tune of $130 billion already, enough to fully decommision ALL of our 104 nuclear power plants . . ..

                And yet they have built only about 5 nuclear power plants worth of sustained solar capacity.  

                So we'd have to spend about $2,730 billion to replace all of our nuclear power plants with solar at that rate.  Or about $8,800 for every American.

                Maybe we should do that, it'd definitely be a better use than some of the things we do with $3 trillion.  But if you're irked by subsidies for electricity, that would definitely be something that'd really, really stick in your craw, so to speak.

          •  Solar and Wind will solve no one's energy problems (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Roadbed Guy

            They are intermittent.  You know, a sometime thing.

            Tidal power is baseload (always on) but has too little potential and numerous difficulties.

            A safe nuclear power is the most potent power source on earth, is cheaper and more reliable than any other.

            It is geothermal power.

            Japan fought it tooth and nail.

            They had to learn what we cannot - yet.

            There are many forms of renewable baseload power but geothermal and biomass stand out.

            Neither are beloved by hypesters who have, in the past, even preferred nuclear power.

            Best,  Terry

            •  There are reports that geothermal (0+ / 0-)

              (maybe reminiscent of fracking) causes earthquakes

              Not sure if that's something to be concerned about or not . . ..

              •  Of course geothermal drilling and recharging (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Roadbed Guy

                of its aqueducts causes earthquakes or tremors.

                The attempt by EGS doctrine to create synthetic aqueducts is somewhat more of a threat though not nearly as much of a threat for pollution as oil and gas fracking.

                So should we worry?

                If you like.

                Most tremors caused by geothermal drilling are quite minor.  The choice by the amateurs doing the drilling in Basel, Switzerland, was the kind of mindlessness that could give any renewable energy a bad name.  Even the tremors that occurred were quite minor but in an earthquake zone any tremors can be hair-raising.

                AltaRock plumb forgot about their misadventures in Switzerland when they tackled the biggest geothermal power producer in the world even yet (drilling started in The Geysers in the 1950's, later vampire management by oil men after a hostile takeover gave geothermal a bad rep).

                AltaRock is now ensconced in Oregon under the watchful eyes of ferocious environmentalists and may have learned a thing or two.

                There is an argument that any tremors produced by drilling helps relieve a buildup of stress but, truthfully, the effect is probably minute as are most tremors produced.

                All progress of any kind entails risk.  Comparing the threat of minor tremors to the payoff puts the huge footprint and other environmental damage caused by solar installations and wind farms producing sometime energy is very favorable for geothermal IMO.

                Best,  Terry

                •  I too think that geothermal could/should be (0+ / 0-)

                  exploited much more fully.

                  However, there are always those who are against change, for whatever reason, who might overhype things like this.  

                  And then when the really big earthquake comes, how can all the fearmongerers be discounted/quieted?

                  •   I agree. geogthermal is, generally, when (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Roadbed Guy

                    it's not done like fracking, a good thing. But it hasn't panned out as real geothermal generation comes from fossil steam packs, not pumping water down the rabbit hole. The investments are way too high which is why 'hot rocks' geothermal has not taken off. I was hoping it would, but it hasn't.

                    Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

                    by davidwalters on Wed May 30, 2012 at 07:40:31 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Haven't We Been Here Before, David? (0+ / 0-)

                      Modern geothermal wells mine heat, not hot water like the first Geyser wells did.

                      The water is reinjected.

                      Hot rocks is not yet commercial.  Tough duplicating the work of Mother Nature with synthetic aquifers.

                      Cold water under pressure does lots of fracking without the chemicals used in gas production but the problem is controlling the fractures.  Nobody has been fully successful today except in pilot projects.

                      Best,  Terry

                  •  There are impossible tasks always (0+ / 0-)
                    how can all the fearmongerers be discounted/quieted?
                    Can't be done by man or god.

                    There are efforts to directly measure the effect of all geothermal work but won't matter to any who would blame the Big One on geothermal, whether it happens or not.

                    Best,  Terry

            •  eh (0+ / 0-)

              "solve" - no such thing as a silver bullet. We're looking for silver buckshot. Wind and solar are reasonable additions to the mix. If you can explain to me how Atlanta, Georgia, for example, can power itself with geothermal, I'd be happy to listen. The best geothermal maps in existence say that at 9.5 km below ground they have 75 C temperatures which is barely enough to run a really inefficient organic Rankine cycle.

              Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

              by jam on Wed May 30, 2012 at 06:12:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Silver bullets have been patented for exclusive (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                use by the Lone Ranger and sun worshippers.

                The now legendary geothermal pioneer, B.C. McCabe, who brought in The Geysers was raising money to drill the geopressurized zones off the coast of Florida in the 1950's or 1960's but was stopped in his tracks by the government.  No one can compete with a printing press for money though today the government only needs bandwidth.  

                It appears the geopressurized zones could be a vastly greater power source than the fracked coal beds that are all the rage today.

                Megathinkers look at continents as well as smaller patches of land, such as your state of Georgia, and make decrees that simply do not fit the facts because prospects must be pinpointed.

                Georgia is the hub of massive growth of tree farming for biomass power plants in Europe.  We mostly prefer to burn coal even than wood waste but the manure politicians and certain self-identified environmentalists generate along with all other waste is a superb fuel and fertilizer.  A pilot plant in South Korea has been converting municipal sewage to fine, dry powder for pellets that might be utilized for power or fertilizer for years.  China seems to be taking the hint but the U.S. - not on your life.

                OTEC is a far out possibility.  Waste heat is everywhere and even includes solar.

                Wind and solar themselves have superb uses in isolated locations and niches but they should be thought of last - not first.

                Best,  Terry

                •  I guess it depends on what you mean by (0+ / 0-)

                  "they should be thought of"

                  By policy makers? Utilities? Independent Power Producers?

                  Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                  by jam on Wed May 30, 2012 at 09:42:33 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Policy makers (0+ / 0-)
                    I guess it depends on what you mean by "they should be thought of"

                    By policy makers? Utilities? Independent Power Producers?

                    Utilities will do pretty much anything to make a buck.  They are not in the goodness business.

                    IPP's look to the utilities to tell them what they are willing to pay for.

                    Governments are still in the utility business as well.

                    There are off-the-grid power producers that seek to fill a need - for a buck.

                    Chena Hot Springs Spa is my favorite for geothermal power.

                    Birdsville in Australia was the pioneer producer of low temperature, small scale geothermal power in the 1920's.

                    Husavik, Iceland, is another that added a garbage-burning facility and advanced technology to squeeze 2 or 3 megawatts out of low temperature water.

                    Best,  Terry

                    •  agreed (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      I mostly work for those people trying to make and/or save a buck. Thus my bias toward technologies that are profitable TODAY.

                      Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                      by jam on Wed May 30, 2012 at 10:05:38 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  What is profitable and what is not has a lot (0+ / 0-)

                        to do with the government.

                        What do you tell the people who say renewables have to stand on their own to compete with fossil fuels?

                        Buy politicians?  Is that the ticket?

                        Big Oil in particular has always had to buy political favors to succeed.  The Iraq War was mostly about oil, though not notably successful.

                        Union Oil did a hostile takeover of Magma Power.  The crusty old geothermal pioneer had to nearly be dragged out of his office.  The vulture management that ensued had a devastating effect on geothermal power.  

                        We are still the world largest producer but only because of the guy that was metaphysically dragged out of his office.

                        The rest of the world is moving much more swiftly, oddly the poorest countries in the lead.

                        Best,  Terry

                        •  it has everything to do with government (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          How on earth could Germany have something like 200 times more solar than Arizona?

                          The three military branches of the US DoD have each announced goals of 1 GW of renewables by 2025. Great! Germany did 1.9 GW of rooftop PV last quarter.

                          What do I tell them? I say that I'll give up my subsidies when they give up theirs. Usually gets a laugh, anyway.

                          Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                          by jam on Wed May 30, 2012 at 10:59:50 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

          •  Accelerating the usage of renewables (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Roadbed Guy

            is a good thing. That does not mean that removing the use of nuke is a good thing as well.

  •  Less nuclear leads to more CO2 Emissions (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DollyMadison, SpeedyGonzales

    It is what it is.  

    German CO2 emissions have also increased as it curbs nuclear power.

    Critics of the swift retreat from nuclear power also note that about 90 percent of Japan’s power is now generated with fossil fuels, compared to roughly 60 percent before Fukushima. In addition, they point out that Japan’s liquid natural gas imports rose a whopping 52 percent from March 2011 to March 2012.

    Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

    by PatriciaVa on Tue May 29, 2012 at 08:49:08 AM PDT

    •  Not if one counts emissions in mining and refining (14+ / 0-)

      The nuclear industry is far more polluting than is generally recognized. Not only is CO2 generated during mining and refining, but also in the rest of the fuel cycle.

      It's like saying nuclear power is cheap. Sure, if you don't count the massive costs of insurance (Price Anderson Act) and cleanup (Chernobyl, Fukushima, TMI, etc) But nuclear power is far from carbon free.

    •  If Germany can do solar and wind (13+ / 0-)

      I see no reason that Japan cannot also.

      •  There are differences (6+ / 0-)

        Solar and wind have problems with peak vs. average generation. Germany over the long term may be able to sell its solar power to the east, generating electricity during peak use for countries that are already past peak solar/wind. In order to compensate for peak vs. average load/generation, countries have to have backup power, which adds to costs.

        Japan does have tidal resources that Germany lacks.  This also solves the problem of land intensity, since Japan is short on land.  

        If superconducting storage is developed, all problems go away.

        •  only if superconducting storage is worth it (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ozsea1, melo, worldlotus

          You don't lose any of the energy you store, but you might lose more than that of the energy you generate.  At what point does the energy consumption of cryogenics for example become greater than storage/transmission losses?  You need a continuous input of energy to create and maintain the superconductivity. At what point do the startup and operating costs of the storage itself (liquid helium, exotic superconductive materials, etc.) exceed the revenues of selling the stored electricity?

          •  Great questions... (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ozsea1, Russgirl, melo, worldlotus, Siri

            ...which will be answered when we do it.

            But it's clear, even at this stage, that storage is possible. We are using it to power automobiles, for example. The solution might be as simple as encouraging electric auto owners to power up at night.  As batteries become cheaper, they may become part of a smart grid.

            What happened to the can-do American spirit? Will we let ourselves be paralyzed by doubts and what-ifs so long that we cook and poison the planet?

            •  No, this is a myth. "Utility Scale Storage", that (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PatriciaVa, mojo workin, O112358

              is enough to handle GWhrs of energy do not exist outside the very limited pump storage. Every other form of 'storage' is outrageously expensive.

              What we need are a massive number of modularly built nuclear power plants which can, MW per MW, phase out every bit of fossil fuel.

              Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

              by davidwalters on Tue May 29, 2012 at 09:56:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  total energy consumption might trump efficiency (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              translatorpro, melo, ozsea1

              My fear is that we're hurtling down a path that will lead to a world where many of the hi-tech "fixes" will no longer be affordable to our depleted energy and resource budgets.

              In a severe and effectively permanent energy/resource crisis, one could argue that the last thing you want to spend precious energy and material on is "overhead": i.e. the generation and transmission infrastructure itself.  Demand may trump supply because the supply cannot justify itself otherwise (why build this big expensive thing whose product no-one can afford?) - or because the alternative is politically suicidal rationing and master planning.  

              I can all to easily see individuals, institutions, and societies rationally calculating that a smaller, simpler, less powerful, and less efficient but energetically cheaper machine (or system) is preferable to the larger, more sophisticated, more powerful, and more efficient but energetically expensive machine.  I can all to easily see a world where wind and solar power steadily get cheaper and more efficient right up until the day they become impossible (or just unprofitable) as fossil fuels and rare earths become scarce.

              •  Conservation is best of all... (11+ / 0-)

                A lot of the energy waste in American society has nothing to do with how power is generated.

                Our military is a huge energy waster. Fewer wars would help.

                Think of the enormous waste in having millions of homes sitting empty--many of them decaying to the point they become uninhabitable.

                The waste involved in firing people and forcing them to move their households to find work.

                The waste involved in letting sections of cities decay to the point no one wants to live there, so they have to commute 100 miles every day.  

                The waste involved in transmitting electricity, rather than doing the research necessary for superconductors.

                We do need big picture thinking. As David has shown so ably on this thread, thinking small--focusing on the emissions of one kind of plant vs. another rather than on the bigger picture of sustainability-- leads to the wrong solutions.  

                But solar, wind, tidal are part of the solution.

                •  you'll get no argument from me (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  translatorpro, melo, Calamity Jean

                  But then I'm not in charge of our energy future.

                  If it were up to me there would be extremely strict rationing of both electricity and our fossil fuel resources (also for the use of the chemical industry) and a no-expense-spared crash program of electrification and building wind farms and solar panels, hoping against hope to make a self-sustaining transition to clean renewable energy before the window of opportunity closes for good.

                •  Military is already using all the solar they can (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  melo, ozsea1, mrkvica

                  use.  Very common these days it is hard to find electricity in a desert!

                  So, let the REST of the US citizens use the same solar power by taking away expensive nuke handouts paid for by US citizens?

                  What IS so bad about peace, love and understanding after all... ;)

            •  Power Automobiles? (0+ / 0-)

              The only reason that it's half-way viable is b/c of the transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich.  The struggling family in East LA is forced to subsidize Larry Ellison's purchase of a Tesla through his sales tax.

              The electric car won't be viable unit a battery breakthrough emerges.  And instead of spending middle-class tax dollars on Teslas and Volts, the US government should be allocating resources to university physics labs.

              Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

              by PatriciaVa on Tue May 29, 2012 at 11:21:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Take funds for nukes and put toward alt. energy (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ozsea1, beach babe in fl, native

          both with today's solutions and to bring in non-poison technology.

          We can't even clean up our own poison waste - have squandered all taxpayer funds to do so...

          Profit uber alles is KILLING US ALL.
          NO NUKES!  We the people CAN change this if we try?

          "We are what we think,
          all that we are
          arises within our thoughts.
          With our thoughts we
          make the world."
                  --- Buddha
    •  Testimony said the industry was corrupt, not (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to discard it. If (and that's a big if) gov't and industry keep themselves honest, the public can attempt to make decisions rationally as a society.

      “The first principle [in science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman

      by the fan man on Tue May 29, 2012 at 09:07:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not really. (7+ / 0-)

      I don't know where you are getting your information on Germany, but it isn't accurate:

      Busting the carbon and cost myths of Germany's nuclear exit
      Critics of the atomic phase-out said energy emissions, costs and imports would all rise. They were wrong

      ...But more serious critics worried that the three things at the heart of the energy and climate change debate - carbon, cost and security of supply – would all head in the wrong direction. Here in Berlin, I have found they were wrong on every count.

      On security of supply, critics predicted that Germany would have to import energy to make up that lost by the closure of the nuclear plants. It's an important issue for a nation that imports 70% of its energy. But what actually happened is that Germany simply exported less in 2011: 7TWh instead of 70TWh. "We are still a net exporter," says Franzjosef Schafhausen, a senior civil servant.

      And this, from "world nuclear news" dated April 13

      Germany's emissions of carbon dioxide edged down by 2.2% last year, even while those from its power sector grew in the wake of post-Fukushima reactor closures. The main effects from the shutdowns have been a cut in exports previously supported by nuclear and the financial impact of this on utilities.

      „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

      by translatorpro on Tue May 29, 2012 at 10:27:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Urgently need international suppervision w. teeth (8+ / 0-)

    In each country, nuclear industry has corrupted its local supervisors. By appealing to foreign academics we should be able to create teams of less biased observers.

    Since radiation ignores national boundaries, how a country is handling its local nuclear plants is of interest to everybody in the world.

    It is harder to bribe and threaten a foreign inspection team, than to slowly take over a local inspection system. The world needs some effective supervision of all potential sources of nuclear devastation, and it needs this to be as free as possible from industry pressure.

    Ideally all the world's nuclear plants would be evaluated with open eyes by a fiercely independent crew, and since we can't wait for each country to do it on it's own we all need to be each-other's keepers.

    If even Japan, which despite its incestuous banking/business system and love of saving face and covering up unpleasant realities, is still as well-run and modern as any Western nation, cannot exercise real control of Fukashima, we need better -- probably international -- supervision.

    Ideally, any industry profit-motive to lie about risks, in order to get to build more reactors would also be addressed separately. We need to be sure business executives from the nuclear industry don't reap profits and leave waste-lands.

    Perhaps ultimately the running of nuclear plants should be done by various national non-profits that are closely supervised by a rotating team of international observers.

    In addition there should be  a careful effort to eliminate any  Bonanza of profits, so there would be less motivation to game the system via  lying and bribery ...

  •  Excellent, outstanding post! I really dig... (16+ / 0-)

    ...incisive media analysis, and this is a sublime example of just that. Thanks VERY MUCH for this post.

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Tue May 29, 2012 at 09:22:29 AM PDT

  •  but if they abandon nukes.. how will I ever get my (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, randallt, ozsea1, mrkvica

    recommended daily allowance of nucular tuna?

    Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
    Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

    by The Dead Man on Tue May 29, 2012 at 09:51:58 AM PDT

  •  Well, I guess he just doesn't give a damn (8+ / 0-)

    anymore. Tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may.

    Good for him. Sorry it didn't happen sooner.

    I must be dreaming...

    by murphy on Tue May 29, 2012 at 10:04:35 AM PDT

  •  For some reason nuclear power attracts corruption (17+ / 0-)
    ... the "Atomic Village" might actually be an international metropolis?
     It most certainly is in the United States, with the Department of Energy playing a central and significant role.

    The invasion of Iraq was a war crime, a crime against humanity, and a crime against civilization. Prosecute the crime.

    by Positronicus on Tue May 29, 2012 at 10:18:53 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for this diary, and abut the bluefin tuna (11+ / 0-)

    You guys have all surely read THIS story by now, right? It's the top story on many news feed ledes:

    an excerpt (read the whole article):

    For the first time, scientists have detected radioactivity in fish that have migrated into California waters from the ocean off Japan, where radiation contaminated the sea after explosions tore through the Fukushima nuclear reactors last year.

    Radioactive cesium was detected in samples of highly prized Pacific bluefin tuna, but it is well below levels considered unsafe for humans, the scientists say.

    The evidence is "unequivocal" that the tuna - caught off San Diego a year ago - were contaminated with radiation from Japan's nuclear disaster, the researchers said.

    It has defied Scientific prediction. That's unsettling to me. Why wouldn't it have been predicted? As the article states:
    The finding was wholly unexpected, Madigan said. It came about when he was researching the migratory patterns of bluefin tuna as part of a broader study of Pacific fish migration.
    So why was this wholly unexpected? If so, it must have been deemed "wholly not possible" to now be "wholly unexpected." Which tells me that some things reported as "fact" may not be "fact" in this case.
    •  That puzzles me too (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ozsea1, Siri, mahakali overdrive

      Why wasn't it predicted?

      And that this was found wholly by accident is not entirely comforting, either.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Tue May 29, 2012 at 11:24:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't have a real answer for why (0+ / 0-)

        I'm curious to.

        Personally, I wouldn't have believed it couldn't happen because I'm too skeptical for sweeping assessments. It unnerves me more so that people who follow marine mammal tracking wouldn't anticipate that the bluefin would have increased nucleotides. There's a real breakdown in communication here between how nucleotides are transported and how marine mammals move which disconcerts me. Or maybe there was too much rhetoric -- I saw a TON -- about how the ocean fish would dilute the nuclides. It's a great question for Madigan, IMHO.

      •  Studies to test such predictions (0+ / 0-)

        do not get funded.

    •  Well... (3+ / 0-)

      I am neither surprised nor horrified that minor amounts of radiation are ending up here. I'm much more worried about the Japanese population.

      There are models of radioactive movement and models of fish migration, none of which I understand in any detail. But basically people construct models and make predictions. When the predictions fail, it's because some of the assumptions are bad. Since there are so many variables, it's not surprising that someone's model failed.

  •  this is massive... (7+ / 0-)

    would western governments get a clue, this man would be feted for his honesty.

    Charles II, your comments are a model of masterful blogging, thanks...

    off to check out mercury rising.

    why? just kos..... *just cause*

    by melo on Tue May 29, 2012 at 11:29:01 AM PDT

    •  Thank you, Melo (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We do our best at Merc Rising to cover issues that don't get enough coverage, analyze them dispassionately and with an eye toward predicting the future, and call ourselves out when we're wrong.

      I'm impressed by the quality of posts at DK. I am sure there will be others on this topic by people who know far more than I about Japan or nuclear reactor failures.

  •  It's stuff like this that makes me wonder... (7+ / 0-)

    ... if it's even possible to create a society and a business world free of corruption. Even if we take away the desire to accumulate lots of money and power-- a difficult enough task-- how do we divorce the concept of efficient delivery of services-- in this case, energy-- from corruption? Even more, the task of persuading people to go nuclear, which is the main reason for downplaying the risks without bothering to actually correct them, as in finding the resources to deal with the toxic waste. Seems like corruption sure pops up whenever there's a strong need to sell people on something!

    Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

    by Lucy Montrose on Tue May 29, 2012 at 11:57:13 AM PDT

  •  The tension between international corporations.... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Just Bob, Siri, ozsea1, WakeUpNeo

    ....and sovereign nations goes up just one notch.

    Who is controlling whom? Are we citizens.....or are we shareholders?

  •  Nuclear clique & former military not just "alike" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    yakuza & Fukushima

    Try some of the same families; many were allowed to stay in place after the war, some because they were yakuza, while others were kept on by the US Occupation because they said they were anti-Communist.  

    Kodama & Sasekawa

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold...The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity" -W.B. Yeats

    by LucyandByron on Tue May 29, 2012 at 02:29:14 PM PDT

    •  I think it's important... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ozsea1, LucyandByron, worldlotus, melo

      ...not to over-sensationalize the yakuza. The closest parallel that I can think of is to an outlaw biker gang. Japan has no place for people who don't quite fit in to society. And it's a painfully difficult society to fit in. Guys who can't make it because they lack the superhuman discipline to fit in end up in petty crime.

      Now, I don't want such people building or repairing nuclear plants. Who knows what kind of goofball thing they'll do. But they are not the Gambino Family.  

      The level of organized crime to be concerned about is corporate crime.

      •  Tell me about it-- that's why I'm in the USA (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WakeUpNeo, translatorpro

        I'm a radical, bi-racial scion of the Five Noble Families, and one of my aunts was married to the son of a numbers runner in the Osaka mob.  Many of these people are professional criminals of a high order, not just people who take 10% from street performers or the stupid hit men who phoned ahead to make sure my mother was in before they set out.  

        Corporate crime families, who do sometimes cooperate with mobsters, are well-connected greedheads whose grip on the nation's resources may go back centuries.   PM's generally keep their eyes shut and their hands out.  

        "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold...The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity" -W.B. Yeats

        by LucyandByron on Tue May 29, 2012 at 05:56:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  "Dictatorship"? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Japan was a dictatorship during World War II?

    That's news to me.

    What was the name of that dictator again?

    Ceterum censeo Factionem Republicanam esse delendam.

    by journeyman on Tue May 29, 2012 at 02:51:23 PM PDT

    •  I trust you're being facetious (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ozsea1, mrkvica

      Japan was nominally an Empire under the rule of the emperor. But he was a figurehead. The military ruled. General Hideki Tojo was the prime minister. This is a form of government known as military dictatorship .

      •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        So it was a dictatorship even though Tojo was ousted from office in a peaceful transfer of power (the same way he came into office) more than a year before the war ended?  One also has to wonder why, if he was a dictator, he relinquished his post as Home Minister just two months after Pearl Harbor.  Being as Home Minister was the most powerful post outside of PM in the prewar Japanese government, that seems an awfully counterintuitive move for a dictator.

        Also, it's funny, after he was peacefully ousted from power, he wasn't jailed.  He wasn't lynched.  He just returned to his home and answered his call to give his opinion as a senior statesman from time to time.

        That doesn't sound like any dictatorship I've ever heard of.

        Maybe the reason people aren't making as much of this as you are is that you are the one who doesn't really understand Kan's comments.

        He wasn't speaking of tyranny.  He was speaking of group-think and village mentality.  He made as much clear when he spoke of the "nuclear village".  He was talking about an unfortunate propensity in Japan to identify wholly and completely with the interests of one's immediate group, with no thoughts whatsoever of what implications that would have for the country or the world at large, much like both the Imperial Army and Imperial Navy did in the years leading up to World War II, years in which Japan went through a rapid succession of prime ministers and during which, despite Japan's aggressive expansionist behavior, Tojo Hideki was not prime minister, or even for most of the period, army minister.

        There is no doubt that Kan's comments are newsworthy.

        But, to answer your question, I am not being facetious.  I am pointing out that Kan didn't say what you think he said.

        In fact, aside from the annoying political gamesmanship angle that is part of almost all American news coverage, Marvin Hackler's article was a fairly good summary.

        This is not a conspiracy of silence.  It's simply a misunderstanding on your part.

        Ceterum censeo Factionem Republicanam esse delendam.

        by journeyman on Tue May 29, 2012 at 03:56:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Military Dictatorships (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrkvica, WakeUpNeo, melo

          Military dictatorships change the dictator without changing the military or the dictatorship. We're watching it evolve in Egypt, but the military traded out Mubharak without giving up its dictatorship. N Korea has gone through several. History is full of kings who were military dictators transitioning peacefully or otherwise to the next dictator, hereditary or otherwise.

          Japan was a military dictatorship, a totalitarian national socialist state.

          You are correct about your interpretation of Kan's comparison of the nuclear village to the "groupthink" of the Imperial Japanese military. But that groupthink was part of the cult of the emperor that was channelled into the imperial conquest of half the world, bent on the other half if not stopped. It was fascism. It was a military dictatorship. You are wrong to say Kan's groupthink charges exclude dictatorship or fascism.

          And you are wrong if you're saying there's no conspiracy of silence in the corporate mass media. In the US and English language media, it certainly is. Everyone in the California media industry is worried about the Japanese quake-triggered tsunami and meltdowns. Both the aftermath carried to the US West Coast (this week in the news through radioactive tuna) and as an example of what can happen along the San Andreas (this week in the news through yet more design failures at San Onofre). This unprecedented confrontational language from a recent Japanese PM is very saleable news, as you agree, especially in our fear media culture, yet it's not reported. That is the conspiracy of silence. And as this diary underscores, it is the most sinister threat of all.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Tue May 29, 2012 at 08:25:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm sorry, but this is just not true. (0+ / 0-)

            Japan was not a "national socialist" state.  Ever.

            It was an oppressive, authoritarian bureaucratic state to be sure, but that is not "national socialism".

            You see, I actually know a thing or two about Japanese militarism.

            Some Japanese leaders, notably Konoe Fumimaro, did in fact attempt to model Japan after Nazi Germany, but the attempt is less notable for its existence than its failure.

            Moreover, the assertion that comparing something to the disaster of the Second World War is "unprecedented" for a Japanese politician is simply not true.  Yoshida Shigeru did it while he was the sitting Prime Minister.  Maruyama Tomiichi did it before he became Prime Minister and Ozawa Ichiro did it while he was angling for the job.  And those are just off the top of my head.

            Kan's comments are certainly newsworthy, but this isn't the first time he has been a whistle blower.  That's why many of us who understand Japan were supportive of him while many of those who saw this disaster as nothing more than a way to advance their pet cause, were calling for his head.  Some of them specifically noting the single action that now appears to have prevented an even greater catastrophe (his decision to go to the site of the disaster to personally inspect it -- and subsequently order that containment efforts not be abandoned).

            Like I said, Kan's comments are certainly newsworthy, but screaming that they have been suppressed because those of his comments most likely to lead to misunderstanding on the part of those ignorant of Japanese history, is misreading the situation entirely.

            Fackler's article contained the following:

            In his testimony, Mr. Kan said that Japan’s plant safety was inadequate because energy policy had been hijacked by the “nuclear village” — a term for the power companies and pronuclear regulators and researchers that worked closely together to promote the industry. He said the only way to break their grip was to form a new regulatory agency staffed with true outsiders, like American and European experts.

            “Gorbachev said in his memoirs that the Chernobyl accident exposed the sicknesses of the Soviet system,” Mr. Kan said, referring to the 1986 explosion of a reactor in Ukraine, which spewed radiation across a wide swath of Europe. “The Fukushima accident did the same for Japan.”

            There you have a former Japanese PM calling on the country to surrender some of its sovereignty in its own interest.

            That is hardly a "mild" reference.  That is far more extraordinary than making a reference to the disaster of the Second World War.  Fackler's decision to leave those comments out was not censorship.  It was simply prudence.


            Ceterum censeo Factionem Republicanam esse delendam.

            by journeyman on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:36:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Listen to Doc Gonzo (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Your post on military dictatorships is historically illiterate. Follow the link to Wikipedia, or find your own source to try to support your viewpoint. But please do not post nonsense while ignoring what amounts to a dictionary definition.  

          And I understand very well what Kan was saying when he equated the "atomic village" to the Imperial Japanese military. It is not a misunderstanding on my part.  

          •  Your charge is simply absurd. (0+ / 0-)

            The fact is that you really don't know anything about Imperial Japan.  I, on the other hand, do.

            It was not a fascist dictatorship.  It was not even close.

             You have a hackneyed stereotype of some sort of East Asian ripoff of Naziism in mind and that does not even begin to capture what it was.  Fackler's article got to the meat of the matter quite well, as I have argued in my response to Doc Gonzo above.

            Ceterum censeo Factionem Republicanam esse delendam.

            by journeyman on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:40:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It was a military junta ruled by Tojo before (0+ / 0-)

              another was put in his plate. It was a brutal military dictatorship...usually detectable by the inverse proportion of human and democratic rights. The military ruled and every book and study on this subject backs that up. There is debate over the relative weight, politically, of the role of the Emporer.

              It was not a 'Fascist' what? Effectively it allowed ALL the big capitalists to rule with dictatorial exploitation over the workers in the plants with no unions...they were outlawed in the 1930s. What WASN'T dictatorial about it?

              Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

              by davidwalters on Wed May 30, 2012 at 07:45:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The point is very simple: (0+ / 0-)

                Kan was not suggesting, as the diarist insists, that the nuclear industry is effectively a dictatorship that runs Japan.

                What he was talking about was how the military operated in prewar and wartime Japan, that is to say effectively concerned only with its own interests and indifferent to the results of its actions on the country at large or the world more generally.

                That was the gist of his comments.  The diarist's title is pure sensationalism that is unlikely to help the situation in any real way.

                That is my point.

                Ceterum censeo Factionem Republicanam esse delendam.

                by journeyman on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:34:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  It was a *military* dictatorship (0+ / 0-)

              You are arguing with the dictionary, journeyman.

              It's true that it was not a national socialist dictatorship in the sense that that is generally used. But it was a military dictatorship.

              I read your diary.

              I did not find anything in it that I did not know. I noticed that the sources you rely on are Wikipedia and that, unlike a genuine scholar, you do not provide credit for images that you could hardly have captured on your own.  

              I am not impressed by any of it, but especially by your unwillingness to engage respectfully.  

              •  Project much? (0+ / 0-)
                I read your diary.

                I did not find anything in it that I did not know. I noticed that the sources you rely on are Wikipedia and that, unlike a genuine scholar, you do not provide credit for images that you could hardly have captured on your own.  

                I am not impressed by any of it, but especially by your unwillingness to engage respectfully.

                This is without a doubt one of the single most self-unaware posts I've ever encountered on this blog.

                That's saying much.

                Ceterum censeo Factionem Republicanam esse delendam.

                by journeyman on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:41:04 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks Charles (5+ / 0-)

    Excellent post. Like I've said a million times, the industry really is a criminal enterprise from mining to electrons. Way to fight!

  •  As a former nuclear whistleblower (17+ / 0-)

    I can verify that the problem exists here, too.  

    I participated in nuclear power plant emergency planning at the national level, representing a major federal agency on the Federal Radiological Preparedness Coordinating Committee, and evaluating and participating in federal exercises.

    When I protested a whitewash of a failed emergency exercise, the system came down hard, revoking my top secret clearance, threatening me, shunning me, taking away my duties for 3 years, repeatedly making false and outrageous charges, illegally cutting my pay, and denying me due process at every opportunity.  When I tried to speak publicly about inadequacies, my employer temporarily gagged me.  They tried to fire me, as well, but failed, lacking any credible basis for doing so. They did, however, manage to ruin my health. To preserve what was left of it, I departed 9 years after I blew the whistle. Due to blacklisting, I will never find a job in that field again.

    Similar abuses have been conducted against others in the private and public sectors who took seriously their responsibilities to protect the public from a nuclear power disaster.  Not even the nation's top nuclear official has been able to stand up to the industry and its allies.  

    How can any industry dealing with a hazardous substance be "safe" with so little real oversight, so little accountability?

    Speak the truth, but ride a fast horse.

    by Deep Harm on Tue May 29, 2012 at 03:51:41 PM PDT

    •  The Greatest Risk of All (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      No matter how the technology, the science, the siting, anything about the nuke industry is improved, it will still be too risky to allow to operate. Because the greatest risk is the arrogance, the incompetence, the immunity, the greed of the people and the perpetuated organizations (government, academic and corporations) that actually run the industry. Whatever they do, they will do sacrificing safety and accountability to their personal profit and power.

      Unless these tyrants are ripped out by the roots, there is no way for the nuke industry to evolve into one worth having.

      The only way to do that is for a new basis to take over, and try to keep that one more accountable than the atomic overlords we handed the key to the world to a half century ago.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Tue May 29, 2012 at 08:34:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you for your service to this country (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica, WakeUpNeo, melo, translatorpro

      Whistleblowers are often more courageous than soldiers (i.e., those who do not face combat) and often suffer psychological and health damage as bad as that suffered by some casualties of war. Karen Silkwood, of course, died in the line of duty to her country, brave as any soldier. And whistleblowers don't get medals or hazard pay.  

      I don't want to romanticize it or diminish regard for the courage of service members. But we have to remember that whistleblowers are also serving their country.

  •  did Josef Oehmen ever apologize? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1, Russgirl, LucyandByron, mrkvica, melo

    For his atrocious, false, inexact, unscientific, pseudo-technical, white-wash of the Fukushima disaster?

    It included gems like: "There was and will not be any significant release of radioactivity."

    This, while trying to build on his (weak) ties to MIT.

  •  large infrastructure energy is dangerous to (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Russgirl, beach babe in fl, mrkvica, melo

    health and the environment.

    we could put an end to these "mega-oligopolies" if over time each household had its own solar/wind source.

    The Exxons et al do not like solar/wind because they have dispersed structures instead of centralized megastructures like deep water wells and huge refineries outside the control of the ultimate user.

    What I'm saying is nothing new.

    But we see what happens when Big Oil  a monopoly  controls our energy and energy policy although in the end, they earn their fortunes one  dollar at a time.

    That's why nuclear makes the lobbyists and corrupt legislators salivate while they pooh pooh solar and wind.

    Finally people have gotten sick and tired of being had and taken for idiots. Mikhail Gorbachev

    by eve on Tue May 29, 2012 at 04:49:02 PM PDT

  •  Coal, anyone? (0+ / 0-)

    There's a lot of comments so forgive me if others have posted this same thing. The other immediate option for Japan minus nuclear is coal and that's the option for the next five years even if they could reach totally solidarity on going totally renewable today and start today.  It's not just a clique of nuclear investors seeking to hold their markets (although it is that).  It's also the very reality that coal is much, much more expensive for Japan since they have to have it shipped in on boats and that burning coal to produce electricity is much more expensive than using nuclear power.  This is why Japan went nuclear in the first place.  It gave them energy independence and it was non-polluting in terms of air and water emissions (yes, i know, I get it).  

    I've seen some posters making wonderful contributions regarding micro wind and micro solar to fill the gap and I love that but in terms of big production of electricity NOW, Japan has two choices.  Frankly, nuclear remains the less polluting and expensive of the two.  I question as to whether they should even bother switching to coal at all.  If they're going to move to renewables then why add more coal to the mix?  Just go straight from A to B.  Simplistic?

    •  Geothermal and Conservation (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica, Miss Jones, melo

      Japan can spend the next 5-10 years replacing nukes with baseload geothermal plants. Japan's Ring of Fire location makes it exceptionally good. Longer term it can harvest the plentiful wind and wave/tidal power its position as a very long island with high mountains gives it. Its tropical location also gives it loads of large scale solar opportunities.

      Japan is also the #1 country in the world for doing more with less. There is a load of conservation the entire country could be implementing right now. All of which also stimulate the local economy, while protecting the invaluable environment that the crowded country knows is more precious than ever.

      Japan doesn't have to switch off the nukes tomorrow. But deciding today to switch them off over the next 5-10-15 years, as Germany has done with even less favorable renewable energy sources and no actual meltdowns on its territory. Making that decision today and following through with replacements would instantly smash the corrosive grip their nuke tyrants have on the whole country. Indeed that kind of transformation could give Japan the jolt out of its moribund past two decades, which have likely been perpetuated by other corruption from the same crooked people keeping the country tied to these dangerous and now lethal nuke plants.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Tue May 29, 2012 at 08:31:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I predict it will happen faster (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Miss Jones

        The Japanese need to replace something like 30% of their generating capacity with alternatives. And, yes, geothermal is abundant.

        Once Japan makes up its mind to do something, they do it. If it takes 5-10-15 years, it will because it takes them half that much time to make up their minds.

        •  No, they need to replace about 100% minuse the (0+ / 0-)

          500MWs of geothermal (their actual limit, they can't do much more than that). 100% because they have to replace not only the closed nuclear reactors but ALL the fossil plants as well, that now account for about 99.5% of their generation. That's the task you've set yourself up for. 99.5%.

          Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

          by davidwalters on Wed May 30, 2012 at 07:47:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Actually... (0+ / 0-)

        All the nuclear plants have been switched off in Japan.  Under consideration now is whether or not to switch them back on.

        Four energy mix plans offered

    •  Germany used microsolar (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica, Miss Jones, translatorpro

      And in Japan, where land is precious, rooftop collectors make a lot of sense.

  •  This might be a precursor to what might happen in (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stevej, melo, translatorpro

    Canada. Our Prime Minister is already lobbying for the Oil and Gas industry and promoting the worst ecocide on the planet, the Tar Sands. He is in the process of stripping our environmental protection laws to facilitate the ecocide.

    It's so similar it is staggering.

    ❧To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Tue May 29, 2012 at 08:24:51 PM PDT

  •  NOT a bombshell. Kan has been saying this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharon Wraight

    for a long time now.  It's not generally covered in the media here (I live in Japan, and have for almost ten years) and when it is it's spun as "Hey, look what Kan the doofus ex-PM is saying!"  Political savvy observers realize that 90% of the reason Kan was forced out was because he didn't kiss up to the nuke industry.

    What may surprise all of you here is the degree to which the Japanese people are fans of nuclear power, and nothing has changed here.  I still see signs at the local grocery store urging people to buy Fukushima produce, milk, and meat to help out the farmers there and help the prefecture get back on its feet.  At least the produce is labeled for point of origin an I can avoid most of the most heavily contaminated stuff.  

    What you must understand is that most Japanese are right-wing, and it's becoming more and more so with the younger generations, and even more so out here in the countryside where I live.  It's like living with teabaggers, all over, all the time.  Nuke power to the Japanese is like Big Oil to the right wing in the USA- to be protected with pride at all costs.  

    In other news, Japan also just made flag desecration illegal, a measure overwhelmingly supported by the people.  So that's who you're dealing with.  

    •  You are saying that up is down. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      From Reuters:

      Nearly three-quarters of Japanese companies support abandoning nuclear power after last year's Fukushima disaster, although a majority set the condition that alternative energy resources must be secured, a Reuters poll showed on Friday.
      Three quarters is, in my universe, not a majority.

      Please do not make stuff up.  It's just wrong.

      •  please be civil (0+ / 0-)

        I appreciate hearing Hatrax's personal anectdotes and perceptions, and also polls such as the Reuters one.

        I see additional polls that suggest a majority of Japanese think nuclear energy should be scaled back, though a majority support it's short-term use.

        E.g.: "Asahi asked, “Do you agree or disagree that nuclear energy should be gradually scaled back and, in the future, abolished?” An overwhelming 66% of all respondents said that they thought nuclear energy should be abolished."

        "The weekend survey conducted among 3,000 voters showed 80 percent support the idea of ending nuclear power while 16 percent are opposed to it, said the survey published by the Tokyo Shimbun. But 53 percent would allow idled nuclear reactors to be restarted as far as electricity demand required as a realistic short-term approach, said the survey that was conducted by the Japan Association for Public Opinion Research comprising major Japanese newspapers and broadcasters."

        Some trends:


        •  These polls do not ask the question correctly (0+ / 0-)

          for the Japanese and thus I think this is skewing the results.  

          Since 3/11 I've talked with a lot of Japanese about these issues, and pretty much all of them support nuclear power, even if they don't know it.  What do I mean?

          Should we scale back the plants?  Of course.  Nuke power is dangerous!


          If you explain to the Japanese that ending or scaling back nuclear power will cause the cost of electricity to soar short-term and will contract the economy, and THEN ask if they want to abolish it, you will find those numbers turned on their head.  

          If you tell them that ending domestic nuclear power will entail becoming more dependent on foreign sources of energy, then you will see the same result.  

          Heck, if you tell them that abolishing nuke plants means that they will have to turn off all the vending machines in Japan (it's estimated that vending machines alone account for one Fukushima nuke plant's worth of power), I would bet on ten points of movement in that poll.  They want the nuke plants shut down, unless it means economic damage or inconvenience.  They want the nuke plant near THEM shut down, but think others are fine.  

          The Japanese are terribly misinformed about what the energy industry does here, and how they do it.  The energy industry and the construction companies have unholy amounts of influence on the government here.  Did you know Japan could cut its energy requirements by 25-35% by adopting western standards of building insulation?  Most buildings here are UN-insulated.  But the only thing the Japanese hear is how eco-friendly they are because a few percent of them drive hybrid cars and because of the Kyoto Protocol.  Both excellent things, I do not deny, but there is so much more that is NOT done because of the almighty yen.  Just like in the USA.  

          •  Unsourced claims are annoying, Hatrax (0+ / 0-)

            Look: I accept that there are differing viewpoints on things.

            But when one makes an assertion, one should back it up by making it clear where it comes from. Anecdotes are fine: the source is you. But there is a great deal of evidence (I have linked one poll) that makes it clear that, while Japan does not want to destroy its economy in the process of transitioning to alternatives, it recognizes that nuclear has to go. That is not  being a "fan" of nuclear energy. It is specifically to that word and the implication that Japanese do not want to get away from using nuclear energy in the long run, that I object to.  

          •  what would be some good questions to poll? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            E.g., how about:

            (I) Before Fukushima, nuclear reactors supplied xx% of Japan's energy. Now, the remaining reactors supply xx% of Japan's energy. A question for you: in the next one year, five years, ten years, and 20 years, what percentage of Japan's national energy would you like to see come from nuclear reactors?
            one year:   __%
            five years: __%
            ten years:  __%
            20 years:   __%
            II. How far away from a nuclear reactor would you want to live, in order to feel safe?  a) 10 km b) 100 km c) 1000 km d) wouldn't feel safe no matter how far
            Obiously, what matters is the Japanese language version. A better translation is needed than this:
            福島の事故の前に、原子炉は、日本のエネルギーの##%を供給しています。今、残りの原子炉は、供給 日本のエネルギーの##%。あなたのための質問:次の1年、5年、10年、20年間で、日本の国のエネルギーの何パーセントは原子力発電所から来て見たいですか?
            あなたが安全だと感じるようにどれだけ離れて原子炉からは、住んでいる必要がありますか? 10キロ? 100キロ?千キロ?または、あなたが住んでどのように遠くに関係なく安全に感じないでしょうか?
        •  Also remember (0+ / 0-)

          that polls of the people do not necessarily reflect what the government wants.  

          Americans want health care reform, right?  Something like 70% of us want single-payer, or something?  Well, you'd never know it by the people we have representing us in Congress, because most of them are bought.

          Same in Japan.  Here, it's the nuke industry and construction that owns everything.  

        •  I am one of the most civil persons you will meet (0+ / 0-)

          But there is no evidence whatsoever that Japanese are "fans" of nuclear energy, and it is that word that I regard as a falsehood.

          Hatrax is welcome to prove me wrong by providing evidence, but anecdotes are just that. If you don't get outside of investment banking circles, you'd be certain that everybody just loves tax cuts for the wealthy and cuts to public education. So making a sweeping assertion that is in direct contradiction to the evidence is not debating, and it's a form of incivility itself.  

          Of course polls will come up with somewhat different responses depending how the question is asked. And of course Japanese do not want to crash the economy as the price of transitioning off nuclear energy. I have not suggested that all plants need to be shut down immediately.

          But nothing you have presented suggests that Japanese are "fans" of nuclear power.  And I don't think that such a case could be plausibly made.  

      •  Do you live here, sir? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sharon Wraight

        I'm getting a bit sick of being told that I don't know what I'm talking about re. Japan.  Hello?  I LIVE HERE.
        I do not appreciate being told that I "make stuff up".
        I've lived here for ten years, CharlesII.  Have you?  
        I speak fluent Japanese and have spoken with a wide range of Japanese people from all walks of life, here, in the real world, on the ground, about these topics.  Have you?  Or have you just spent two weeks in Tokyo on a business trip and read a Reuters poll?  
        Polling the Japanese public is exceptionally difficult, especially for foreign media outlets.  I'd point you to an amusing one that's often cited where the Japanese were asked what religion they follow.  Off the top of my head, it was something like 70% Shinto, 75% Buddhist and 80% said they followed no particular religion.  The reasons for this are cultural.  I suspect the nuke question was posed in a way that would make sense for a western poll, but might give a skewed result for the Japanese.  I can't go into deep details but I hope I can find the time to write a diary on the problems of cross-cultural communications.  I've been doing this for ten years; again, I know what I'm talking about, and I am not a liar.
        Without access to Reuter's data, I'd say this:  Three-quarters of the Japanese public may favor "scaling back" nuclear power, but that does NOT mean they want to get rid of it.  "Scaling back" in this case is a NIMBY reaction... if you ask any Japanese if they want to close their local nuke plant, at this point they'd say yes.  
        The nuke industry here is deeply entrenched, and their propaganda reaches far and wide.  If you want a personal tour, come to Japan and I'll show you the posters and flyers screaming that the food from Fukushima is safe. I live 200 miles from the disaster zone and nothing has changed.  More later, I have to eat dinner... but you have me fuming, sir.  

        •  Calmer, dinner in belly (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jam, Sharon Wraight

          See my comments to Sharon Wraight, above.  I'm sorry I got so mad at you, CharlesII, but calling me a liar for expressing a well-informed opinion that you happen to disagree with was beyond the pale.

          •  If I may (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I would posit that your personal experience is extremely valuable, but I would also point out that the plural of "anecdote" is not "data".


            Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

            by jam on Wed May 30, 2012 at 06:30:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  My reply is above. (0+ / 0-)

            Nor does the Reuters article which you can access as long as you can click a link assert that three-quarters of Japanese support "scaling back" nuclear power as you assert. They favor abandoning it (though of course in an orderly fashion). Quotation marks imply that you are quoting.  

            As for living in a place making one an expert, as I pointed out to Sharon, American investment bankers believe that everybody just loves tax cuts for the wealthy and cuts to education. Sometimes the blindest people of all are eyewitnesses. Polls certainly produce different results depending on how a question is asked. But Sharon linked many more polls that showed similar results.  

  •  q (0+ / 0-)

    80 % of success is showing up

    Corporate is not the solution to our problem

    Corporate is the problem

    by Churchill on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:19:10 AM PDT

  •  USA Nuke Industry have a lot of power too (0+ / 0-)

    80 % of success is showing up

    Corporate is not the solution to our problem

    Corporate is the problem

    by Churchill on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:19:44 AM PDT

  •  Is anyone talking about reactor 4... (0+ / 0-)

    in which there was a recent bulge in the containment vessels?

    What passes for normal at the Fukushima Daiichi plant today would have caused shudders among even the most sanguine of experts before an earthquake and tsunami set off the world’s second most serious nuclear crisis after Chernobyl.

    Fourteen months after the accident, a pool brimming with used fuel rods and filled with vast quantities of radioactive cesium still sits on the top floor of a heavily damaged reactor building, covered only with plastic.

    The public’s fears about the pool have grown in recent months as some scientists have warned that it has the most potential for setting off a new catastrophe, now that the three nuclear reactors that suffered meltdowns are in a more stable state, and as frequent quakes continue to rattle the region.

    Senator Wyden, whose state could lie in the path of any new radioactive plumes, is among those pushing for faster action. After his recent visit to the ravaged plant, he said the pool at No. 4 poses “an extraordinary and continuing risk” and the retrieval of spent fuel “should be a priority, given the possibility of further earthquakes.”The worries picked up new traction in recent days after the operator of the plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company, or Tepco, said it had found a slight bulge in one of the walls of the reactor building, stoking fears over the building’s safety.

  •  Japan is not under a 'nuke dictatorship'. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GRLCowan, mojo workin

    Japan is under a dictatorship of irrational radiophobia.

    •  In other words... (0+ / 0-) don't wish to pay any attention to the evidence presented here, or to counter it with evidence of your own, but just to say something completely unsupported by any facts or evidence whatsoever.  

      Very impressive.  

  •  In Japan, nuclear is to fossil as pot is to tobacc (0+ / 0-)

    Literally. It is illegal to restart 50 safe reactors, and the government is making money on natural gas as never before.

    The bulk of Japanese society is not sharing in these gains, indeed is the worse off, but hey. ( )

    Let's hope the will of the people soon prevails.

    And that drama queen Kan, famous for being advised by antinukes, who of course knew nothing of the SPEEDI radiation plume predictor and herded people into the plume's path. Fortunately for us, and unfortunately for Kan et al., the plume was too weak to do any harm.

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