Nothing to see here, move along, nothing to worry about:

NHK Live Video Feed (Japan Broadcasting Corporation)

More Workers Join Race to Prevent Meltdown at Nuclear Plant (Bloomberg)

More than 300 workers are racing to prevent a meltdown and spread of radiation at the crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi power station today, an increase from a group of 50 engineers yesterday.

U.S. Calls Radiation ‘Extremely High,’ Sees Japan Nuclear Crisis Worsening (NYT)

The chairman of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave a far bleaker appraisal on Wednesday of the threat posed by Japan’s nuclear crisis than the Japanese government had offered. He said American officials believed that the damage to at least one crippled reactor was much more serious than Tokyo had acknowledged, and he advised Americans to stay much farther away from the plant than the perimeter established by Japanese authorities.

• (Strange) Mizuho Bank says its ATMs in Japan stopped working (Reuters)
Mizuho Bank said on Thursday that all of its automatic teller machines (ATM) throughout Japan have stopped working. The bank did not immediately give a reason for the outage.

Why Japan embraced nuclear power after suffering the atomic bomb (Globe and Mail)

Japan’s 55 reactors produce nearly 30 per cent of the country’s electricity, and the long-term strategy before the Fukushima disaster was to push that figure to 50 per cent by 2030. Almost alone among its political allies, whose ambitions were reined in by the catastrophes at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, the land that experienced the atomic bomb has chosen to expand its network of nuclear plants, many of them knowingly built in seismic zones.

How safe is nuclear power? (LA Times)

Elmer E. Lewis, professor emeritus at Northwestern University and author of two textbooks on nuclear power, took questions about the effort to contain reactors damaged by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Lewis’ research has focused on the broad problems of dealing with the physics, safety and reliability of nuclear systems.

On Northeast Coast, Portraits Of Japanese Resilience (NPR Radio)

U.S. Tells Nationals to Consider Leaving Quake-Hit Japan (Bloomberg)

The U.S. plans to evacuate citizens wanting to leave Japan along with military and diplomatic families, as concerns grow that authorities are failing to contain leaks from a quake-stricken nuclear plant.

The U.S. also advised citizens to keep 50 miles (80 kilometers) away from the Dai-Ichi plant in Fukushima, about 135 miles north of Tokyo, while the U.K. said people should consider leaving the capital.

Lessons for Japan from the Chernobyl catastrophe (The Guardian)

The Fukushima nuclear plant crisis appears less dangerous than the 1986 Chernobyl disaster – but the risk of radiation spreading wide remains

Helicopters Drop Water On Stricken Plant (WSJ)

In the latest attempt to cool down reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, helicopters from Japan’s Self-Defense Force started dropping ocean water on top of the overheated units.The measure, announced by the Japan Nuclear Agency, is seen as a highly unusual step and has never been tried before in Japan. The agency also said that power cables from an outside source would be available at Fukushima as early as this afternoon.

Asian Stocks Drop on Worsening Crisis at Japan Nuclear Reactor (Bloomberg)

Asian stocks fell, leading a regional benchmark index lower for the third time this week, on renewed concern that a worsening nuclear crisis in Japan may cripple the world’s third-largest economy.

U.S. Sounds Alarm on Radiation (WSJ)

Fear about radiation dangers posed by Japan’s nuclear crisis spiked as the U.S. instructed its troops and citizens to stay at least 50 miles away from the crippled reactors.

The U.S. “no-go” zone is far wider than the buffer established by the Japanese government itself. The top U.S. nuclear regulator, Gregory Jaczko, on Wednesday called radiation levels at one of the units at the plant “extremely high,” adding that, “for a comparable situation in the United States we would recommend an evacuation for a much larger radius than is currently being provided in Japan.”

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain . . .

Category: Current Affairs, Energy, Really, really bad calls

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

31 Responses to “Radiation Concerns Increase”

  1. rktbrkr says:

    I’m surprised they didn’t bring in either a ship or barges for portable generation. Wonder if the pumps will work after the explosions or fires.It’s a freakin mess thats for sure.

  2. TacomaHighlands says:

    Globe and Mail article “borrowed” far too much from Starfor’s article:

    Looks like the author reads George Friedman.

  3. Mike in Nola says:

    Looks like there’s a bit of friction between the Japanese and US governments on the reported differences in how bad things are.

    On top of everything else, the ATM’s of Japan’s second largest bank aren’t working. Guaranteed to increase confidence.

  4. jeg3 says:

    The Nuke situation definitely appears to be getting worse (and a lot worse at this point then I thought it would be):

    and an Interview with a nuclear engineer by his geologist daughter:

    A side note is the number and intensity of the aftershocks:

  5. jeg3 says:

    Better link to interview:

  6. DMR says:

    American built “Ecomagination”.

  7. Greg0658 says:

    radiation protection = drink wine
    yepper :-)

  8. Mr. Obvious says:

    Barry, you missed this one:

    Japan hikes legal radiation dose for nuke workers

    Jesus…these poor guys are on a suicide mission and people are still questioning whether this thing is leaking radiation….

  9. Mike in Nola says:

    Wikileaks again leaving egg on faces.

    I read somewhere else today that PEPCO who owns the plants has been caught covering up problems in the past.

    Can this really be classed as a black swan?

  10. Mark A. Sadowski says:

    Reasons to be sceptical the authorities in Japan (or in the US) know what they are doing:

    1) There is over 6 times as much fissionable material in reactors or in spent fuel pools at Fukushima than there was at Chernobyl.

    2) There are tens of thousands of people, many who are women and children, without shelter due to the earthquake and tsunami within 50 miles of the reactor complex and who are being told to stay put indoors.

    3) Clouds of Cesium 137, with a half life of 30 years, have been blowing out over the Pacific Ocean . Where is it going to land?

    4) So far everything has gotten worse each day despite what the authorities have predicted.

  11. Transor Z says:

    @jeg3: Thank you for the link to the father-daughter interview.

  12. Mark A. Sadowski says:

    “indoors” should be in quotes.

  13. Jojo says:

    After reading that excellent Automatic Earth article, nuclear energy doesn’t look all that swell any longer.

    Someone (won’t be the USA because the Republicans appear intent on cutting all science budgets and returning us to the scientific middle ages) better get those Earth orbit satellites working that can beam power down that was collected from the sun in the form of microwaves. That sounds a lot safer than electricity from nuclear energy!

  14. Mike in Nola:
    In that case, Bear Stearns, et al., can’t be considered a black swan either.

  15. Bob A says:

    the entire response so far consists of dumping four buckets of water from two different helicopters?
    they might as well have pissed on it.

  16. beaufou says:

    What is truly amazing is that the cooling system in those things needs a separate energy source.
    You would imagine that all this overheating could produce enough energy to cool itself, but no, diesel engines covered that, wtf?
    It’s a little having a steam engine cooling your Ferrari’s motor.
    As for dumping water from helicopters, I would dearly like to know how much of that water can even reach the rods before evaporating, it is really like pissing on the sun, desperate measures.

  17. joinvestor says:

    Encouraging to see this so widely reported by the MSM. This needs to come to light; not to place blame or beat on human failures, but to FIX the problem and mitigate the danger going forward.

  18. V says:

    Anyone know why the US regulators seem to know so much about whats going on in Japan, when they have proved to be so deficient in many other areas?

  19. Patrick Neid says:

    And yet over on page 2 there’s this:


    BR: I thought it might be interesting to hear from someone who had an actual degree involving Nuclear physics

  20. dead hobo says:

    The headline and the TRUTH!!

    (Look, I don’t know the facts any more than anyone else over here does. Lots of media reports are old, some balance subtlety any hysteria quite well, some are honest, some are incomplete, some are good. At this point, I don’t know what is happening nor do I understand the truth of how it will or might end. I’m just going to wait and see. The following is the news people really want to hear, much like watching wrecks at NASCAR)

    NHK Live Video Feed

    (It’s all green screen.)

    • More Workers Join Race to Prevent Meltdown at Nuclear Plant (Bloomberg)

    (They’re all going to die)

    • U.S. Calls Radiation ‘Extremely High,’ Sees Japan Nuclear Crisis Worsening (NYT)

    (Everyone in Japan is going to die)

    • (Strange) Mizuho Bank says its ATMs in Japan stopped working (Reuters)

    (All the ATMs have already died)

    • Why Japan embraced nuclear power after suffering the atomic bomb (Globe and Mail)

    (I won’t even go into it)

    • How safe is nuclear power? (LA Times)

    (It depends on whether or not you want to die)

    • On Northeast Coast, Portraits Of Japanese Resilience (NPR Radio)

    (In Memoriam)

    • U.S. Tells Nationals to Consider Leaving Quake-Hit Japan (Bloomberg)

    (Just to give them something to do while they’re waiting to die)

    • Lessons for Japan from the Chernobyl catastrophe (The Guardian)

    (Don’t eat the deer, forever)

    In reality, the problem wil be resolved, only a small part of Japan will have temporary issues from the radiation. The tsunami aftermath and personal hardship will eventually be remembered and reported on. Nuclear power will continue because there is no choice but improvements will result. There will be another catastrophe under different circumstances sometime in the future regardless of how much preparation is made.

  21. dead hobo says:

    poakland Says:
    March 17th, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Pumping or for real?

    The real disrespect here is “Never Waste A Good Crisis.” At this point, I have no idea of the facts from the fact based sales pitches that are intended to keep people coming back for more. How about some truth squads being formed to blog about the good and bad in reporting so some credibility can be developed. To me, what is particularly insidious are those on TV who combine sensational generalities that have frightening implications with purported facts. Who is getting it right most often?

  22. Patrick Neid says:

    And like the original article now over at MIT, I find these two articles much more believable, my having no degree, than anything I have read in the MSM. As I posted at FB — “Here’s Hoping”.

    What I do know is hysteria pays!

  23. poakland says:

    Should have checked more before posting. CBLI may be worthwhile, but Salvani, the talking head in the video, has a number of strikes against him, SEC actions, etc.

  24. dead hobo says:

    Upon reflection, I think the newspaper and news show model is either broken or no longer relevant in situations such as this.

    For continuing events such as the Japanese nuclear crisis, the typical newspaper writes a new story every day. Some of the prior story is included in the new story, some is removed, new material is added, generalities are included, generalities are removed. You get what the editor thinks to need to know.

    This is a broken model.

    I want to know the best version of the complete facts, not what the editor thinks I should know in today’s story. How about one post or a set of related posts that are evolving fixtures. You start with the best info at the time and improve on it as events unfold. If it gets too big you subdivide it into related stories using hypertext. For example, what is the real comparison to Chernobyl? If cesium is released, where will it really go? Define ‘meltdown’ in this context and provide examples that normal people can relate to.

    Smart people can take this idea and improve on it.

  25. AHodge says:

    i watched NHK last night
    i feel sorry for this country
    not quite ready to say the russians handled chernobyl better, a 10X worse problem?, but i wonder.
    near total denial. no one in charge, even now the “self defence” forces and the nuke regs are talking about their part in someone elses TEPCO’s? program
    when the Cesium/iodine etc stops blowing offshore in about 3 days on forecasts it will literally be run for the hills
    the far more lethal and destructive (so far) tsunami aftermath not being countered either, hundreds thousands need food shelter.
    the govts big message is
    dont send any private aid without co-ord with the govt first

  26. AHodge says:

    5 days later they are talking about getting power lines in to run the pumps. what pumps? they have to replace all them. a kamikasei mission

  27. AHodge says:

    for this i also watch bloomberg and no joke al Jazeera
    CNN nearly worthless
    6 hrs after the tsunami they had nothin, actually recommended viewers go to the japanese govt website.
    they are nothing any more but amusement, crosstalk and happytalk ,
    did get there– sort of– way late

  28. rustum says:

    Is it ok to read and watch AJ online? I liked it better than other new websites.
    We jut get opinions not the news now a days.