Don’t Fry the Sea, Fukushima

After last week’s post, I’ve been musing on Fukushima in particular, but on all things nuclear. What follows are random thoughts.

It occurs to me that I expect disasters to be televised. If I don’t see Anderson Cooper with microphone in hand and banners, scrolls, and disaster in the background, then it isn’t real.

Even though most disasters here in the US are caused by oil companies and thus “controlled” by oil companies, still, images and the story come out. What’s strange about Fukushima is that none of the major media outlets have anything on the story at all. Most everything I’ve found are from Canadian, Asian and other news sources.

Tepco admits it has no control over the damaged plants, that radioactive water is seeping into the Pacific ocean (and has been for quite some time), it admits it has no feasible short term plan, and the American news industry yawns.

How safe are you feeling? Hey, Al Qaeda – c’mon over! We’ll put you up at the nicest hotel in San Francisco and feed you lots of delicacies straight from the Pacific Ocean!

So, a week after the latest disclosure, nothing much to report. Egypt is abroil and that keeps getting reported as political. But Egypt is a net importer of grain and they don’t have much stored. You never hear about food as a cause of strife in the Middle East or Africa these days, but that’s the mainstream press for you.

I saw a story at an Asian news site that says the Tepco engineers aren’t sure where the spent fuel might be in the damaged buildings. They know where it isn’t, but they don’t know where it is.

Hey, maybe Al Qaeda snuck in there and grabbed some for a dirty bomb, small enough to fit into a suitcase, to detonate somewhere on the West Coast, say, near a major metro area. If that happened, maybe someone would give Tepco a hand in looking.

But no. The president of the United States won’t be launching any drone strikes on the Japanese Diet.

Instead, what we have here at Fukushima is murder by capitalism, which is perfectly legal and moral, apparently.

Tepco is sitting on top of the sinkhole to end all sinkholes for money. It’s a very inconvenient anchor on their bottom line and one they are anxious to unload. After two years of god knows what, the Japanese government now decides to step in. Neither entity, both of which bear responsibility for the mess, wants the consequences of the disaster. Fukushima has the potential, at the very least, of bankrupting Japan. And the powers that be around the world don’t seem to care that there is no planet B.

I try to imagine what it must be like, to be one of the farmers in Fukushima prefecture, who have refused to leave their land. Their land base is irradiated and still, they try to coax food from the soil.

No estimates, no guesses even, about atmospheric emissions from the damaged (and Unit 4 is sinking) plants. Most of the news centers on what has likely gone into the Pacific Ocean.

Tepco is still referred to, in some of the news articles, as the most technologically advanced energy company in the world. And they put a nuclear power plant on an earthquake fault line and on top of an aquifer. And the government let them. (What is the purpose of a government, again?)

Much closer to home, a Michigan “representative” by the name of Fred Upton wowed with his intellect. He’s the Chairman of the House committee that oversees the Nuclear Regulatory Agency, and was speaking about the Palisades plant run by Entergy (you remember, the ones that released “slightly” radioactive water into Lake Michigan recently). Yeah, Fred made it real clear that safety is really goshdarned important.

There are over 100 nuclear power plants in the United States. Many of them are old. Some are on fault lines. They are sitting near water. Water levels are affected by weather which is affected by climate change. Drought or flood, the plants are vulnerable.

They are all tied to the grid. With of week of diesel fuel for generators in case of blackouts.
Gosh, if there were only some way for the entire military/industrial/surveillance industry to make a shitload of money by saving the planet from a runaway nuclear plant. We might have a chance then.

H/T to the Donkey for the title of the post.

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2 Responses to Don’t Fry the Sea, Fukushima

  1. No time for reality says:

    If I don’t see it, hear of it, or speak of it then it can’t be real, right?

  2. John House says:

    Good post – perhaps the reason we aren’t hearing about Fukushima is because there’s no solution. Or perhaps it’s because it’s not exciting enough. Never mind that it could lead to the death of millions of people and the collapse of the Japanese economy – that’s all conjecture. TV needs action, dammit, not speculation! The vast majority of the American population have become so numb that they don’t react to anything other than loud noises and banging gongs.

Thanks for reading!

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