Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fukushima update: worst scenarios seem confirmed

Chief nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen explains that what is so wrong about the latest Fukushima I (reactor no. 4) images: there is no water and all the water being sprayed just evaporates in contact with something that is surely hyper-hot fissioning material.

The same person has several other videos discussing Fukushima catastrophe, which can be found at the Fairewinds Associates Vimeo page

Other important Fukushima related news from Energy News since last update:
Add to that some news on concern on the nuclear plume going over Canada and the USA.
I am particularly concerned by the (quite predictable) groundwater contamination. While it is indeed not likely that it will reach drinking water sources directly, it will no doubt reach the sea, where it will constitute a persistent focus of atmospheric and oceanic contamination impossible to contain.

Update (Apr 2): I'm too sick to bother (some nasty virus) and hence I'll take the less effort approach: linking to new informations, many of which deserve quite more than just a line:

Update (Apr 4):

Update (Apr 5):


    1. Thank you for your work Maju.

      This is so terrible though that my only possible comment is that commenting on it belittles the suffering of those caught up in the catastrophe's fallout.

      Let us hope that the best way out of this horror is quickly found and implemented.

    2. I don't think that commenting belittles the catastrophe. Sometimes you are overcome by the dimensions of a disaster and a respectful silence is no doubt the only valid expression.

      However silencing the suffering and silencing the problems is no solution and does more harm than good in the mid run.

      Also this is such an unprecedented catastrophe (only Chernobyl approaches the dimensions) that it must be debated, with emphasis on why are we choosing nuclear energy over solar and other renewables. Besides the issue of potentially building nuclear weapons using the same technology, there is also a macho thing about choosing nuclear over renewables.

      Renewables do not seem to be dirty and dangerous enough for many people to find them attractive: they are "wimp" technologies that do not kill enough to matter. Also there are economical reasons, renewables can be easily decentralized, while nuclear and oil must be centralized by large companies.

    3. I agree with everything you say. My comment was not full enough, did not have enough detail to be clear. Apologies. The issue must be debated in all openness and honesty, I could not agree more. I am so horrified by everything that has been kicked up by this catastrophe I feel almost obliged to be very circumspect when discussing it.

      What I meant was that my comments on the horror cannot possibly do justice to the suffering that is coming down the line. My wife and I have a Japanese friend, quite an old lady actually, very traditional, who is furious with Japan and the various authorities. Her hot rage puts this whole thing, for me, on a very personal level. I can only know that I can't know how bad it will get for people out there in the thick of it, now and into the future, so feel an obligation to treat that with gentle respect. Perhaps that is a better way expressing what I failed to communicate.

      In my head, again and again, I see the image of the naked Vietnamese girl burned by napalm fleeing her pain in desperation. It is so terrible only silence can do it justice. When I read that workers fighting to contain the situation receive radiation burns I put the horror at the same level, and am similarly humbled. There is something terrible about the maths of power and 'breaking eggs to make omelets' that sickens me.

      But I've rambled too much. Hopefully though I've communicated more.

    4. Greetings Maju,

      I just want to express my full support in the work you do with the blog, and give encouragement to continue in this line of denouncing the injustices and calamities that are preventable.

      You're right in what you say about that silence, although very respect, does more harm than address the problem and discuss it.

      Only one thing: in my case I do not want to think about the workers who are fighting in the reactor, they are certain they will die, not if the short, medium or long term, yet there they are. Is generosity personified, solidarity, awareness of the importance of their work.

      Man is the only animal that repeats the mistakes. With the example of Chernobyl, how this could happen again? Worse still safe after this disaster that we allow to happen again somewhere else in the world if the politicians do not realize the need to invest in renewable energies.

    5. I'm with a horrible flu and can't really think.

      People express themselves in different manners, some are more contained, others more energetic. No apologies needed.

      Whatever the case, I think that this disasters offers an opportunity to mend our energetic ways and for that specially we must speak out.

      And also for justice to be made to the victims, beginning with the much needed preventive evacuation.

      A similar case, without radiation, is also happening in the Gulf of Mexico. There it has become is clear how silence is bad, very bad.

      Silence also was what allowed the Holocaust to happen. Silence is what allows Israel to perpetrate genocide against Palestinians. Silence alone is not enough because it becomes accomplice.

    6. Again, I agree with everything you say, so perhaps another clarification is in order.

      I don't mean silence for ever, nor political silence, nor a misplaced refusal to speak out -- I have my own blog after all. I mean more the kind of silence we share as a community or family at a funeral or at a remembrance. An embrace is silent, for example. There is also a respectful, non-aggressive 'silence' or 'stillness' in your reporting and the way you disseminate information that I find healing, effective and compassionate. But that does not mean that I don't feel huge anger, nor that this anger should be repressed or anything like that, only that there are many ways of fighting wrongdoing and injustice, each of which has usefulness in different circumstances. Sometimes silence can be very loud. Sometimes noise gets in the way. And vice versa.


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