Wednesday, August 24, 2011

North Anna - Fuhushima - Alexander Higgins - Fairewinds Associates

I received an email, alerting to the earthquake that hit the North Anna Nuclear Power Plant in Virginia. Only because it is personally au courant, (I plan to attend a local meeting later in the week on the subject of fracking) that I wondered if indeed fracking had played a role in the event.

That doesn't appear to be the case, or none that I could find. Rather more a case of building the thing in the wrong goddamned place to start with. Let me paraphrase: Nuclear power plants are the world's most expensive fault-line detectors.

The Daily Kos has a bit on the cover up sighting of the plant:

Louis Zeller, the League’s legal representative, said that Dominion covered up evidence of a geologic fault in the 1970’s and that they now want a variance because they cannot meet safety standards.

The Daily Kos thing came up as a result doing the rounds to see how the main stream media were spinning this. But like any of us these days, unless absolutely forced, the MSM is not a pool we like to paddle in, and the case never more so, than when money and nuke power are involved.

Choosing rather, to gather our information, to visit those who we feel are telling it like it is. My first ports of call for things nuclear are, Fairewinds Associates and blogger Alexander Higgins. Fairewinds had nothing on the North Anna plant as yet, but that didn't surprise me greatly, Fairewinds aren't a ''daily scoop'' kind of a site, preferring as they do to analyse the data first before issuing their findings.

No, to keep abreast of the breaking and daily news, it is to Alexander Higgins that I go. And having said that, I am going to leave no more than this link to the North Anna story, because it is after all Arnie Gunderson's latest report on Fukushima that I want to bring to the fore. Update here. But for real scary stuff there is this video report from Helen Caldicott, who touches on many things, Chernobyl, food, Depleted Uranium, Iraq birth defects et al.

In fact the clip is so compelling I am going to embed it. But do visit web page, for there is much more to be found there, including another Arnie Gunderson clip.

Though based on nothing more than I have read, other than that is, applying that which I hold dear to me, hold more dearly than brains, for it is oft the case that just one ounce of common sense is worth a pound of the grey matter, and it is that which I apply to the situation in Fukushima, common sense. It is such an application that caused me to write this.

The potential for a collapse of a society is I think a very real threat. That great swathes of this comparatively small country are almost certain to become uninhabitable, its level of food production decimated and groundwater contaminated forever, cannot be underestimated or written off.

Add to these not insignificant woes, the future prospect of untold numbers of health related problems, the future does indeed look grim. And to be taken into consideration, the very real threats to Japan's manufacturing industries and potential loss of markets, it becomes increasingly difficult to see how Japan can perform as a functioning society.

The seemingly devil may care attitude by vast majority to what is actually happening in Japan reminds me of a story once told to me by a friend, John.

John and a colleague had occasion to conduct some business north of the border and found themselves on a domestic flight in a gale of wind, bound for one or other of the Scottish airports.

Both ex pilots, thoroughly aware of the conditions, the wind speed and direction, and not least the layout of the only runway that would be available to them, were, in their own words, shitting themselves. Strapped in with an eye on the nearest exit, all the while surrounded by fellows reading the Evening Standard and calling for ''just another gin Giovanni, before we land.''

But the difference between that flight and the situation at Fukushima is, that flight did eventually get down on the ground. Fukushima has been, and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future, constantly on final approach. Japan is Fucked Short Term Long Term

Which brings us to Arnie Gunderson's latest report, the content of which I am sad to say, does nothing to counter my opinion, but rather endorse it. The details given out in the report get progressively more alarming throughout the clip, culminating with Gunderson's take on Japan's apparent philosophy concerning the status quo.

''Japan has a problem, a tough problem, but in order to solve a tough problem, first you have to recognise there is a tough problem. Ans this constant ignoring of the significance of the problem by the Japanese Government is in fact making it longer, and eventually more costly than doing it right the first time....''

New Data Supports Previous Fairewinds Analysis, as Contamination Spreads in Japan and Worldwide from Fairewinds Associates on Vimeo.

Newly released neutron data from three University of California San Diego scientists confirms Fairewinds' April analysis that the nuclear core at Fukushima Daiichi turned on and off after TEPCO claimed its reactors had been shutdown. This periodic nuclear chain reaction (inadvertent criticality) continued to contaminate the surrounding environment and upper atmosphere with large doses of radioactivity.

In a second area of concern, Fairewinds disagrees the NRC's latest report claiming that all Fukushima spent fuel pools had no problems following the earthquake. In a new revelation, the NRC claims that the plutonium found more than 1 mile offsite actually came from inside the nuclear reactors. If such a statement were true, it indicates that the nuclear power plant containments failed and were breached with debris landing far from the power plants themselves. Such a failure of the containment system certainly necessitates a complete review of all US reactor containment design and industry assurances that containments will hold in radioactivity in the event of a nuclear accident. The evidence Fairewinds reviewed to date continues to support its April analysis that the detonation in the Unit 3 Spent Fuel pool was the cause of plutonium found off site.

Third, the burning of radioactive materials (building materials, trees, lawn grass, rice straw) by the Japanese government will cause radioactive Cesium to spread even further into areas within Japan that have been previously clean, and across the Pacific Ocean to North America.

And finally, the Japanese government has yet to grasp the severity of the contamination within Japan, and therefore has not developed a coherent plan mitigate the accident and remediate the environment. Without a cohesive plan to deal with this ongoing problem of large scale radioactive contamination, the radioactivity will continue to spread throughout Japan and around the globe further exacerbating the problem and raising costs astronomically. Fairewinds

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