web analytics

Dead Hands

Written By: - Date published: 10:43 am, August 20th, 2015 - 11 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, class war, Economy, energy, Environment, Japan - Tags: , ,

Last week, Japan brought its Sendai nuclear reactor on line. It’s the first nuclear plant to be restarted since the triple melt-down at Fukushima and the shut-down of all 54 of the country’s reactors.

Sakurajima is a volcano sitting about 30 miles from the newly opened plant. Currently, the official warning for a large scale eruption at Sakurajima is set at its second highest level.

The public is against the country’s nuclear power plants being restarted.

In not unrelated news, the government claims that Fukushima will be ‘cleaned up’ in the space of three to four decades. This is in spite of ‘the elephants foot’, the 30 year old melted radioactive core at Chernobyl, still being ‘hot’ enough to kill after about eight minutes of exposure. At Chernobyl, no-one is thinking of tackling the core within the next 100 years. And at Chernobyl, the location of the core is known. At Fukushima, three cores are missing. And there is no technological ‘fix’ for melted cores. No-one knows what to do with them.

There is more on the technical and financial situation at Fukushima in the video and transcript for those interested.

In summary, Japanese financial institutions want payment on tens of billions of dollars lent to nuclear plant operators and a national media is running scared before a nebulous state secrets act. Up steps the government to ooze calm reassurances over nuclear start-ups and clean-ups.

That’s the workings of the rational, efficient and neutral market for you. And it’s all the same whether we’re talking New Zealand dolphins, nuclear power plants, social welfare, water quality or climate change.

Business prods. Government talks. People be damned.

11 comments on “Dead Hands ”

  1. Blue Horsehoe 1

    We live an existence inside what could be described as, suicidal dictatorship

  2. Ovid 2

    This is a series of three short videos. The first explains the technology of nuclear power. The second why it is bad and the third is its positive (or less bad) points.

  3. tc 3

    Checkout the insanity that’s going on in the UK with yet to be built reactors having power prices locked in for decades when there’s no evidence they’ll even get completed in the timeframe on the table with all existing builds way over budget and timelines.

    Then there’s the insanity across the ditch with South Aus suggesting they can be the world nuclear waste dump for the byproducts of a technology that reprocesses existing waste, all unproven blueskies nuclear fantasyland PR.

    Oh and it’s now been shown that renewables and gas is more efficient and cheaper than the total cost of nuclear which is an inconvenient truth the nuclear industry is now rallying against.

  4. RedLogix 4

    Found this an excellent read. The right mix of the personal, technical and historic.

    https://leatherbarrowa.exposure.co/chernobyl

  5. adam 5

    Bill I was sent via social media this morning that there was a substantial earthquake in Japan in the early hours. The epicentre was Around Fukushima – no coverage in mainstream media as yet. I will keep hunting.

    Also there should be some ocean floor studies around Fukushima published in the next few day. From what I hear, they will be damning on the so called – clean up.

    • adam 5.1

      I feel like a idiot.

      What my friend was saying, was a series of earthquakes have been happening in the Fukushima prefecture over the last couple of months, and it substantial that it was not in the news.

      Again sorry Bill, my miss reading of his post.

  6. Colonial Rawshark 6

    Mayor of Futaba talks to RT (2014)

    Futaba was a small town adjacent to the Fukushima Dai Ichi reactor. The Mayor pours cold water on the central government declaration that Fukushima prefecture is now largely safe and free of radiation. He also has some damning comments about the unprofessional incompetency of TEPCO, the power company.

  7. the pigman 7

    Hi Bill,

    I remember you made a very ominous post many months ago about a procedure being taken (involving building a huge structure-above-structure in order to remove nuclear material at the damaged reactors) that you considered highly dangerous and likely to fail. That post was never followed up.

    In the interests of balance:

    http://www.rt.com/news/233191-fukushima-nuclear-threat-report/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_disaster_cleanup

    I don’t have particularly detailed of objective knowledge on the issue, but as you say, the Abe government is doing some really awful shit with surveillance and security issues while using China/Korea as a distraction (the equivalent of a “flag debate”) to hype up tension and fear.

    As to the restart of reactors, living in Tokyo, I can only hope that lightning doesn’t strike twice. The clusterfukushima has, one hopes, led to better procedures for dealing with such a disaster in the unlikely event it does (sticking nuclear reactors below ground level right next to a tsunami-prone coastline in a seismologically active country was not a great starting point). However, I should say that I understand if they’re not restarted and the nuclear fuel is not used, there are ongoing risks and enormous costs (as there already have been with increased power costs since 2011 when the nation became reliant on oil and gas) attaching to the decommission and disposal of that material.

  8. Smilin 8

    The paranoia of a flat earth society continuing to justify its belief without proof ever being able to confirm they are right and we all suffer because they exist
    Does anyone get scared looking at the nuclear leakage graphics from Fukushima into the Pacific

    • the pigman 8.1

      Not clear where you’re going with this Smilin’, so let’s look at this article from January:

      http://earthsky.org/earth/tracking-fukushima-radiation-across-the-pacific

      Relevantly:

      “By June of 2013, however, it had spread all the way to the continental shelf of Canada.

      The amount of radiation that finally made it to Canada’s west coast by June 2013 was very small – less than 1 Becquerels per cubic meter. (Becquerels are the number of decay events per second per 260 gallons of water.) That is more than 1,000 times lower than acceptable limits in drinking water, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

      Computer models that match fairly closely with the hard data that Smith collected suggest that the amount of radiation will peak in 2015 and 2016 in British Columbia, but it will never exceed about 5 Becquerels per cubic meter. Smith said:

      Those levels of cesium 137 are still well below natural levels of radioactivity in the ocean. [emphasis my own]

      Because of the structure of the currents, the radiation levels in Southern California are expected to peak a few years later, but by that time they will be even smaller than the highest levels of radiation expected in Canada.”

      My family and I (and, well, millions of Tokyo’s citizens) have swum at Tokyo’s city beaches (not very nice to start with) every summer since 2012. No sign of radiation-related illnesses yet.

      • Bill 8.1.1

        General radiation isn’t so much of a problem as hot particles.

        Due to their small size, hot particles may be swallowed, inhaled or enter the body by other means. Once lodged in the body, cells very near the hot particle may absorb much of its radiation, and be bombarded in a very sustained and concentrated fashion.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_particle

        Hot particles from Fukishima (they can be beta radiation that doesn’t penetrate your skin in normal circumstances) entered the ocean and air and have been found in almost all tuna tested: in the air filters of cars and houses: in mutton birds: in soil remote from Fukishima…

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Equitable response to Omicron vital
    The Green Party supports the Government’s decision to move Aotearoa New Zealand to traffic light level Red at 11.59pm tonight, but says its success will depend on the support that is made available to the most vulnerable. ...
    2 days ago
  • How we’re preparing for Omicron
    As countries around the world experience Omicron outbreaks, we’re taking steps now to ensure we’re as prepared as possible and our communities are protected. ...
    5 days ago
  • What’s Labour achieved so far?
    Quite a bit! This Government was elected to take on the toughest issues facing Aotearoa – and that’s what we’re doing. Since the start of the pandemic, protecting lives and livelihoods has been a priority, but we’ve also made progress on long-term challenges, to deliver a future the next generation ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tackling the big issues in 2022
    This year, keeping Kiwis safe from COVID will remain a key priority of the Government – but we’re also pushing ahead on some of New Zealand’s biggest long-term challenges. In 2022, we’re working to get more Kiwis into homes, reduce emissions, lift children out of poverty, and ensure people get ...
    2 weeks ago

  • 5,000 portable air cleaners for schools on their way
    As schools are preparing to return, Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 5,000 air cleaners have been ordered for New Zealand schools. “As we know, along with vaccination, testing, good hygiene and physical distancing, good ventilation is important in minimising the risk of airborne transmission of the virus that causes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • New Zealand to move to Red from 11.59pm today
    All of New Zealand will move to the Red setting of the Covid Protection Framework (CPF) at 11:59pm today as Omicron is potentially now transmitting in the community, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. “Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region are now confirmed as Omicron, and a further ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Mandatory boosters for key workforces progressing well
    More than 5,785 (82%) border workers eligible for a booster vaccination at 6 months have received it so far, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “That’s a really strong uptake considering we announced the requirement the week before Christmas, but we need to continue this momentum,” Chris Hipkins said. “We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ to move to Red
    Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region have now been confirmed as the Omicron variant, and a further case from the same household was confirmed late yesterday. These cases are in a single family that flew to Auckland on 13 January to attend a wedding and other events ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to provide further help for Tonga
    Aotearoa New Zealand is giving an additional $2 million in humanitarian funding for Tonga as the country recovers from a volcanic eruption and tsunami last weekend, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. This brings Aotearoa New Zealand’s contribution to $3 million. “This support will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Quarterly benefit numbers show highest number of exits into work
    The Government’s strong focus on supporting more people into work is reflected in benefit figures released today which show a year-on-year fall of around 21,300 people receiving a main benefit in the December 2021 quarter, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said. “Our response to COVID has helped ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Northland to move to Orange, NZ prepared for Omicron 
    Northland to move to Orange Rest of New Zealand stays at Orange in preparedness for Omicron All of New Zealand to move into Red in the event of Omicron community outbreak – no use of lockdowns Govt planning well advanced – new case management, close contact definition and testing rules ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • RNZAF C-130 Hercules flight departs for Tonga as Navy vessels draw nearer to Tongatapu
    A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules has departed Base Auckland Whenuapai for Tonga carrying aid supplies, as the New Zealand aid effort ramps up, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “The aircraft is carrying humanitarian aid and disaster relief supplies, including water ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand prepared to send support to Tonga
    New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “Following the successful surveillance and reconnaissance flight of a New Zealand P-3K2 Orion on Monday, imagery and details have been sent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand stands ready to assist people of Tonga
    The thoughts of New Zealanders are with the people of Tonga following yesterday’s undersea volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami waves, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says. “Damage assessments are under way and New Zealand has formally offered to provide assistance to Tonga,” said Nanaia Mahuta. New Zealand has made an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Record high of new homes consented continues
    In the year ended November 2021, 48,522 new homes were consented, up 26 per cent from the November 2020 year. In November 2021, 4,688 new dwellings were consented. Auckland’s new homes consented numbers rose 25 per cent in the last year. Annual figures for the last nine months show more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Report trumpets scope for ice cream exports
    Latest research into our premium ice cream industry suggests exporters could find new buyers in valuable overseas markets as consumers increasingly look for tip top quality in food. Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash has released a new report for the Food and Beverage Information Project. The project is run by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Honouring the legacy of legendary kaumātua Muriwai Ihakara
    Associate Minister for Arts, Culture, and Heritage Kiri Allan expressed her great sadness and deepest condolences at the passing of esteemed kaumātua, Muriwai Ihakara. “Muriwai’s passing is not only a loss for the wider creative sector but for all of Aotearoa New Zealand. The country has lost a much beloved ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Have your say on proposed changes to make drinking water safer
    Associate Minister for the Environment Kiri Allan is urging all New Zealanders to give feedback on proposed changes aimed at making drinking water safer. “The current regulations are not fit for purpose and don’t offer enough protection, particularly for those whose water comes from smaller supplies,” Kiri Allan said. “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Planting the seeds for rewarding careers
    A boost in funding for a number of Jobs for Nature initiatives across Canterbury will provide sustainable employment opportunities for more than 70 people, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The six projects are diverse, ranging from establishing coastline trapping in Kaikōura, to setting up a native plant nursery, restoration planting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand congratulates Tonga's new Prime Minister on appointment
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta today congratulated Hon Hu'akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni on being appointed Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Tonga. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Tonga have an enduring bond and the Kingdom is one of our closest neighbours in the Pacific. We look forward to working with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • High-tech investment extends drought forecasting for farmers and growers
    The Government is investing in the development of a new forecasting tool that makes full use of innovative climate modelling to help farmers and growers prepare for dry conditions, Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor said.  The new approach, which will cost $200,000 and is being jointly funded through the Ministry for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago