Laden on Skeptics on Fukushima

Greg Laden has some really good comments on the ongoing Fukushima reactor events and their spinning by pro-/anti-nuclear advocates: The Fukushima Disaster, Hyperbole, Credibility, Skepticism, and the Future of Nuclear Power.

I honestly think that it is too early to have this conversation, but alas, the conversation has been forced.

27 Responses to “Laden on Skeptics on Fukushima”

  1. knarlyknight Says:


    “The nuclear industry, for most of us my age who have seen most of the history of this technology for use as energy in the public realm unfold, is pretty much credibility-free.”

  2. NorthernLite Says:

    Yeah it doesn’t seem like information is being shared quickly or even accurately. Who really knows what’s going on but I do know that if I lived anywhere near that plant I’d be high-tailing my ass as far away from it as possible.

  3. knarlyknight Says:

    This might be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic:

    Who wouldn’t change the channel after hearing these words: “Something called the EU energy agent is saying…”

    HA! What an idiot.

  4. NorthernLite Says:

    Good lord… lol.

    Here is a pretty good summary of what has and still is happening. best one I’ve read yet by far:

  5. shcb Says:

    I hope we get a full picture of what happened someday. it seems to me that pumping water would be fairly simple so there must be a lot we don’t know, pumps were damaged or something. maybe once the meltdown starts you can’t just dump water on it, just seems like there is some way to stop this. I mean if you can dump water from a helicopter and do some good why not just back a couple fire trucks up and pump the sucker full?

  6. knarlyknight Says:

    Of course you’re confused shcb if you only have access to US network news sources or sanitized press reports. CNN, FOX, etc. seem to cater to people with an IQ of about 80, that probably correspondes to their average viewer.

    FYI, the Japaneses are using firetrucks and other types of watercannons, but can’t get close enough to one of the reactors even in their rad suits without it being a suicide mission. (They actually may be considering bringing in older retired workers for volunteer suicide missions.) This is the problem with nuclear power shcb, the radiation is not something you can “work through” like your bad back.

    Diesel generators were incapacitated by the tsunami. They have yet to be able to restore power to the pumps but that seems imminent. It is not known if the pumps would still be functioning.

    The water needs to be circulating, it can’t just sit on the rods or it’ll boil off. We’ve seen lots of steam escaping, that’s the probable source – So spraying water on the rods would have to be nearly continuous even if the containment pools were watertight.

    There also must be either cracks in the containment vessel allowing water to leak out (probable) or damaged/stuck valves allowing water to leak out of containment pools (probable), or both.

    NL’s article gives some good insights on the problems at hand, but I’d say this provides the best reporting on what has actually been done, is being done, and plans for the coming days:

  7. NorthernLite Says:

    Something I’m not hearing anyone discuss, and that my buddy and I are wondering about, is the steam coming of the reactors/spent fuel rods after they piur the water on them.

    Is this steam not highly radioactive?

  8. NorthernLite Says:

    Something I’m not hearing anyone discuss, and that my buddy and I are wondering about, is the steam coming of the reactors/spent fuel rods after they pour the water on them.

    Is this steam not highly radioactive?

  9. knarlyknight Says:

    NL, the radiation is escaping regardless of whether there is steam or not…when the rods are covered with water it reduces the amount of radiation escaping, especially if they can contain the water from leaching out into the groundwater….

    I’ve been watching these sites the past week and have been pleased that the radiation levels recorded by independent (supposedly) sources have pretty much matched government assurances except for one day when radiation levels were about 2 to 3 times higher than normal…

    (Not sure why Denver has high readings, maybe a faulty instrument or altitude or the nearby nuclear site?)

  10. shcb Says:

    We have high radon levels here (don’t know why) (is radon radioative?) and we have Rocky Flats, they made triggers for the nukes for years. Henderson mine is also close, they mine uranium there. I almost got my ass kicked by a woman miner in a little bar close to the mine many years ago :)

    don’t know if that helps

  11. knarlyknight Says:

    yea, it helkps to know that you nearly got your ass kicked by a woman miner (minor?).

    Radon is radioactive, all those explanations would explain the higher than average readings around Denver.

  12. NorthernLite Says:

    Hey I thought you guys were broke? It’s never a problem to charge a few hundred cruise missles on the old credit card but damn those pesky teachers and their ‘enormous salaries.’

  13. knarlyknight Says:

    NL, Good point. (!) But you haven’t been listening to shcb, he’s already explained they use selective accounting in America, …the facts according to wwnj’s is that the US people have at least two sets of books, one with an enormous credit card limit that seems to increase without limit and the other where they’re at their limit and are basically bankrupt.

    Sadly, teachers get paid from the latter account, cuz kids and education aren’t worth as much as offensive wars of choice (e.g. where are the missiles taking out the dictators in Bahrain, Yemen and Saudi Arabia?)

    What I don’t get is why the US needed to wait for UN authority for a no fly zone since, once they got it, they attacked tanks & troops on the ground and quadafi’s headquarter buildings? How does that equate to enforcing a no fly zone, do tanks and buildings fly now?

    Also, interesting to see a Chinese warship doing in the Mediterranean (off Libya) for the first time ever…

  14. NorthernLite Says:

    Great questions raised as well.

  15. shcb Says:

    Knarly, yes we have many budgets, federal, state, local, which is further divided to county, city, school district, special taxing districts etc. Here in Denver we have a 6 county district for mass transit, that way the folks in the hicks don’t have to pay for buss service they will never use. There is no selective accounting as the pejorative you intended, it is all very sensible and constitution, the tenth amendment protects states and local government from the feds using their money to buy missiles but in return those local and state governments have the responsibility pay teachers.

    We as voters have been more generous in allowing the federal government the right to borrow money than we have been at the state and local level in most places, that’s just the way it is.

    It may make you feel good to snark at the reality of the situation but it just puts you down at Enky’s level.

  16. NorthernLite Says:

    So are you saying the federal government *never* transfers any funds to state and local governments to help them hire more police officers, teachers, etc? Never?

    Don’t worry – I hear Donald Trump is going to take care of everything in 2012.

  17. shcb Says:

    Sure they do, and Obama can do it now if he wants to, he can propose the federal government pay the shortfalls of the retirement funds of the public workers, hell, pay the whole bill, how far do you think he would get with that? But right now the responsibility of paying teachers and their retirement funds falls on the state and local governments, and they tax us at that level for that purpose. If the feds take over paying those bills we will expect our property taxes to go to almost zero and our state taxes to be cut in half since that is the how much we spend on education. Then the feds can put that on the credit card as well.

  18. knarlyknight Says:

    Well explained shcb, except for the part about Enk. One should never underestimate the value of a good snark.

  19. NorthernLite Says:

    “Cost-sharing agreement”

    Really, it’s not a radical term. It’s different levels of government working together for their people.

    In my region (like a county), there are 3 levels of government splitting (sharing) the costs for mass rapid transit. I don’t think that’s outrageous.

    Although, apparently, Canada and our right-wing PM are going to start following you into quamires in the middle east, as we’re part of the coalition, so I assume in the future my federal government won’t have any money to help with future projects that actually benefit my country because their money will be all tied up in the war machine…

    And so the war machine keeps turning.

    Conservatives just have really strange spending priorities to me. I will never understand it.

  20. shcb Says:

    Thanks Knarly, NL, but that is what makes America unique, we have 50 small governments and one slightly larger one. We didn’t want to be another European country then and some of us don’t want to go there now.

  21. NorthernLite Says:

    I have no idea what you’re talking about.

  22. shcb Says:

    What you are talking about is a fuzzy line between what the feds, locals and states pay for (and control), that is your “Cost Sharing Agreement” I don’t like that. When this country was founded it was founded with 13 individual states that acted as individual small countries except in a few areas like defense. Over time that has changed to more of this cost sharing agreement you are talking about (not just taxes and spending but laws as well), not as much as European countries, but moving in that direction. I think that is moving in the wrong direction. I don’t want Washington telling Coloradoans how to educate my kids or what to pay teachers and the only way to keep that from happening is take the money from only Coloradoans. If someone in Maine is paying for our kids education they feel they should have a say so over what my kids are being taught and what the teachers paid.

    By the way, I found a list of every salary of every individual that works for Jefco school district for 2009, teachers aren’t underpaid, many of them are over $70,000, the superintendant got $205,500 that year.

  23. knarlyknight Says:

    Do not renew the superintendent’s contract and get two more teachers and an assistant instead.

    shcb, that’s skewed logic. No reason that the funding has to be tied to control over specifics such as curriculum.

    For example, Canadian Feds transfer funds to the less well off regions of the country so they have sufficient funds available for such items education and health care, and there are very few strings attached other than it must be spent in those spending areas (e.g. education, healthcare.) That gives Canadians the peace of mind that no-matter where they travel or get transferred while working for a company, if they are in Canada their kids education and their family’s health care will not suffer. In theory at least, there are still variations but that’s due to other causes (e.g. some areas are more conservative and thus the education is more of an indoctrination to linear thinking using proverbs and prejudice rather than knowledge-based mind flexing expercises.)

  24. shcb Says:

    I guess we just prefer the more direct approach.

    We do some of that with school funding in Colorado (since we seem to keep coming back to teachers pay) a more affluent school district has to give some of their money to less affluent districts, mostly rural, and that has caused great problems.

    My brother in law is on the school board in a tiny plains town, talking to him last week was eye opening. They are building a new school, they need state (and fed?) funds because they are too poor to do it on their own. There are some really goofy rules once you go down that road, you can’t discuss the project with the contractors until you pick the builder, things like that. Now that may make sense in some negotiations but it doesn’t here, they can’t go to one contractor and say another contractor had a good idea, we want you to requote based on the first contractor’s idea, that type of thing. It will surely cost more this way, but it won’t because they are using someone else’s money. Funny thing, my daughter is one of the contractors quoting it.

    Got a kick out of your last sentence, we conservatives say the same thing about the Boulder schools.

  25. NorthernLite Says:

    I understand, and value, the importance of your founding fathers and the documents they wrote and the vision they had but seriously… that was a very long time ago. Binding yourselves to such archaic thoughts isn’t always a good thing. Times change, and with those changes new ways of thinking are sometimes required.

    I guess this is just a perfect example of the main difference between progressives and conservatives :)

  26. shcb Says:

    I agree, but I think the closer you keep government the closer an eye you can keep on government, that concept doesn’t have to change even though the specifics might.

    The school example above is a good one, the big government is making rules the people can’t live with, they are farmers, they don’t know all the ins and outs of the government game. They are prefectly capable of building a building the way they want but they need to have the flexability of doing it they way they do business, but the government won’t let them. This bid process probably works well in Chicago but not in Holly.

  27. enkidu Says:

    Wow – been gone a while and haven’t been keeping up with ‘The Conversation’

    knarly, that rush link is teh funny

    I hate to keep mentioning this, but a ‘worldview’ where Rs teabaggers and ‘conservatives’ are ‘informed’ by obese drug addled nincompoops (oh sorry, is that too strong a word?) has few opportunities for real interaction, dialog and compromise. If you ‘believe’ tripe like this “Remember the BP oil spill, the worst oil spill ever except there wasn’t any oil” then there is very little basis for anything other than scorn. And the rethug response to the japanese quake/tsunami and nuke disasters? Typical.

    Nice to see Canada forcing a vote of no confidence on Harper.

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