Discussion in 'Japanese Chat' started by fearless_fx, Mar 11, 2011.
lets do something fun to make ppl donate? =)
I just joined with Red Cross to start donations tomorrow. Hopefully some people will donate. Cause I know a number of my friends aren't cause they think because Japan is a rich country, they'll be able to fend for themselves. Kind of stupid...
Lol that's quite (actually very) ignorant of them. Ask them about Katrina, and how Japan donated a million dollars or something to help with Katrina
edit: so i was just told that there are 12,000 Canadians stranded in Japan, and Ottawa's best reply to incoming inquiries about Canadian evacuation is: "Contact the local authorities".
Well, that's the almighty Conservative Party for you.
I still don't understand how this clown of a party could be leading our country.
Yeah, definitely. I explained it to them. Not sure if they're going to donate... we'll have to see. Yeah, let's hope everyone else doesn't think the same way. First earthquake, then tsunami, volcanoe and now the nuclear reactors... Japan is going through so much right now.
It's truly a devastating time for Japan, and a sad, all time low for the human race.
There are people who are more worried of making a few bucks from exploiting the dire situation in Japan, by making fake charity organizations within 3 hours of the disaster, in order to steal money.
There are others who claim this was karma for Pearl Habor (and Katrina, which they did in fact help), or claim this was the will of God.
There are those who truly believe that Japan is fine on its own, being the third largest economy in the world.
And there are governments who refuse to help their own citizens out of Japan, like Canada's Conservative gov't.
Where is the level of support that was offered to Haiti? and the Tsunami in the South East a few years earlier? The moral boost from the entire world coming together?
There really are no words to describe the utter disappointment of the world's reaction to the crisis in Japan.
Another salient and important thread can be pulled from this hairy furball of a mess. Granted, the thought comes from American anti-nuclear activists, but their claims do warrant close attention. That is, they say that Japanese nuclear industry has had a long history of accidents, wholesale cover ups, and had been found to repeatedly lie and bend the truth when it came to operational mishaps at their facilities. One of the plants that was repeatedly a focus of concern was the Fukushima site, the plant that now notoriously houses the exploding reactors. Further, many believe that the Japanese government itself had and continues to be in bed with industry, preventing any sort of truthful fact finding or reconciliation.
This unfortunately, is the background from which this current crisis percolates. The earthquake - tsunami was a natural event. But some say that "Japan Nuke Inc" was a disaster already waiting to happen anyway; all it took was a little shaking and a cascade of unstoppable events would inevitably result. I'm frankly a bit worried about the eventual outcome of this.
^ I can't comment on the history of cover ups, but I was recently informed that the Fukushima site was due to be decommissioned a month from now. There are talks about renewing the site, recondition it until a new plant is constructed.
If those cover-ups are in fact true, looks like the light at the end of the tunnel just got a whole lot dimmer..
edit: this man is a troll, and I can't comprehend how people keep voting for this joke of a party..
I'm reading/hearing this as well. Now the twine has come un-done.
Edit: An earthquake hits eastern Japan, with the force strong enough to sway buildings in Tokyo.
im impressed with how japan are dealing with this...i heard on the news how people are still
going to work despite everything thas happened to keep the shares/stocks up...and even more
that there are nobody looting unlike was it the us katrina...when everyone was looting and needed
the troops to restore order...?
That's an excellent observation!
Interesting dichotomy between the civility of our Japanese in today's news, and that of how many people (esp Chinese) still think or refer to them (vis a vis WW2 Nanking). The contemporary Japanese seemingly has no penchant or desire to riot or fall into anarchy whilst the American will notoriously loot and pillage at the drop of a hat, LOL. But to be fair, a lot of the post Katrina "looting" was resultant of survival desperation and not avarice. Sure, there were some that took advantage, but in general, New Orleans was left without basic items of food or water and stores were not open, and were not going to be opened for the foreseeable future. Hence, in the emergency, any and all available sources were simply misappropriated for survival needs. An interesting debate arose from the looting debacle; supposedly an order circulated amongst police officers that they were authorized to use deadly force to shoot anyone found looting. Luckily, most officers dismissed the idea. Some stated that they would only shoot 'obvious' looters, that is, people who took items clearly unnecessary for survival. But, dark rumors persisted that a few officers took that new edict as an open license to kill.
Spoiler: Article from August 25, 2010...
After Katrina, Cops Given OK to Shoot Looters
ProPublica: Hazy Directives to "Take Back the City" and Word of Martial Law Contributed to Itchy Trigger Fingers
In the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina, an order circulated among New Orleans police authorizing officers to shoot looters, according to present and former members of the department. It's not clear how broadly the order was communicated. Some officers who heard it say they refused to carry it out. Others say they understood it as a fundamental change in the standards on deadly force, which allow police to fire only to protect themselves or others from what appears to be an imminent physical threat. The accounts of orders to "shoot looters," "take back the city," or "do what you have to do" are fragmentary. It remains unclear who originated them or whether they were heard by any of the officers involved in shooting 11 civilians in the days after Katrina. Thus far, no officers implicated in shootings have used the order as an explanation for their actions. Only one of the people shot by police - Henry Glover - was allegedly stealing goods at the time he was shot.
Special Report: Katrina Five Years Later
Still, current and former officers said the police orders - taken together with tough talk from top public officials broadcast over the airwaves -- contributed to an atmosphere of confusion about how much force could be used to combat looting. In one instance captured on a grainy videotape shot by a member of the force, a police captain relayed the instructions at morning roll call to cops preparing for the day's patrols. "We have authority by martial law to shoot looters," Captain James Scott told a few dozen officers in a portion of the tape viewed by reporters. Scott, then the commander of the 1st district, is now captain of the special operations division. Another police captain, Harry Mendoza, told federal prosecutors last month that he was ordered by Warren Riley, then the department's second-in-command, to "take the city back and shoot looters." A lieutenant who worked for Mendoza, Mike Cahn III, said he remembered the scene similarly and would testify about it under oath if asked. Mendoza and Cahn said in separate interviews that Riley made the remarks at a meeting at Harrah's casino, where police had established a command post. Mendoza quoted Riley as saying: "If you can sleep with it, do it," according to a document prepared by prosecutors and provided to lawyers defending police officers recently charged with federal offenses.
Riley categorically denied telling officers they could shoot looters. "I didn't say anything like that. I heard rumors that someone else said that. But I certainly didn't say that, no." "I may have said we need to take control of the city," Riley said. "That may have happened." Riley also questioned the credibility of Mendoza, whom he fired in 2006 for alleged neglect of duties. Mendoza has since been reinstated; Riley has retired. Scott declined comment but said through his attorney that a fuller version of the videotape places his remarks in a different context. But he would not disclose what else he said that day or characterize more completely what he meant. The officer who shot the video, Lt. Sandra Simpson, would not permit reporters to see the complete recording. New Orleans police officials have said that they do not consider the tape a public record and that it is thus up to Simpson whether to allow the tape to be viewed.
Scott's address came at a moment of widespread confusion over whether authorities had imposed martial law, a phrase used by then-Mayor Ray Nagin on the radio. In fact, martial law does not exist under Louisiana's constitution. But experts in police training said the use of those words by politicians and in news reports may have fueled perceptions that the rules had changed. In recent months, a team of reporters from The Times-Picayune, PBS Frontline, and ProPublica, have examined department leaders' conduct as part of a broader look at police shootings after Hurricane Katrina. A documentary drawn from that work airs Wednesday evening on Frontline, which can be seen locally on WYES-TV at 8 p.m. The confusion over whether martial law had been declared was widely reported at the time. But until now, it was not known that some within the police force interpreted it to authorize shooting of looters who posed no direct threat. New Orleans police came under unprecedented pressures after the city flooded. Many of the department's police stations were submerged in water. The command structure broke down as the radio system and computerized communications failed. Officers went for days without sleep as they rescued trapped residents from rooftops. Commanders relied on sporadic face-to-face meetings to direct operations.
"During the Katrina days, we weren't living in the real world, we were living in a holocaust," said former police Lt. David Benelli, who was assigned to the Superdome and has since retired. "We were living in a situation that no other police department ever had to endure." A mix of rumor and reality fueled concerns about the breakdown of civil order. Nagin, the mayor, said in a televised interview days after the storm that there had been rapes and murders among the people taking shelter in the Superdome, a claim that turned out to be untrue. Police Superintendent Eddie Compass made similar statements.
On Aug. 30, 2005, Riley told the mayor he had heard an officer say on the radio, "I need more ammo. We need more ammo." Sally Forman, the mayor's communications chief at the time, said this report -- which, it later emerged, did not come from NOPD -- had immediate impact. Nagin, she recalled, directed Riley to "stop search and rescue and bring our force back to controlling the streets." "The mayor said, ‘Let's stop the looting, let's stop the lawlessness and let's put our police officers on the streets so that our citizens are protected,'" Forman said. Nagin had one more message for the deputy superintendent, in Forman's recollection: "Let's stop this crap now." "We will do that," responded Riley, according to Forman. That same day, Nagin learned that a police officer, Kevin Thomas, had been shot in the head. Forman said "it made the Mayor furious." "And that's when he said we need to declare martial law."
Soon after, Nagin gave a radio interview in which he said he had called for martial law, adding to the confusion about the rules of engagement. Nagin declined to be interviewed. Accounts vary of the meeting outside Harrah's at which Riley delivered his remarks. Some recall Riley speaking to a small group of senior officers; others remember it as a larger gathering. Cahn, who reported to Mendoza during the storm, said the order was delivered on Aug. 31, the day after officer Thomas was wounded. Mendoza thought the instructions were given either Aug. 31 or Sept. 1. Cahn, who is still a reserve lieutenant, said: "It was in Harrah's parking lot. We were having our morning meeting - the captains and their lieutenants were there. And Riley said, "It's time to take the city back. I'm giving you instructions to tell your men to shoot all looters."
"It was such an almost ridiculous order that Mendoza and I said there was no way that we were going to tell our guys that. You can't just decide arbitrarily that you're going to start shooting people for stealing things. "For a commanding officer to tell you that I'm giving you this order - it's easy to think that officers would have taken that and run with it." Mendoza, who is now in charge of the police academy, said he described the meeting at Harrah's to a group of federal prosecutors studying the department's training programs. In an interview, Mendoza expanded on his statement to prosecutors. He said Riley arrived in the morning and asked all the police operating from Harrah's to gather beneath the casino's canopy. He estimated that 30 to 50 people were present. Mendoza said he was "shocked" by the order to shoot looters and believed it might have confused less experienced officers. The remarks, he said, "could have easily damaged their understanding and ability to clearly recognize their responsibilities and follow state law."
Two current officers and one former officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, also remember Riley telling officers at Harrah's that they could shoot looters. All quote Riley as speaking of the need to "take the city back." Like Mendoza and Cahn, they say they decided not to pass on the order. Riley strongly denied issuing such an edict "I absolutely deny it; it absolutely never happened," he said. As for Mendoza, he said: "I despise that guy. I fired him. I don't know where he's getting that foolishness from." Kevin Diel, a former officer, said he saw Riley address a group of 40 to 50 officers at Harrah's on Sept. 2 or Sept. 3. Riley "walked up in a pair of blue jeans, his uniform shirt and a ball cap, and really just starting giving a pep speech, you know, kind of a morale-booster, saying that we were not gonna allow the looters to take the city," Diel recalled. "We were going to more or less protect the borders of it and march through downtown and take the city back." Diel did not recall Riley explicitly saying that officers could shoot looters. After Riley left, Diel said, cops began analyzing the orders, and some wondered aloud whether the deputy superintendent expected officers to "go through the streets, you know, shooting looters?" Experts said that even instructing officers to "take back the city" - the order Riley acknowledges giving - was dangerously ambiguous.
"Just sending out a general order, general statement about ‘take back the city' with no specific guidelines is an invitation to disaster," said Samuel Walker, professor emeritus at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and author of 13 books on police, civil liberties, and criminal justice. "What do the officers think? We can do anything?" Under standards set by the U.S. Supreme Court, Louisiana law and police department guidelines, officers are allowed to use deadly force when they have a reasonable belief there is a threat of "great bodily harm" to either the officer or another person. "A statement, explicit or implied, that you take back the city and do whatever needs to be done is absolutely wrong, [a] complete invitation to disaster," he said. It remains unclear whether the orders have any direct link to the shootings of civilians.
On Sept 3, 2005, a 1st District officer shot Matt McDonald in the back, killing the man. The officer said McDonald, a 41-year-old drifter, ignored orders to let go of a white plastic bag containing a handgun, which he allegedly brandished at police. McDonald's relatives are skeptical of the account. Bryant Wininger, the narcotics squad lieutenant who shot McDonald, has since retired. He declined to respond to questions or to address whether he was present for Scott's statements about martial law and the shooting of looters. It's also unclear what role the orders to shoot looters might play in the federal trials against officers accused of shooting unarmed civilians. The lawyer for David Warren, the police officer who shot Henry Glover, said Warren had not heard the order. But the lawyer, Michael Ellis, said the order was emblematic of the chaos of that time frame. When Warren fired his .223 rifle at Glover, he had just spent the night standing guard over a man charged with attacking Kevin Thomas, his fellow officer.
"He was guarding the defendant who had shot Kevin," Ellis said. "He looked through the window and could see that Oakwood Shopping Center was in flames and being looted by vandals, and all that goes into the equation of his mindset of the moment that he fired his weapon." Defense attorneys representing two of the officers charged in the shooting of six civilians at the Danziger Bridge said their defenses will largely center on the contention that the shootings were justified -- that officers believed they were under fire. "They weren't shooting looters. They were shooting at people who they thought were shooting at them," said Lindsay Larson III, one of the attorneys representing former officer Robert Faulcon. Frank DeSalvo, attorney for Sgt. Kenneth Bowen, also accused of shooting people on the eastern side of the bridge, agreed. "Certainly, no one's defense is that martial law had been declared and we should shoot looters. They did what they did based upon what they were faced with at the time they arrived at the bridge," he said. But DeSalvo left open the possibility that he would use Mendoza's statement, perhaps as a way to explain the environment in which officers were forced to make decisions. "That is part of the information that they had with respect to the lawlessness in the city. People being shot and being raped. Supposed armed gangs of people running around shooting people," DeSalvo said. "It is relevant with how the fear was running through the department that a chief would say that. When he says, we have to take our streets back, that is what we are talking about. The streets had been taken away by armed gangs."
Japan by the numbers: At least 4,314 killed, 8,606 missing, 2,282 injured, officials say. Numbers expected to rise.
Also.. seems like a lot of countries are looking deeper into the development of Nuclear Power Plants. To build.. or not to build.
Since we're having this discussion, as citizens of countries that utilize nuclear energy, what are your opinions and views on harnessing nuclear power?
That video just summed up everything. It kinda shocked me a bit.. but somehow i think they're exagerrating.. especially with the music.
But to what Dan said, to build or not to build nuclear power plants. This was actually a debate that i had to do for my school project. There are many advantages & disadvantages.. so i can't really make up my mind. But with what's happening in Japan.. i think it discouraged a lot of countries to build it.
There's always going to be a "down" side to just about all equations in life. Until man learns thought transmutation of matter, then just about everything will entail a reaction process byproduct of some kind. In the case of nuclear power, it's really a delicate balance of extracting useful energy from the process without letting the process itself run away in a manner harmful to mankind. This would necessarily entail tremendous effort, both in time, material, and resources. That, in a word, translates into a lot of money.
IMHO, it isn't a matter of harnessing nuclear energy, but rather those to whom we we assign that responsibility. In the Japanese case, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has had a notorious history of cover ups, obfuscation, lies or just about all the things that you wouldn't want in a nuclear power company. In the US, TEPCO's American counterpart Kerr-McGee is probably just as infamous, with the Karen Silkwood mysterious death still unresolved. For those that don't remember, Karen Silkwood was labor union activist that died, killed in a 1974 road accident as she was on the way to meet with a New York Times reporter. Suspicions remain that she was murdered as she was about to reveal safety lapses at the Kerr-McGee plutonium production plant that she worked.
Spoiler: The Karen Silkwood Story...
The Karen Silkwood Story
Karen Silkwood died on November 13, 1974 in a fatal one-car crash. Since then, her story has achieved worldwide fame as the subject of many books, magazine and newspaper articles, and even a major motion picture. Silkwood was a chemical technician at the Kerr-McGee's plutonium fuels production plant in Crescent, Oklahoma, and a member of the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers' Union. She was also an activist who was critical of plant safety. During the week prior to her death, Silkwood was reportedly gathering evidence for the Union to support her claim that Kerr-McGee was negligent in maintaining plant safety, and at the same time, was involved in a number of unexplained exposures to plutonium. The circumstances of her death have been the subject of great speculation.
After her death, organs from Silkwood's body were analyzed as part of the Los Alamos Tissue Analysis Program at the request of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and the Oklahoma City Medical Examiner. Silkwood's case was important to the program because it was one of very few cases involving recent exposure to plutonium. It also served to confirm the contemporary techniques for the measurement of plutonium body burdens and lung burdens. The following account is a summary of Silkwood's exposure to plutonium at the Kerr-McGee plant and the subsequent analysis of her tissues at Los Alamos.
In the evening of November 5, plutonium-239 was found on Karen Silkwood's hands. Silkwood had been working in a glovebox in the metallography laboratory where she was grinding and polishing plutonium pellets that would be used in fuel rods. At 6:30 P.M., she decided to monitor herself for alpha activity with he detector that was mounted on the glove box. The right side of her body read 20,000 disintegrations per minute, or about 9 nanocuries, mostly on the right sleeve and shoulder of her coveralls. She was taken to the plant's Health Physics Office where she was given a test called a "nasal swipe". This test measures a person's exposure to airborne plutonium, but might also measure plutonium that got on the person's nose from their hands. The swipe showed an activity of 160 disintegrations per minute, a modest positive result.
The two gloves in the glovebox Silkwood had been using were replaced. Strangely, the gloves were found to have plutonium on the "outside" surfaces that were in contact with Silkwood's hands; no leaks were found in the gloves. No plutonium was found on the surfaces in the room where she had been working and filter papers from the two air monitors in the room showed that there was no significant plutonium in the air. By 9:00 P.M., Silkwood's cleanup had been completed, and as a precautionary measure, Silkwood was put on a program in which her total urine and feces were collected for five days for plutonium measurements. She returned to the laboratory and worked until 1:10 A.M., but did no further work in the glove boxes. As she left the plant, she monitored herself and found nothing.
Silkwood arrived at work at 7:30 A.M. on November 6. She examined metallographic prints and performed paperwork for one hour, then monitored herself as she left the laboratory to attend a meeting. Although she had not worked at the glovebox that morning, the detector registered alpha activity on her hands. Health physics staff members found further activity on her right forearm and the right side of her neck and face, and proceeded to decontaminate her. At her request, a technician checked her locker and automobile with an alpha detector, but no activity was found.
On November 7, Silkwood reported to the Health Physics Office at about 7:50 in the morning with her bioassay kit containing four urine samples and one fecal sample. A nasal swipe was taken and significant levels of alpha activity (1,000 to 4,000 dpm on her hands, arm, chest, neck, and right ear). A preliminary examination of her bioassay samples showed extremely high levels of activity (30,000 to 40,000 counts per minute in the fecal sample). Her locker and automobile were checked again, and essentially no alpha activity was found.
Following her cleanup, the Kerr-McGee health physicists accompanied her to her apartment, which she shared with another laboratory analyst, Sherri Ellis. The apartment was surveyed. Significant levels of activity were found in the bathroom and kitchen, and lower levels of activity were found in other rooms. In the bathroom, 100,000 dpm were found on the toilet seat, 40,000 dpm on the floor mat, and 20,000 dpm on the floor. In the kitchen, they found 400,000 dpm on a package of bologna and cheese in the refrigerator, 20,000 dpm on the cabinet top, 20,000 dpm on the floor, 25,000 dpm on the stove sides, and 6,000 dpm on a package of chicken. In the bedroom, between 500 and 1000 dpm were detected on the pillow cases and between 500 and 2,000 dpm on the bed sheets. However, the AEC estimated that the total amount of plutonium in Silkwood's apartment was no more than 300 micrograms. No plutonium was found outside the apartment. Ellis was found to have two areas of low level activity on her, so Silkwood and Ellis returned to the plant where Ellis was cleaned up.
When asked how the alpha activity got into her apartment, Silkwood said that when she produced a urine sample that morning, she had spilled some for the urine. She wiped off the container and the bathroom floor with tissue and disposed of the tissue in the commode. Furthermore, she had taken a package of bologna from the refrigerator, intending to make a sandwich for her lunch, but then carried the bologna into the bathroom and laid it on the closed toilet seat. She remembered that she had part of her lunch from November 5 in the refrigerator at work and decided not to make the sandwich, so returned the bologna to the refrigerator. Between October 22 and November 6, high levels of activity had been found in four of the urine samples that Silkwood had collected at home (33,000 to 1,600,000 dpm), whereas those that were collected at the Kerr-McGee plant or Los Alamos contained very small amounts of plutonium if any at all.
The amount of plutonium at Silkwood's apartment raised concern. Therefore, Kerr-McGee arranged for Silkwood, Ellis, and Silkwood's boyfriend, Drew Stephens, who had spent time at their apartment, to go to Los Alamos for testing. On Monday, November 11, the trio met with Dr. George Voelz, the leader of the Laboratory Health Division. He explained that all of their urine and feces would be collected and that several whole body and lung counts would be taken. They would also be monitored for external activity.
The next day, Dr. Voelz informed Ellis and Stephens that their tests showed a small but insignificant amount of plutonium in their bodies. Silkwood, on the other hand, had 0.34 nanocuries of americicium-241 (a gamma-emitting daughter of plutonium-241) in her lungs. Based on the amount of americium, Dr. Voelz estimated that Silkwood had about 6 or 7 nanocuries of plutonium-239 in her lungs, or less than half the maximum permissible lung burden (16 nanocuries) for workers. Dr. Voelz reassured Silkwood that, based upon his experience with workers that had much larger amounts of plutonium in their bodies, she should not be concerned about developing cancer or dying from radiation poisoning. Silkwood wondered whether the plutonium would affect her ability to have children or cause her children to be deformed. Dr. Voelz reassured her that she could have normal children.
Silkwood, Ellis, and Stephens returned to the Oklahoma City on November 12. Silkwood and Ellis reported for work the next day, but they were restricted from further radiation work. After work that night, Silkwood went to a union meeting in Crescent, Oklahoma. At the end of the meeting, at about 7 P.M., she left alone in her car. At 8:05, the Oklahoma State Highway Patrol was notified of a single car accident 7 miles south of Crescent. the driver, Karen Silkwood, was dead at the scene from multiple injuries. An Oklahoma State Trooper who investigated the accident reported that Silkwood's death was a result of a classic, one-car sleeping-driver accident. Later, blood tests performed as part of the autopsy showed Silkwood had 0.35 milligrams of methaqualone (Quaalude) per 100 milliliters of blood at the time of her death. That amount id almost twice the recommended dosage for inducing drowsiness. About 50 milligrams of undissolved methaqualone remained in her stomach.
At the request of the AEC and the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner, Dr. A. Jay Chapman, who was concerned about performing an autopsy on someone reportedly contaminated with plutonium, a team from Los Alamos was sent to make radiation measurements and assist in the autopsy. Dr. Voelz, Dr. Michael Stewart, Alan Valentine, and James Lawrence comprised the team. Because Silkwood's death was an accident, the coroner did not legally need consent from the next of kin to perform the autopsy. However, Silkwood's father was contacted and he gave permission for the autopsy over the telephone. The autopsy was performed November 14, 1974, at the University Hospital in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Appropriate specimens were collected, preserved, and retained by Dr. Chapman for his pathological and toxicological examination. At the request of the coroner and the AEC, certain organs and bone specimens were removed, packaged, frozen, and brought back to Los Alamos for analysis of their plutonium content. Because Silkwood had been exposed to plutonium and had undergone in vivo plutonium measurements, her tissue was also used in the Los Alamos Tissue Analysis Program to determine her actual plutonium body burden, the distribution of the plutonium between different organs of her body, and the distribution within her lung. On November 15, small samples of the liver, lung, stomach, gastrointestinal tract, and bone were selected and analysed. The date, shown in Table 1, indicated clearly that there were 3.2 nanocuries in the liver, 4.5 nanocuries in the lungs, and a little more than 7.7 nanocuries in her whole body. These measurements agreed well with the in vivo measurements made before Silkwood's death (6 or 7 nanocuries in the lung and a little more than 7 nanocuries in the whole body).
There was no significant deposition of plutonium in any other tissues, including the skeleton. The highest concentrations measured were in the contents of the gastrointestinal tract (0.05 nanocurie/gram in the duodenum and 0.02 nanocurie/gram in a small fecal sample taken from the large intestine.) This demonstrated that she had ingested plutonium prior to her death. With the exception of the left lung, the remaining unanalyzed tissues were repackaged and kept frozen until it was determined whether or not additional analyses were required. The left lung was thawed, inflated with dry nitrogen until it was approximately the size that it would have been in the chest, and re-frozen in that configuration. It was packed in an insulated shipping container in dry ice and sent to the lung counting facility at the Los Alamos Health Research Laboratory. The data were then compared with the in vivo measurements made prior to her death. As expected, without the ribs and associated muscle attenuating the x-rays from the americium-241, the results for the left lung measured postmortem were about 50 per cent higher, but not inconsistent with the in vivo result.
Some of the most interesting observations made during Silkwood's tissue analysis were: 1) the distribution of plutonium-239 within her lung and 2) the concentration of plutonium in the lung relative to that in the tracheobronchial lymph nodes (TBLN). After the frozen left lung was returned to the Tissue Analysis Laboratory, the superior lobe was divided horizontally into sections. Those sections were further divided into two parts: the outer layer of the lung (pleura and sub-pleural tissue) and the inner soft tissue of the lung (parenchyma). The plutonium concentrations in the inner and outer parts of Silkwood's lung were about equal, in stark contrast with another case examined under the Tissue Analysis Program in which the concentration in the outer part of the lung was 22.5 times higher than that in the inner part. That difference was an indication that Silkwood had probably been exposed within 30 days prior to her death, whereas the other case had been exposed years prior to death. Furthermore, the concentration of plutonium in Silkwood's lung was about 6 times greater than that in the lymph nodes, whereas in typical cases that ratio would be about 0.1. Both of those results indicated that Silkwood had received very recent exposure and supported the view that the plutonium tends to migrate from the inner part to the outer part of the lung and to the lymph nodes over time.
The saga of Karen Silkwood continued for years after her death. Her estate filed a civil suit against Kerr-McGee for alleged inadequate health and safety program that led to Silkwood's exposure. The first trial ended in 1979, with the jury awarding the estate of Silkwood $10.5 million for personal injury and punitive damages. This was reversed later by the Federal Court of Appeals, Denver, Colorado, which awarded $5000 for the personal property she lost during the cleanup of her apartment. In 1986, twelve years after Silkwood's death, the suit was headed for retrial when it was finally settled out of court for $1.3 million. The Kerr-McGee nuclear fuel plants closed in 1975.
So yes, while I do believe nuclear power can be made safe, the people to whom we entrust to produce it often have conflicting private monetary considerations that override public safety. That to me, has always been the Achilles heel in power production, nuclear or otherwise . IMHO, all power generation should be nationalized (thus rendered non-profit) with industry executives used only in advisor and not in production roles . Further, their operating boards should be mandated to include media, public and environmental representatives, with all inspection records open to public access. That to me, is making power generation as safe as humanly possible. Anything else less than that is a sham.
This sounds quite reasonable to me. If nuclear power harnessing is to be kept, it should happen under those conditions. Energy sources that offer more safety or do not pose a danger at all are surely better alternatives though, but the corresponding techniques seem to need more development still.
One of the things that really aggravates me is the hubris with which nuclear energy industry officials go about their business; they always assume that they are in control and that nothing can go wrong. Too often, we're subsequently shown the errors in this way of thinking. One of the best things that I have done as a parent, was to always tell my kids that there are very little that actually qualify as accidents; that only a lack of forethought is usually to blame. In this regard, I don't think those that run TEPCO et al, learned that lesson when they were kids.
In this case with a runaway reactor, some professor was talking about a Chernobyl type solution of entombing the burning reactor in concrete and sand as the only way to prevent radioactive flame, smoke and debris from escape. So... my question is, why wasn't this already set up so that if a reactor ran away with itself (like this one obviously is doing), it would be as easy as pushing one button to smother the fire with an entire mountain of rock and concrete?
Ever wonder why there are water towers mandated to be at the top of all high rises in New York? It's a New York Fire Department buildings code fire regulation; if a conflagration strikes a NY high rise and pumps fail, one can still have water gravity down to floor hoses to effectively allow for fighting fires. In this sense then, why weren't there alternate sources of water to immediately run into the cooling pool to prevent water from burning off and exposing those radioactive fuel rods? It certainly isn't an engineering impossibility; simply rather a monetarily onerous one. IMHO, in the first place, these nuclear fuel chambers should have been built deep underground with reserve pools of water at the ready. Then, should the need ever arise (ahem... like, now), they could easily evacuate, destroyed, and entombed in situ.
But alas, there goes those dollar signs again... <_<
Personally don't think Chernobyl can be compared to this as that was a man-made disaster as I recall whereas this is caused by a natural disaster, although I can understand with comparison to the level of destruction it may result in. Apparently reactors 1 to 4 aren't looking too good at the moment and no.5 cooling systems is starting to fail (from what I heard on the news).
With the debate in nuclear, personally think it's kinda balanced with me along with the advantages and disadvantages. But this is with fission type reactors, I'm leaning more to yes with the development of a fusion type reactors but of course this type is not as technologically advanced and is not feasible at the moment.
Yeah I read about that, but like you said the people the forum attracted kinda worries me judging from their posts.
This latest is bad...
I just saw a video that they're now using Chinooks to air drop sea water onto the burning reactors. In a word... catastrophic. They've seemed to have lost control of the situation. My gut feeling is, that by the end of the week, Fukushima is going to make Chernobyl look like Disneyworld.
How many reactors do they have?
I thought there were only 4 but now they are talking about Reactor 5 is now a growing cause for concern...