Fukushima Being Stabilised And The Real Tragedy Lies Elsewhere

Posted on Mon 03/21/2011 by

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Andrew BoltBy Andrew Bolt

The death toll from Japan’s tsunami reaches truly terrible proportions, yet our media hyperventilates about a nuclear emergency that has killed no one and probably never will:

THE number of people confirmed dead or listed as missing in Japan has topped 21,000.

Meanwhile, the danger at the Fukushima reactor recedes:

Workers on site have succeeded in increasing the stability of the Fukushima Daiichi reactor units with units 5 and 6 now in cold shutdown. Pressure built up within unit 3 but a more significant venting does not seem necessary now.

External power has now been connected to unit 5 and 6, allowing them to use their residual heat removal systems and transfer heat to the sea. This has been used to cool the fuel ponds and bring the units to cold shutdown status, meaning that water in the reactor system is at less than 100ºC…

An extended operation to refill the fuel pond took place at unit 3, with the Hyper Rescue crew spraying for over 13 hours. Radiation levels 500 metres north of the reactor showed a decrease from 3.44 millisieverts per hour to 2.75 millisieverts per hour, indicating a measure of success in refilling the pond. A similar operation is planned for later today at unit 4 and the surface temperatures of the buildings appear to be below 100ºC.

It’s astonishing that these reactors could have so well withstood a catastrophe that was unimaginable when they were designed:

The Fukushima power plants were required by regulators to withstand a certain height of tsunami. At the Daiichi plant the design basis was 5.7 metres and at Daini this was 5.2 metres.

Tepco has now released tentative assessments of the scale of the tsunami putting it at over 10 metres at Daiichi and over 12 metres at Dainii.

The plant sites were inundated, causing the loss of residual heat removal systems at both sites as well as emergency diesel generators at Daiichi.

It’s time to hold the scaremongers to account.

UPDATE

German physicist Peter Heller is in despair at this witchburning and the despicable role of the media:

There were times in history when ignorance and cowardice overshadowed human life. It was a time when our ancestors were forced to lead a life filled with superstition and fear because it was forbidden to use creativity and fantasy. Religious dogma, like the earth being the centre of the universe, or creationism, forbade people to question. The forbiddance of opening a human body and examining it prevented questions from being answered. Today these medieval rules appear backwards and close-minded. We simply cannot imagine this way of thinking could have any acceptance.

But over the recent days I have grown concerned that we are headed again for such dark times. Hysterical and sensationalist media reporting, paired with a remarkably stark display of ignorance of technical and scientific interrelations, and the attempt by a vast majority of journalists to fan the public’s angst and opposition to nuclear energy – pure witch-burning disguised as modernity.

So it fills me with sadness and anger on how the work of the above mentioned giants of physics is now being dragged through the mud, how the greatest scientific discoveries of the 20th century are being redefined and criminalized. The current debate in Germany is also a debate on freedom of research. The stigmatization and ostracism of nuclear energy, the demand for an immediate stop of its use, is also the demand for the end of its research and development. No job possibilities also means no students, which means no faculty, which then means the end of the growth of our knowledge. Stopping nuclear energy is nothing less than rejecting the legacy of Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr and all others. It is tantamount to scrapping it, labelling it as dangerous – all in a fit of ignorance. And just as creationists attempt to ban the theory of evolution from the school books, it almost seems as if every factual and neutral explanation in Germany is now in the process of being deleted.

Read it all. Please.

And then wonder at the irresponsibility of 60 Minutes last night, crying crocodile tears at the panic it both incites and feeds on:

Then came the tsunami. More than a week later, we still don’t know how many souls were carried away by the ocean. And now there’s the threat of a nuclear meltdown.
Of all the miseries that have been visited on the Japanese people in recent days, this has to be the most terrifying.

You can’t see it like a wave. Or feel it like an aftershock. All you can do is wait and hope and try not to panic.

Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and is a regular commentator on Channel 9′s Today show and ABC TV’s Insiders. He will be heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of new radio station MTR 1377, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.

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