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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 06:28 AM
Original message
Japan warned over nuclear plants, WikiLeaks cables show
Source: The Telegraph

By Steven Swinford, and Christopher Hope 9:30PM GMT 15 Mar 2011
An official from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in December 2008 that safety rules were out of date and strong earthquakes would pose a "serious problem" for nuclear power stations.

The Japanese government pledged to upgrade safety at all of its nuclear plants, but will now face inevitable questions over whether it did enough.

While it responded to the warnings by building an emergency response centre at the Fukushima plant, it was only designed to withstand magnitude 7.0 tremors. Friday's devastating earthquake was a magnitude 9.0 shock.

The news is likely to put further pressure on Japan's Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, who has been criticised for "dithering" over the country's response to the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.


Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/838...
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Lucinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 06:32 AM
Response to Original message
1. I knew there had been criticism from watching CNIC briefings
but I wasn't aware just how long the criticisms had been occurring...thankie for the link.
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PA Democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 06:40 AM
Response to Original message
2. How sad that governments conspire with the nuclear industry to
deceive the public about safety issues and risk.
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 06:50 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Economic compromise is the enemy of SAFETY.
It's one of the real sticking points in environmental conflict resolution.

Basic distrust of government and industry compromises are also the reason NIMBY is such a common and powerful response.

Simulating conflict resolution is one of the best ways for students to explore its dynamics, and in the many years I taught general studies environmental science I watched along to see where the negotiating breakdowns occurred that hung up compromise among the stake-holders. Safety was the most common issue, whether it was a simulated siting of a dump, shale-oil mining or a power plant.

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druidity33 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 07:10 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Are you in the Northeast?
We could use someone with your insight this year with Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant. Not sure if you know the history of that place or whether you're interested. There will be a vigil at the plant this Sunday, and a planned event in Brattleboro, VT on Monday...

:)

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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 07:12 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. No, I am in Wisconsin.
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swilton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #5
35. I'm over here in Keene and am with you in spirit
Unfortunately I have to be out of town on emergency. :hi:

I thought that the Vermont Yankee was finished with the last year's vote and the election of Vermont's governor who is opposed to the plant.
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druidity33 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #35
51. it'll be a showdown...
between the NRC and the VT State Legislature. They were already given a 40 year extension... not sure where that goes now. Apparently Entergy is trying to sell the plant.

:shrug:

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AtheistCrusader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #5
48. VY has the same containment design as Fukushima Dai-ichi reactors 1-5.
General Electric boiling water reactor Mark 1.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 07:29 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. PROFIT is the enemy of safety
You can have one, or the other, but not both.
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howaboutme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 07:53 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. Profits, wars, tax cuts for the rich have made the USA ill equipped for disasters
The wherewithal in the USA has been shifted from providing depth in US disaster planning and government for all, to providing multiple mega mansions, yachts, jets, and absurd levels of ability to frivolously spend by the uber rich (primarily Wall St, Hollywood, financiers, celebrities, entertainment and CEO sector). But most detrimentally of all has been their ability to organize for their own advancement with their war chests and lobbies, all at the expense of the people.
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 08:20 AM
Response to Reply #8
13. Certainly profit is the motivator for business
Edited on Wed Mar-16-11 08:22 AM by HereSince1628
Government has issues that involve both advocacy for the development of utilities (remember FDR's rural electrification?) and regulation of utilities. We need electricity not only for industry, but it's become a critical support for our way of life (even DU). Electricity is needed for critical activities such as health care. One can't access patient records, run a CT Scan, or light a surgery theater without electricity. So we desire electricity and would be unhappy if it were not available. Yet, Government also has need to regulate utilities to assure fair prices, safe operations, and the capacity to deal utility emergencies that could (and probably will) cause the community damages.

There is general agreement and acceptance within government agencies, that utilities can never be expected to operate with zero potentially damaging events. So, governments typically require operating standards to minimize the chance of such events and mitigation plans and assurances that resources can be made available to deal with these events after they finally do occur. Mitigation not only means capacity to have an emergency response but also to deal with community damage. Damage is often calculated as monetary damages and regulation requires offsetting securities, etc. Companies that can produce catastrophic events will be bankrupted by the events and are likely to not be able to meet those obligations--in the good times before the events, this reality is often downplayed--intentionally so by the developers and operators. In bad times the companies and their insurers try to weasel out of these responsibilities.

The political pressures on governments to facilitate utility development and service but to also protect the community, together with the limits of capital available for both needs, result in compromises that allow for limited (thereby imperfect) risk protection and limited (thereby imperfect) mitigation. That's why it's called risk management rather than risk elimination.

We (as in all Americans) live with these sorts of compromises everyday regarding safety of our utilities, homes, cars, driveways, medical care, etc. and we don't spend much time worrying about them. Certainly some our (as in the politically conscious citizens who populate DU) anxieties get raised when pro-business forces in government reduce regulatory oversight. But in normal times, that is opposed by other political forces again resulting in...compromise.

Nonetheless, when a community finds itself in the middle of a catastrophic event, those risk management decisions are always severely criticized by us (as in the affected which once again would be all Americans). We are more willing to accept hypothetical risks, than we are to accept an actual event. It's human nature.










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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #13
32. Whatever we "need" we don't use it at the expense of our health and survival ... !!
Capitalism is a suicidal system --

Unregulated capitalism is merely organized crime --

Juding everything by the yardstick of a dollar bill leaves you only with a dollar bill to

plant and eat in the end!

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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #32
43. Unfortunately, we all too often do...
mostly because money is fungible.

Money is not the enemy, it is only a mechanism by which to do trade.

Coming together to collectively pool money in order to be productive is also not the enemy.

Avarice and greed are the enemies. If it wasn't money that was hoarded, it would be something else.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #43
50. Well, then let's go back to sea shells -- money is power in the end --
Capitalism is the enemy -- it's a system designed to move the wealth and natural

resources of a nation from the many to the few -- and it does that quite successfully!

Let's simply uninvent the dollar bill --

Violence is the enemy -- by which those who who want control over others come to power.

We've had 50 and more years of out in the open right wing political violence which took

not only our president but our people's government.



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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #50
53. Open right wing VIOLENCE, eh? Ok, whatever.
Ok, whatever.
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #13
47. We should be switching to solar energy. It is the safest energy source.
The only reasons that the rich prefer nuclear energy are that, with nuclear, they can keep everyone else buying their product (and paying their profit) forever and because they can control the distribution of energy.

Shame on the greed that keeps nuclear energy legal.
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howaboutme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #47
58. Yes they prefer controlling production and a beholden market
Edited on Wed Mar-16-11 03:19 PM by howaboutme
Fully distributed solar energy at the residential level puts the current model of centralized generation and distribution at risk. It is that risk to the status quo of commercial interests that always works against innovation and finding solutions. If someone found a cure for cancer would the health care industry attempt to muzzle it or buy the rights? We'd never know.

If we had more decentralized energy distribution we could be more self reliant in disasters, and have the ability to recharge battery operated vehicles and also have the potential to back feed to commercial needs the surplus energy from the electric vehicle, to entities such as office buildings or grid.

The concept needs pushed but too many ingrained interests, from US utilities to generating manufacturers such as GE, to countries such as Israel and Saudis that want us involved in the Middle East and they all work against revising the status quo.
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #58
59. Good analysis, howaboutme. I agree.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 09:33 AM
Response to Reply #8
19. +1000%
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #4
46. When issues of sustaining human life conflict with those of making profit,
there really isn't much to negotiate. Safety first and foremost.

Profit should be a very small factor in determining safety standards especially when it comes to nuclear energy.

As we see here, safety should not be compromised.
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #46
60. Yes, and as we see here, hindsight is always at least 20/20
Sad but also true.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #60
62. It's not only hindsight, though. Japan was warned well before this. So were we.
Edited on Wed Mar-16-11 07:38 PM by No Elephants
See the OP and Replies 9, 24 and 34, among other sources.
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Athena66 Donating Member (39 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #2
44. It's SOP
for governments to conspire with almost all industries that involve safety or environmental issues for the public (or negative economic issues, for that matter). They conspire with the coal industry about the environmental impact of coal use, and about miner safety. They conspire with the oil industry about the environmental impact of oil use, and the safety of off-shore drilling. And on and on. The "public" be damned- governments know where the big money is.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 06:40 AM
Response to Original message
3. It makes one want to give up in despair
Why did they gamble on this? Did they really think this would never happen?
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #3
28. Because capitalism is suicidal -- not only re nuclear power plants ....
in all its exploitation of nature, animal-life, natural resources -- and even

other human beings!!

It's a ridiculous King-of-the-Hill system intended to move the wealth and natural

resources of a nation from the many to the few and its highly successful at doing that --

Unregulated capitalism is merely organized crime.


The few among us are always prepared to be politically violent to get their way --

not to mention stolen elections and lies --

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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #28
57. "Capitalism is suicidal" and I would add it's homicidal as well -
people going to any and all lengths possible just to earn the almighty dollar. It's a warped system.
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 07:26 AM
Response to Original message
7. Thank you AGAIN, WikiLeaks, for telling us the truth. We'd never hear it from an official source.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #7
29. +1000% -- we need to end this national security state --
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2banon Donating Member (794 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #29
45. by abolishing the National Security Act of 1947
but it will never happen in our lifetime...

:grr:
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tiny elvis Donating Member (619 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 07:38 AM
Response to Original message
9. fukushima 1 was scheduled to be taken out of operation 3/26/11
http://www.icjt.org/npp/podrobnosti.php?drzava=14&lokac...
In February 2011, Japanese regulators granted an extension of ten years for the continued operation of the reactor.
http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2011/03/12/general-as-ja...
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DailyGrind Donating Member (45 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #9
41. Oops
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JJW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 07:46 AM
Response to Original message
10. Just like New Orleans
Intentionally under estimating worst case scenarios should be a crime of the highest order and considered treason.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 07:41 PM
Response to Reply #10
64. My thought as well but New Orleans did not jeopardize the globe.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 07:51 AM
Response to Original message
11. That damn Wikileaks being traitorous again!
Assange and Manning should be executed for exposing these things!!!


:sarcasm:
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avaistheone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #11
40. My thoughts as well.
Long live wikileaks!
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Bragi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 08:30 AM
Response to Original message
14. This shows (again) why we need Wikileaks /nt
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Bragi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 08:33 AM
Response to Original message
15. And where are all the pro-secrecy DUers now?
I await their explanation as to why Manning and Assange must die, or at least face torture, for releasing this kind of information.
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #15
18. this was already public knowledge and reported without Wikileaks. I read this days ago.
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Bragi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #18
24. Is this what you are referring to?
I'm fascinated to see how this was already public knowledge, so I checked google news, and I come up with a news report last week saying there were "reports" in 1972 from US inspectors suggesting safety issues?

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/03/14-5

So is that what you are referring to?

As in: "We really don't need Wikileaks releasing information about recent events because we already have 40 year-old reports to go on."

Do tell?
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #24
55. ...:
:thumbsup:
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ReggieVeggie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #24
65. Jeebus Bless Bradley Manning!
:thumbsup:
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Wednesdays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 09:21 AM
Response to Original message
16. K&R
:kick:
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Indydem Donating Member (866 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 09:24 AM
Response to Original message
17. The earthquake itself did NOT cause this situation.
The reactors shut down as designed when the earthquake hit.

THe cooling system kicked in as designed and began cooling the reactors.

The TSUNAMI destroyed the power grid and the backup diesel generators.

While the Tsunami IS a result of the earthquake, it is the true destroyer here.
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think Donating Member (316 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 09:34 AM
Response to Reply #17
20.  I understand the technical point that
earthquakes were not the direct cause here. However, it is 100% certain that the earthquakes were the indirect cause of this disaster....
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #17
22. That's dividing the issue into proximate and ultimate causes
There is also another perspective that such distinctions fit into: multi-linked chains of causation.
When the events are so tightly associated in cause and temporal occurrence they become essentially one event.

In such a situation, the ordered position of the dominoes isn't so important as the magnitude of the risk represented by the foreseeable failure of the entire chain.

If they get viewed independently rather than as being tightly linked, it greatly effects the sense of risk.
A 1% chance of 1% chance of a 1% chance is joint one chance in a million.

A 100% chance linked to a 100% chance resulting from a 1% chance is 1 chance in 100.

I sort of think the Japanese understood a major earthquake on the plate boundary would be linked to a tsunami that would flood and destroy parts of a plants positioned at and below sea-level. The videos of the Sendai area show large seawalls to protect from tsunami.

Those who made design decisions just considered the very low risk of a magnitude 9 earthquake during the life of their nuclear plants an acceptable risk. That has proven to be a costly decision.







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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #22
39. The Ultimate, Underlying Cause Was Building a Nuclear Bomb
and thinking humans could tame it for profit and power.
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #39
56. A-fucking-men. And STILL thinking we can tame it. nt
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #17
25. Iow, "in unknown territory" -- plus the reactor was built to withstand only 7.0 quake ..
Edited on Wed Mar-16-11 10:12 AM by defendandprotect
this was a 9 --

and there are now more than 300 aftershocks -- many of them still at 8 range

and 6 range -- though many lower -- !! Many hitting on different fault lines.

Besides the Fukushima plants -- there are other nuclear complexes --

In all, Japan has 55 reactors -- 17 complexes!!


Global Warming is increasing the number of earthquakes and their intensity --

this plant was based on seismic activity 40 years ago --

This is an insane system of energy -- at best, harmful to human life.

At worst, a threat to human life.

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grahamhgreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #17
33. The backup generators were below sea level. Tsunami is a Japanese word. Below sea level PLUS
tsunami = nuclear disaster. It was a no-brainer.
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Plucketeer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #17
37. So, it wasn't the mid-air collision that killed those on the plane
Sure - the plane lost a wing in dramatic fashion. But the pilot took action as he'd practiced in a simulator many times. Of course, the extent of airframe damage hindered his efforts, and as a consequence, the ship hurtled downwards.
Even as the plane started to crumple into the earth - there was that infinitesimal moment when the seat belts did as designed to protect crew and passengers.
Ultimately tho, it was the fuselage's failing that allowed the victims to get personal with terra firma. So it wasn't air traffic control's fault - their demise. It was the un-anticipated, catastrophic return to earth that was the real cause of their death.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 07:18 PM
Response to Reply #17
61. Without the earthquake, there would have been no tsunami.
That was fun. Want to go around again?
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 09:42 AM
Response to Original message
21. I've been worrying about this stuff since I was 15 years old. nt
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 09:58 AM
Response to Original message
23. How many Americans have ever seen a picture of a fuel-rod "cooling"-pool?
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grahamhgreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #23
36. Here's one
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AtheistCrusader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #23
49. I'm surprised by the shock expressed by people on this site
that have never seen/considered the manner in which the spent fuel, and staged new fuel is stored.

The cherenkov radiation is quite beautiful, actually.
I've never understood the common idea that 'nuclear stuff' glows green.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 10:11 AM
Response to Original message
26. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator.
 
patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #26
30. k, Digg &. . . . . Twitter?
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #26
31. . . . a phestering phesesity!
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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 10:12 AM
Response to Original message
27. File under "duh" - who would've thought building a nuclear plant
on a fault line would be problematic?

:nuke:
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #27
54. Yes. Counter-intuitive, doncha think?
:sarcasm:
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grahamhgreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 10:34 AM
Response to Original message
34. Also, they allege the Govt was ignoring alt energy, covering up accidents, and ...
"The cables also disclose how the Japanese government opposed a court order to shut down another nuclear power plant in western Japan because of concerns it could not withstand powerful earthquakes.

--------------

The Government successfully overturned the ruling in 2009.

Another cable reported to Washington local concerns that a new generation of Japanese power stations that recycle nuclear fuel were jeopardising safety.

The cable, quoting a local newspaper, reports: "There is something precarious about the way all electric power companies are falling in step with each other under the banner of the national policy. We have seen too many cases of cost reduction competition through heightened efficiency jeopardizing safety."

The cables also disclose how Taro Kono, a high-profile member of Japan's lower house, told US diplomats in October 2008 that the government was "covering up" nuclear accidents.

He alleged that the government was ignoring alternative forms of energy, such as wind power.

The cable states: "He also accused METI of covering up nuclear accidents, and obscuring the true costs and problems associated with the nuclear industry." He added that the Japan's "extensive seismic" activity raised safety concerns about storing nuclear material.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
38. WikiLeaks Has the Skinny on EVERYTHING!
That must be a treasure trove as big as the Internet.
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paparush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 11:24 AM
Response to Original message
42. Wikileaks! Is there nothing they can't do?
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
52. Wondering what my Navy nuclear engineer nephew is doing these days . . . nt
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 07:26 PM
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63. They knew, TEPCO cut costs over safety, govt was complicit... anything we haven't seen before?
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