Monday, July 16, 2007

Japan Dodges A Bullet

A magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck Japan early this morning. Besides opening cracks up to 3 feet in width in the streets, this earthquake also caused a fire and radioactive water leak at the worlds largest nuclear power plant. It took 2 hours to extinguish the fire in the Kashiwazaki plant and 315 gallons of slightly radioactive water leaked out into the Sea of Japan.

Things could have been much worse. This plant was cutting edge as far as safety and design, but what if this had happened to a power plant without the great design and construction that this plant had? What if this plant had been in North Korea or Iran ... not exactly countries at the top of nuclear engineering? We could have had another Chernobyl or worse. With so many countries seeing nuclear power as the answer to their growing energy needs, we need to make sure our nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is not only guarding against substandard design, this watchdog needs to have teeth. They need to be able to shut down substandard plants and have the world behind them in confrontations with Nations that refuse their orders to shut down or upgrade these plants.

With international politics at play, and not knowing what the UN Security Council will vote on any given issue, maybe it would be better to allow the IAEA to put in place and enforce sanctions on any nation that does not play ball, without first having to go to the Security Council. Nuclear energy can be clean and safe (and is for most of the power plants out there), but for the substandard plants ... nuclear power can be a very scary thing.

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34 comments:

Terri@SteelMagnolia said...

Yikes... very scary....

Jenny! said...

Bukake is even scarier!

Jenny! said...

Is there any way of cleaining that spill up or is it not like an oil spill where some salvage can be made?

Paul Champagne said...

terri ... the scariest things are those that we have no control over.

jenny ... Bukake? What does a bizarre practice in feudal Japan have to do with this ... or am I ignorant?

jenny ... there is no way of cleaning up the spill as the radioactive particals are microscopic and now the water has mixed into the ocean. There is no need to worry though, the radiation was at very low levels and should do no enviornmental harm ... but it could have been a lot worse.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

Any kind of nuclear power in the hands of those who are not capable of handling it....OR...deem to use it to harm others is scary to me!

Paul Champagne said...

queen ... but doesn't nuclear power in the hands of idiots promote mayhem?

Jenny! said...

Did you look it up on Urban Dictionary? It has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with this story! But, hey...I thought it was funny! Just my twisted sense of humor!

Jenny! said...

Bukkake...is the spelling i was looking for!

Jim said...

I love america and americans coz they can take the crap i dish out

why do u want to remember 9/11 ?
the muslim world also remmbers a lott of what america did and is doing

an eye for an eye will make the whole fucking world blind
= Mahatma Gandhi

Paul Champagne said...

jenny ... didn't have to look it up (at least not at this time). I looked it up back when Howard Stern mentioned it on his radio show ... perverted man that he is (gotta love him).

jim ... glad you love us ... as to why we want to remember 9/11 is so that we don't become complacent and allow it to happen again. Much like we must remember the Holocaust for the same reason. Or are you one of those people that deny the Holocaust ever happened?

Nikki said...

That is pretty scary stuff. It just makes your butt checks tighten up doesn't it.

Jim said...

That is pretty scary stuff. It just makes your butt checks tighten up doesn't it.

Nikki has a way with words
i must remember this phrase

Jim said...

HA
Bush has his finger on the nuclear button and he dont want to loose the next election

that makes my butt cheeks tighten up

the last time he invaded IRAQ (WMD)
coz he cudnt find OSAMA

Wally Banners said...

Hi Paul ty for dropping in man. that has to suck like mad. your tourist guide says hmm lets not meet at public square, just trust me lmao.

lime said...

you make a good point. chernobyl or TMI anyone?

Terri@SteelMagnolia said...

I must be we Todd did...

I don't know what
Bukkake is.

*giggle giggle*

Terri@SteelMagnolia said...

Okay...I just got back from the dictionary..

THAT IS DISGUSTING!

Terri@SteelMagnolia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terri@SteelMagnolia said...

The next time my husband goes to www.dictionary.com ... he's going to wonder why in the world I wanted to know what that word meant. That is if it autofills ... you know what I mean?!

I was originally giggling at my "we Todd did" comment...
thinking I'm all funny....

Paul Champagne said...

nikki ... let's see:

butt cheeks tight ... check

pants wet ... check

palms sweaty ... check

All systems are go!

jim ... President Bush isn't even running for re-election. No President can serve more than 2 full terms since the 22nd Amendment in 1947. This was because Franklin Roosevelt ran and was elected to a 3rd term. The Republican congress at the time enacted this legislation because they feared that any President serving more than two terms would become more like a benevolant dictator than a President. The founding fathers of Washington, Adams and Jefferson all stuck to two terms as an unwritten rule of the Presidency.

wally ... yeah the tourist brochures probably don't look too good with a mushroom cloud on the cover.

lime ... Three Mile Island was very mild in comparrison to Chernobyl. Thank good safety enforcement has been greatly enhanced in both the US and Russia ... but what about other countries?

Paul Champagne said...

terri ... that word isn't disgusting, the act is. Bukake was originally an ancient Japanese punishment for adultery (of course the victim was always female). The woman was buried in the sand by the seashore and in the end her head was lopped off by a Samurai Sword. Not sure what the dictionary says about it ... but it probably derives from the fetish associate with this ancient practice. God why am I even trying to have a conversation about this ... gross!

Keshi said...

freaky!

Keshi.

Terri@SteelMagnolia said...

Not sure what the dictionary says about it

you should go look! It's nothing like what you explained.... nothing... it is very Howard Sternish.

David said...

You are right; it could have been much worse. I am glad it wasn't.

Celestine said...

omg...

i didn know about this. thanks for covering the story.

The Lowest Rated Blog said...

Yes, it could have been worse. In the San Diego County we have a nuclear power plant [near the Pacific Ocean, just to the west of I-5], the San Onofre Plant - San Diego residents ar very concerned with the earthquake nightmare scenario.

niki yokota said...

goshhh it took 2 hours to extinguish the fire!??
i didnt know that :P
i saw someone was writing that a new nuke power plant will be built in Florida or something?

snowelf said...

Hey ya Paul!

I just read your aristocrat title!!
Nice!!

You know I believe that it wasn't worse than it was for a reason....

--snow

Superstar said...

*shivers*
Did you see the Mega Disasters on the History Channel??? I think this is the start of Armageddon!

The whole volcano/mudslide/earthquake combo...*shivers* freaky stuff!

Paul said...

Mix religious fanaticism of any ilk and nuclear power in the hands of people who are not safety conscious and/or have an agenda and what do you get? Quite possibly a recipe for disaster.

The Ogre said...

Although a widespread nuclear fallout would be bad, would a Chernobyl type accident singularly be bad in Iran? North Korea? Dafur?

Paul Champagne said...

keshi ... do you mean "freaky" in a very scary kind of we are all going to mutate into hiddeous beings kind of way?

terri ... I know the urban slang definition of the word. That part was done just before the beheading took place. Jenny why did you have to start this ... this blog is supposed to be rated G and you are driving it towards XXX

david ... you and me both!

celestine ... you make me sound like a reporter, out there putting my life on the line, covering dangerous stories ... instead of a guy sitting at my computer regurgitating stories I read in the newspaper. I kind of like that ... mild mannered reporter Paul Champagne, covering the news ... so you don't have to.

I can see them building plants in Japan near faultlines (the whole country lies at the convergence of 4 tectonic plates) ... there is nowhere else to build them. But in California, it seems like a bad idea ... can't they build them in Arizona and still be able to get the power in?

niki ... the United States needs to build about 30 new nuclear plants if it really wants to lower our dependance on foreign oil. Building even one new plant takes an act of Congress to accomplish. The enviornmentalists in this country try to throw up as many roadblocks as possible. But if you think about it, what's the alternative? Coal burning power plants that spew a thousand times the pollution into the air as a nuke plant ... is that what the enviornmentalists want?

snow ... so did you check to see what your aristocratic title was?

superstar ... now, I missed that show. The scary thing about natural disasters is that we are helpless to do anything about them. I hate feeling helpless.

paul ... and that's probably why we will go to war with Iran to stop them from aquiring nukes. Hopefully diplomacy will work ... but I seriously doubt it.

Paul Champagne said...

ogre ... a Chernobly style meltdown in Iraq and North Korea would probably bring a smile to my face ... till I thought about the innocent civilians that would be affected.

niki yokota said...

awww i dont really care abt the enviornmentalists :)