Tuesday, March 29, 2011

In which I send Sir David King on a fact finding mission to Fukushima

High up along the cliffs in the white rocky places a small violet flower gently unfolds and a snake is uncoiling, or in this particular case a slow-worm. Slow-worms look like snakes but are actually lizards and I don't think they are as common in the UK as they used to be. I haven't seen one for about eight years and was just thinking about them on the day I encountered one again. The slow-worm above is a male I think and has come out to enjoy the pleasant sensation of warming the blood in the sun, and what a nice day for it. After such a long and cold winter most of us feel like warming ourselves in the sun and out we step, blinking into the unfamiliar daylight, shedding clothes and able to sit outdoors again without shivering. Such a simple pleasure and as yet untaxable.

Every month as I travel the internet reading news and attempting to keep up with current and maybe not so current affairs I collect images as I go, filing them away in a slightly anal way in folders with names for each month and year. Although this might seem a slightly boring activity, going back through them gives one an interesting overview or feel for a particular time or month. I must say looking over the photos that I picked up for March 2011 it looks to have been the worst month I have ever seen since I have been connected to the internet. Bloody revolutions, fake revolutions, no fly zones, chaos, confusion, death and of course the Japanese earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdowns, and all in one month.

Looking at the video's that people recorded of the Japanese tsunami has been absolutely mind buggering. If video footage of such events didn't exist it would be impossible to believe such a thing could ever happen, or the terrifying speed in which it could take place.

Multiple nuclear meltdowns. What can anyone say about such a thing? Astonishingly Sir David King was on Radio Four this morning pimping for the nuclear industry and promoting the building of a new MOX plant in Cumbria in the UK. A report released today says that Britain should recycle used nuclear fuel to generate more power. He said, regarding events in Japan and the public perception of the dangers was that this was just "the somewhat irrational response to this" and in his words "The potential for exposing yourself to radiation if you take an air flight between London to New York is many, many times greater than the potential to suffer from radiation drinking tapwater in Tokyo or in fact walking around Fukushima"

If only I could afford to send him and some sort of radiation measuring equipment on a fact finding mission to Fukushima. I would be very interested to find out what the actual levels are. This is of course no laughing matter but it does seem to me to be verging on insanity that anyone at this particular time could be be pimping for the nuclear industry, but there we go.


john said...

Many thanks to The Maid for pointing out that the word 'videos' doesn't need an apostrophe.

Also the purple flower is either a Violet or a Gentian. Not too sure.

su said...

hey john,

that slow worm picking up the warmth resonates with me.

just think if there was no way of knowing what happened beyond your immediate environ - what would we need to fear?

when i was in india and in varanasi, the holy ancient city on the ganges, i spent a day watching bodies being burnt and ashes scattered into the sacred river, along with everything else.
westerners were warned that the water was poisoned beyond belief.

in a moment of madness i submerged myself in it and swam for well over an hour. tried not to get water in my mouth but i did. likewise the eyes..

not one drop of ill effect.
was it because some part of me held onto the sanctity and sacredness of the river more than the belief that it could harm me?

or is it just some super hot immune system in place? i go for the former.

john said...

Hi su

I'm not sure if it's fear or really just an awareness of things not being right. The people who lived in the towns in Japan that disappeared probably woke up on what seemed to be a normal morning and had nothing to fear, but they're all gone now.

The problem I have with the nuclear industry is that, for me, the small benefits have always been greatly outweighed by the disadvantages. When one of these things goes down we not only have a dead zone but the radiation can be spread all across the world which makes it a problem for everyone. There are multiple reactor problems at Fukushima.

Japan, like the UK, is a small island, given a worst case scenario how much of a small country can we lose, or even evacuate for that matter. We also have the problem of MSM and govt. lying to us. We can't see radiation so can we be sure the govt would tell us if the levels were dangerous?

When it comes to nuclear reactors, hoping that things will be alright isn't much of a plan. As someone else pointed out, it's possible none of this would've happened if they just had something like a 60 foot high 30 foot deep steel reinforced concrete circular wall around the facility.

Just a few thoughts anyhow, cheers for now su and thanks.

nobody said...

Hullo John, very nice,

The flipside of that discussion is the simple truth of thorium reactors - meltdowns impossible, thorium cheap and plentiful, and on the output end it leaves one thousandth the waste of a uranium reactor.

Everyone's best guess is that it was never pursued on account of it not producing plutonium. But weirdly here we with more plutonium than anyone can shake a stick at and thorium still appears to be a thing which may not be discussed. Perhaps the death cult wants to irradiate the planet? Certainly they continue using DU in spite of knowing what that means. Not forgetting that whomever it is they use it against was in all likelihood a pushover easybeat who didn't actually warrant its use to begin with.

As for videos and apostrophes, well spotted. Video's apostrophes are always to be deplored.

john said...

Cheers nobody

Going back to the fear thing is that the people in the destroyed Japanese towns could have lived in fear of a tsunami everyday and yet the outcome would still have been the same, so what is the point of being fearful.

The absence of any discussion of thorium seems to be a big clue here doesn't it? We have such a large nuclear lobby but if safer and cleaner nuclear technology could exist why isn't it pursued.

I've always seen the use of DU in weapons as a deliberate evil, intended not only to destroy the present but the future as well.

The usual excuse for using DU is that it's effective at armour piercing, but what tanks were there in Afghanistan or Fallujah? and now we have DU being used in Libya in the name of humanitarian intervention. Destroying a countries future seems an odd way of helping a people and I would have thought that dropping a 2000 pound bomb on a tank would probably destroy it without adding any DU.

aferrismoon said...

Fine pics. A good size aswell.

The sound of a shingle beach - wonderful

Used to find slow-worms on Anglesey when I lived there, along with Wylfa Magnox Power Sta.

With these disasters [ or not] we are regularly treated to:
' it would be more dangerous to eat bottlecaps than spend a couple of days cleaning out the reactor core toilets, so don't worry. There's more radiation in my child's transformer toy .......'

got here via AANGIRFAN


john said...

Hi and thanks aferrismoon.

I like it that the photos suggest the sound of these places as it is an important part of them. When I was up there I could hear the song of skylarks, very welcome after a long winter.

Yes that is the line we usually get. It should be a good time for a public debate on the future of nuclear power and also to examine the condition of our aging reactors, probably won't happen though.

Via aangifan eh? Hey thanks for the link aangirfan, and thanks again aferrismoon.

john said...

Not really important but in the second to last photo the man on the beach was throwing stones into the sea, or stoning the sea. On the left of the photo, against the distant headland, is a tiny dark speck which is actually the stone that he threw. I'm a bit surprised that the camera actually picked this up.