Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dear news media:

Remember back in '50s and early '60s, when we set off something like 900 atomic bombs in Nevada? And how we just let the fallout blow wherever and it landed all over the eastern US? And how it wiped out life as we know it and all that was left from Colorado to the Atlantic were six-legged rats battling two-headed cockroaches in the glowing ruins?

Yeah. Exactly. So shut up with the panic already.

(And Lester Holt of Today? Stop being such a big girl's blouse.)


New Jovian Thunderbolt said...


Bram said...

When I was working in Las Vegas, the old-timers would reminisce about the tailgate parties at the north end of town to watch the nuclear fireworks.

Anonymous said...

But...MSM knows that panic sells, and works to serve the end goals of those for whom it shills (or shrills). What's fact got to do with any of that?


Buffboy said...

My uncle worked on the Manhattan Project. He had a little problem and missed the shot. The little problem? Radiation poisoning. He died, 7 years ago at 86 of a heart attack.

North said...

Pepperidge Farm remembers.

Tam said...


Ell-Oh-Ell! :D

John Venlet said...

Tam. Hey, how come I don't remember that?

docjim505 said...

Excellent point. The problem is that the people writing about the nuclear problems in Japan* are:

1. Leftists

2. Journalists

This means that they have an agenda and are ignorant of anything other than how to string words together to form a sentence and how to find "experts" who will tell them what they want to hear.


(*) I don't want to minimize the nuclear problems in Japan: they are undeniably bad and potentially catastrophic.

Boat Guy said...

"Common Sense" - the ultimate oxymoron

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...


a) That certainly helps put the dangers in proper perspective.

b) The scientists and staff on the Manhattan Project are, in my opinion, true heroes of an undeserved sort. They knew going in that "tickling the dragon's tail" was inherently dangerous, even with the precautions they took, but they did so willingly because they believed it was necessary and would ultimately save the lives of others. Kudos to your uncle, and it's sad that he missed the tests. I'm glad he got better and lived a long, productive life.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Ack! Undeserved = unappreciated

Prufreeding is gud.

Buffboy said...

Thank you Jake. He saw a few shots after but he was always a bit miffed about missing the first. He had 30 years total with the army then as a "civilian" inspector of munitions until he retired. Went all over the world,loved the job even in some "hot"(not just temps) locations and life. Many stories he could tell and quite a few he couldn't. He was a great story teller. I miss him a lot.

SPECTRE of Deflation said...

So we set off a bunch of A-Bombs that did no lasting damage, while there has been one nuclear meltdown rated a 7 at a place named Chernobyl where things didn't go as well as the NV Desert. In Japan you have at least 4 reactors that are in various stages of meltdown, and you would like to make some kind of comparison? Best example of apples to oranges I have ever seen.

SPECTRE of Deflation said...

Plutonium has a half life of thousands of years. Did we use plutonium in the NV Desert because once in the lungs you are a dead man walking? Uranium only has a hlf life of decades by the way, and it's why you can now get close to the places they set off the bombs in NV. Nobody will visit Chernobyl in the age of your grandchildren's grandchildren. See the difference?

Tam said...

SPECTRE of Deflation,

So, since you seem to have the data, how much total radiation was released by Chernobyl, compared to the all the atmospheric tests at the National Test Site? Round figures will do.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...


Comparing the situation in Japan to Chernobyl is even more "apples to oranges" than comparing it to the nuclear tests. Chernobyl didn't have an actual containment building, so the first explosion exposed the core and blew large amounts of highly radioactive material into the atmosphere and the surrounding area - including pieces of the core itself. The graphite moderators in the core then caught fire, spreading more highly radioactive particulate material into the atmosphere.

The same kind of explosion that happened (more than once) at the Japanese plants only released short-lived low radioactivity isotopes. Only the outer building - nothing more than a shell to protect against weather - was actually destroyed. While it appears that one containment building may have been damaged or possibly even breached, the reactor vessel around the core itself is still intact.

This is closer to the A-bomb tests than it is to Chernobyl, even if it's not a true comparison.

Aaron said...

Yes, the professional panickers in the media, along with the greenies are now worried about potential tsunamis in Lake Erie hammering the Fermi Nuclear plant.

If you have any science background or just plain access to Google, you'll see that the chance of a tsunami in Lake Erie is slim to none, with slim having taken his tsunami and left town.

Yes, really she's worried about tsunamis. Thank goodness for the reliabile, fact-checked lovable but oh so scientifically ignorant media.

Anonymous said...

Spectre of Deflation: U-235 has a 700 million year half life ( U-238 has a half life of 4.3 billion years, and Plutonium has a half life of 24,200 years. Most of the radioactivity released so far is radioactive noble gasses, some cesium, and some iodine.

As far as the the tests in Nevada, both plutonium and uranium were used for the various test shots. In fact, plutonium is the fissionable material of choice because with a neutron booster, you can use much less material to become supercritical. Add a little trititum, and you get a fission-fusion-fission hydrogen bomb. Some of the smaller thermonuclear tests were done at Frenchman's Flat, Nevada.


Mike W. said...

All of this "OH NOES, NUKES!!" reminds me of the media's treatment of "OH NOES, ASSAULT WEAPONS."

Typical leftists. I'm amused but not surprised.

Ancient Woodsman said...

SPECTRE is off his periodic table; Trinity was a plutonium bomb and not a uranium bomb, and the uranium bomb (Hiroshima) was dropped untested as there was just not enough uranium to test with. The gun-type uranium bomb was inefficient at best and plutonium was the material of choice for the implosion-type fission bombs and fission triggers for later fusion bombs. Yes, uranium was also used for tampers & some fissionable & fushionable material in those bombs, but there was also plenty of plutonium, lithium, & tritium to go around. Your argument holds no water.

Please SPECTRE, go scare someone else with your ignorance. For that matter, as ignorant & alarmist as you are perhaps you should be pretty scared of yourself.

aczarnowski said...

The hysteria and 38 point headlines are painful to see. But when Robb amends that "AK-47s for Journalists" graphic to include a nuke cooling tower I'll at least get a chuckle.

Paul said...

My unlce was a master chief in the navy retiring in 73. He died at 85 this past winter. During his duty he was the number one guy on the test reactor the navy has in the desert in Idaho. He spent most his career there or on the Enterprise running the reactor on that ship. He had health issues at the end, but not out of the norm for an 85 year old man.

I know another guy who flew the B-52 that dropped the test bomb on the Bikinni island. He said when the bomb went off he could see the bones in his hand. He is in his 70's and as far as I know still on the top side.

News wants to find some thing scary to tell you about and then blow it completer out of the water.

And Girls Blouse? Panywaist, Douche bag maybe, but girls blouse? No coffee yet this AM?

We need nuclear. Thorium would be the best as it is self regulating and the left over is not as scary. When the by product of the reation is used to make bombs that will make the greeens twitch. Thorium is so much rock when it is uesd up. Better idea, just did not meet the need of 1945.

Lets back up and do it right this time.

Joel said...

All I know is I'm making lots of money cranking out geiger counters, and we're shipping most of them to Japan.

Is it wrong to hope there's a fifth reactor somewhere that can melt down? Yeah, I guess it is.

WV=bacti. Scarier than nucti.

SPECTRE of Deflation said...

There is a difference between an atomic bomb and a nuclear meltdown. You can visit Nagasaki today, but you will never visit Chernobyl in your lifetimes or the lifetimes of your grandchildren for that matter. For the sake of humanity I hope you are all right, but I think you brainiacs are off your rockers and meds. We are talking many tons of used highly radioactive rods that that were stored within each building, and #3was running a MOX combo, but you know best, as you are all authorities as can be seen by your lemming posts. Jim Cramer would be so proud of his Boo-Yaa Babies!

Tam said...

SPECTRE of Deflation,

Please, I asked you a serious question, because I believe you have the answer. Can't you help me?

SPECTRE of Deflation said...

I will let you brainiacs soak this up in your mushy little minds before commenting further. Learn something fools! The search button is your friend if you aren't afraid of the answers Einsteins!

Effects of a nuclear explosion:

Chernobyl disaster effects

North said...

Brainless Tam: I would tell you how predictable trolls are, but you don't have a brain. Brainless! Yes you, peons, bask in the glow of my ability to call you names and tell you to go prove my point for me!

Ah -ha ha ha ha haaaaaa!


North said...

Tam: Not really sure how you would take that, but dammit it was fun to type.

1911Man said...

I'm just trying to parse whether SPECTRE should be wearing a Big Girlsblouse, or a Biggirl's Blouse. What goes best with a nucular?

Anonymous said...

Oh Noes! Spectre of Stupid is once again demonstrably wrong about Chernobyl:


SPECTRE of Deflation said...

Here ya go Tam! 90% of all testing done at the mentioned Testing Site was done underground. Ya got that or is the math too hard? Search buttons are your friend!

Nevada National Security Site

Between 1951 and 1992, there were 1021 tests with 921 being deep underground so as to not contaminate everything.

John A said...

SPECTRE of Deflation said...
There is a difference between an atomic bomb and a nuclear meltdown.

Yes, the bomb will spread radioactives all over the placem for miles and miles, and even "loan" protons amd neutrons to some of the surrounds and turn them radioactive (w.g. carbon) while a power=plant meltdown will result in a "hot" core and possibly containers
to keep a couple of miles from.

Now, if the containers are breached, you really have a problem: the pressure is enough to push stuff like Cesium isotopes into high atmoephere to be spread aknost as widely as a bomb. There is a slight potential of this with one of the reactors currently in trouble (the others, even if they weer to "melt down," are fully contained).

Another danger is the "spent" fuel stored on-site, which is as dangerous as the original ore from which the fuel for a Uranium reactor is made. But even if the quake cracked them the danger is localized - I would not just walk into a working Uranium mine without precautions...

The Raving Prophet said...

The weapons grade stupid just keeps coming out regarding the Fukushima plant.

Mentioning Chernobyl as though it is any kind of guide for what is going on in Japan is at the very least ignorant in the classical sense, and making a darn good run at deliberately obtuse and vehemently stupid.

There's quite a bit of difference between a SCRAMed GE BWR design that's currently struggling with cooling decay heat and a Russian RBMK completely blowing its stack.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

"We are talking many tons of used highly radioactive rods that that were stored within each building"

And they still are. Chernobyl, on the other hand (and as I already mentioned), scattered pieces of the actual core - including fuel rods - across the landscape.

Chernobyl was essentially a massive dirty bomb, because the Soviets built it stupid. Fukushima remains contained, with the only release being elements with a short half-life.

"Between 1951 and 1992, there were 1021 tests with 921 being deep underground so as to not contaminate everything."

Leaving 100 tests above ground "to contaminate everything." You've just defeated your own argument on that point. Thanks!

SPECTRE of Deflation said...

Jake, you are completely wrong regarding your thoughts on what is occuring at the Japanese reactors. Look at the latest released pictures of #3 and #4 to get an idea of the damage done. Nobody can look at #3 without seeing the extensive damage to all parts of the building. It's so easy to see that even Ray Charles would of been able to see the carnage done, yet you deniers try and compare a controlled explosion to a runaway reator core in meltdown. Fools!

Old Grouch said...

@SPECTRE dixit:
"Nobody will visit Chernobyl in the age of your grandchildren's grandchildren."

O Rly?

Or perhaps you'd perfer the AP [Google cache]):
KIEV, Ukraine (Dec. 13, 2010)– Want a better understanding of the world's worst nuclear disaster? Come tour the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Beginning next year, Ukraine plans to open up the sealed zone around the Chernobyl reactor to visitors who wish to learn more about the tragedy that occurred nearly a quarter of a century ago, the Emergency Situations Ministry said Monday.

Chernobyl's reactor No. 4 exploded on April 26, 1986, spewing radiation over a large swath of northern Europe. Hundreds of thousands of people were resettled from areas contaminated with radiation fallout in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. Related health problems still persist.

The so-called exclusion zone, a highly contaminated area within a 30-mile (48-kilometer) radius of the exploded reactor, was evacuated and sealed off in the aftermath of the explosion. All visits were prohibited.

Today, about 2,500 employees maintain the remains of the now-closed nuclear plant, working in shifts to minimize their exposure to radiation.

SPECTRE of Deflation said...

100 tests isn't 900+ as had been claimed by the clueless, and secondly, the processes between a planned detonation and a runaway reactor cannot be compared. You and others were off by over 800 detonations, but I'm wrong? Lol! You part of the Nobama Administration because you spin as fast as they do.

Henry Blowfly said...

Chernobyl killed about 50 people, including some seriously heroic helicopter crews who flew loads of cement to the site to contain the radiation.

A far, far bigger tragedy, directly caused by hysterical media reports, is the estimated 150,000 voluntary abortions throughout Europe by mothers who were frightened into believing they would give birth to monsters.

We are seeing the same hype and scaremongering again.
How many more babies will be murdered as a result of this BS?

I hope that some of these "journalists" have the grace to feel ashamed and admit responsibility.

Somehow, I doubt it.

Paul said...

Spectre, the damage you so feverishly quote is the external containment which is to keep the envronment out. A hydrogen release between the actual containment unit and the one you see is what blew the snockers out of the cover panels. What you are looking for, if you want to see the real deal, it the big concrete thing underneath all the rubble.

Did you pict the foil of Get Smart intentionally or did you stubmle on to that?

SPECTRE of Deflation said...

50 people died from Chernobyl? ROFLMAO at the absurd number! Sheeple comes to mind!!!!!!! So some media is beyond reproach, like the BS paper you cite that claimed 50 people were killed in total, while anything close to reality is untrue because it doesn't fit into your surreal thinking? Are you all long Southern Company because greed is the only thing that completely blinds sheeple to the truth?

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

"Look at the latest released pictures of #3 and #4 to get an idea of the damage done."

Which pictures are you looking at? Got links? All the ones I see just show the outer building for each reactor with the type of damage it was designed to sustain in these situations - those holes are blow-out panels. The outer building I refer to is basically just a "weather shell" to - as Paul said - keep the environment out. The inner containment building (which Chernobyl didn't have) did not explode.

I did mention early on that there are reports that one reactor's containment might have been breached, but that's a far cry from having pieces of the core scattered across the landscape like Chernobyl.

DirtCrashr said...

People visit Chernobyl all the time, scientists anyhow - to check on the situation there and to measure how the radiation is decreasing.

North said...

SPHINCTER has convinced me to invest in pharmaceuticals.

SPECTRE of Deflation said...

To quote Jimmy Buffet, "there's no dumbass vaccine", and yet every one of you sheeple could use one, so I'm done arguing with fools who couldn't find there way out of a paper bag with written directions. There are 23 GE plants in the USA just like the ones melting down in Japan, and I hope, because you say there is no danger, you all live within spitting distance of one of these accidents waiting to happen. None of you is smart enough to know anything would be wrong until you started to glow in the dark, and even then I wonder based on your goofy assumptions.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

I think at this point SPECTRE has firmly confirmed his status as a troll - we have presented facts and references and asked him for the same, and he has resorted to shouting "YOUR'RE WRONG!", flinging personal insults, and name calling.

The Raving Prophet said...

Yeah, he had a good hand going, but tipped it completely at 11:51am.

A great troll would have kept the name calling out of it and quoted incorrect facts from elsewhere on teh intertubez. The "runaway reactor" and "fools" just did it in. Still, 6/10.

He's an OK troll, maybe even a good one (if so, on the bottom half). But not yet a great one.

pax said...

Dear Tamara: I love you.

Anonymous said...

The reactors at work put out 1,400 megawatts of heat which boiled water, producing steam for turbines. They were scrammed, which means the control rods went back in, so only 1.4 megawatts of heat are now being produced, due to short half life radiation products. That will drop over time as the short halflife radiation decay products decay. The Japanese engineers are flooding the container with water to keep the reactors cool while the radiation decay products decay.

Three mile island emitted about 20 picocuries of radiation. That is about 1/75th a "banana equivalent dose". The BED is the amount of added radiation (from Potassium 40)you would be exposed to by eating an extra banana.

Don't feed the trolls.....bananas.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Some facts here might help.
A) Chernobyl still had another reactor at the site running a couple of years ago, because the Ukraine needed the juice. It still might be generating for all I know. So who's running the control rods there, Zombies? The Destination Truth TV show actually went Ghost Hunting there a couple of years ago, and, yes they wore Rad suits and limited their exposure time, but there sure seemed to be a lot of trees growing there. Also, there was a lot of Deer being shown in the region on an episode of Life after People, and I didn't notice any 2 headed Green Does emitting laser beams from their eyes.
B) How many Above Ground tests were done by the Russians, Chinese, English, and French over the years? Enquiring minds want to know! (Which means that a whole lot of other countries have contributed to the Fallout Count over the years, or does the "Blame America First" crowd conveniently forget that their Marxist/Socialist Brethren had a huge share in the Cockroach Mutation Project).
C) Discounting the deaths at Hiroshima and Nagasaki ( where the weapons worked just fine, thank you very much), the total number of deaths caused by Reactor Accidents world wide since 1945 is less than a MAXIMUM of 2,000 over 66 years. This includes the Soviet Submarine Accidents (remember the Movie?), the Canadian NRX Incident in the 1950's, the Sodium Cooling experiment on the U.S.S. Halibut, and any other place where the Commies hushed up their failures. More people die from slipping in the tub each year than are killed by Radiation from Nuke PLants.
Guess I spent too many years aboard Submarines hanging around Nuke reactors and Weapons Systems that were designed to launch Nuclear Capable Ballistic Missiles and Torpedos to worry about Radiation Exposure any more from a place that is 7,000 miles from my house.
By the way, now that Senator Robert "there's not a Federal Dime I can't Steal" Byrd is dead, maybe someone would like to dig through the U.S. Gov't Archives and find those Dept. of Energy Reports that detail how much Radiation a Pile of Coal emits sitting next to the local Electricity Plant. Amazing how Byrd ensured that all further research into the subject was permanently banned while he was alive, isn't it?

Jim said...

I for one would pay good money to see this rat/cockroach fight.


Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

"I didn't notice any 2 headed Green Does emitting laser beams from their eyes."

Nuts! I wanted one of those!

Ancient Woodsman said...

Thank you very much, Tam, for being our humble host. Of all I should ahve known not to feed the troll. D'Oh!!

I'm curious if at some point you will be called a "homo-nuke lover" today?


Joanna said...

Isn't there a rule somewhere that yelling "You sheeple just don't get it!" automatically invalidates any points made/won up to that point by the shouter?

Because, you know, it couldn't be that you're not explaining it well enough, or that you're plumb wrong. Nope; we're just too stupid.

I love/hate trolls.

North said...

I have to apologize for being a part of this. Just one of those days that I wanted/needed to vent.

I'll go away from this thread, now.

perlhaqr said...

Spectre: 50 people died from Chernobyl? ROFLMAO at the absurd number!

That's FROM THE ARTICLE ON WIKIPEDIA YOU LINKED TO you complete fucking retard!

And you still didn't answer the important question: how much total radiation was released by Chernobyl, compared to the all the atmospheric tests at the National Test Site? Round figures will do.

How much radiation? Provide an answer, not a link that doesn't have the answer. Surely, if you're such a big brain compared to us fools, this shouldn't be difficult for you.

Anonymous said...



SPECTRE of Deflation said...

Jake, here ya go Bro! This is from Wednesday their local time. Gander at #3, and be amazed! How about that 8 meter hole in the side of #4. You people are frigging clueless! There's more, and I guess I need to find them for ya'll.

Geodkyt said...


To use your own Wikipedia "citations" {snicker}:

In recent years there have been many reports suggesting the zone may be a fertile habitat for wildlife.[20] For example in the 1996 BBC Horizon documentary 'Inside Chernobyl's Sarcophagus', birds are seen flying in and out of large holes in the structure itself. Other casual observations suggest biodiversity around the massive radiation spill has increased due to the removal of human influence (see the first hand account of the wildlife preserve). Storks, wolves, beavers, and eagles have been reported in the area.[20]

Barn swallows sampled between 1991 and 2006 both in the Chernobyl exclusion zone had more physical abnormalities than control sparrows sampled elsewhere in Europe. Abnormal barn swallows mated with lower frequency, causing the percentage of abnormal swallows to decrease over time. This demonstrated the selective pressure against the abnormalities was faster than the effects of radiation that created the abnormalities.[21] "This was a big surprise to us," Dr. Mousseau said. "We had no idea of the impact."[20]

SPECTRE of Deflation said...

Jake, here's some more pictures since you clueless wonders seem to be unable to search for the truth yourselves. Anyone who questions Tam seems to be counted as a troll, but I thought independent thinking was something good for all people. Also take a look at the headlines dealing with Japan today, or look at the equity markets as well. Your little community of deniers is laughable!

Here's a video as a bonus:

Geodkyt said...

Rachel Carson has killed (by more thna three orders of magnitude) more people than ALL reactor incidents or nuclear weapons tests combined (I don't count fission weapons detonated in anger as "reactors" or "tests").

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Interesting. At most, that picture shows a hole in the containment building (which I have previously stated may have occurred). It does not show a breach of the reactor vessel itself, which is what would be needed for this to be equivalent to Chernobyl.

Even with that hole in the building, the "many tons of used highly radioactive rods that that were stored within each building" are very likely still stored there. I can't tell from that picture if the hole is near the spent fuel storage or not, but there have been no reports of any spent fuel escaping. Still no Chernobyl.

Nothing in that image is out of line with current news reports or anything I or the others here have said. Pull one of the other ones, it's got bells on.

SPECTRE of Deflation said...

March 16, 2011 3:57 EST

NRC: No Water In Spent Fuel Pool Of Japan Plant

Sigivald said...

docjim: Actually, the "nuclear problems in Japan" aren't very bad and catastrophe is so unlikely at this point that I'm just going to say "no, not potentially either".

Spectre: PSsst. Turns out a picture of some steam coming from a power plant doesn't actually tell us anything other than that steam's coming out.

It doesn't tell us "zomg nukleer dizaster", for sure.

Y'all can disagree with Tam all you want (hell, I have more'n once), but it helps to have facts and arguments, not just pretty pictures and videos and argumentum ad headline.

(See, turns out that "headlines" are not arbiters of truth, but ways to get attention, mostly written by totally ignorant idiots.

This is true in all contexts, but especially when dealing with things like "science", "radiation", "technology", or anything of the like.)

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

And the links you posted at 16:13 give a little more context to the one I commented on a few minutes ago. It looks like the structure in the photos is the outer building - the "weather shell" I was talking about. The dimensions appear to be the same as the intact and mostly intact buildings for the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors (the two white buildings to the right in the second photo).

Tam said...

Nanothermite was obviously involved here somehow...

kafkan said...

I have to disagree with the whole primes of the argument that started this blog.

Of the 928 nuclear tests conducted at the Nevada Nation Security Site only 100 explosions were above ground. Secondly these tests were spread over 13 year period. The area these tests were preformed in was selected because it was hundreds of miles from where people lived. While it did not create "six-legged rats" we do not know how many cancers were caused by the radiation.

The problems of above ground testings were big enough that both us and the USSR agreed to stop in 1963.

I'm guessing that if you lived a couple of miles from these 4 reactors which are possibly in melt down, and could explode you too would evacuate, or would you just stay home writing these specious posts?

Tam said...


In a couple of sentences, can you describe what occurs during a meltdown, and why it is a bad thing?

Geodkyt said...


I'll bet you didn't know that they run TOURIST GROUPS through the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Or that about 400 people (often pre-incident residents) still live there illegally.

ZOMG! The EEE-vul Radiation Demons will get me!!!!

Mark said...

Remember how 24 years after Chernobyl, some farms (e.g. in the UK) still have restrictions on consumption of food contaminated by the fallout?

You know, amongst all the other problems resulting from that incident.

kafkan said...

Not real sure why you need me to boil down the term when it can be easily looked up and understood.

Meltdown is a common term that refers to a number of different accidents which can occur in a reactor and cause the release of highly radioactive materials into the environment.

DirtCrashr said...

And John Wayne filmed his last western down-wind from a cloud of glow-dust...

Jayson said...

Whenever a jackass uses the term "sheeple", not only do they lose the argument, but they should also be punched in the face until one's arm gets tired.

I just don't have the amount of patience many here do. =)

kafkan said...

John Wayne, good example, he died of cancer.

kafkan said...

From Wiki:

Among the 220 or so cast and crew who filmed the 1956 film, The Conqueror, on location near St. George, Utah, ninety-one had come down with cancer (41%), including stars Wayne, Susan Hayward, and Agnes Moorehead, and director Dick Powell. The film was shot in Southwestern Utah, east of and generally downwind from where the U.S. Government had tested nuclear weapons in Southeastern Nevada, and many contend that radioactive fallout from these tests contaminated the film location and poisoned the film crew working there. Despite the suggestion that Wayne’s 1964 lung cancer and his 1979 stomach cancer resulted from this nuclear contamination, he himself believed his lung cancer to have been a result of his six-pack-a-day cigarette habit.[57] The effect of nuclear fallout on The Conqueror's cast and crew, and particularly on Wayne, is the subject of James Morrow's science-fiction short story Martyrs of the Upshot Knothole.[58]

Tam said...

As has been pointed out by another commenter on this blog, all this talk over whether there will be an uptick in thyroid cancers a few miles downwind of the plant in a decade or two is completely ignoring the point that 10,000+ people just got snuffed due to the dangerous, experimental technology of Living Close To The Ocean.

But radiation is invisible and nukyular power generation is complicated, and therefore they are thrillingly scary in a way that boring old tidal waves aren't.

l1x said...

@tamara, you are so right. disaster happens and media is using it increase their stats. no matters what.

David said...

I just wrote a fairly long reply here only to have it vanish into the interwebs.

First, to Anon@12:32, TMI released about 13 MILLION Curies of radioactive gas. That's a lot.

Regarding the Nevada nuclear tests, many of those were done underground to avoid airborne fallout. Airbursts produce less fallout than ground explosions. Also, large devices in the MT range throw much of the fallout into the stratosphere where it disperses and largely decays before falling. There were significant increases in the rate of childhood leukemia in the downwind areas during the Nevada tests.

The amount of radioactivity (in count rate per mole of material) is inversely proportional to the half-life of the isotope. Plutonium and Uranium have long half-lives and pose relatively little radiation hazard beyond the local region near the power plant. The decay products (I-131, Xe-135, Po-90, Cs-137, etc.) have much shorter half lives ranging from hours to 30 years, and produce much more intense radiation.

For I-131 (thyroid) exposure, all of the Nevada tests combined caused approximately 0.1 Gy exposure to people in the western U.S. worst-case with 0.01 Gy being more typical. That's small compared to the contaminated area around Chernobyl.

One thing to keep in mind: the amount of core mass in a nuclear bomb is of order tens of kg. The U.S. performed about 1000 nuclear tests, but only 2/3 of those were underground and many of the rest were in the South Pacific. The mass of nuclear fuel products released at Chernobyl was something like 6 tons (about 10^8 Curies in I-131 alone). So it might be reasonable to conclude that the contamination from a disaster like Chernobyl (in which only ~3.5% of a single reactor core was released) may be significantly worse in terms of fallout contamination than all the U.S. nuclear tests combined.

Finally: IAAPBTINMS (I Am A Physicist But This Is Not My Specialty.)

Mark said...

" completely ignoring the point that 10,000+ people just got snuffed due to the dangerous, experimental technology of Living Close To The Ocean."

This is what, in debates, is often referred to as a "straw man". By saying, "hey, ignore this nuclear accident -- look over there!!!" you are doing the EXACT SAME THING that you are charging the media with doing:

"Ignore that tragedy over there, and LOOK OVER HERE!"

David said...


For I-131 (thyroid) exposure, all of the Nevada tests combined released about 5x10^8 Curies (causing the ~0.01 to 0.1 Gy exposure over ~15 years). This is likely responsible for tens of thousands of cases of thyroid cancer in the U.S. Chernobyl released about 10^8 Curies of I-131, so perhaps a bit less but the fallout was probably much more localized in both space and time.

Tam said...

No, because "straw man" is a tactic used in debates, one of which I am not engaged in at the moment.

SPECTRE of Deflation said...

Tam, I guess Lester can worry about a new blouse later:

NBC News Crew, Lester Holt Contaminated With Radiation! ABC News Evacuating Now Too!

link to

Anonymous said...

Hey - I lived at SAC headquarters during the Cold War, and then (yup!) Nellis AFB at Vegas. There were drills in the schools constantly. They are all dead now. You don't know what the consequences of that radiation will be, I don't know, and they weren't 100% sure either except that excess radiation definitely kills.

And, while I'm no crazier about these panic-mongers than I am about all the other tree-hugging morons and their waffle-dance between profiteering and obviously stupid decisions, you don't have to be a total DB about it. There's too much real human death and suffering going on behind all this stuff for that kind of bs. Might be their bad, definitely your bad.

Keads said...

Just talking off of the top of my head here (seems to be the order of the day here for some) but it would seem that several orders of magnitudes of people have been killed in the production of conventional power generation technologies (water, gas, oil, coal, etc.) than nuclear.

docjim505 said...

According to what I've read on wiki, there have been not less than six "meltdowns" in the United States since 1945.

Total deaths directly attributable: three

Getting back to Tam's original point, we've had many significant releases of radioactive material into the atmosphere, whether from nuclear weapon testing or nuclear accidents, since 1945. I do not minimize the hazards, especially to those subjected to large dosages of radioactive materials (usually due to being very near the release when it happened). However, when one compares the likely number of people who died as direct result of the earthquake and resulting tsunami, even the worst nuclear accident in history (Chernobyl) rather pales in comparison.

It appears that shouting "radiation" in our modern world is like shouting "witch" in older societies: it causes panic that can only be described as religious.

Will Brown said...

... I guess Lester can worry about a new blouse later

Tell Lester to go have a good poo and lay off the bananas for a week or two.

Tam said...

Anon 6:29,

"Hey - I lived at SAC headquarters during the Cold War, and then (yup!) Nellis AFB at Vegas. There were drills in the schools constantly. They are all dead now."

Use the Ouija board to thank your medium for typing that.

Anonymous said...

This relates in no way to the severity of what is happening in Japan because frankly, none of us know what will transpire there. I just could not believe that someone seriously commented that the Chernobyl disaster was responsible for 50 deaths. The effects of that disaster still aren't even fully appreciated. This is thread is the saddest train of non-thought that I have ever read in my life. You should all be ashamed of yourselves.

Paul said...

I dunno. Anyone who is not got enough guts to be anything other than anonymouse can't throw to many rocks accurately.

Darrell said...

Hmmm, maybe that's where jackalopes came from! :D

tickmeister said...

"Nuclear" is a magic word. It unhinges people.

Approximately 1.5 million people have died in the US due to automobile accidents in the last 40 years. Approximately zero have died due to nuclear power plant accidents. So why isn't anyone calling for shutting down the auto industry?

Roberta X said...

Yeah, Anon, you're right: Wikipedia tells us it was not 50 but 70 people killed or severely injured by Chernobyl. How could we have so horribly understated the death toll? --Many of them died heroes, making the world safer for you. What'd you do to live up to that?

Meanwhile, MasterBlaster of Disaster or whatever it calls itself is telling us all about the awfulness we're just -- OMG -- dismissing. Fine, you bedwetter, fine; let's say you are right and this is the worst nuclear disaster, EVAR: what would you have happen that they're not already doing? Huge efforts to cool down the hot stuff, at great personal risk and expense? Check. Evacuation? Check. Handing out potassium iodine tabs? Check. Checking people even possibly exposed for any hot stuff they might have on or in them, followed by corrective measures? Check. What else do you want?

Meanwhile, people huddle in crowded shelters with inadequate or barely adequate food , water and bathrooms; families are separated and the immediate death toll mounts -- and we can do something about that right now. You won't even get your hair mussed. I'll put a link up at my blog and you'll even get a kewl T-shirt in the bargain.

Ya jerk.

Roberta X said...

Here's the link. Spend some bucks on solving the immediate problem while you are flapping your yap, okay?

North said...

That is classy, Roberta. Kind of you to do!

blindshooter said...

I'm going to work tomorrow in a GE designed BWR plant. On the way there I'll drive by a coal plant that a worker died in last Tuesday. The damaged plants in Japan will likely take lives but not nearly on the order of magnitude that the earthquake and floods have already killed.

All things are relative.

Marja said...

There is also the fact that those Japanese plants were not really designed to stand an earthquake this big, nor a tsunami like this.

If there were speculations about what would happen with those plants in a quake and tsunami like happened, what do you think the speculators predicted? My guess is something a bit more disastrous than actually has happened.

I do admit I don't much like the fact that I live only about 500 kilometers from the Sosnovy Bor nuclear power plant (Chernobyl type reactors - on the other hand, there was, maybe, a partial meltdown in one of the reactors during the 70's, and since I then lived even closer presumably I should be dead of cancer by now...), but I do not worry much about the plants in Finland. Or about Onkalo (the nuclear waste bunker being built here).

Gewehr98 said...

Tam and others know I'm the resident USAF Constant Phoenix dude here. Japan's reactor troubles will NEVER approach what happened at Chernobyl, for several reasons. A minor discourse given at Neural Misfires to explain why. Suffice it to say, having flown for 20 years on the only USAF aircraft designed to actually penetrate and analyze nuclear debris clouds, this Spectre dude made Mountain Dew Baja Blast erupt from my sinuses, because I was laughing so friggin' hard.

Chip said...

If anybody bothers to read this far down because I got in late here is a link to good article about what is really going on without the hype.

Joe in PNG said...

Keep baaahin, you sheeple! When will you wake up and do something about the most dangerous source of Teh Radiatshuns around!

That's right! THE SUN! The Sun causes more cancer with it's UV radiatshuns than other cancer causing things!


Joe in PNG said...

Oh, yeah, we need to do something about getting that DiHydrous Monoxide (DHMO) ban passed.

Anonymous said...

From comments at VFTP
8:38 PM, March 11, 2011

"...apparently in this "modern, technologically-advanced nation", old-fashioned, technologically-regressive systems like backup generators and battery banks get low priority...

...if reports are true in this case that both backup systems failed to kick in to keep cooling systems pumping, leading to meltdown, it would be a perfect if horrible example of that...

...dontcha know certain others are ginning up the anti-nuke propaganda machine as we speak, using Japan's supposedly superior but apparently failed safety net in their decades-in-the-making but totally spontaneous grassroots campaign to say I TOLD YOU SO and deny us what is most certainly our best hope for energy independence, not to mention the fire that keeps the wolves at bay."

Man, I am feeling so prescient right about now...but sad.

How is it that nuclear technology itself is under attack when the failure appears rooted in an inability to keep mundane water pumps going? That's easy, just re-read my last quote above.


Anonymous said...

its all gaston glocks fault!

(wv noshobie )

Kristopher said...

Clean up the mess, and design a better plant.

You can bet that Japan and other nuclear powerplant building countries will learn from this.

The next generation of plants will keep running after a richter 10 earthquake while under 100 feet of seawater.

Provided SPHINCTER of Ludd ain't allowed to sit at the decision table with the adults. If he had his way we would be all living in caves and eating each other once the tofu ran out.

Joe in PNG said...

if SPECIAL of the Shortbus had his way, yes, we would be stuck out on the collective farm. He and his ilk, on the other hand, have no intention of giving up his Western lifestyle.

ToddG said...

I guess George Bush doesn't care about the Japanese, either.

Robert said...

The situation in Japan is nothing like Chernobyl and won't have any meaningful effect on North America (but stupid people are paying $500 for PI tables anyway), but the Japanese are in the hot seat a bit. There may end up being a large exclusion zone around the reactor for a long time to come, with hundreds of thousands displaced.

Are far as deaths from Chernobyl, no one really knows, but I've read stats that say 30 years on there are anything from 95,000 in the Ukraine to nearly a million cancer deaths above the median worldwide due to the radiation release. Who knows? I have no idea how someone could possibly quantify something like that. And who knows how many thousands of cancer deaths the nuke tests in Nevada eventually caused. Nuke tests and nuke plant disasters tend to kill ya 15 or 20 years from now, just like the Radon gas in your basement you forgot to test for.

Ol' Lurker said...

Kristopher said...
"Provided SPHINCTER of Ludd ain't allowed to sit at the decision table with the adults. If he had his way we would be all living in caves and eating each other once the tofu ran out."
Priceless. I laughed 'til my eyelids started leaking.

Anonymous said...

FOr those interested in the longer-term effects and a good narrative of what went on with and around Chernobyl, I highly recommend the book "Wormwood Forest." It also shows clearly why that ain't gonna happen in Japan. (As an aside, hunting boars is very popular in that part of Beylorus and the Ukraine, something else that is probably not going to happen in Japan.)

docjim505 said...

Robert - [As] far as deaths from Chernobyl, no one really knows, but I've read stats that say 30 years on there are anything from 95,000 in the Ukraine to nearly a million cancer deaths above the median worldwide due to the radiation release. Who knows? I have no idea how someone could possibly quantify something like that.

If you are Greenpeace or a similar organization, it's easy:

If somebody who is within 5000km of a radiation release dies within the next hundred years, it's because of the exposure.

See how easy that is?

/ sarc

Somebody mentioned The Duke and the question of whether his fatal cancers were caused by filming in a mildly contaminated area or by his huge, lifelong smoking habit. My grandfather is a similar case: he worked at Oak Ridge during World War II and was exposed to beryllium and perhaps other things. He died of cancer at the age of 86. Did his exposures from forty years earlier cause the cancer? Or was it that he smoked most of his life AND worked variously as a coal miner and textile mill worker? Or did his heart disease, diabetes and plain old age do him in? How does one make that determination?

Tam said...


"How does one make that determination?"

Depends. Who are you getting your grant money from?

Anonymous said...

"Roberta X said...

Here's the link. Spend some bucks on solving the immediate problem while you are flapping your yap, okay?"

Instead of virtually "flapping your yap" and preaching to give money for a "kewl t-shirt" and "solving the immediate problem", hop your happy ass on a jet and make yourself the example to follow.

Tam said...

...say the nameless coward.

Shrimp said...

Oh, no, you're very wrong, Tam. Anonymouse is surely already there in Japan, doing his part. That's why he can look down his nose at someone when she suggests merely sending money to help.

He's soooo much better than the rest of us (even though he's not in Japan helping out, and probably hasn't sent any money to help, either---have you Anon?)

Clay said...

"I for one would pay good money to see this rat/cockroach fight.


Oooh! And coyotes. There has to be coyotes too! With glowing red eyes. The cockroaches eyes will glow green and the rats eyes will be a dead black. All three will be armed with a various arms like mosin-nagants and sks's. Throw in some WW 1 & 2 web gear (don't forget an occasional gas mask!)and we got ourselves a fight!

Personally, when I first heard about Japan's problems with the nuclear plants, all I could think of is "Kool beans! New movies with Rodan, Mothra and Godzilla."

perlhaqr said...

Oooh! And coyotes. There has to be coyotes too! With glowing red eyes. The cockroaches eyes will glow green and the rats eyes will be a dead black. All three will be armed with a various arms like mosin-nagants and sks's. Throw in some WW 1 & 2 web gear (don't forget an occasional gas mask!)and we got ourselves a fight!

Oooooh, It'd be like a horrible post-apocalyptic Cat Shit One! I like it.


Instead of virtually "flapping your yap" and preaching to give money for a "kewl t-shirt" and "solving the immediate problem", hop your happy ass on a jet and make yourself the example to follow.

Unsurprisingly, this is precisely opposite what the people in charge of helping out would actually like you to do.

Anonymous said...

And look what kind of a a freakshow huge swathes of America are now ..

Geodkyt said...

Yes, huge "swathes" like Detroit, New York City, New Orleans, Washington DC, Baltimore, etc. . .

(Or did Anonymous 4:06 mean "swatches" -- "swathes" would be rows of destruction, like rows of mown wheat. . . )

Roberta X said...

Anon, Perlhaqr said what I would have said -- I don't speak Nipponese, I'm not a trained disasterrelief works, and resources in the affected are are already stretched thin They don't need me in the way, they need supplies, or better yet, the wherewithal to buy them.

I tossed 'em a few bucks -- what have you done? Tinkling and whinging seems to be your limit.

Anonymous said...

Yeah! We didn't care then, why should we care now. I mean, those tests in NV didn't really do anything, right?

Tam said...


Still an F- on reading comprehension, I see...

Anonymous said...

Wait, I do see... You meant to say all those tests in NV actually did do something bad!

Tam said...

Yeah, they (and I quote) "wiped out life as we know it and all that was left from Colorado to the Atlantic were six-legged rats battling two-headed cockroaches in the glowing ruins?"

Get to panickin', dammit! Hold onto your boonie! Time's a'wastin'!

Diogenes said...

Amazing Tam, You opened a can of something, though I am not sure if I would call it a can of whoopass. Even spread a little to my site and I am very impressed with your input over there.

Grenades indeed.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure whose hyperbole is stronger - your's or those who you railing against. Panic on.

Tam said...

It amazes me that someone can spell "hyperbole" and yet still thinks an apostrophe means "Look out! Here comes an 'S'!"

Admit it: You pronounce it "hyper-bowl" when you proudly work it into a sentence.

North said...



Jack said...

You're getting around, Tam. Two of my regular sites are linking to you tonight.

BTW, you and Kate at Small Dead Animals have a lot in common.

Anonymous said...

Whoever above said that our grandchildren's grandchildren won't visit Chernobyl...

Wrong bozo -- just this morning the Today Show on NBC visited Chernobyl along with a *tourist* group, and ate in a cafeteria set up overlooking the reactor building. Sure, they were still checked for radiation and its not the same as moving in and living there -- but it sure as hell isn't anything like your scenario.

Anonymous said...

Let me make something perfectly clear:

This is NOT a right vs left issue.

The GOP must not, under any circumstances, adopt a stance on this issue much different from any other political party.

As with Germany shutting down its pre-1980 reactors this week, the most logical conclusion in the US from this incident is that all 23 GE Mark I reactors in the USA need to be phased out with hidden cameras looking to catch those who would bribe or take bribes to keep them running.

Any movement to do in 2011 or 2012 what the Germans did immediately, will have popular support, with as much coming from real Tea Party types as liberals.

True Tea Party types hate corporate corruption (bribed politicians).

True Tea Party types understand the Law of the Commons, which says that common areas (like air and water and government land) do not belong to rich jerks who pay off politicians to get even richer by exploiting common areas that don't belong to them.

Chernobyl destroyed real estate that, in Japan, might include Tokyo, making it uninhabitable for a million years or at least 300 years (depending on the place). The radioactive water table has yet to reach Kiev, after which real estate levels in Kiev will drop - an exodus will occur 25 years after the fact as the pollution finally reaches the Kiev water table.

A nuclear accident destroys the real estate around it and makes it so smart people, including my fellow Republicans, won't live anywhere near the fallout zone in their lifetimes.

If you owned land near a reactor, you would want it shut down now.

Remember that some of the nastiest pro-nuclear energy sites condemning the supposed "hype" about the Japanese nuclear crisis are fanatically pro-manmade-global-warming organizations, funded by the nuclear industry, who say that we will have "better climate" if we stop burning fossil fuels and switch/stick to nuke energy instead.

Stop the nuke industry's attempt to destroy the GOP's chances in 2012 by trying to hitch a ride on the more foolish people who mistakenly think they are conservative or part of the "Tea Party" when all they really are is the kind of person who thinks that one has to politicize everything and quickly develop a "Republican position" that's contrarian to something being talked about in the regular media.

I can say the media is in the tank for the nuclear industry. That is, the normally left wing media is downplaying the crisis.

For instance, MSNBC and other major outlets are not even mentioning the existence of Plutonium filled MOX fuel in Reactor 3 at Fukushima.

Is Shima the Japanese word for real estate owners in that area?

Anonymous said...

I've been to several sites funded by the nuclear industry which, again, is NOT something conservatives ever need to defend on any pretense.

They have idiotic "talking points" that include moronic calls for nuclear adherents to "take no prisoners" and "not apologize" for the nuclear accident in Japan.

One dumb talking point was to pretend that Fukushima "got hit with an unexpected one-two punch of earthquake and tsunami". Only a cretin with an IQ of 30 would buy the idea that earthquakes and tsunamis don't come together and were expected (a 9.0 was expected within our lifetimes and it, as expected, happened).

The most foolish of all talking points, bar none, is to downplay what Chernobyl did.

That loses you credibility instantly.

Anyone who downplays Chernobyl should not be allowed anywhere near a political candidate because that will make that candidate (pun intended) radioactive to voters.

This BS must not be allowed to infect the Tea Party.

This is NOT about the right of businesspeople to take government subsidies (from buddies in the government) to build plants that Wall Street wouldn't touch with a 10 mile pole.

Being "Tea Party" is NOT about the right of nuclear plant "owners", whose old rickety Mark I reactors were paid for by US taxpayers, to keep operating those dangerously designed old reactors as cash cows in order to squeeze out profits for them and their shareholders on the backs of the real estate owners within a 100 mile radius and further downwind.

A responsible pro-nuke response to this crisis would be that left wingers have prevented quicker approval for newer reactor designs that would have helped phase out the dangerous designs (I think the Mark I was designed in the 1950s but it may have been the early 60s).

Anonymous said...

Um. Michelle Kocinsky was broadcasting from Chernobyl on NBC this morning. They give tours now......

Mike Milligan said...

Sitting here on the east coast, I keep forgetting - am I a six-legged rat or a two-head cockroach?

Anonymous said...

Anyone who downplays Chernobyl seriously needs to go camping in the exclusion zone this summer or at least celebrate the 25th anniversary on the last Saturday in April (the day the weather got warm that year) with a swim, a jog and a BBQ with locally picked wild mushrooms in any part of over a million square kilometers, mostly in the south of White Russia. It is only because the former Soviet Union is huge that this did not destroy any one country.

If Cesium-137 or a sprinkling of Plutonium isotopes cover Japan like it did southern Belorus, smart Japanese will simply expatriate and live the rest of their lives elsewhere.

It's a quality of life issue.

Smart people won't wait or even have any tolerance for the type of redneck who would say "but there's no scientific evidence that Cs-137 in your vegetables will give you cancer".

These rednecks would damage the GOP in the US like the total morons who let Bill Clinton get two terms because they protected the tobacco industry saying that smoke didn't cause cancer (this issue never was a right vs left issue because, if cigs were invented tomorrow instead of 400 years ago, no conservative would approve the product, meaning the GOP politicians were just taking money from the tobacco lobby and putting a spin on the issue to let idiot plebes think "conservatives" support the right of companies to sell dangerous products).

Tam said...

Anon 9:18-30,

tl;dr version: You're an idiot.

Also, I'm failing to see the connection between Chernobyl and this.

I mean, sure, they're both nuclear reactors, in much the same way that a Wankel and a diesel are both internal combustion engines...

Lastly, I'm not your "fellow Republican" go wash your mouth out with soap, Dittohead.

Anonymous said...


No reason to go ad hominem on someone you don't know in favor of an industry that you are not a shareholder of that you would not allow within 50 miles of real estate that you own.

If the Tokyo area ends up with measurable permanent coating of CS-137 or, worse, Plutonium, this will be considered to be worse than Chernobyl by the JAPANESE (because Chernobyl didn't coat the Tokyo area with Cs-137).

So you're damned right its comparable if that happens.

You better not be a Republican in the US.

We Republicans don't need loudmouthed supporters of government subsidized industries.

This is NOT a right vs left issue.

Only a fool would want the continued operation of poorly designed reactors from the 1970s.

Anonymous said...

Exactly my thoughts!

Anonymous said...

What's ironic here is that Tam saw that some left wing websites like Better Climate, that favor nuclear energy over the burning of fossil fuels, were slamming the media (dishonestly claiming the media was a "bunch of liberals" on this issue - they are a bunch of liberals normally - while not even bothering to hide the fact that they themselves were major proponents of the Man-Made Global Warming Theory).

Tam then mistakenly assumed that, because some anti-fossil-fuel organizations tactically slammed the MSM for being "liberal" on this issue, he or she should take the "bait" and run with the issue as if the position was tailor made for conservatives to champion.

This is, at best, a liberal vs liberal issue.

Let the Democratic Party tear itself debating this while smart conservatives simply vote no on the extension of the old Mark I reactors' leases to use the land near their real estate.

Approval of any new technology reactors should come with the local residents being shareholders in the profits (to offset falling property values).

VanderDouchen said...

Lots of douchery in here. Where did it come from? Please troll home.

kenlowder said...

Well the fallout from our above ground test didn't kill every one east on the blast or produce six legged rats but, maybe it explains the liberal whacked out mindset.

Mudpuppy said...

For the definitive resource on all things that glow (or go big bada-boom) I use Department of the Army Pamphlet 50-3 'The Effects of Nuclear Weapons' dated March 1977, use table 12.108, this describes the summary of clinical effects of acute ionizing radiation doses.

Matt said...

@ Marja:

But the plants were designed to survive a quake this big. And they did exactly what they were designed to do - backup generators kicked in to maintain cooling as the reactors went into emergency shutdown.

What they weren't able to cope with was the subsequent tsunami, which washed out the emergency power generators and thus the cooling pumps. So it was the double natural disaster which was not incorporated into planning and design. Although even that is not entirely correct - there apparently was a 20' seawall. So both earthquakes and tsunamis were planned for in the plant design: just not both together, or at least not of this severity.

I have read that there was significant subsidence due to the earthquake, and portions of the coast are in fact now below sea level. Had the land the nuclear plant sits on not dropped several feet as a result of the quake, it's very possible that the tsunami would have been held back by the seawall.

In any case, to quote "Chaos Manor":

Radiation is coming! To America! Radiation! From Japan!

Radiation could reach us tomorrow! Running about aimlessly squawking like a chicken is the only known remedy.

Anonymous said...

Since Tsunamis would always follow quakes this size off the coast, it isn't an argument that the plants were designed for and withstood the quake. Tsunamis are expected parts of quakes, especially since the big Quake = Tsunami of Christmas 2004.

I already noted above that this "the tsunami was unexpected" argument is probably the weakest argument that the left wing climate change websites are pushing in their pro-nuclear campaign.

Anonymous said...,10784.0.html

Perhaps a few facts would be welcome.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

"Tsunamis are expected parts of quakes"

And tsunamis were planned for in the design - the entire plant was protected by a sea wall, but the tsunami topped it.

Anonymous said...

Great advice for the pro-nuclear crowd:

1) Get paid for your support at least. Since there is no political principle at stake here, there's no use in wasting your time arguing online in support of an industry you have no stake in, especially by apologizing on behalf of the owners of Fukushima who aren't bothering to argue for themselves.

2) Don't think for a second that conservative (political) principles are at stake here. There are none (that can be defined as right or left in any case) except for the idea that liberals are responsible for keeping the old poorly-designed reactors online because they block new construction.

3) It's OK to be in favor of PRISMs or advanced reactor designs while saying that liberals kept the old, dangerous design of reactors online because of their refusal to approve new technology construction.

In fact, #3 is the best advice that an informed proponent of nuclear energy will go with now.

It will only hurt the cause of nuclear energy to pretend that the Tokyo Electric was responsible here or that the Tsunami walls were sufficient for an expected tsunami. Ditto for claiming Chernobyl wasn't so bad.

These are non-arguments that not even Tokyo Electric or GE would dare make (or ask lobbyists to make).

Smart people know that new designs for nuclear reactors might be OK.

Conservatives should refuse to subsidize nuclear energy with their tax money. Let Wall Street pay for it if they think the pros outweigh the liabilities (Wall Street - the free market - believes the liabilities outweigh the advantages).

And, honestly, lobbyists for GE know their company would profit if the 23 old GE reactors in the US are shut down and replaced with new GE reactors.

So the "pro-nuke crowd" (who belong to both US political parties) shouldn't assume that GE would be disappointed if leaking plants like Vermont Yankee and Indian Point were shut down for needed technology upgrades.

Anonymous said...

I fully sympathize with the idea that anything the left wing media (including Fox News) says, must be opposed with a contrarian viewpoint.

I get that.

But a stopped clock is correct twice per day.

One needs to be careful, therefore, about going contrarian when they get things accidentally right. But I'm seeing the MSM actually downplaying this nuke incident.

Doesn't GE own NBC? I remember seeing an article on MSNBC today where they failed to say that Fukushima #3 used MOX (Plutonium) fuel (Chernobyl used Uranium Oxide fuel).

A hater of the the liberal media (no parentheses because they are liberals) would just as quickly point out that there is a media coverup going on here.

Most of the right wing blogs are saying that the media is not hyping this issue enough but, rather, watching the back of the nuclear industry (which is in bed with the "Green Movement" that doesn't want fossil fuels burned that would release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere).

There really are liberals so stupid that they worry their heads off about "Global Warming" due to carbon dioxide emissions that they are willing to risk PLUTONIUM and Cesium 137 emissions instead.

I say let's burn coal and release carbon dioxide and tell the liberals to go to hell.

Look at who's funding the websites that are defending Fukushima's owners.

Conservatives have no dog in the fight here, unless they live downwind from one of these government subsidized monstrosities.

Anonymous said...

Example: Here is a brand new Reuters article. Note that they refuse to explain to readers why Reactor #3 is "the most critical":

Why didn't they explain that Reactor #3 is "the most critical" because it has plutonium-laced MOX fuel rods?

It would have taken less than one sentence to say this.

But they didn't because Reuters:

1) Didn't want to panic people more than they feel they have to.

2) General Electric or others told Reuters to keep quiet about the plutonium (or play it down by leaving it out of most reports).

Considering that anyone following this incident knows very well that Reactor 3 is the priority because of the plutonium fuel, one has to conclude that the media is playing down the crisis, not building it up.

Those who hate the liberal media for lying so much should, therefore, be saying the opposite of what this particular blog post is trying to say.

Tam said...

Who the hell are you even talking to?

Anonymous said...

Only truthy nugget I could find from the GOP/adult/poseur's ramblings above is this:

"...left wingers have prevented approval for newer reactor designs..."

Same folks screaming now about the need to shut down the old one; it's almost like a plan or something...

But those old reactors held up just fine, and as I've repeated ad nauseum since Day Two it appears that the only design flaw, if you can call it that, was an inability to keep water pumping through them...ironically because too much water rolled over them.

Pointless to debate, though...illogic based on fear and feelings is a far more powerful force than logic based on fact.

Oh, and Jesus Christ, Nony, I thought I was wordy...


Zog said...

" will never visit Chernobyl in your lifetimes or the lifetimes of your grandchildren for that matter."

That would be news to the Ukrainians who are running guided tourist tours in the dead zone, including approaching the dead reactor closely enough to make a geiger counter sing imprssively.

It would also be news to the few aged prasants who have quietly returned to their homes and are eking out a living with susitance farming. (Unfortunately, some of their cesium-laced produce is said to turn up from time to time in Kiev markets.)

Would I be willing to live there? Sure, I'm an old man and will die from something else long before the radioactivity would get me. I wouldn't want my grandchildren messing around there though.

The point is that, although Chenobyl was a horrible event, the world hasn't ended because of it.

Tam said...


As best I can make out, this isn't a right- or left-wing issue because the pro-nuke leftists (which must be as numerous as Jewish Al-Qaeda members) are all funded by GE and are conspiring to cause a pro-nuke slant in the media. Or something. It got a little ramble-y there towards the end...

がんこもん said...

Hi folks: Japan hand here - I've lived there and have both friends and family right in the middle of this one. As an aside, I was there for the Hanshin quake in '95, so I know exactly what things are like. May I suggest that you pay zero attention to ANYTHING that the US media is putting out, regardless of source. Read the Japanese media. I regret that their English pages are not being updated as rapidly as their Japanese-language pages. But that is where you will get a LOT more info on the actual situation. To wit: So far, there have been minor breachings of the containing vessels at Number 3 and Number 1. The outer buildings are heavily damaged but as other commenters have already noted, those are irrelevant. Currently, Japn media are reporting that power has been partially restored, water is being pumped into the reactors and the temperatures are dropping. As for the hysterics over the plants here in the US, it took a Richter-9 earthquake followed by an un-godly tsunami to knock out the cooling, electrical and all backup systems in Fukushima, which is the real culprit for the problems. As for any comparisons to Chernobyl, anyone who makes them is obviously ignorant of basic nuclear design as well as standard constructions techniques and the vast difference between the designs used in the West and those used in the old Soviet world. Fukushima was designed to meet a standard that the disasters utterly eclipsed. Yet with everything that has gone wrong, we are still seeing only a Three- Mile Island-type situation, albeit slightly more severe. No one has died or even been seriously injured from radiation so far. Those who can read Japanese, please feel free to verify - the major Japanese news sources have this as their number one story.

Kristopher said...

Tam said...
Who the hell are you even talking to?

He is attempting to be a "concern troll". He is concerned that we cousin humping redneck retards aren't advocating conservative issues correctly ... you betcha! He is being a kind and caring lefty super-genius by showing us how to be really smart cousin humping redneck retards.

It doesn't work very well when we just point and giggle at his attempt to imitate a person using reason.

Anonymous said...

"Big girl's blouse" is a British expression, generally indicating "wimp."

Anonymous said...

Over $525 million dollars has been given out in compensation for people deemed to have caught cancer due to being in the fallout of the Nevada test site (that's $50,000 per person for over 10,000 people).

This doesn't include children that d...ied from leukemia due to the fallout, or the compensation given to workers that worked at the sites. As far as I know, there haven't yet been any reports of superpowers.

I don't see a lot of news journalists complaining about the possibility of mutant Godzilla coming up from the seas. I see worries about worker safety and safety of Japanese people though, which doesn't seem so bad.

Scott Smith said...

Ever hear of the Downwinders? Jackass.

online Diploma said...

I totally condemn nuclear usage....