9 thoughts on “Japan’s nuclear disaster and corporate profits

  1. Spaniards call for reactor closures

    SPAIN: Protesters demonstrated in Madrid on Sunday against the use of atomic power.

    Organised by Ecologists in Action, they unfurled a large nuclear symbol and banners reading “No to Nuclear Power” outside the Reina Sofia Museum, a landmark tourist attraction.

    The organisers said most people want the government to close its nuclear plants.



  2. Privateer skipped vital safety checks

    JAPAN: The country’s nuclear watchdog said today that the firm that operates the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant repeatedly failed to make crucial inspections in the weeks before the devastating quake and tsunami.

    In a report released nine days before the disasters, the Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organisation criticised Tokyo Electric Power Co for not inspecting 33 pieces of equipment.

    Among the machinery missed were back-up generators, pumps and other parts of cooling systems that the tsunami swamped, leading to the plant’s current crisis.




    A few days ago, CNBC’s Larry Kudlow said what many wealthy Wall Street investors were probably thinking, and it was shocking.

    Kudlow, a cable news financial “pundit,” reassured the business world about the Japanese earthquake and tsunami: “The human toll here looks to be much worse than the economic toll, and we can be grateful for that.”

    On Twitter, Kudlow apologized, but his words represented the heartlessness at the center of today’s casino economy: everything is reduced to a financial win or loss.

    There is something ethically debased when the financial impact of a disaster is of more concern than the human toll. What happens to a society when money is valued more than life?

    Since Kudlow’s remark, at least 150 workers in Japan (in teams of 50 at a time) have been exposing themselves to high levels of radiation in order to prevent a nuclear catastrophe. They are the heroes.

    Next to them, Kudlow looks extremely small and selfish.

    Mark Karlin
    Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout


  4. Kaieda sorry for reportedly ‘forcing’ firefighters to carry out water-spraying mission

    Tuesday 22nd March, 01:10 PM JST

    TOKYO —

    Industry minister Banri Kaieda apologized Tuesday over reports that he threatened to ‘‘punish’’ firefighters if they did not carry out an operation to spray water toward a quake-hit nuclear reactor building in Fukushima Prefecture.

    He refrained from admitting whether he actually made such remarks, but told a press conference, ‘‘If my remarks offended firefighters…I would like to apologize on that point.’‘

    The move came after Tokyo Gov Shintaro Ishihara on Monday lodged a protest with Prime Minister Naoto Kan over the ‘‘forcing’’ of Tokyo Fire Department members dispatched to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to engage in an hours-long water-spraying mission and referring to ‘‘punishment’’ if they refused the task.

    According to Ishihara, Kan apologized over the matter. Ishihara said that he did not know who actually said so, but sources close to the metropolitan government said Kaieda made the remarks.

    Ishihara also said that equipment broke down because of the continuous mission, which involved spraying water toward the troubled No. 3 reactor building for 13 hours at a time.

    Kaieda serves as a deputy head of the nuclear disaster task force jointly set up by the government and the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co and headed by Kan. He said that a liaison staffer mediated the communication between him and the firefighters.

    The dousing mission can now be carried out for lengthy periods basically unattended by using vehicles capable of shooting a large amount of water toward the reactor from a 22-meter height.

    The mission at the highly radiation-contaminated plant area is considered essential to cooling down a pool storing spent nuclear fuel, feared to have been boiling. The pool is located inside the building, but water can be shot from outside because the building has suffered damage in what is believed to have been a hydrogen explosion.

    If fuel is no longer fully covered by water, which reduces by boiling, it can create the risk of radioactive release.

    Hit by a magnitude 9.0 quake and ensuing massive tsunami on March 11, most of the six reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station lost cooling functions, and those reactors and the spent fuel pools located close to their containment vessels are believed to be overheating.

    © 2011 Kyodo News.


  5. Baby dolphin saved after dumped in rice field by tsunami

    23 Mar 2011 09:51

    Source: Reuters

    TOKYO, March 23 (Reuters Life!) – A baby dolphin has been rescued in Japan after being dumped in a rice field by a giant tsunami that hit the coast on March 11.

    The dolphin was spotted in the flooded field, about 2 km (a mile) from the coast, said Ryo Taira, a pet-shop owner who has been rescuing animals abandoned after the 9.0 magnitude quake and tsunami left 23,000 people dead or missing.

    “A man passing by said he had found the dolphin in the rice paddy and that we had to do something to save it,” the 32-year-old Taira told Reuters.

    Taira found the dolphin struggling in the shallow seawater on Tuesday and after failing to net it, waded in to the field, which had yet to be sown with rice, to cradle the 1.2-metre (four foot) animal in his arms.

    “It was pretty weak by then, which was probably the only reason we could catch it,” he said.

    Taira and some friends wrapped the dolphin in wet towels and drove it back to the sea, where they set it free. The dolphin appeared to perk up when it was back in the Pacific, he said.

    “I don’t know if it will live, but it’s certainly a lot better than dying in a rice paddy,” Taira told the Asahi Shimbun newspaper. (Reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by Robert Birsel and Sanjeev Miglani)


  6. Pingback: Fukushima nuclear disaster victims are angry | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Pingback: Fukushima disaster, worse and worse | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  8. Pingback: Japan’s corporate nuclear catastrophe continues | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  9. Pingback: Japanese nuclear crisis continues | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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