Thursday, March 31, 2011

Radiation in Iitate, Japan, at 25 Millisieverts Every 24 Hours

If that's really true, that's FOUR years' worth of normal exposure in America IN A CALENDAR DAY, AND STILL THEY WON'T EVACUATE Iitate, Japan.

Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman for the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, . . . said at a press conference in the afternoon [Thursday] that the agency's rough estimates have shown there is no need for people in Iitate to evacuate immediately under criteria set by the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan.

''The radiation dose of a person who was indoors for 16 hours and outdoors for eight hours (and continued such a lifestyle) would be about 25 millisieverts, which is about half the level which requires evacuation based on the commission's criteria,'' he said.

The commission explained that domestic criteria are based on measurements at radiation in the air, and not the soil.

The data was buried here, in a story about groundwater contamination near reactor one. The technique appears to be an old one: casually refer to the touchiest subject as an aside in a report about something entirely unrelated.

Khalif Saed: The Voice of Libyan Professional Credibility

If there's an ammunition shortage, no one has told Khalif Saed. He was firing off a large machine gun welded to the back of a pick up truck, sending the contents of the heavy belt of bullets darting through the weapon and in to an empty sky. ...

Asked why he was shooting when the revolution's military leadership has appealed for discipline and its fighters not to waste ammunition, Saed said simply: "It's my gun."

Story here.

Too Bad Obama Wasn't Fully Vetted: Appearing To Be Credible Since 1961, or Thereabouts

President Obama told CBS News in an interview aired Tuesday night that the few rebel leaders American officials have met were "fully vetted, so we have a clear sense of who they are, and so far they're saying the right things, and most of them are professionals, lawyers, doctors, people who appear to be credible."

More here.

Pesky Fuel Rod

The Europeans have banned "The Simpsons" for its insensitive nuclear humor.

I kid you not:

Broadcasters in Germany, Australia and Switzerland have decided to ban or censor episodes of The Simpsons that poke fun at nuclear disasters in light of Japan's atomic emergency.

More here.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

News Story Misidentifies Reactors in New Photos

The UK Daily Mail has been providing up to the minute coverage with excellent and timely photographs, which, sad to say, seems to have failed us this day.

It's not a quibble either, because the import of the article is that Reactor 2 has melted through its vessel, in the opinion, OPINION!, of the GE head of safety research when the reactor was installed. And he's been all over the British press, not just the Daily Mail, repeating that OPINION:

Richard Lahey, who was head of safety research for boiling-water reactors at General Electric when the company installed the units at Fukushima, told the Guardian that he believed nuclear fuel had melted and burned through the reactor floor in unit number two.

But try to accurately identify that reactor in these photos:

This photo's caption appears to be correct, but Reactor 2 appears to be the most intact.

This photo's caption appears to be incorrect. These are reactors four and three, not one and two.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Latest Radiation Figures in Tokyo, Fukushima City and Iwaki City Show Broad Declines

Some meltdown, huh?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting the following declining radiation measurements in Japan today:

Tokyo: 0.105 microsievert an hour. Normal is 0.035 microsievert an hour.

Fukushima City: 3.17 microsieverts an hour, compared to 5.85 microsieverts an hour a week ago and 22.90 microsieverts an hour two weeks ago.

Iwaki City: 0.81 microsieverts an hour, compared to 2.05 microsieverts an hour a week ago and 1.34 microsieverts an hour two weeks ago.

In this statement from the article, "10,000" is a typo, and should read "100,000":

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission sets the annual occupational dosage limit for workers who deal with radiation at 50,000 microsieverts and the limit for a nuclear event at 10,000 microsieverts.

It's the same sort of error, easy to make, which TEPCO made in recent days stating a radiation comparison, not the reading itself, was 10 million times higher than another reading, when they meant 100,000 times higher. And the numbskulls crucified them for it.

Zeroes get inadvertently added and subtracted all too often, it seems, in science, mathematics . . . and politics!

The good news is that the bad news is not as bad as it was.

Where Are All The Meltdown Stories Today?


The True Meaning of 666

Don't buy stocks, unless you like overpaying, says John Bethel.


Back in January 2006, I posted about something Peter Cundill referred to over the years — “The Magic Sixes.”

As I wrote at the time:

“The Magic Sixes” are something Cundill got from a man named Norman Weinger of Oppenheimer in the 1970s. They are companies trading at less than .6 times book value (or less than 60% of book value), 6 times earnings or less, and with dividend yields of 6% or more. Cundill remembers that there were HUNDREDS of publicly traded companies in the US qualifying back in those days.

When I posted the above more than five years ago, I ran a screen on Barron’s Online and it gave three stocks meeting the test.

I just ran it again a few minutes ago and it listed one stock meeting the test. And a second that was on the bubble (and might meet it as the stock price fluctuates a bit).

The Magic Sixes isn’t meant to give specific stock tips. It’s used to gauge the broad market — and whether it’s cheap or not.

It’s clearly not here in the US.

Yes, There is a Hell. It's Called the Housing Market.

Stephen B. Meister for The New York Post takes us on a grand tour of The Inferno, from the first level to the last:

Sales of existing homes dropped 9.6 percent in February to their lowest level since 2002 -- 4.88 million per year. And that's the good news.

Sales of new homes have collapsed. In February, they dropped 16.9 percent to an all-time-record low -- 250,000 a year, down from 900,000 in early 2007. ...

The median price of an existing home dropped 5.2 percent to $156,100, while the median new-home price is down 13.9 percent, to $202,100. ...

The official statistics show an inventory of 3.67 million new and existing homes -- 8.6 months' worth at the present anemic sales rate. But the real inventory is likely double that . . ..

Nearly one in four borrowers -- more than 11 million households -- owes more than the house is worth. Another 2.4 million homeowners have less than 5 percent equity, putting them right on the edge. And those numbers will all soar as prices slide further. ...

All this means there's a backlog of some 10 million homes that must get sold before housing can truly recover. But fewer than 5 million homes now trade hands in a year -- and that's mostly sales of nondistressed homes, which aren't even part of the glut. So it's clear that home prices are bound to go down further and remain down for years.

Every economist knows you get more of what you subsidize. Due to all the overbuilding from years of federal housing subsidies, today a staggering 18.4 million homes are empty year-round. (That's down from 18.9 million a year ago, as lower prices have lured investors who've rented out homes bought at foreclosure.)

Given that there are 112.5 million occupied housing units (including rentals) in America, that means that there's one vacant home for every six occupied ones.

Short of bulldozing the millions of unneeded homes, it will take years of population growth and household formations to absorb the excess.

You won't like the rest, either, here.

Democrats For Bush's Iraq War 110, For Obama's Libya War 0

That constitution thingy, well, it just doesn't apply here according to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, because an international agreement trumps it, which will come as quite a surprise to the Americans who have to fight it, and the rest of us who have to pay for it. But hey, who cares, they're all volunteers, right?

Peter Wehner for Commentary reminds Hillary Clinton that when it comes to unilateral wars, she at least got to vote for the last one:

On October 10-11, 2002, the House voted 296-133 in favor of the Use of Force Resolution, while the vote in the Senate was 77-23. All told, 110 Democrats in the House and Senate voted in favor of going to war – including then-Senator Hillary Clinton . . ..

The rest is also instructive, here.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Would You Shake Hands With This Liar?

No, not this one . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . this one! 

Is the Plutonium Story Being Sensationalized?

To read the online papers, like ABC News (here), you'd think the detection of plutonium around the Fukushima reactors indicates a meltdown is suddenly underway, as if nothing has been happening since the quake and tsunami struck on March 11, 17 days ago, and radiation subsequently began to pour out of the facilities.

Yet the reports from Japan are not wholly satisfactory, evidenced by speculation about a direct correlation between the problems at reactor 3 (where plutonium is an ingredient in Mixed OXide fuel) and what has been found in the soil.

Kyodo News likens the amounts detected in the soil to amounts routinely found during the era of atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons before the Test Ban Treaty (here):

[T]he levels confirmed from soil samples taken at the plant on March 21 and 22 were almost the same as those from the fallout detected in Japan following past nuclear tests by the United States and Russia, said the utility known as TEPCO.

And NHK World has perhaps a slightly different angle (here):

[T]he level detected is the same as that found in other parts of Japan and does not pose a threat to human health. ...

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says the detected level is the same as that found in the environment and not health-threatening for workers who conducted the sampling, nor residents in surrounding areas.

The question is whether the plutonium traces found are the normal residue from the era of atmospheric testing, are otherwise normal traces unrelated to that time, or are related to a problem at reactor 3.

Additional testing is said to be underway.

Meanwhile, if it bleeds, it leads.

National Security Adviser: "We Don't Make Decisions . . . Based On Consistency"


"We don’t make decisions about questions like intervention based on consistency or precedent," said Denis McDonough, the administration's deputy national security adviser, amid an off-camera gaggle of reporters. "We make them based on how we can best advance our interests in the region."

Uh huh.

More here.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

China Moves Forward on Discarded American Thorium Reactor Technology

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard had the story over a week ago for The UK Telegraph here, and promptly headed for the hills afterwards:

A few weeks before the tsunami struck Fukushima’s uranium reactors and shattered public faith in nuclear power, China revealed that it was launching a rival technology to build a safer, cleaner, and ultimately cheaper network of reactors based on thorium. ...

China’s Academy of Sciences said it had chosen a “thorium-based molten salt reactor system”. The liquid fuel idea was pioneered by US physicists at Oak Ridge National Lab in the 1960s, but the US has long since dropped the ball. Further evidence of Barack `Obama’s “Sputnik moment”, you could say. ...

Norway’s Aker Solution has bought Professor Rubbia’s patent. It had hoped to build the first sub-critical reactor in the UK, but seems to be giving up on Britain and locking up a deal to build it in China instead, where minds and wallets are more open.

Greenpeace Team in Iitate, Japan, Claims Measuring 7 to 10 Microsieverts/hour

The measurements were taken today, according to this report:

The team measured radiation of between 7 and 10 micro Sievert per hour in the town of Iitate, on Sunday March 27 th.

That's down from the 12.1 microsieverts/hour reported nearly a week ago, as here.

But even at 7 microsieverts/hour, it would take only about 36 days to get the annual average American dose of 6200 microsieverts. At 10 per hour, about 25 days.

Radiation in Namie, Japan, Has Risen From 0.161 to 1.4 mSv/hour

According to this report:

The Science Ministry says a reading of 1.4 millisieverts was taken on Wednesday morning in Namie Town northwest of the plant.

We reported the lower level of 0.161 on Monday last, here. The measured increase is dramatic. Just two days later the measurement is over 700 percent higher.

Background radiation plus other routine exposures in America amounts to, on average, 6.2 mSv/year. In Namie, Japan, on Wednesday, one would get that much in just under five hours.

Coast of Minami-sanriku Was Hit By 52 Foot Tsunami

Reported here.

Tsunami At Rikuzentakata Reached 42 Feet In Height

According to this report.

It penetrated to a height of two stories high one kilometer inland, sweeping away people from a gymnasium designated as a shelter.

TEPCO Stands by Radiation Figure of 1000 mSv/hour, Corrects Concentration to 100K Times Normal

So Kyodo News, dateline Tokyo, March 28:

Japan on Sunday faced an increasing challenge of removing highly radioactive water found inside buildings near some troubled nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, with the radiation level of the surface of the pool in the basement of the No. 2 reactor's turbine building found to be more than 1,000 millisieverts per hour.

Exposure to such an environment for four hours would raise the risk of dying in 30 days. Hidehiko Nishiyama, spokesman for the government's nuclear safety agency, said the figure is ''quite high'' but authorities must find a way to pump out the water without sending workers too close to push ahead with the restoration work.

Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said early Monday the concentration of radioactive substances of the puddle was 100,000 times higher than that usually measured in water in a reactor core, correcting its earlier analysis of 10 million times higher.

The facts are not altered: 2 Sievert hours might very well kill you, 4 will in 30 days, and 8 will much more quickly than that.

Read the rest here.

Iodine 131 and Xenon 133 Show Up in Nevada

As reported here:

[E]xtremely small amounts of iodine-131 and xenon-133, both of which are not usually found in Nevada, were detected at a monitoring station near the Atomic Testing Museum in the city following a series of radiation leaks at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Fukushima Reactor 2 Basement Puddle Emitting 1000 mSv/hour

An astounding number, which amounts to 1 Sievert per hour, from a puddle.

Half of that is 500 mSv/hour, previously reported in the air over one of the reactors. That's the amount in a hour an American can expect to absorb in a life. Now double that, in an hour.

Just two hours exposed to radiation at 1 Sievert per hour is sometimes fatal, while 8 Sieverts is most definitely fatal. Chernobyl threw off 50 Sieverts near the destroyed core in just ten minutes.

The report comes from Kyodo News today, here:

The concentration level is 10 million times higher than that seen usually in water in a reactor core, according to plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co.  Hidehiko Nishiyama, spokesman for the government's nuclear safety agency, said the figure is ''quite high'' and ''likely to be coming from the reactor.'' ...

The radioactivity at the surface of the puddle at the No. 3 unit was 400 millisieverts per hour. ...

According to the latest data released Sunday, radioactive iodine-134, a substance which sees its radiation release reduced to about half in some 53 minutes, existed in water at the No. 2 reactor's turbine building at an extremely high concentration of 2.9 billion becquerels per 1 cubic centimeter.

The water also contained such substances as iodine-131 and cesium-137, known as products of nuclear fission, and thus leading to speculation that it may have come through pipes that connect the reactor vessel and turbines, where steam from the reactor is normally directed to for electricity generation.

The pool of water at the No. 4 reactor's turbine building included radioactive substances, but the concentration level was not as high as at the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 buildings, the data showed.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Incident's Radioactive Materials Leaking From Reactors, Not Spent Fuel Pools

So says Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. NHK World has the details here:

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency spoke to reporters on Friday about an accident in which 3 workers were exposed to radiation in the turbine building of the No. 3 reactor.

It said 3.9 million becquerels of radiation was detected from 1 cubic centimeter of water sampled from the floor of the building. The radiation level was about 10,000 times higher than the water inside a normally operating nuclear reactor.

The agency said the water sample indicated it is highly likely the leak comes from the reactor itself, not from the pool storing spent nuclear fuel.

According to the officials, pressure inside the reactor core is stable and the agency doesn't believe the reactor is cracked or broken. But it says it is highly possible that radioactive materials are leaking from somewhere in the reactor.

The agency also said high levels of radiation have been measured at reactors No. 1 and 2, and speculates there may also be leakage from them. Cooling operations using seawater are continuing at the reactors.

Possible Damage To Reactor 3's Vessel, Pipes or Valves

As reported by Kyodo News, here:

A high-level radiation leak detected Thursday at one of six troubled reactors at the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant indicates possible damage to the reactor's vessel, pipes or valves, the government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said Friday. ...

Hidehiko Nishiyama, spokesman for the governmental nuclear regulatory body, told a press conference, ''At present, our monitoring data suggest the (No. 3) reactor retains certain containment functions, but there is a good chance that the reactor has been damaged.''

Nishiyama said the high-level radiation is suspected to have originated from the reactor, where overheating fuel rods are believed to have been partially melted, or a boiling pool that stores spent nuclear fuel, both of which are located in the reactor's building. ...

The Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan, a government panel, recommended voluntary evacuation as the release of radioactive materials from the plant is expected to continue for some time.

Fukushima Reactor 3's Core Believed to be Source of Radioactive Puddle

As reported here by Kyodo News:

High-level radiation detected Thursday in water at the No. 3 reactor's turbine building at the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant appears to have originated from the reactor core, the government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said Friday.

But no data, such as on the pressure level, have suggested the reactor vessel has been cracked or damaged, agency spokesman Hidehiko Nishiyama emphasized at an afternoon press conference, backing down from his previous remark that there is a good chance that the reactor has been damaged. It remains uncertain how the leakage happened, he added.

Fukushima Reactors' Surface Temperatures Exceeding Design Parameters

So said Kyodo News here on March 23:

While the maximum vessel temperature set by the reactors' designers is 302 C degrees, the surface temperature of the No. 1 reactor vessel briefly topped 400 C and dropped to about 350 C by noon, and that of the No. 3 reactor vessel stood at about 305 C, the agency said.

All Four Reactor Cores or Spent Fuel Pools Leak Highly Radioactive Water

So says Kyodo News here:

[H]ighly radioactive water was later found leaking near all four troubled reactor units at the plant.

A day after three workers were exposed to water containing radioactive materials 10,000 times the normal level at the turbine building connected to the No. 3 reactor building, a water pool with similarly highly concentrated radioactive materials was found in the No. 1 reactor's turbine building, causing some restoration work to be suspended, it said.

Pools of water that may have seeped from either the reactor cores or spent fuel pools were also found in the turbine buildings of the No. 2 and No. 4 reactors, measuring up to 1 meter and 80 centimeters deep, respectively, while those near the No. 1 and No. 3 reactors were up to 40 cm and 1.5 meters deep.

Recent reports describe two phenomena: surface temperatures on reactor vessels far exceeding the prescribed limits, and the need to keep re-filling the spent fuel pools because of rapid evaporation and/or leakage loss.

Add to these observations the new information that radioactive water is now observed pooling in various places in all four reactor facilities, and the plain statement "Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Friday it has begun injecting freshwater into the No. 1 and No. 3 reactor cores at the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant," and it is difficult not to conclude that the nuclear reactors at Fukushima I are themselves damaged and that their spent fuel ponds were cracked in the earthquake and cannot retain water without constant attention to refilling.

This is a disaster for the people of Japan, and a terrible rebuke of the hubris of the nuclear power industry.

Earth Hour: Saturday, March 26, 2011 at 8:30 PM

We'll be celebrating!

Video here.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

TEPCO Speculates Radioactive Puddle Contents Are Sign of Reactor Breach

NHK World has the story here about the puddle which injured 2 workers, exposing them to over 170 millisieverts while laying cable near the reactor 3 turbine room:

The level of radioactive cerium-144 was 2.2 million becquerels. Also, 1.2 million becquerels of iodine-131 was measured. These substances are generated during nuclear fission inside a reactor.

Tokyo Electric says damage to the No.3 reactor and spent nuclear fuel rods in a storage pool may have produced the highly radioactive water.

Obama Refuses to Secure America's Dangerous Nuclear Waste

For The Associated Press Jonathan Fahey and Ray Henry have an excellent story here about the problem America shares with Japan: "US Spent-Fuel Storage Sites Are Packed".

Nearly 72,000 tons of dangerous waste is being stored all over the US at reactor sites, 75 percent of it in vulnerable cooling pools just like Japan's.

We could have started moving it to Yucca Mountain long ago, but an unholy alliance between Nevada's people, its Senator Harry Reid of Obamacare fame, and President Obama himself keep the radioactive waste exposed to misfortune, mayhem and mischief in places like Illinois, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, New York and North Carolina, the top five states storing spent nuclear fuel totaling over 27,000 tons:

For long-term storage, the government had looked to Yucca Mountain. It was designed to hold 77,160 tons - 69,444 tons designated for commercial waste and 7,716 for military waste. That means the current inventory already exceeds Yucca's original planned capacity.

A 1982 law gave the federal government responsibility for the long-term storage of nuclear waste and promised to start accepting waste in 1998. After 20 years of study, Congress passed a law in 2002 to build a nuclear waste repository deep in Yucca Mountain.

The federal government spent $9 billion developing the project, but the Obama administration has cut funding and recalled the license application to build it. Nevadans have fiercely opposed Yucca Mountain, though a collection of state governments and others are taking legal action to reverse the decision.

Despite his Yucca Mountain decision, President Barack Obama wants to expand nuclear power. He created a commission last year to come up with a long-term nuclear waste plan. Initial findings are expected this summer, with a final plan expected in January.

Obama the feckless simply kicks that can down the road while he globe trots with GE's chairman Jeff Immelt in search of deals for GE's nuclear reactor business, for example in India which has had plans to spend tens of billions of dollars on nuclear, and most recently in Brazil.

In exchange look for Obama to get GE to finance his presidential library and millions in walking around money for his future "charitable" foundation which will rival Bill Clinton's.

For every operational 1000 megawatt nuclear plant a year, another 25-30 tons of the stuff piles up with no place to go.

And with Obama in charge, nowhere is where it's at.

Children Outside Evacuation Zone in Kawamata Getting 2 Microsieverts Per Hour

Kyodo News here reports that the Japanese government says 66 children checked in Kawamata (B) are not in danger of thyroid problems from radiation exposure from the crippled nuclear reactors (A).

The 2 microsievert per hour rate of exposure there is 2.8 times the normal exposure rate in America.

Gross US Public Debt Since The Founding

Spending By All Levels of US Government Since The Founding

19th Amendment, 18 August 1920
26th Amendment, 01 July 1971

Women and children first, my eye!

Workers Laying Cable at Fukushima Reactor 3 Injured by Radioactive Puddle

Kyodo News reports here that the workers had on Tyvek suits but no boots and stepped into a 15cm puddle of water which threw off 200 to 400 millisieverts of radiation per hour and caused beta ray burns to the feet of two of the men Thursday morning Tokyo time.

So far 17 workers each have been exposed to over 100 millisieverts of radiation since the trouble began at Fukushima.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

America's Number One Nuclear Problem is Spent Fuel Storage

So says Robert Alvarez for The Los Angeles Times:

[T]he nation's 104 nuclear power plants are legally storing spent fuel in onsite cooling ponds much longer, and at higher densities (on average four times higher), than was originally intended. And now that the Obama administration has called off proposed plans to store nuclear waste at the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada, fuel is likely to remain at the plants where it was used for decades to come.

This presents a serious threat. Our report found that, as in Japan, US nuclear safety authorities don't require reactor operators to have backup power supplies to circulate water in the pools and keep them cool if there is a loss of offsite power. ...

[A] severe pool fire could render about 188 square miles uninhabitable, cause as many as 28,000 cancer fatalities and cost $59 billion in damage.

Read all of it here.

Fukushima City Radiation Tuesday Evening 10 Times the US Normal Level

So Kyodo News here:

[T]he radiation dose detected in Fukushima Prefecture stood at 6.85 microsieverts per hour in the city of Fukushima at 7 p.m. Tuesday, the Fukushima prefectural government said. The dose is gradually receding in the area, it added.

At that rate one would be exposed to 60 millisieverts in one year. Normal in the US is about 6 millisieverts per year.

Based on data plugged into a computer model, the article speculates that certain individuals even outside 30 kilometers of the plant could have been exposed to 100 millisieverts since the tsunami.

About a week ago levels in the city stood at 20 microsieverts per hour, so observations are trending lower already 66 percent. 

Fukushima Main Gate Radiation Tuesday Evening Up from 0.26 mSv/hr in the Morning

So Kyodo News here:

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said it detected 470 microsieverts per hour near the chief gateway to the nuclear plant at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Expressed in millisieverts this is 0.47 mSv/hr, almost 81 percent higher than the reading observed mid-morning (see here).

Fukushima Reactor 2 Radiation 500 mSv/hour Since Friday

As reported by Kyodo News here:

At the No. 2 reactor, workers have been unable to replace some parts to help revive its internal cooling systems since Friday as high-level radiation amounting to at least 500 millisieverts per hour was detected at its turbine building, the spokesman also said.

The equivalent in an hour of a lifetime's worth of radiation.

A Woman Decides Her Husband is Right: Women are Nuts

Her name is Heather Wilhelm:

"Men may be jerks," my husband likes to occasionally declare, "but women are insane." I hate to admit it, but he's right-and anyone who has spent two years living in a sorority house filled with alpha girls (I'm raising my hand) can attest that this is true.

Women are likely going nuts for a number of reasons. For instance, it's quite tiring and stressful, not to mention impossible, to try to have the brilliant job, the perfect family, shiny hair and manicured hands. Some women say they want total "equality" but still want guys to pick up the check. But perhaps another reason women are losing it is that they're repeatedly told that they're no different than men-and many believe it, particularly in the realm of sex.

This, of course, is clearly not true.

In other words, only the woman has the instincts to make a family perfect and all the "child men" are their fault, "with all my worldly goods I thee endow" for sex is a no brainer that proves men are inferior, and bearing children trumps making them. 

You can read the rest here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

TEPCO Says Radiation Drops Near Fukushima Reactor Main Gate

Company officials told reporters that the radiation level near the plant's gate 1 kilometer west of the reactors was up to 1,932 microsieverts per hour at 6:30 PM on Monday.

By midnight, the figure had dropped to 331.8, and by 10 AM on Tuesday, it was down to 260.2 microsieverts per hour.

Normal in the US is less than 0.71 microsieverts per hour.

Read more at NHK World here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Iodine 131, Cesium 134, Cesium 137, Cobalt 58 All Found in Sea Water Near Fukushima

As reported here:

According to TEPCO, radioactive iodine-131 was detected Monday in the seawater samples at levels 126.7 times higher than the legal concentration limit. Levels of cesium-134 were 24.8 times higher and those of cesium-137 16.5 times higher while a trace amount of cobalt 58 was detected in a sample of seawater taken from near the plant.

Radiation in Namie, Japan

Kyodo News reports here that radiation levels in Namie (B), 20 km north of the Fukushima Nuclear Plant (A), are 161 microsieverts per hour.

It would take just under 26 days of continuous exposure to such levels to accumulate 100 millisieverts of radiation exposure, and in a year over 1,400 mSv.

Devra Davis for Reuters, here, puts that in its health context:

In terms of cumulative exposure, 100 millisieverts a year is the lowest level at which any increase in cancer risk is clearly evident. A cumulative 1,000 mSv over a lifetime would be expected to cause a fatal cancer many years later in five out of every 100 persons with that kind of exposure.

Multiculturalism As It Was Meant To Be, Illustrated

Bruce Thornton on Islam, here:

Muslims have a religious world-view and sensibility that condition their actions and interests, and we must understand those spiritual beliefs in their own terms rather than reducing them to the materialist determinism that dominates our thinking.

Sage Advice

Hermit hoar, in solemn cell,
Wearing out life's evening gray,
Smite thy bosom, sage, and tell,
Where is bliss? and which the way?

Thus I spoke, and speaking sighed--
Scarce repressed the starting tear--
When the smiling sage replied,
'Come, my lad, and drink some beer'.

-- Samuel Johnson --

Main Radiation Effects at Fukushima I From No. 4 Spent Fuel Cooling Pond

So says Tony Irwin of the Australian National University for France24 here:

"Reactors 5 and 6, they are now in what's called cold shutdown, and the spent fuel cooling ponds are at normal temperatures.

"They are in the sort of situation now we would like to see 1, 2, 3 and 4 in.

"There was already spent fuel in there [before No. 4 was drained and emptied last November] so there was quite a high load of spent fuel in that pond. And that has been giving the main radiation effects on site."

One presumes from that that the high heat coming off the pond kept boiling away the water during the crisis and not that an earthquake related leak in the pond kept drawing down the level.

For the first time I read in the article a concern about all the sea water being poured on the stricken reactors because it thereby becomes radioactive waste.

Where is it all going, ton after ton? To air and back to sea?


Radiation Level at Iitate, Japan

Breitbart reports here that a monitor in Iitate, Japan (A), thirty miles northwest of Fukushima I (B), recorded the highest radiation sample recently taken from 12 monitoring stations in the area: 12.1 microsieverts per hour.

That would be 290.4 microsieverts per 24 hour day, or a normal annual dose in America of 6,200 microsieverts in just 21 days.

The rate per hour of 12.1 microsieverts is over 17 times the normal rate in America of .70776 microsieverts per hour.

Smoke at Fukushima But No Reported Change in Radiation Levels

Kyodo News has the latest update here, with the following related information:

[O]ne of seven workers who were injured following a March 14 hydrogen explosion at the No. 3 reactor was found to have been exposed to radiation amounting to over 150 millisievert per hour.

The level is lower than the maximum limit of 250 millisievert per hour set by the health ministry for workers tackling the emergency at the Fukushima plant.

An emergency worker in the US is permitted a once in a lifetime maximum single exposure of 250 mSv. Added to normal radiation exposure over the course of a lifetime, such exposure raises lifetime totals from a normal 484 mSv to 734 mSv, 52 percent more than normal.

Supreme Court Rejects 8 Bank Clearing House Appeal on Loan Disclosures

The decision, which is moot as to future disclosure requirements because of the disclosure requirements under the Dodd-Frank legislation, will require that the Federal Reserve disclose loans made at the discount window in 2008. The story, excerpted below, is reported by Bloomberg here:

The order marks the first time a court has forced the Fed to reveal the names of banks that borrowed from its oldest lending program, the 98-year-old discount window. The disclosures, together with details of six bailout programs released by the central bank in December under a congressional mandate, would give taxpayers insight into the Fed’s unprecedented $3.5 trillion effort to stem the 2008 financial panic.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Radiation Update, Fukushima I Reactor 2

Dateline Tokyo for March 20th, 2011, as reported here by Kyodo News:

Meanwhile, a total of 40 tons of seawater was pumped into the spent fuel tank of the No. 2 unit, using a makeshift power source.

The radiation level inside the plant is on a declining trend. At about 0.5 kilometer northwest from the No. 2 reactor, the level dropped to 2,830 microsievert per hour as of 4:30 p.m., compared to 3,443 microsievert per hour at 2 p.m. Saturday.

In millisieverts, the level has dropped from 3.443 mSv/hour to 2.830 mSv/hour according to this report. At this lower rate it would take just over one week if continuously present to be exposed to a lifetime's worth of normal radiation at the location specified.

Any volunteers?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Brazilian Commies Protest Visit of Imperialist Obama

Why? Because they are purists and Obama isn't.

Like FDR before him, he's a crossbreeding collectivist who's happy borrowing from communists, fascists and national socialists alike to suit his purposes.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Don't Drive . . . Drink!

h/t Theo

The Lesson of Fukushima is "Where Do We Put All The Spent Fuel?"

Where do we put all the spent fuel?

The Japanese haven't had a clue, because like everyone else with common sense, the Japanese also are NIMBYs (Not In My Backyard). So they've been dragging their feet on what to do with all those spent fuel rods for years.

In the interim they've had nowhere to go with them, so they've ganged them up in the pools in the reactor plants themselves in ever increasing numbers, in effect putting them in everyone's backyard anyway. And as we've been seeing, the failure to keep those pools, some thirty and forty feet deep, full of water in a crisis has caused most, if not all, of the trouble.

The problem is the nuclear waste.

But Richard Cowan for Reuters says that problem is even worse in America:

Of 104 nuclear reactors in the United States, [Robert] Alvarez [a former US DOE official under Clinton] said, 34 are of the same design -- open-air, elevated storage pools -- as the Fukushima plant.

But the U.S. pools are storing much more spent fuel than the ones in Fukushima and "are currently holding, on the average, four times more than their design intended," he said.

That's because the United States has been unable to settle on long-term sites for storing waste from nuclear power plants.

You can thank Harry Reid of Nevada for that. He doesn't want Yucca Mountain to be the home for all that radioactive waste anymore than anyone else wants it in their backyard.

Most Republicans, meanwhile, remain enthusiastic boosters for nuclear power, even as they push to curtail spending at the Office of Nuclear Energy and elsewhere. The House budget bill passed earlier this year included more than $330 million in cuts for nuclear waste disposal, safety oversight and other programs, according to advocacy groups.

So says Dan Eggen for The Washington Post, who provides a detailed accounting of the nuclear industry's lobbying efforts this week in the wake of the disaster, and how three major players have been throwing around upwards of $20 million in recent years, much of it to Democrats.

As in Japan, we have an on-going but bi-partisan decision to make no decision about a gorilla in the living room who glows in the dark.

It's high time we made one, or give up on nuclear power altogether, because we're just asking for it if we maintain the status quo.

Mark Levin Defends Reagan's Conservatism Against W's and Pete Wehner

In an extended but very worthwhile comparison of the Reagan and GW Bush records for Human Events, Mark Levin begins at the end of the Bush record:

Who said? "I've abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system." Well, those words would never have passed Reagan's lips.  It was infamously said by Bush, in defense of his massive spending spree in the last weeks of his presidency.  There's nothing conservative about it.  But it sums up Bush's lack of confidence in the free market system, and his repeated and excessive use of government intervention in American society.  

Bush never claimed to be the conservative Reagan was, nor did he spend his early political career challenging GOP orthodoxy, which, until Reagan won in 1980, was mostly incoherent mush of the Rockefeller-Scranton-Nixon-Ford-Bush/41 kind. George H. W. Bush and other mainstream Republican primary challengers sought to thwart Reagan because, they insisted, his conservatism would be rejected by the voters.  Now, Pete insists that as president, Reagan's record, in virtually all respects, is inferior to George W. Bush's, in advancing conservative principles.  This is not only counter-intuitive, it is factually defective.  As I proceed with this discussion, I believe it will become evident.

And it does.

But I missed in the discussion of taxes how the top rate eventually came down to 28% for a brief shining moment in 1988, 1989, and 1990 because of Reagan's sometimes maligned 1986 tax legislation.

Nor does Levin really discuss what W was doing in his early political career, like getting sober and glad-handing Texas Democrats.

And how about how Bush thought of himself as the person who would redefine the right: "That conservative movement stuff is over. I've redefined the Republican party"?

The office went to his head, because loyalty was his lodestar, not conservative principles.

Ronald Reagan Wasn't Really Conservative, Either

(Well, how could he be? He was a Democrat in recovery).

So says Peter Wehner in Commentary here, without really intending to do so.

Some people will do anything to defend George W. Bush (who was a Bush in recovery).

Japan Admits Radiation at Fukushima is Deadly: 4,000 mSv Per Hour

Ten times worse than a previous report, and over 7.5 times the normal lifetime average total exposure of 483 millisieverts, and all in one hour.

The UK Daily Mail has all the details and photos, here, but most pointedly, this:

The boss of the company behind the devastated Japanese nuclear reactor today broke down in tears - as his country finally acknowledged the radiation spewing from the over-heating reactors and fuel rods was enough to kill some citizens. ...

Unlike the other reactors which use uranium, Reactor 3 uses a mixture of uranium and plutonium. Plutonium, best known as an ingredient in nuclear weapons, is particularly dangerous if released into the environment. In the worst case scenario, exposed fuel will melt, triggering a chemical explosion that will send radioactive dust hundreds of yards into the air. Chinook helicopters flying at less than 300 feet dropped four loads of water over the wrecked building in the hope that some water would seep into the dried-out pool and cool the fuel. However, footage suggested much of the 2,000 gallons of water missed its target. Later, six fire engines and a water cannon tried to spray the building with 9,000 gallons of water from high pressure hoses. However, radiation levels within the plant rose from 3,700 millisieverts to 4,000 millisieverts an hour immediately afterwards. People exposed to such doses will suffer radiation sickness and many will die.

We've been lied to all week while the media in America have been full of apologists for the nuclear industry, soft-peddling the seriousness of this situation.

Radiation in Perspective

Over the course of an average American life of 78 years, cumulative normal overall radiation exposure of 6.2 millisieverts annually amounts to about 484 millisieverts in a lifetime. Expressed in microsieverts, 6,200 annually amounts to 483,600 microsieverts in a lifetime.

The Wall Street Journal reports here about current radiation conditions in Fukushima City, 60 miles from the damaged reactors on the Japanese coast:

At Fukushima City, 60 miles from the plant, the recorded amount of radiation on Thursday was 20 microsieverts per hour, a level that is roughly 1,000 times higher than in Japanese cities far from the plant. Still, scientists say it isn't enough to cause long-term health effects.

Officials at Fukushima City also said that they found iodine, cesium-135 and cesium-137 in drinking water, at about one-quarter the levels that would make the water unfit to drink.

If the rate of 20 microsieverts per hour persisted indefinitely, it would take just 2.76 years for a resident of Fukushima to absorb what under normal conditions an American might expect to be exposed to in a lifetime: 483,600 microsieverts.

Expressed in millisieverts, the present rate of exposure 60 miles away is the equivalent of 175.2 millisieverts per year. Normal in America would be 6.2 millisieverts per year. So over the course of a lifetime, that's about 13,666 millisieverts for residents of Fukushima, 54 times above what is normal in America. The cumulative one time exposure limit for an emergency worker is 250 millisieverts, which is reported to be the amount radiated HOURLY above Fukushima I, reactor 3.

"Scientists say it isn't enough to cause long-term health effects" in this context is completely unbelievable.

Are they just saying this stuff to keep a lid on the anger which is threatening to boil over?

Just remember, it's all in the name of mere electricity.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Once in a Lifetime Emergency Dose of Radiation Emitted Hourly at Fukushima Reactor 3

The New York Times reports here about the high levels of radiation thrown off of reactor no. 3 at Fukushima I, the only plant reported to be using plutonium fuel:

Hidehiko Nishiyama, deputy director-general of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, said . . .

. . . that radiation of about 250 millisievert an hour had been detected 100 feet above the plant. In the United States the limit for police officers, firefighters and other emergency workers engaged in life-saving activity as a once-in-a-lifetime exposure is equal to being exposed to 250 millisieverts for a full hour. The radiation figures provided by the Japanese Self-Defense Force may provide an indication of why a helicopter turned back on Wednesday from an attempt to dump cold water on a storage pool at the plant.

Reports of much lower measurements at the gate to the whole complex may be meaningful in the context of relative measures of safety at various distances, but the reality is that these damaged reactors pose a deadly threat to human life and health. 

Joan Baez Thinks Obama's Just a Victim of His Inputs

What is he, a mere animal without a will? Pavlov's dog?

"[H]e could do extraordinary things by not falling into the trap that I think he is: of waking up in the morning and meeting with the military. So that's all he gets for input, unless we can make ourselves heard somehow."

-- Joan Baez, quoted here

Remember this from last September, the president complaining how he thought his opposition likened him to a dog?:

"And over the last two years, that's meant taking on some powerful interests -- some powerful interests who had been dominating the agenda in Washington for a very long time. And they're not always happy with me. They talk about me like a dog. (Applause.) That's not in my prepared remarks, it's just -- but it's true."

Who knew those powerful interests included Joan Baez?

Radiation Bullshit Repeated by CNBC from Thomson Reuters? Ah, No.

Updated and corrected, because yours truly mixed up millisieverts and microsieverts before he had his morning coffee and flew off the handle and accused CNBC and Thomson Reuters of being morons:

The average individual background radiation dose for Americans is 3 millisieverts/year, according to Wikipedia here. In microsieverts, that would come to 3000 in one year, the same dose a woman gets once a year from a mammogram in addition to the individual background radiation.

From all sources, the average American presently gets a dose of 6.2 mSv/year, or 6200 microsieverts in one year.

Taking a story from Thomson Reuters, CNBC this morning publishes this, entitled "Risks at Each Reactor of Japan's Stricken Plant Explained":

Radiation levels were higher than normal but not dangerous, Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said on Thursday.

They were measured at 338 microsieverts per hour at the west gate at 2000 GMT March 16 (5 am local time March 17). If a person stands outdoors for a year, they would be exposed to a  radiation level of 400 microsieverts, the agency said.

The wind is blowing northwest-to-southeast, towards the Pacific Ocean, Japan Meteorological Agency said.

If 6200 microsieverts per year is normal for an American, 338 microsieverts per hour does not become out of the ordinary until after 18 hours of continuous exposure. But compressing into the course of two or three days the radiation exposure one gets normally in a year is nothing to sniff at.

Standing outside for a year equals 400 microsieverts? That's about 0.4 mSv/year.

Acute radiation exposure over one day begins near 250 millisieverts, with possible symptoms including nausea and appetite loss, and damage to the bone marrow, lymph nodes and the spleen. In microsieverts, this would be 250,000 IN ONE DAY. On Tuesday there was a brief time in which radiation levels at Fukushima reached way beyond 250 millisieverts to 400 mSv/hour, or 400,000 microsieverts. Very dangerous.

So I figured it out . . . before I died!

And apologies to Reuters, which I now realize had a good post on the milli/micro ins and outs here yesterday.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Tariff: Workhorse of the US Treasury Until 1913

James Grant reviews "Peddling Protectionism" by Douglas A. Irwin here for The Wall Street Journal and concludes that Ben Bernanke was already alive and hard at work wrecking the economy in 1914.

The money line of the book:

"The magnitude of the tariff shock in the Smoot-Hawley legislation, which increased the domestic price of imports by 5% at a time when dutiable imports were just 1.4% of GDP, was simply not large enough to trigger the kind of economic contraction experienced after 1930."

The money line of the review:

Here is a model of the economic tract. Lavishly illustrated with political cartoons, it contains but one algebraic equation, and that probably unavoidable.

The World Owes More Money to Japan Than to Any Other Country

So what happens if they cash in all their chips to pay for this mess?

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard asks us to think about that, here:

We are discovering once again that [Japan] is the world's top creditor by far with nearly £2 trillion of net assets overseas. ...

HSBC said the pattern after the 1987 crash, the 1998 Asia crisis, and Lehman's collapse, was that Japanese repatriation kicked in violently with a lag of a week. The impact may be greater this time given the trauma, and power-rationing as 11 nuclear reactors are shut down.

Jeff Immelt: Obama's Crony Nuclear Capitalist

Rachel Layne for Bloomberg has a lengthy article about GE's nuclear business, which its chairman Jeff Immelt, was hoping to expand dramatically in India:

General Electric Co. (GE)’s goal of broadening its $1 billion nuclear service-and-parts business with sales of new reactors risks stalling as world leaders reconsider the future of atomic energy.

Governments from Germany, which halted 25 percent of its nuclear-generated electricity, to India, with $175 billion in planned spending by 2030, are reassessing the technology after Japan’s March 11 earthquake and tsunami crippled a power plant and raised the threat of a meltdown.

Immelt is the new head of Obama's team of economic advisers, on which he also sat before he replaced Paul Volcker.

He was among numerous American corporate figures who accompanied Obama on his lavish trip to India after the November elections in 2010.

Watch for GE to make a huge contribution after Obama is out of office to his presidential library.

Self-Described Slave of the NFL to Make Over $10 Million in 2011

He must be drinking the same stuff as Al Franken:

"The players are getting robbed. They are. The owners are making so much money off of us to begin with. I don't know that I want to quote myself on that.

"It's modern-day slavery, you know? People kind of laugh at that, but there are people working at regular jobs who get treated the same way, too. With all the money. ... The owners are trying to get a different percentage, and bring in more money. I understand that; these are business-minded people. Of course this is what they are going to want to do. I understand that; it's how they got to where they are now. But as players, we have to stand our ground and say, 'Hey, without us, there's no football.'"

-- Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, story here

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

GE Chairman Jeff Immelt Should Resign His Presidential Appointment

GE designed the Mark I containment vessel used by reactors at Fukushima One, as reported here, one of which appears to be leaking water underneath due to an explosion.

GE's current chairman, Jeff Immelt, defends the nuclear industry here, even with what is happening. He recently replaced Paul Volcker as the head of Obama's outside team of economic advisers, and is said to be close to the president.

GE's containment design has been challenged from the beginning, as reported here and here, including by three of its designers who quit rather than lend their names to it.

President Obama, who should be bothered by the appearance of impropriety but isn't, is carrying on with what are in comparison mere frivolities while our most important ally in East Asia is experiencing its worst crisis since the second world war.

Is it because he doesn't want to spoil GE's efforts to win new reactor business in India?

Jeff Immelt should resign immediately from Obama's team.

And so should Obama. He is a disgrace.

Fascist pigs.

Fukushima Reactor No. 2 Update: Did the Fire Engine Run Out of Fuel?

The UK Daily Mail has these details, reported here:

There were reports that a fire engine pumping water in to the Number Two reactor failed shortly before last night's explosion -- which would have led to an increase in temperature inside the reactor and could have caused the blast. ...

The latest explosion last night is feared to have cracked the main protective barrier around reactor number two at the plant.

The International Atomic Agency said radioactive material is leaking 'directly' into the air from the stricken plant at a rate of 400 millisieverts per hour.  Anyone exposed to over 100 millisieverts a year risks cancer.

Engineers are using sea water to cool overheating nuclear fuel rods.

That is a sign of the desperation of the situation because the corrosive salt water will put the reactors permanently out of action. It is the first time in 57 years that sea water has been used to cool a reactor.

Although the plant’s three working reactors shut down automatically when the magnitude nine earthquake struck on Friday, the cooling systems which keep the radioactive uranium and plutonium fuel rods cool have been hit by a series of failures. ...

'It is too dangerous to go outside and even if they did they would not be able to be transported to a safe place because we have no fuel for our vehicles,' [the mayor of Fukushima City] said.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Fukushima Reactor No. 2 Overheats: Water Pumps Ran Out of Fuel

Logistical difficulties supplying traditional fossil fuel in the wake of the quake and tsunami emergency may mean a third reactor at the Fukushima complex is toast.

As reported by Kyodo News, here:

Tokyo Electric Power said the water level of the No. 2 reactor had fallen as fuel for pumps used to inject seawater to the reactor to cool it down ran out. The firm had reported the loss of cooling functions as an emergency to the government.

US Domestic Oil Production Increased in 2009 and 2010

The data are clearly shown at the link here to the US Energy Information Administration website, and show that after five consecutive years of domestic production declines, 2009 production exceeded 2008 production, and 2010 production exceeded 2009 production.

This was true despite declining production from Alaska. There were remarkable back to back years of production increases both in the Gulf of Mexico and in the lower 48 states, especially in North Dakota.

Conservatives who wish to dispute this are idiots. Rush Limbaugh and Hugh Hewitt are brushing up awfully close to this.

Obama's attempt to take credit for it is completely disingenuous. He would stop the use of oil tomorrow if he could. Pure snake oil.

To Unions Wisconsin is Shaped Like a Fist, Against Democracy

So Pat McIlheran for The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, here:

Unions choose war because the warlike arts - fighting, regimenting, taking - are what unions do best. Conflict dominates their talk, just like that image of Wisconsin as a fist is all over their posters. The chief strategy of unions is to heighten complaint and to monetize dissatisfaction by organizing it.

It is war because the peaceful alternative, democracy, didn't work out for the unions. They lost; taxpayers won. Don't imagine they'll leave it at that.

Obama: If Only I Were President of China

So the president has let it slip that it would be so much easier to be the president of China.

To Michael Goodwin for The New York Post, here, this is evidence of how reality keeps intruding on the president, who protests too much that he is not an ideologue:

[M]y suspicion is that it's not the problems per se that have Obama envying a lower rung on the global ladder. It's that he regards them as endless distractions that keep getting in the way of his transformative agenda.

He is a man of the faculty lounge who wants a blank slate so he can remake the nation into a more perfect place, as he sees it. ...

But damn it, the country and the world won't cooperate.

Or as Socrates put it:

He who is the real tyrant . . . is the real slave . . .. He has desires which he is utterly unable to satisfy, and has more wants than any one, and is truly poor . . . he ...  is full of convulsions, and distractions, even as the State which he resembles.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Is There a Nuke Plant Near You?

The Argonne National Laboratory operates this interactive map (here) of US nuclear-powered electric generation plants for the US Department of Energy at the website of the International Nuclear Safety Center.

Here is the map for Japan and here the link to the interactive map: