Geoffrey Sea’s Nuclear Bulletin #7 – The Success of Containment

16 iii 11, 12:30 AM GMT—Well, judging from the day’s news, the argument that nuclear power is just too complicated a technology for mortals to master has gained steam, or lost it, as the case may be. It is extremely annoying that both “sides”, at least in the USA, continue to spin the news to suit their predilection, which leaves the general public at a total loss to comprehend events. The “anti-nukers” continue to make unwarranted Chernobyl comparisons as if they have some Chernobyl-only speech impediment. The “pro-nukers” continue to spew PR homilies as if every possible eventuality must prove the triumph of nuclear engineering.  If a hundred people die, according to them, it will only show that worst nuclear cases are trivial.

Continue reading “Geoffrey Sea’s Nuclear Bulletin #7 – The Success of Containment”

Geoffrey Sea’s Nuclear Bulletin #6 – The Crisis Deepens

15 iii 11, 1:25 AM GMT—Japan’s nuclear crisis is intensifying not allaying, despite remote rhetoric from panicked US industrialists premised on pure denial. The third unit at Fukushima experienced an explosion early Monday morning, with suggestions that this one represented a disabling of cooling capabilities. Continue reading “Geoffrey Sea’s Nuclear Bulletin #6 – The Crisis Deepens”

Geoffrey Sea’s Nuclear Bulletin #4 – Dark Age for the Nuclear Renaissance

14 iii 11, 10:00AM GMT—To clarify a prior statement, when I said that the Fukushima reactors were of a Three-Mile-Island type, I meant that both the TMI and Fukushima reactors are moderated by light water, that is ordinary water, unlike the heavy water reactors used in Canada, or graphite-moderated reactors like the units at Chernobyl. Graphite exacerbates the production of radioisotopes in a meltdown scenario, and unlike water, it burns. These factors made Chernobyl worse than anything we might expect in Japan.

Continue reading “Geoffrey Sea’s Nuclear Bulletin #4 – Dark Age for the Nuclear Renaissance”

Geoffrey Sea’s Nuclear Bulletin #3 – Simple and Accurate Nuclear Puffery

14 iii 11, 4:12 AM GMT—I want to stress in regard to my health advice that, unless you are in Japan, you need not do much except start taking mineral supplements, which is good for you in any case, and trying to obtain potassium iodide pills in case the worst happens. For all other measures outside Japan, there is no emergency until news comes that a fallout cloud is headed in your direction, and hopefully that news will not come. If you are breastfeeding an infant or milking backyard llamas it would be a good idea to prepare alternatives. Otherwise, chill — it’s good for your health.

Continue reading “Geoffrey Sea’s Nuclear Bulletin #3 – Simple and Accurate Nuclear Puffery”

Geoffrey Sea’s Nuclear Bulletin #2 – Health Suggestions

March 14, 12:02 AM GMT—Update and Health Advice

Since my last report, the situation at the two crippled reactors has worsened and cooling system problems are reported at two additional reactors at separate sites. Residents near the meltdown location are already being treated for radiation exposure at hospitals. The severity of the problem at the two new sites is unclear and may be limited to pipe ruptures that can be fixed by temporary shutdowns.

Continue reading “Geoffrey Sea’s Nuclear Bulletin #2 – Health Suggestions”

Geoffrey Sea’s Nuclear Bulletins – #1 – Commode Failure

Yesterday, I hoped to be able to post Geoffrey Sea’s excellent analyses and updates of the Fukushima disaster. I’m particularly pleased, with the announcement that the scale of the disaster has been retroactively raised to its highest rating, that Geoffrey has agreed to let me post them here. These updates were written for and edited by the Retort Collective, and the first of the updates carried this short description of Geoffrey’s credentials:

Continue reading “Geoffrey Sea’s Nuclear Bulletins – #1 – Commode Failure”

The Cost of Nuclear Power

George Monbiot and Helen Caldicott had at it on DemocracyNow! this week, in part because of Monbiot’s take-down of Caldicott’s claims. Monbiot himself seems to have become a convert to nuclear power. Having laid out these very sensible criteria – to which I also subscribe – he has recently decided to ignore much of the evidence showing that nuclear power violates them. In order to support nuclear power, he needed to be convinced that Continue reading “The Cost of Nuclear Power”

Food rebellion update

The Environmental Working Group and ActionAid have put together a ‘hotspot’ map of the emerging global food crisis. In the teeth of the Cold War, policymakers exercised themselves over whether common hunger would lead to uncommon violence against the state. It’s a question the OECD tried to answer in 2003. It’s clear that while large parts of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia are lit by hunger, far fewer places have street protests that make the news. In part, that’s because Indian and Chinese protests just don’t make the news in Europe and North America. But since the Indian and Chinese governments show little sign of being brought down by such protests, policy makers worry about other places. At the OECD, they hazarded that it wasn’t hunger per se that brought people to the streets, but hunger and inequality. But even here, the jury’s out. Some analysts find a correlation between inequality and protest, others don’t. In the end, the OECD reports an expert at its consultative seminar saying “We intervene at a certain point of history without being properly informed of the complexity of the issues. We need more in-depth needs assessments and political analyses.”

Continue reading “Food rebellion update”