backtop


Print 122 comment(s) - last by dgingerich.. on Mar 14 at 3:28 PM

Indefinite shutdown is expected to do $30B USD in damage to already reeling economy

It's no coincidence that the U.S. has never suffered a catastrophic nuclear accident, despite decades of clean nuclear energy.  The strong track record is thanks to lots of hard engineering work, sound management, and strong regulatory work by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  Together, American engineers and the NRC have worked to identify at risk plants and add extra failsafes to them, preventing natural disasters like floods or earthquakes from triggering an even worse (and preventable) nuclear disaster.

I. Greed and Incompetence on Full Display in Japanese Fukushima Mess

Across the Pacific Ocean sits one of America's top trading partners, Japan. The country was recently left reeling by a tsunami, which in turn triggered a nuclear meltdown at Fukushima, a disaster that left miles of countryside abandoned and contaminated with dangerously radioactive Caesium-137, a "sticky" radioisotope with a half life of 30 years.

The tragic accident is a frustrating summation of business managers' incompetence and reckless negligence.  Published documents reveal that Tokyo Electric Power Comp.'s (TEPCO) (TPE:9501) engineers warned that there was a 10 percent chance per decade of a tsunami sweeping over the 6-foot flood wall.  Yet the company's greedy managers and their incompetent/corrupt bureaucratic peers refused to listen to their technical superiors and purposefully chose to skimp on the extra expense of waterproofing their backup generators and/or including module cabling for quick reconnections.

TEPCO manager
TEPCO's greedy/incompetent managers, like VP Sakae Muto rejected engineers' safety advice and purposefully maintained a dangerously unsafe design to pad their profits.
[Image Source: Reuters/Toru Hanai]

The Japanese government and TEPCO brought deep dishonor upon themselves with their greed and negligence.  They created an utterly avoidable mess that proved a blight upon nuclear efforts of more respectable institutions all around the world.

Fukushima disaster map
The tsunami hit Fukushima's nuclear plant hard, just as experts had warned.
[Image Source: Google (left); GreenPeace (right)]

At the same time the government merrily allowed incompetent managers to override the safety advice of veteran engineers.  Under their regulations TEPCO was allowed to create (almost literally) a ticking time bomb.  The net result is that the Japanese government TEPCO essentially created the inevitability of a catastrophic meltdown through pure incompetence and negligence.  Yet, surprisingly many in the Japanese public don't blame the obvious villains for this mess -- the Japanese government and TEPCO.  They blame nuclear power.

II. Japan Moves to Shutdown ALL its Plants

Now, I can understand the people of Japan being a bit hothead and emotional after such a terrible tragedy.  After all, you can't take the "nuclear" out of nuclear negligence.  But blaming nuclear power for the tragedy is sort of like blaming handguns for creating crime -- "Nuclear power doesn't endanger people, people endanger people."

Fukushima disaster
The damage has been done and Fukushima. [Image Source: Reuters]

It's times like these that a competent government is supposed to calm the public's emotional mistrust and work towards a logical solution.  Instead the nation's leadership is further proving their incompetence and lack of foresight by allowing nuclear power to languish in a shutdown purgatory.

The shutdowns are not entirely without merit -- they include a two-phase stress test that (finally) contains flood testing in tsunami-prone regions.  But the key element that threatens to make the shutdowns a permanent phase-out, rather than wise upgrade is the fact that Japanese regulators have moved to make it so plants can only restart with local approval.

Recall, this is the same government that helped create mass nuclear hysteria via its incompetence.  Now it is handing over the keys to the public it has whipped into a frenzy of mistrust.  Superb.

Currently 52 out of Japan's 54 reactors are offline.  The final two online reactors are expected to enter the "maintenance" purgatory shortly.

Japan nuclear shutdown
Japan has committed to a mass shutdown of its nuclear reactors. [Image Source: AFP]

New Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda enthuses that Japan needs to "slowly" reduce its reliance on nuclear power, yet he has thus far been content to letting a paranoid public make that shutdown "immediate" and "permanent".

III. Shutdown Takes its Toll on Japanese Economy

The lone hope that the situation improves for the better, is in the fact that the PM is reportedly being pushed hard by industry leaders to restart reactors.  In a nation already hit hard by currency fluctuation and the cost of the tsunami, the nuclear shutdown has led to an industry-killing power shortfall.  Reportedly PM Noda is looking to bring some of the shutdown reactors online shortly -- though the question remains whether he's willing to wrest the power to restart away from the mistrusting locals.

Approximately 30 percent of Japan's power demands had been fulfilled by nuclear reactors at the time of the tsunami.  Now Japan is left footing the bill for $30B USD in extra fossil fuel consumption to try to make up for the power shortfall.

In other words, Japan's self-created nuclear disaster has led to a second self-created disaster -- an economic one.

The real question is the long-term fate of nuclear power in Japan.  While 48 percent of people in a Nikkei media group survey voiced support to restarting some reactors to fulfill short-term power needs, another NHK public broadcast poll revealed 70 percent supported a phase out of the energy source.
 
never restart plants
A protester calls for a permanent shutdown at a recent rally. [Image: AFP/Getty Images]

Top Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun threw its weight behind pushing for a phase-out, writing, "The illusion of nuclear power safety has been torn out by the root.  The Fukushima nuclear disaster that followed the great waves of 11 March last year made sure of that."

Even PM Noda has voiced support for a gradual phase-out.

And worse yet he continues to perpetuate the bald-faced lie that the accident was the work of nature -- denying the reality that it was flatly manmade incompetence.  He stated to reporters this week, "We can no longer make the excuse that what happened was unpredictable and outside our imagination.  Crisis management requires us to imagine what may be outside our imagination."

"Outside" his government and TEPCO's "imagination"?  Hardly.  They knew of the risks and documented them.  Yet they chose to sacrifice public safety and the future of nuclear power for their profit bottom line.
 
IV. Japanese Public Pushing for Nation to Surrender, Become Second Class Tech Power

As the rest of the world races towards wholly safe designs that are physically incapable of melting down, even in the case of a power loss, Japan seems content to surrender to failure.

The Japanese government and TEPCO are to blame for this dishonorable action.  But the Japanese public is to blame for allowing this debacle to continue.  The Japanese public and government appear to be content to be the laughing stock of the world in terms of energy.  At the end of the day the message is loud and clear -- the Japanese public believes that its government and businesses are too lazy and incompetent to keep up with the rest of the world.

No more nukes
While the uneduacted anathema of this Japanese activist is amusing, it is disappointing that the public is not singling out the true culprits -- TEPCO's management and government regulators. [Image Source: Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images]

That said, before being too harsh on the Japanese people; recall that the U.S. has fallen silent about its own nuclear plans in the wake of Fukushima.  President Obama -- once a vocal proponent of nuclear power -- has shied away from any plans of expansion, of late.  

If you want to find a world leader -- a truly brave player that understands the risks, yet rather than falling to cowardice and laziness takes the necessary steps to mitigate them -- look at France.  Despite all that has happened at Fukushima and lukewarm sentiments in the U.S., the French plan to continue to rely heavily on nuclear power.  After all, they're not incompetent, lazy, and cowardly like some of their foreign peers.

Source: Reuters



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Ummm....
By masamasa on 3/12/2012 4:27:40 PM , Rating: 5
What government isn't greedy and incompetent?




RE: Ummm....
By Dan Banana on 3/12/12, Rating: -1
RE: Ummm....
By Cobra Commander on 3/12/2012 5:03:01 PM , Rating: 5
...well this train derailed in record time...


RE: Ummm....
By Samus on 3/12/2012 6:18:12 PM , Rating: 2
Government's should always have the well-being of their population as their primary interest. Japan's idea of that is no nuclear power, the USA's idea of that is a radical national security policy.

Nobody is perfect, but to abandon nuclear power this day in age is economic suicide. With everything going on in the middle east now, crude oil is probably going to be $150/barrel by this summer.


RE: Ummm....
By lightfoot on 3/12/2012 6:42:51 PM , Rating: 1
Don't worry about oil prices, I'm sure that they will use coal instead.

Kyoto Protocol? Japan just dropped out.


RE: Ummm....
By Dorkyman on 3/13/2012 10:18:04 AM , Rating: 4
The article is grossly unfair.

The coast was hit with an unbelievably powerful earthquake! A Magnitude 9! Do you understand that this is 100 times as strong as a Magnitude 7 quake, which is usually regarding as a killer quake!

Remarkably, all the nuke plants survived the earthquake. But they did not survive an exceedingly-unlikely 30-foot tsunami.

Jason, I'm sure you took probability theory in school. We can't eliminate ALL risk or the costs become astronomical.

The country is still in shock, and the population is not thinking clearly. To eliminate all nukes is just idiotic, but I can't blame their faulty logic at this point in the grieving cycle.

Incidentally, recent articles have shown that the actual radiation damage to humans was exceedingly small, much smaller by many orders of magnitude than Chernobyl. So, yeah, the Japanese are over-reacting. Give them some healing time.


RE: Ummm....
By osserc on 3/13/2012 11:13:23 AM , Rating: 5
The article is perfectly fair. It clearly states that engineers specifically warned of a 10% chance per decade that this EXACT scenario would play out.

Those warnings were ignored, and TEPCO decided to skimp on the relatively inexpensive procedures necessary to waterproof their backup generators.

Hopefully the people of Japan come to their senses soon.


RE: Ummm....
By Invane on 3/13/2012 12:12:28 PM , Rating: 3
Can't say it any better than that. The engineers they PAID to make risk assessments told them this could happen, but they decided they wanted to make more money instead of mitigating those risks.

What's grossly unfair here is those making that decision (for what amounts to a ridiculously small sum of money) will now make the people of Japan pay for it thousands of times over.


RE: Ummm....
By Mint on 3/13/2012 12:46:48 PM , Rating: 3
It may have been specifically mentioned, but they probably mentioned a thousand other things, too. There may have been other engineers saying it's 0.1% per decade. Then any time you take some precautions, the gov't takes flak for driving up costs with excessive regulations. Hindsight is 20/20.

Remember that the US went through the same thing with 9/11. Lots of reports that somebody thought airplanes could be used as terrorist weapons well before. Failure to act, right? Well, if 100 people come up with 10 potential holes in national security, which ones do you plug up? Where do you draw the line?

IMO, the first world did a fairly good job on safety. For Fukushima, a rational look at the actual damage and radiation shows that it's a tiny, tiny fraction of the death you'd get from coal producing the same power, and natural gas was too expensive in the past. One great sign is that we improved the safety of our reactors decades before we had any incident. In the US, yes it sucks that 3000 people died on 9/11, but if we spent another 1% of GDP every year in the last three decades on security, would that have been worth it? Even if we're willing to take that much out of our pockets for the common good, wouldn't it be more just to save 100M people in the third world instead of 3k Americans? This is the sort of comparison that puts things in perspective.

Just remember that the same "gov't incompetence" that overlooked these issues also allowed nuclear power to take off in the first place. It couldn't happen by itself.


RE: Ummm....
By Ushio01 on 3/13/2012 2:39:49 PM , Rating: 2
Your wrong, the article and report mentions the tsunami.

"engineers warned that there was a 10 percent chance per decade of a tsunami sweeping over the 6-foot flood wall."

But neither the report nor the article mentions the probability of both a earthquake and tsunami hitting simultaneously.


RE: Ummm....
By lightfoot on 3/13/2012 3:44:41 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
But neither the report nor the article mentions the probability of both a earthquake and tsunami hitting simultaneously.

Where do you think tsunamis come from? The VAST majority of them are caused by earthquakes. Japan's location on the "Ring of Fire" is the reason why they are frequently hit by both earthquakes and tsunami.


RE: Ummm....
By StinkyWhizzleTeeth on 3/12/2012 11:32:01 PM , Rating: 1
I find it Interesting that government takes care of our emotional well being, and that the emotional well being of the irrational trumps the emotional well being of the rational.

Perhaps this all started, or was made worse, after the women's suffrage movement. I laugh when I think that, but overall it seems possible from my generalized observation of the sexes. Not that I assume that every female is less rational than I am, or less rational than all men.

Of course the emotionally irrational will be offended by this regardless of my previous sentence :-)


RE: Ummm....
By Boingo Twang on 3/13/2012 6:24:55 AM , Rating: 2
I doubt anyone knows what you're talking about so I guess you fall into your "irrational" grouping.


RE: Ummm....
By Paj on 3/13/2012 8:10:45 AM , Rating: 4
Yep. Woman's suffrage = energy crisis. Nailed it.


RE: Ummm....
By osserc on 3/13/2012 11:15:07 AM , Rating: 2
He kind of lost it when he started on the Women's Suffrage part, but his original point remains strong.

The government is not, and should not attempt to be, in charge of our emotional well-being.


RE: Ummm....
By Namey on 3/13/2012 12:11:29 PM , Rating: 2
It's ok Stinky, I thought it was funny as hell


RE: Ummm....
By drmo on 3/12/2012 6:13:43 PM , Rating: 2
Well, that was a survey of only those likely to vote in the Republican primary, so to conclude that it represents the citizens of those states is stretching it. It might be basically true, but by not including those not voting in the primary, particularly Democrats and Independents, you cannot draw that conclusion.


RE: Ummm....
By Dan Banana on 3/12/2012 7:08:52 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Well, that was a survey of only those likely to vote in the Republican primary, so to conclude that it represents the citizens of those states is stretching it. It might be basically true, but by not including those not voting in the primary, particularly Democrats and Independents, you cannot draw that conclusion.


True but these former Jim Crow states are the most conservative in the nation and are also ranked 46th and 50th in per capita GDP. They also rank poorly in math and science education. Not exactly places that foster good government through enlightened citizenship. They may be the bottom of the barrel but they're not exactly unique in the USA.

----------------------------------------------

Operation Pretense
The FBI's Sting on County Corruption in Mississippi

A narrative detailing an FBI ploy that exposed the largest public corruption scandal in Mississippi history
During the 1980s fifty-seven of Mississippi's 410 county supervisors from twenty-six of the state's eighty-two counties were charged with corruption. The FBI's ploy to catch the criminals was code-named Operation Pretense.
Ingenious undercover investigation exposed the supervisors' wide-scaled subterfuge in purchasing goods and services. Because supervisors themselves controlled and monitored the purchasing system, they could supply sham documentation and spurious invoices. Operation Pretense was devised in response to the complaint of a disgruntled company owner, a Pentecostal preacher who balked at adding a required 10 percent kickback to his bid.

http://www.upress.state.ms.us/books/546

State Education Rankings: The Best And Worst For Math And Science

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/11/state-edu...


RE: Ummm....
By dgingerich on 3/12/12, Rating: 0
RE: Ummm....
By Dan Banana on 3/12/2012 9:31:37 PM , Rating: 2
Huh? That doesn't seem related in any way to what I wrote.


RE: Ummm....
By dgingerich on 3/13/2012 9:18:18 AM , Rating: 3
You commented that two states, Mississippi and Alabama, had both the highest levels of belief in God and the lowest levels of education and income, therefore those who believe in God must be stupid.

Well, I responded back that I am certainly NOT stupid, and I believe. I gave one example of the reasons I believe. I have many, many more. Cases where the very laws of physics just didn't hold right in front of me. Things that should have worked didn't, and things that shouldn't have worked did. Cases where chance was just simply suspended: the chance of something happening was a one in several hundred thousand, and yet happened right in front of me not once, but several times in a row, and every time this guy tried it, and he didn't even realize just how remote those chances were. Instructions in ancient texts that the people wouldn't have known why or how it worked, or even that it had any effect on them, yet these instructions were very specific, as if the one who gave them had very advanced knowledge of science that we don't even fully understand today. I could go on. It's not just one thing that made me truly believe. It was many, as any good scientist should require before stating something as fact.

I took your comment about the intelligence levels of those who believe in God as an insult to me. The responses after that are equally as insulting or even more so. What's worse is that you and they just don't understand what I am saying and how much I do understand about the universe, and the nature of time and space itself. You insult what you don't understand, calling down on me the very same things you do yourself. The incredible level of hypocrisy is astounding.


RE: Ummm....
By Kurz on 3/13/2012 11:04:43 AM , Rating: 2
Have you ever thought we don't have a complete view on this reality, in terms of its laws and how it opperates?

There are so many mysteries in this universe yet to be discovered yet you almost concede to the notion that we/you know everything there is to know. Our narrow scope of perception doesn't tell the story of the universe.

I would say you are quite conceited plus your level of condensation, is at least 10x greater than mine thats a fact. ;-)


RE: Ummm....
By Dan Banana on 3/13/2012 3:26:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You commented that two states, Mississippi and Alabama, had both the highest levels of belief in God and the lowest levels of education and income, therefore those who believe in God must be stupid.


I didn't say anything about God.


RE: Ummm....
By MechanicalTechie on 3/12/2012 10:01:47 PM , Rating: 1
First posting your supposedly IQ is vulgar if not childish to try and prove some sort of intellectual high ground.. I presume you did it to distance yourself from the hillbilly inbreed god squad.

Life is no more amazing than the chemical reaction from a portable toilet.. cause and effect.. to think some high and mighty being influenced life is silly at best dangerously delusional at worst.

Let me guess about your proof... God came into your heart and showed you the light... hmm well that just doesn’t cut if for the rational members of the world.

So are you suggesting that GRB's have blanketed the universe and that’s why no other intelligent life has been found? What did God protect us did he/she/it Do you realise how many Black holes, neutron stats or supernova would be required to do this... knowing that they only burst in a narrow beam... seriously?!?!?

I guess seeing that we don't know .1% to the power of a billion about the universe your 170 IQ points is really showing its worth!


RE: Ummm....
By Reclaimer77 on 3/12/2012 11:14:19 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I have seen the nature of the universe. I have seen that nearly every portion of our galaxy has been under the effects of a supernova over the last 100 million years, rendering them incapable of having any advanced life, yet somehow Earth and the Sol system has escaped this. There can't be aliens in this galaxy because they would have been wiped out by gamma radiation except for a few rare pockets that might have been protected. I have seen that the universe is constantly in a state of destruction.


Who said life must be carbon based and/or susceptible to gamma radiation?

Also, last time I checked, our atmosphere filtered EM radiation, like gamma rays. Why is it so improbable that this couldn't take place somewhere else without a God?

No offense to your intelligence or credentials, but if it was such a simple and absolute rule that a supernova precludes life happening, wouldn't you think most of the scientific community would be theorizing this?

Stars can take up to 13 billion years to die and go nova anyway. Eons! Entire civilizations can evolve, die, and evolve again in that time. How can you make such an absurd claim, really? Can you back up this supernova theory?

Earth has already suffered a type II "near-Earth" supernova event. "God" didn't stop it, and it wiped out about 60% of all oceanic life on Earth. But not ALL life, no sir.

quote:
I have seen that the universe is constantly in a state of destruction.


False, the universe is in a constant state of CHANGE. As we speak massive "star nursery" galaxies are creating billions and billions of new stars and planets. Even the Milky Way produces, on average, one new star a year. At the same time, entire galaxies are being destroyed, merging with other galaxies, or being eaten by black holes.

Certainly with your 170 IQ you comprehend E=MC2? The universe can't be in a state of destruction.

quote:
I just can't believe that we exist, after 400 million years of developing life, without some God watching out for us.


I have a respect for people of faith, although I do not share it. I'm not bashing you for your beliefs. However it's really hard to believe this incomprehensibly infinite Universe is really here for our benefit and ours alone.


RE: Ummm....
By Solandri on 3/13/2012 12:05:54 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
Also, last time I checked, our atmosphere filtered EM radiation, like gamma rays. Why is it so improbable that this couldn't take place somewhere else without a God?

He's talking about gamma ray bursts. Not the constant rain of gamma rays from the sky, but short bursts which happen (we think) during a supernova. The bursts we pick up are believed to come from supernovae in other galaxies - they're so strong they're easily detectable even at that distance. If one were to happen in our galaxy and were pointed directly at us, it would wipe out all life on Earth.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamma-ray_burst

It's an interesting theory. I assume you could easily validate/invalidate it by number crunching the average interval between near-burst exposure using supernova frequency and the narrow angle of the bursts themselves. In fact, you should be able to figure it out from the rate we see such bursts (about 1 a day) vs. the estimated number of galaxies in the universe.

My hunch is though that the angular momentum of the galaxy insures most stars' rotational axes are aligned with that of the galaxy, meaning most gamma ray bursts which happen within a galaxy are actually pointed straight up or down out of the galactic disk, not sideways through the disk where all the other stars and planets are. It would take an off-axis collision between 2 or more stars to tilt its rotational axis so that its poles were pointed into the galactic disk.

Of course, that's exactly what's believed to have happened to Uranus, so maybe such events are rather common. Who knows.

quote:
quote:
I have seen that the universe is constantly in a state of destruction.

False, the universe is in a constant state of CHANGE. As we speak massive "star nursery" galaxies are creating billions and billions of new stars and planets. Even the Milky Way produces, on average, one new star a year. At the same time, entire galaxies are being destroyed, merging with other galaxies, or being eaten by black holes.

Certainly with your 170 IQ you comprehend E=MC2? The universe can't be in a state of destruction.

He's talking about entropy ("disorder" to the lay person) - it's always increasing. Current theories of the universe end with all the stars burning out, drifting further apart, and everything growing colder to absolute zero. You need energy to form localized order, and even by E=mc^2 there's a finite amount of energy in the universe with apparently an infinite amount of time.


RE: Ummm....
By Reclaimer77 on 3/13/2012 12:47:59 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
He's talking about gamma ray bursts. Not the constant rain of gamma rays from the sky, but short bursts which happen (we think) during a supernova. The bursts we pick up are believed to come from supernovae in other galaxies - they're so strong they're easily detectable even at that distance. If one were to happen in our galaxy and were pointed directly at us, it would wipe out all life on Earth.


Yes but his idea is absurd. Think of the mathematical impossibility for all planets that could support life, or have life, all being hit with concentrated gamma ray bursts. I mean come on.

Plus he's trying to use science to validate a belief in God and to prove that we're a singular divine creation in all the Universe. Something I've never seen done successfully.


RE: Ummm....
By dgingerich on 3/13/2012 8:58:38 AM , Rating: 1
Supernovas do put out more concentrated rays of gamma radiation toward the poles, but that doesn't mean that's all they put out. they also put out massive amounts of gamma radiation in all directions that would destroy any atmosphere within several hundred light years. These also come from the biggest and shortest lived stars in the universe.

There are also several dozen rotating neutron stars (pulsars) in this galaxy within observable distance that put off rotating swaths of gamma and x-ray radiation rendering those areas completely incapable of supporting any type of life. (There are 14 pulsars surrounding our system, most of which are this type, leaving us with a very narrow trail to actually get out of our system if we ever do gain faster than light travel.)

On top of that, these pulsars also formed from novas and supernovas that wiped out the areas around them.

While we have detected many planets in nearby systems, many of them are in areas where the levels of gamma and x-ray radiation would remove any possibility for life. Atmosphere can only filter out so much.

I have known many physicists and astrophysicists, and most of them believe in God because of their science. It's not hard when you truly understand how the stars and planets formed. The formation of a planet that can support life isn't a one in a million thing. It's a one in a hundred billion thing, at best. Even then, having it last long enough to gain advanced life is even more remote.


RE: Ummm....
By Reclaimer77 on 3/13/2012 10:36:55 AM , Rating: 2
Again you're assuming that all life requires an atmosphere or is susceptible to gamma rays like humans.

Again, it seems that your religious beliefs preclude the existence of other life. Everything you say and observe only seek to prove that belief, not any scientific truth. So discussing these possibilities with you is probably a waste of time.

I'm not saying there isn't a God, for arguments sake I'll avoid going down that road with you. But I can observe nothing divine in our place in this Universe. We're an inconsequential planet in one insignificant solar system on one little arm of one of trillions of galaxies.

quote:
It's a one in a hundred billion thing, at best.


Which isn't THAT amazing considering there are trillions of planets that could support life. 500 million in the Milky Way alone are in the "habitable zone", areas where planets could support life. A single galaxy. Scientists now believe the number of galaxies are somewhere in the 500 billion range.

Or perhaps we truly did win the Universal lottery, the ultimate lottery for life. The first and last drawing ever done, and we are alone. But again, I cannot accept that is because of a higher power or being.


RE: Ummm....
By JediJeb on 3/13/2012 3:01:53 PM , Rating: 2
From Kurz reply above

quote:
Have you ever thought we don't have a complete view on this reality, in terms of its laws and how it opperates? There are so many mysteries in this universe yet to be discovered yet you almost concede to the notion that we/you know everything there is to know. Our narrow scope of perception doesn't tell the story of the universe.


quote:
I'm not saying there isn't a God, for arguments sake I'll avoid going down that road with you. But I can observe nothing divine in our place in this Universe. We're an inconsequential planet in one insignificant solar system on one little arm of one of trillions of galaxies.


I will start off with full disclosure in that I am both a scientist and I believe in God.

The above quotes are things I have heard many times and it often makes me laugh at the onesidedness of these arguments. If a believer is asked to prove God exists and they can't, then it is assumed that God can not exist. If a non-believer is asked to prove that God does not exist and they can't, it is qualified with the statement " but that doesn't prove God exists". The truth is that neither side can prove their case 100%. As quoted first, we do not know everything about how the Universe works. From that we can not say if 0% or 100% of what is unknown can be attributed to God or not. For both sides of the argument is comes down to faith. Do you put faith in God as the answer or do you put faith in the incomplete mathematical models created by humans as the answer? What percentage of the unknowns of the Universe can be attributable to God? If you answer 0% with no hesitation then you are proclaiming that you are the most intelligent human that ever lived because you know that answer, and if asked to give proof of your answer what would you use?

Neither side can win this argument currently with the knowledge we have. Therefore neither side should attack the other for believing in something that can not be 100% proven. I have said it before that it takes faith to believe in either side of the argument and been vehemently attacked by some who say it takes no faith to believe in science, yet non of them can offer a scientific proof of what what existed before the Universe began, what created the matter/energy that comprised the initial singularity that existed at the beginning of the Universe or what initiated the initial expansion.

When someone can explain 100% of the Universe I will gladly drop my belief in God. My question then is if God stepped out of Heaven tomorrow onto Earth and revealed Himself in all His glory, would those who do not believe drop their belief in science as supreme truth? If you can't answer yes can you call yourself a true scientist since a true scientist would have to acknowledge facts when presented them?


RE: Ummm....
By Reclaimer77 on 3/13/2012 3:15:31 PM , Rating: 2
He's not simply saying God exists, that would be one thing. But he's saying that a "God" has protected us from radiation etc etc, but nowhere else, hence we're utterly alone in the universe and there is no chance of other life.

This isn't about God, but his completely unsubstantiated claim that supernovas have wiped out the ability for other life to exist elsewhere, yet for some reason chose this planet to "protect" from those effects to foster human life.

This is an immensely indefensible theory, and trying to use science to propagate theology just perverts the purpose of both in my opinion.


RE: Ummm....
By dgingerich on 3/14/2012 3:28:08 PM , Rating: 1
I'm saying I believe God exists because we wouldn't exist in this universe without someone or something out there protecting us, among other reasons.


RE: Ummm....
By juserbogus on 3/13/2012 10:30:52 AM , Rating: 2
I would argue that time in not infinite. without energy, there can be no 'time'... why else would time be relative?


RE: Ummm....
By bupkus on 3/13/2012 12:37:26 AM , Rating: 2
I am from the planet Htrae and I have an Iq of 70 and in my world I am smarter than u.


RE: Ummm....
By Kurz on 3/13/2012 12:07:24 PM , Rating: 2
Intelligence is always about perspective.


RE: Ummm....
By vwgtiron on 3/13/2012 3:48:59 AM , Rating: 2
So here is the problem with your belief system, your argument is this-- because I am so smart, and I have come to the conclusion that GOD exists, then everybody should believe in GOD because that's just how it is.
Well in fact that's what all Chistianity is. A bunch of people running around saying hey, because I have come to the conclusion etc... And they are all waving their proof of some book around that some guys put together. And then some other guys edited. And then some guy translated and edited it. And then a bunch of people interpreted it. And they are all right. Right?
So yeah I am going to just keep working over here, and you nutbags stay on your side of the room.


RE: Ummm....
By dgingerich on 3/13/2012 9:04:23 AM , Rating: 2
no. what I replied to what the statement that two states, Mississippi and Alabama, had both the highest levels of belief in God and the lowest levels of education and income, therefore those who believe in God are stupid. I replied back that I am certainly not stupid, and I believe, not that I am superior to anyone. I just showed one small part of the reason I believe.


RE: Ummm....
By PReiger99 on 3/13/2012 11:50:15 AM , Rating: 2
It's not a matter of intelligence vs stupidity; it's a matter of knowledge vs ignorance. The less you know the more likely you believe that fairy tales are real.


RE: Ummm....
By Ringold on 3/13/2012 11:25:33 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I have a 170 IQ as rated on the Mensa exam


Then stop posting at DailyTech. Energy problems. Environmental problems. Political deadlock on a global scale. Faltering space programs. Cancer. Alzheimer's.

Don't you have other things worthy of your attention? :P


RE: Ummm....
By x10Unit1 on 3/13/2012 11:36:20 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I do not believe because I am ignorant. I do not believe because I can't handle logical reasoning. To presume that only stupid people believe in God is arrogance and stupidity on a level that cannot be rivaled.


170 IQ and yet huge a lack of common sense. The whole argument of "I can't explain it, god must have done it" should seem a little silly to you given your "education and IQ".

Most likely you believe because it gives you a good feeling, maybe a reason for existing, and/or holds back the fear of death and nothingness.

You can handle logical reasoning but choose not to except it? That is far worse than being ignorant.


RE: Ummm....
By JediJeb on 3/13/2012 4:41:41 PM , Rating: 2
Another example of someone who must attack someone because they believe differently. The exact same questions can be asked about holding faith in incomplete mathematical explanations of the Universe since science/mathematics still can not completely explain how the universe works. People are blasted for having faith in God but yet when someone has faith in an incomplete explanation of the Universe they are hailed as open minded because they can see past the unexplained parts and believe that some day man will be able to explain all that they can not explain yet.

quote:
You can handle logical reasoning but choose not to except it? That is far worse than being ignorant.


Logical reasoning still can't say where the energy/matter came from that comprises the Universe(can't explain where the singularity originated from which the Big Bang came from)yet people believe in the Big Bang theory. How much faith does it take to believe in something that can't be completely explained by science? Conversely you can handle logical reasoning too, but choose to ignore its limits. Is that worse than being ignorant also?

Attacking someone for believing in something you yourself can not completely explain shows either fear of what that person beliefs or arrogance in one's own intellect.


RE: Ummm....
By osserc on 3/13/2012 11:34:09 AM , Rating: 2
Gasp! Corruption in government?

How droll. If you believe this is an especially Republican problem, or a religious problem, or an education problem, then you have your head in the sand.

Check out the special little liberal hotbed of Chicago for a truly inspiring morass of corruption.

Corruption is a function of power, regardless of the ideology of the powerful.

Also, let's be honest, a vast majority of Alabama and Mississippi is rural farmland, where "education" as you call it, is relatively useless. These aren't centers of industry or technology, so I would be surprised if they weren't near the bottom of your "education" list.

Regardless, just because their belief systems differ from yours, does that somehow make them inferior?


RE: Ummm....
By MechanicalTechie on 3/12/2012 9:35:59 PM , Rating: 1
Maybe more of a broad brush opinion but I can see merit in it. Sad truth is the Cancer that is religion will push its ugly head into every corner of the world that it can.. politics included :(


RE: Ummm....
By Cobra Commander on 3/12/2012 5:02:03 PM , Rating: 3
While I agree, there most definitely are trends in Japan.

Didn't the hackers that took down PSN note that Sony had not updated its networking software in over 3 years?

Aren't the Japanese the heaviest Internet Explorer users and/or use the weakest passwords according to prior surveys?

There's some cultural goofiness going on over there, and it ain't all about bukkake and train molesters either, gentlemen.


RE: Ummm....
By Dan Banana on 3/12/2012 6:47:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There's some cultural goofiness going on over there, and it ain't all about bukkake and train molesters either, gentlemen.


Can you tell us more about these things in Japanese culture?


RE: Ummm....
By Reclaimer77 on 3/12/2012 7:19:54 PM , Rating: 2
Used panties vending machines? lol


RE: Ummm....
By dgingerich on 3/12/2012 7:34:35 PM , Rating: 2
There are no vending machines with used panties. That is a gullible person believing in a stupid prankster.

There are vending machines for new underwear, usually near hotels. There are vending machines for nearly everything. They take the place of lazy teenage workers because Japan doesn't have a lazy teenage workforce. There are a few, but they usually wind up straightened out by the regular workforce or employed by the government.


RE: Ummm....
By Reclaimer77 on 3/12/2012 7:45:43 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
There are no vending machines with used panties.


*crosses Japan off possible vacation destinations*

:(


RE: Ummm....
By Kurz on 3/13/2012 12:17:55 PM , Rating: 2
Have you seen some of the japanese woman?
You should've crossed it out a long time ago.

If you were into Asian women go to Korea, Taller prettier, funner.


RE: Ummm....
By Keeir on 3/12/2012 7:50:28 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
There are a few, but they usually wind up straightened out by the regular workforce or employed by the government.


No... Youth Employment is a big problem in Japan

Nice and Low rate of <5%
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/JPNURA...

Teenagers? 10%
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/JPNURT...
Early 20s? 9%
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/JPNUR2...

This is despite a shrinking workforce
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/JPNLFN...
And a falling participation rate
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/JPNLFP...


RE: Ummm....
By dgingerich on 3/12/2012 9:01:15 PM , Rating: 1
You consider that a problem? I consider that lazy teenagers getting straightened out by the system. By the time they hit 30, they've learned a proper work ethic or they're employed by the government.


RE: Ummm....
By Keeir on 3/12/2012 7:41:20 PM , Rating: 2
I think the issue here is the average US person considers Japan a land of super advanced technology. But the reality is that Japan has long been regressing to the mean

http://www.itu.int/net/pressoffice/backgrounders/g...

For example, they are now 13th on the IDI survey.


RE: Ummm....
By dasgetier on 3/13/2012 4:04:28 AM , Rating: 3
I'm a Japan fan:

Ultimate politeness, also to customers (e.g. cashiers taking even small notes with both hands, bowing while doing so)

Almost no stealing, vandalism, no disorder, crowding

Cleanliness everywhere, even on public toilets!

Train delays are measured in seconds

All business during the (long) day, binge drinking at night in Karaoke bars


RE: Ummm....
By Siki on 3/12/2012 5:14:11 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know about incompetent. It seems like they are pretty good at getting what they want. Getting them to act on behalf of the people is another thing.


RE: Ummm....
By ameriman on 3/12/2012 5:21:25 PM , Rating: 3
Government is the 'enemy of the people'...
The $15+ trillion deficit of the US Fed Govt proves that.... wasted by our greedy Govt on waste/pork/kickbacks...
Half since Dems took Congressional power in Jan 2007..

The author fails to point out that this supposed Japanese 'disaster' caused NO LOSS OF LIFE... that this 'accident' was in fact caused by an unprecedented earthquake/tsunami.....

Yet despite massive Govt incompetent interference, the 50+ year old design reactors were contained...

Not a single civilian has ever died due to US, France, British, or Japanese nuclear power...


RE: Ummm....
By blueaurora on 3/12/12, Rating: 0
RE: Ummm....
By Solandri on 3/12/2012 10:52:57 PM , Rating: 3
That's what I thought at first, but people who work in the industry straightened me out pretty quick. Each worker carriers a tag which measures his accumulated radiation dose. As soon as his tag reaches the legal limit for the year, he's relieved and goes home. Never steps foot near Fukushima again. A fresh worker comes in and continues his work. This is one of the reasons workers at these plants all share a camaraderie much like a military unit. They all know that if there's an accident at one plant, all of them will have to work to help fix it. This is also why the Japanese government temporarily raised the annual legal limit - to allow each worker to stay on site a little longer, reducing the time spent briefing newly arriving employees, thereby helping get the situation under control more quickly.

They did the same thing during the Tokai criticality accident. Some workers mixing uranium solution in a tank put in too much uranium, causing it to start fissioning. Stopping it required draining the water from the highly radioactive tank - so radioactive a person would reach his annual dose limit in seconds. Draining it required attaching a hose to the tank. A bunch of volunteers each dragged the hose a few feet to the tank, ran back, and (after medical checkup) went home. 25 of them managed to get the hose to the tank, and screw it onto the drain outlet. 21 of them received doses in excess of the limit. The 2 fatalities and 1 serious injury were all workers who were filling the tank and caused the accident.

The Soviets did this as well at Chernobyl. They had to build a steel and concrete sarcophagus around the remains of the reactor. Each worker stayed on the project until they'd reached their legal lifetime limit for radiation exposure. Some of the earliest workers reached the limit in minutes. In all, they used about a quarter million different workers. Due to having received a lifetime dose limit, they're all prohibited from working in the nuclear industry ever again.

The only people dying of radiation sickness will be ones who were trapped in the area during the worst stages of the release. AFAIK the only people who fit that criteria were killed/incapacitated in the original quake and were found dead weeks later.


RE: Ummm....
By Boingo Twang on 3/13/12, Rating: 0
RE: Ummm....
By Ringold on 3/13/2012 11:35:14 AM , Rating: 1
Right wing kooks would point out that governments that start off good always, always seek more power. More things to regulate, more rules to write, more things to give away to the people to get votes. A libertarian paradise would, eventually, according to history, end up at Greece. Just a matter of time.

If you want to deny that the continuous expansion of government exists, and thus deny most of history that reads as a long string of stories of rises and falls as governments over-reach and collapse, then feel free to try. The lesson right wing kooks take is to try to halt the process.


RE: Ummm....
By dgingerich on 3/12/2012 5:53:02 PM , Rating: 3
There are three conditions that create an environment for incompetent people to thrive:

1. no danger of losing the job - without the chance of losing a job over incompetence, nobody is encouraged to do the job right. We see this same type of behavior in union shops.

2. nepotism - people hiring people just because they are people's friends creates an atmosphere where people who are good at a particular job are left out and people who are not qualified get the job. This is happening with Hollywood and the music industry as well because people are getting hired as lobbyists and executives because they voted for pro-industry laws while in congress, or they were related to those lawmakers.

3. Management ignores trends of effects from incompetence - this is massive. the US Congress currently has a 13% approval rating, yet they still completely ignore what the people actually want and push projects and platforms they think will get them elected. The citizens of the US have had a rapidly increasing distrust of the federal government over the last two decades due to federal worker incompetence.

These things are huge in a democratic government. They are pretty much inevitable. People vote for what they want, without regard for the good of the whole. In a democratic government, the wants of the one outweigh the needs of the many. There is only one way to get past this: don't let the stupid people vote. They don't know what they really need from a government, and they don't know what will destroy it.


RE: Ummm....
By Dan Banana on 3/13/2012 3:46:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
3. Management ignores trends of effects from incompetence - this is massive. the US Congress currently has a 13% approval rating, yet they still completely ignore what the people actually want and push projects and platforms they think will get them elected. The citizens of the US have had a rapidly increasing distrust of the federal government over the last two decades due to federal worker incompetence.

These things are huge in a democratic government. They are pretty much inevitable. People vote for what they want, without regard for the good of the whole. In a democratic government, the wants of the one outweigh the needs of the many. There is only one way to get past this: don't let the stupid people vote. They don't know what they really need from a government, and they don't know what will destroy it.


Apparently wealthy special interest groups corrupting democracy plays no role in all this, according to you anyway. The way safety features were not required on the Macondo well that leaked massive quantities of oil into the Gulf of Mexico come to mind. These same safety features that were required in other countries that would have prevented the spill.


RE: Ummm....
By sigmatau on 3/12/2012 6:22:43 PM , Rating: 2
Japan went full free market on nuclear power. You don't go full free market.

They had few regulations and those that they had were not followed or enforced. Maybe we should try that with our oil and nuclear industries too!


RE: Ummm....
By dgingerich on 3/12/2012 7:18:09 PM , Rating: 2
um, wrong. they were one of the most heavily regulated countries with nuclear power. the problem was in enforcement. the regulators got lazy and corrupt, passing plants in exchange for an expensive lunch or a place to hang out without working for a month.

Just about anything that can be regulated is regulated in Japan. The government has its fingers in everything there.


RE: Ummm....
By sigmatau on 3/12/2012 7:38:02 PM , Rating: 3
No, you are wrong. You missed one thing. They did not regulate the regulators.


RE: Ummm....
By Dug on 3/12/2012 10:15:33 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is what is regulated.
They don't understand what needs to be regulated.

For example-
They will spend millions on making sure that a web site stays up through lots of redundancy. Yet they won't look at basic security measures that can bring a web site down, because they spent so much regulation on redundancy not understanding how the whole system works.



RE: Ummm....
By Ringold on 3/13/2012 11:31:28 AM , Rating: 3
Also, Japan has regional monopolies on power -- and, like you said, heavily regulated (even if no one was watching the watchmen).

In other words, polar opposite of "free market." Where do people get this? Something failed, therefore it must've been a free market failure?


Nuclear
By adiposity on 3/12/2012 5:58:33 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
After all, you can't take the "nuclear" out of nuclear negligence. But blaming nuclear power for the tragedy is sort of like blaming handguns for creating crime -- "Nuclear power doesn't endanger people, people endanger people."


This is a bit different from the gun situation. A gun, even when not properly cared for, does not typically begin shooting people on its own.

A nuclear power plant requires vigilance and oversight, regular safety checks, and failsafes to be safe. A nuclear power plant, unlike a gun, does not just sit there, but is in constant use, and must be maintained.

Certainly, guns also require care and maintenance, and failure to address this could also result in an accident. But typically, it's deliberate misuse of firearms that is at issue when gun bans are considered.

Understanding that simply not maintaining a power plant properly could result in accidents like Fukushima may be a legitimate reason to oppose nuclear power. After all, who can be sure that in 30 years, regulations to keep them safe will be in place and followed? You can't exactly ask the Japanese to believe their govt. won't shirk their responsibilities again.

Then, perhaps they aren't being irrational. They may be saying, "We don't trust you to do it safely." And they have some experience to back that up...




RE: Nuclear
By Keeir on 3/12/2012 6:30:25 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Then, perhaps they aren't being irrational. They may be saying, "We don't trust you to do it safely." And they have some experience to back that up...


The main problem is not whether Nuclear Power is "Safe" or "Not Safe", its that the criteria used to evaluate nuclear power "safety" is significantly different than other forms of power generation.

With other forms of power generation, there is a near certainity of at least some deaths every year, though the numerical magnitude each year is "small".

For example, data from here
http://www.wind-works.org/articles/DeathsDatabase....

Suggests that if the US used 100% wind power, there would ~100 direct deaths each year. At the same time, there has never once been a direct death, or even an indirect death accounted against US civilian nuclear power. Studies on Three Mile Island are a mixed bag.

Nuclear Power is the least deadly form of Power based on actual statistics (Of the large installed base, Wood, Coal, Natural Gas, Hydro). But the fear of the big event, like the fear of the airplane crash, creates a push for a level of safety that is well... impractical and illogical compared with the main alternatives. (Japan's power needs will likely be met by burning Coal and Oil. I am sure that's MUCH healthier for workers, people and the envirnoment!)


RE: Nuclear
By adiposity on 3/12/2012 7:13:29 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, and am an advocate of nuclear power. I think it can be done safely and I think we need to move in that direction as quickly as possible.

On the other hand, the fact that something can be done safely is not enough to make it a good idea. If you have a good reason to believe proper safeguards won't be put in place, nuclear probably isn't a good idea.

The solution isn't to use other kinds of power. The solution is to ensure it will be reasonably safe, and educate the public on this fact. The problem is, when the govt. can't be trusted to make things safe or be honest about how safe they are.


RE: Nuclear
By Keeir on 3/12/2012 7:21:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The problem is, when the govt. can't be trusted to make things safe or be honest about how safe they are.


Errr..

And which power industry do we not need to trust the government on?

quote:
On the other hand, the fact that something can be done safely is not enough to make it a good idea.


I am confused. Civilian Nuclear Power has a demonstrated history as the -safest- form of power generation capable of large scale installation. And that doesn't make it a good idea?


RE: Nuclear
By adiposity on 3/12/2012 7:36:10 PM , Rating: 2
I was speaking in general terms. The fact that something _can_ be done safely does not make it a good idea, per se.

As I stated, I think nuclear is the best option. But you can understand the trepidation of people who are just learning that the govt. did a poor job of ensuring the safety of nuclear power plants. Right now they are overreacting, obviously. Maybe their overreaction will encourage the govt. to improve their safety measures. Would that be such a bad thing?


RE: Nuclear
By FITCamaro on 3/13/2012 8:55:55 AM , Rating: 2
Nuclear reactors are designed to withstand an impact from a 747. Even the oldest plants.

So even that's not really an issue.


RE: Nuclear
By theapparition on 3/13/2012 10:04:13 AM , Rating: 2
So were the World Trade Centers.

They were also designed for both impact of a 747 (which held up quite well structurally), and for fire resistance (all steel beams were coated with fire resistant material).

Unfortunately, there wasn't a design consideration that a jet impact would blow the fire resistant material off the steel supports, and the resultant fire would cause fatigue.

Now most reactors shouldn't have to worry about a jet impact, nor a resultant fire with their concrete encasement. Likewise, the Japanese disaster wasn't the result of the earthquake (which was planned for), nor the tsunami (which was also planned for), but for ancillary effects on support systems when all combination of events happened.

Still, Nuclear is by far the safest and best method of energy production. The US's future depends on embracing nuclear power.


RE: Nuclear
By VahnTitrio on 3/13/2012 2:49:40 PM , Rating: 3
A couple of things: there is no coating on a reactor: it is all concrete which will resist fire quite well. And #2 they have actually crashed a plane into a reactor building wall to see what would happen. The plane was vaporized, with only a few inches of damage to a wall that is over 3 feet thick.

The public however never worries about hydro power, which is a bit strange. Dams failing kill a lot of people (you may be surprised to learn Chernobyl is not the deadliest power accident in history, but rather the failure of the Banqiao Dam).


RE: Nuclear
By geddarkstorm on 3/13/2012 3:30:13 PM , Rating: 2
No, they were built to withstand a 717, not a 747 or anything remotely as big as the 767's I think were the ones that hit it (fully laden with fuel for a transatlantic flight, by the way). There was no way they could survive an impact that that magnitude, and they didn't.

Nuclear reactors are quite different, and don't have to worry about gravity crushing them. It'd take at least a bunker buster missile to blast through all the layers of shielding protecting a reactor (or protecting us from a reactor, more accurately).


RE: Nuclear
By theapparition on 3/14/2012 12:48:25 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, they survived the impact quite well. And would have survived the fire if the impact didn't damage the fire protective coating from the steel supports.

There's no need to get into the minutia of details. Point was, there will always be risk. You can only mitigate as much risk as you can contemplate, and even then you have to take into account a cost-benefit ratio. There will always be some scenario that wasn't thought of, or a combination of events that add up.


RE: Nuclear
By geddarkstorm on 3/13/2012 3:39:31 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, built to withstand a 707, the biggest plane at the time (1960's), not 717.

For reference, look at this picture https://secure.flickr.com/photos/cptspock/78956241...

The 707 is the right most plane, and the 777 is the left most. 767 is built to be between a 747 and a 707 in size.


RE: Nuclear
By jwcalla on 3/13/2012 5:09:11 PM , Rating: 2
The containment vessel might be able to withstand an impact from a jet but it's the rest of the plant that needs to be operational that worries me. I mean yeah, the containment survived a M7 earthquake and 14m tsunami. The buildings themselves got wrecked from hydrogen explosions. If the cooling systems are taken out or the generators (not located in the reactor buildings) are taken out or whatever, you're up a creek with these older designs.

Then you have the human error aspect which is usually the root cause of these catastrophes to begin with.


Bad writing...
By norxn on 3/12/2012 5:26:55 PM , Rating: 5
I was surprised by the harsh bias and unprofessional language used in this post. Usually when I find articles that excessively spout out opinion words like "greedy" and "incompetent", I skip over it. I only hope that most other readers are capable of recognizing bias and able to distinguish it from the facts.




RE: Bad writing...
By JasonMick (blog) on 3/12/12, Rating: -1
RE: Bad writing...
By Jason H on 3/12/2012 9:29:35 PM , Rating: 2
The article is clearly an editorial, expressing the author's opinion. Nothing wrong with that, but shouldn't it be in the "blog" section, rather than "news"?


RE: Bad writing...
By ShieTar on 3/13/2012 4:53:04 AM , Rating: 2
Except when the opinion sounds a lot like uneducated nationalist propaganda.

The author claims that "that the U.S. has never suffered a catastrophic nuclear accident" and ignores thus not only the severe accident on Three Miles Island, but also a dozen of smaller accidents (cf http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_and_radiation...

Either way, it should definitly not be labelled as news.


RE: Bad writing...
By Ringold on 3/13/2012 11:45:40 AM , Rating: 2
Yep, Three Mile Island, don't know where they could've even buried all the bodies. Bet that place is entombed in concrete now, couldn't possibly still be operating!


RE: Bad writing...
By superstition on 3/12/2012 9:52:06 PM , Rating: 2
Your writing is too hyperbolic to be as accurate as you think it is. Very little in life is simple.

Your evaluation of Bradley Manning is a good example. Glenn Greenwald's counterpoint is quite effective in rebutting your point of view.

Everyone who feels they have adequate evidence to back up their opinions is entitled to make a strong case for them. But, people should be mindful that they may be quite wrong and should therefore avoid emotionalism/hyperbole as a rule.


RE: Bad writing...
By Paj on 3/13/2012 8:26:22 AM , Rating: 1
Have to agree with the OP here. This is hardly a reasoned analysis. You're basically kicking the Japanese populace while they're down over their reluctance to pursue your pro-nuclear agenda after having suffered the worst nuclear accident in over 20 years.

You support your arguments by linking to other DT editorial articles that you yourself have written. Nothing wrong with having an opinion, just don;t call it 'journalism', 'analysis' or 'factual' while you do so.

The Economist recently did a 17 page article on nuclear power. Perhaps you should have a look at that for some pointers on how a more balanced, factual analysis reads.


RE: Bad writing...
By NicePants42 on 3/14/2012 1:22:51 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
do I need to sugar-coat it and dussy it up in a bow for your liking?
Let's consider:

quote:
The tragic accident is a frustrating summation of business managers' incompetence and reckless negligence. Published documents reveal that Tokyo Electric Power Comp.'s (TEPCO) (TPE:9501) engineers warned that there was a 10 percent chance per decade of a tsunami sweeping over the 6-foot flood wall. Yet the company's greedy managers and their incompetent/corrupt bureaucratic peers refused to listen to their technical superiors and purposefully chose to skimp on the extra expense of waterproofing their backup generators and/or including module cabling for quick reconnections.


This paragraph can be condensed to:

'
quote:
Published documents reveal that Tokyo Electric Power Comp.'s (TEPCO) (TPE:9501) engineers warned that there was a 10 percent chance per decade of a tsunami sweeping over the 6-foot flood wall. Yet managers and their peers chose to forgo the extra expense of waterproofing their backup generators and/or including module cabling for quick reconnections.


What you need to do is STOP 'dussy-ing it up in a bow' for YOUR liking. It's annoying to have to peel through your layers of garbage to get at the facts.

quote:
You seem to be implying the report is biased and factually inaccurate

No, he's clearly stating that your article uses too much biased language. This language is diluting the effectiveness of your presentation of the facts and at the same time it is talking down to your readers by telling them how to interpret those facts. Please stop.

Thank you.


This is the problem....
By Amiga500 on 3/12/2012 4:53:57 PM , Rating: 2
When a fundamental and dangerous conflict of interest occurs.

The conflict?

Profits (Greed) vs. Safety.

The solution?

It'll take someone much smarter than me to answer that.




RE: This is the problem....
By lightfoot on 3/12/2012 5:07:08 PM , Rating: 1
The solution? Personal accountability.

You know the thing that has fallen out of favor in our "everybody wins" society.

People take risks, but aren't held accountable when they should face the consequences. We as a people allow it to happen. Hell, we expect it. Everyone wants their own personal bailout.

The managers should be put on trial for this negligence, instead they are being held up as victims of nature.


RE: This is the problem....
By Reclaimer77 on 3/12/2012 5:24:24 PM , Rating: 2
The solution?

Don't build a power plant practically IN the water in the first place in the middle of "tsunami alley". Seriously, who was the one who made that call?

Not to excuse the neglectful negligence, but all too often we've seen Mother Nature wreck the best laid defenses of mankind. It's true that accidents happen, but why tempt fate by putting the plant there? Do we even know if reinforcing that wall would have made a difference?

The two biggest factors here, at least in my opinion, was the design of the reactor and the location of the plant.


RE: This is the problem....
By Solandri on 3/12/2012 11:12:49 PM , Rating: 4
Power plants are typically placed near large bodies of water because generating efficiency goes as:

Emax = 1 - Tc/Th

Tc is the temperature of your cooling.
Th is the temperature of your heat source.

So the the lower and more quickly you can cool down your generator, the more efficient it is. Having a great big body of water to act as your heat sink is a great way to improve efficiency.

This requirement is a fact of thermodynamics - you can't make it go away. Even if you build away from water and use evaporative cooling towers, they need a steady and large supply of water constantly piped in to evaporate off the towers to lower the tower temperature. Such water supplies would have been impacted by the earthquake just as much as if not moreso than the tsunami.


RE: This is the problem....
By FishTankX on 3/13/2012 9:16:16 AM , Rating: 2
You can actually sort of cheat a bit by raising the Th of the reactor by using gas cooling.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_temperature_gas_...

This is a Gen 4 design that does that, raising the outlet temperature to 1000c, improving thermal efficency, and allowing some of the heat to be dumped out of the plant as process heat, thus using the waste heat to power industry. I could see this design being a massive benefit when being used in applications like providing heat for tar sands processing, as you get electricity out of the plant AND enough heat for industrial processes. Win win, 0 carbon.


RE: This is the problem....
By JediJeb on 3/12/2012 7:17:27 PM , Rating: 2
What has killed the US and many other governments is exactly that lack of personal responsibility. What causes that is that relieving people of their personal responsibility makes them happy and they will vote you back into office over and over as long as you keep taking the responsibility off their shoulders. Just look at what has been happening in Europe, Greece in particular, where the government has taken on most of the responsibility for the citizens every day life and now they are broke and the people are not willing to take any of that responsibility back upon themselves even at the risk of losing everything in a governmental financial collapse. If it does happen, then they will still be standing there throwing their hands up wondering what happened and why their next check doesn't come. I just hope the rest of the world can wake up and turn things around, but I doubt it will until everything crashes and we are set back to the Iron Age and only the ones willing to pick up their personal responsibility will survive.


On another note
By ShaolinSoccer on 3/12/2012 5:50:14 PM , Rating: 3
Watch what happens in Japan a couple days before the big earthquake and afterwards:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2a--NC4Nong&list=PL...




RE: On another note
By hiscross on 3/12/2012 6:24:36 PM , Rating: 2
Very revealing.


RE: On another note
By johnsonx on 3/13/2012 2:28:12 AM , Rating: 2
wow, really cool video. thanks for posting.


Greed and incompetence
By Dug on 3/12/2012 4:50:46 PM , Rating: 2
This is the main theme for Japanese company's lately.

Once proud, diligent, and attentive to detail, which grew Japan to a super power in no time, is now overridden by mass corporate greed, cost cutting, and hope-we-can-get-away-with-it attitude.

It wasn't always this way. In fact it was their painstaking effort that blew away American factories early on. Their schooling is always top notch. I don't blame the people of Japan. I blame the CEO's and managers for adopting western ways to make a quick buck and making the workers follow.

They will always fail at admitting fault until they get caught.




RE: Greed and incompetence
By Cobra Commander on 3/12/2012 5:03:48 PM , Rating: 2
yeah, but as someone else pointed out, how is any of that unique to Japan?


RE: Greed and incompetence
By Dug on 3/12/2012 10:05:25 PM , Rating: 2
It isn't now. But not that long ago it would be unheard of. The act of misrepresentation or lying would be enough for death. Now there is shame, but soon forgotten if there is enough money involved. Someone caught just moves to a different position in the same company.


I can't read Anandtech anymore...
By littleprince on 3/13/2012 12:19:39 PM , Rating: 3
I've been reading tech sites like this since I first learned about overclocking 486's and about things like math co-processors.

But recently the crap posted here has just gotten worse and worse. Never mind the poor editing and fact checking. The site has just become a group of writers who have so much American pride that they have blinders on. I predict it won't be long till they have their own secret site where they can start the US version of the Nazi campaign where everyone is inferior to them. The site has gone far beyond patriotism and is even extreme for nationalism. As a non american I'm sure I'm not welcomed here anymore.

Hmm... I wonder if the US government has ever been greedy or careless. I'm sure there's never been any American Nuclear disasters. They are so perfect they don't even have oil spills.

Just garbage writing.




RE: I can't read Anandtech anymore...
By Iger on 3/14/2012 7:25:30 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure if you've noticed, but Dailytech has separated itself from Anandtech quite a while ago. Anandtech is still writing about overclocking (well, not the 486-s mostly, but...) and are just as excellent as they always were.


Really?
By gamerk2 on 3/12/2012 11:34:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's no coincidence that the U.S. has never suffered a catastrophic nuclear accident, despite decades of clean nuclear energy. The strong track record is thanks to lots of hard engineering work, sound management, and strong regulatory work by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Together, American engineers and the NRC have worked to identify at risk plants and add extra failsafes to them, preventing natural disasters like floods or earthquakes from triggering an even worse (and preventable) nuclear disaster.


Up until last year, this applied EXACTLY to Japan as well.

Seriously, the NRC is basically prevented from doing its job by Congress these days; plant repair/upgrades hurt the bottom line and all that. Nevermind Congress doesn't want to appear against nuclear power...

Seriously, this is a textbook example of an opening paragraph that is designed to make people want to support nuclear power, which judging by your other "news" pieces here, I take it you support wholeheartedly. How about objective journalism Mick?




RE: Really?
By lightfoot on 3/13/2012 12:25:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
support nuclear power, which judging by your other "news" pieces here, I take it you support wholeheartedly. How about objective journalism Mick?

The rest of the main stream media makes it pretty clear that they are biased against nuclear power. Would you still be complaining about bias if that was the case here? Or is it only bad when someone supports nuclear power?


Ed
By BigEdMan on 3/13/2012 1:09:37 AM , Rating: 2
What's the real spin here?
Incompetence and corrupt government officials Or loss of profit made from exporting fuel rods Japan?




RE: Ed
By BigEdMan on 3/13/2012 2:13:37 AM , Rating: 2
That should read:
exporting fuel rods TO Japan?


Poor, innocent handguns
By ShieTar on 3/13/2012 5:00:46 AM , Rating: 2
"But blaming nuclear power for the tragedy is sort of like blaming handguns for creating crime."

Japan does blame crime on handguns and forbids private ownership. This works out very well, as Japan is enjoying a homicide rate that is 6 times lower than that of the US.

So your point is ... ?




RE: Poor, innocent handguns
By lightfoot on 3/13/2012 3:50:08 PM , Rating: 2
And Japan intentionally underreports homicides. What is your point?


running on 70%
By stardude692001 on 3/13/2012 3:17:18 PM , Rating: 2
How can a country run with 30% of its power generation shut down? I know they are burning more fossil fuels to compensate but how? did they have a couple dozen power plants laying around unused or where they running the rest of their plants at only half capacity.
Maybe I'm just used to crappy american infrastructure but doesn't that sound a little crazy.




RE: running on 70%
By jwcalla on 3/13/2012 10:54:15 PM , Rating: 2
Yes they restarted old power plants that had been previously shut down. I think they're going to have some serious problems come summer time though, especially if it's a hot one. Moving more vehicles over to the electric grid is certainly not a wise decision either until they get their electricity supply situation worked out.

Their nuclear plants ran at relatively low capacity to begin with as many were often offline for maintenance or refueling.


By bongbong on 3/13/2012 3:23:32 PM , Rating: 2
Please dont underestimate the japanese public.
Ive had the pleasure of working with the japanese from all walks in life from the lowly deconstruction worker to the yakuza minon to the public school teacher and the really rich sacho.
If they say and think that their government is corrupt and incompetent to handle nuclear power which you have pointed out, then its true.
What isn't true is that thinking that the japanese public doesn't understand the issue like how nuclear power is like the gun and a gun doesn't shoot itself.
They do know that nuclear power can be safe, but they also have this pessimistic attitude about the government.

They are not pesimistic about nuclear power itself.

They have no confidence in the their government itself not just in nuclear but the other issues like the big crimelords bribing their government officials to get "favors" and other things so its not nuclear power itself only.

Each time they elect a leader its like taking a gamble they say.
Now if this was about a building construction project or big civil works program that was missing billions of yen they would hardly bat an eyelash.
Its like they expect corrupt thing like these to happen.

The problem for the public with nuclear is not the money but how will the nuclear plants be taken care of so that it wont affect their health and they know they cant expect anything competent in this regard from the government.

So yes the root of the problem is the Government which failed them numerous times in the past.
According to my friends in japan, they can tolerate corruption in the government but they cannot tolerate radiation and since the government is so corrupt and incompetent they would rather tolerate
the higher energy prices because for them its only money in the sense that it would be expensive BUT there is not enough money in the world to cure them if because of the government's incompetence they become radiated.


SO you see to be clear, they believe their country has the tech to become a nuclear powered country but they don't believe the government
has the skill and competence to keep nuclear power safe.

That is the prevailing public sentiment in Japan.




By stardude692001 on 3/13/2012 3:48:13 PM , Rating: 2
wow I didn't know the government was that bad over there.
thank you for your post, It seemed a bit weird to think of the Japanese people as being as dumb as Americans toward nuclear power.


PM
By semo on 3/12/2012 6:17:23 PM , Rating: 2
I watched a documentary about the tsunami and the aftermath. After seeing the PM's emotional reaction, it was obvious that Japan's nuclear future will be bleak.

TEPCO really screwed up (before, during and after the disaster), yet the PM was concerned about living in a world "with 1000s of nuclear power stations" or something to that effect.




An nescis, mi fili
By Jeremy87 on 3/12/2012 6:47:39 PM , Rating: 2
An nescis, mi fili, quantilla prudentia mundus regatur?

Do you not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?




southpark
By twhittet on 3/12/2012 6:52:10 PM , Rating: 2
So - was I the only one who instantly thought "dishonergable" every time I read "dishonorable"? Too much Southpark for me....




people are gullible and stupid.
By Methal on 3/12/2012 7:47:30 PM , Rating: 2
The older I get the more I feel like I am surrounded by retards. The most obvious things seem to allude the masses. eat crap-look like crap, do drugs-look like a druggie, sleep around-get pregnant, regulate good-enable evil, we are evolved animals-surprised when people act like animals, stupid people run things-stupid things happen.

Want more examples? join the US Army/marines. (possibly the whole military) its like a state carnival for idiots.




yah
By jwcalla on 3/12/2012 11:10:06 PM , Rating: 2
Does the author really think an American plant could withstand a direct hit from an EF-4 or EF-5 tornado?




France..
By TileGuyJesse on 3/13/2012 11:59:55 AM , Rating: 2
"After all, they're not incompetent, lazy, and cowardly like some of their foreign peers."

I love sarcasm when it's administered in the proper doses. Jon Stewart couldn't have said it better.




Good article
By bildan on 3/13/2012 12:50:11 PM , Rating: 2
Greed and incompetence indeed the issue - good title.

Unfortunately, G&I isn't limited to governments, private corporations also suffer from it. Just read the headlines.

Nuclear power is too important and dangerous to leave to either.

I propose handing nuclear power generation over to the one organization with an exemplary record - the US Navy. Private utilities can buy the power and distribute it but USN uniformed personnel should control the reactors themselves. The US Marines should provide the security. This would provide the greatest degree of isolation from government and corporate G&I.

BTW, blaming a 9.0 earthquake for all the problems is inaccurate. All the other reactors in the Fukushima area survived the quake well. Only the poorly sited and designed one failed.




Even in Japan, people are dumb
By Integral9 on 3/13/2012 5:07:25 PM , Rating: 2
So to make an analogy, I burned myself making soup on my stove. So to correct that, I threw my stove out and will be ordering take-out for the rest of my life.

Great idea Japan. Now how do you say dumb ass in Japanese?




What's new here?
By DennisB on 3/14/2012 7:45:18 AM , Rating: 2
So what's supposed to be new or important here?

If you ever followed the nuclear power issue, you would know Japan and France are the worse western countries regarding nuclear power management and accidents since the beginning.
The US did have at least two serious accidents that became publicly known. Canada had at least one serious accident. Germany had several minor problems. So according to track records France would be next followed by the US, Canada, and Germany.
To be fair France deals with most nuclear material of the western world so they are more prone to have accidents.
The japanese Fukushima reactor plant design were based on US designs. That's why the emergency generators were below ground, hence, prone to be flooded. The same goes for the emergency power connections, which as it turned out had no adapters. The list of US legacy design problems taken over is long. Well, it's their own fault for not adjusting those obvious problems, though.




Stupid people = stupid policy
By FITCamaro on 3/12/2012 5:24:39 PM , Rating: 1
You've got the morons calling for nuclear plants to get shut down. They'll be the same ones crying that energy prices are skyrocketing when it happens.

quote:
But blaming nuclear power for the tragedy is sort of like blaming handguns for creating crime


Yet its done every day by anti-gun activists.




Haha
By semiconshawn on 3/12/12, Rating: 0
Which is it?
By fortiori on 3/12/12, Rating: 0
"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki