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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

DAY 13: THE GREAT TOHOKU EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI: Day 13

While Day 13 is not a particularly good number, this is a key day for me in this monumental Japanese catastrophe.  Fukushima #3 (the ONLY one with plutonium) is alarmingly, again, emitting black smoke, and Tokyo Electric Power has no clue as to what is happening.  However, Tom Burnett, a Hawaii colleague, has informed me that this is burning control fuel rods, or, worse, maybe burning concrete, for the rods are melted.  If Tom is right, I should immediately pack and catch the next Shinkansen West.

Oh well, it's night now and I'm old and Megumi is taking good care of me:


My Platinum privileges allowed me to order a margherita and Kir Royale, but she also fixed her two favorites, a Fonseca (20% ethanol) Port, and her very ultimate, a Grasshopper, for me.  Anyway, not worth thinking about taxiing it to Narita and having United find my way home to Hawaii, as the airport is clogged.  Yesterday, I got served a bill for my Bristol Cream and Glenfiddich, shocked that it was $45.  But the waiter took care of this.  Today, the bill must have been $100, but Megumi will no doubt cover my expenses.  Tomorrow, maybe Nagasaki.

I explored Tokyo today and it looked almost normal.  Except that I think I saw some snow flurries.  It is cold, meaning it is colder at Fukushima/Tohoku.

So where is Japan at this crucial moment?  Let me toss out my top ten:

1.  Tap water in Tokyo has already been officially declared as dangerous for human consumption.

2.  That Fukushima plutonium #3 reactor is getting out of control, and all my friends and family are telling me to get back to Hawaii.  But winds today are pushing the Fukushima radioactive junk to Hawaii, not Tokyo.  So maybe my Nagasaki sojourn makes some geographical sense.

3.  The radioactivity in Tokyo compared to yesterday is up by 20% and I can't drink the tapwater, which I don't anyway, as bottle water is universally available.  But should I take a shower?

4.  Itate (Fukushima) was at 10.5 microsieverts yesterday, and is up to 15 today.  There is a definite upwards trend.

5.  By the way, the tsunami at Fukushima reached (not amplitude, but run-off) 14 meters (46 feet), but the reactors  were protected for for less than 6 meters.

6.  The current Japanese permissible industrial radiation dosage today is 12 times that of France.

7.  The latest cost of this disaster in Japan is up to $309 billion. Katrina damage could have been $250 billion, although many think this is an exaggeration.   The National Hurricane Center has indicated that the total should be $81 billion,  The Great Chile Earthquake and Tsunami of 2010 reported insurance damage at $225 million, yes, MILLION, although industrial losses are up to $10 billion.

8.  A dozen world cartels control nuclear energy.  They are only perfecting their strategy.  As much as my HuffPo tri#ed to nail the coffin on fission power, don't believe me.  Do something about this, please.

9.  That same "6" link indicates that nuclear power is declining: from up to 17% in 2005 to 14% today.

10.  When  there is a very hot summer, nuclear power plants need to scale back production because they are limited by cooling water.  In the heat wave of 2003, Electricite de France had to buy power from the European Spot Market.  In 2006, Germany, Spain and and France had to do the same.

Cast aside the above for the next few minutes.  Life remains worth living.  I had a great brunch this morning:


I started with a grand green salad with bacon soup and a cream corn and potato soup, yes, two soups.  Then followed with a salmon and mushroom combo, white fish with cabbage, penne pasta with marinara sauce, assorted steamed vegetables and a purple rakkyo with red pickled turnip...and mashed potato.  All this with freshly squeezed orange juice and brown Japanese tea.  Mind you, this is breakfast at the Westin Tokyo.

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2 comments:

Kenji said...

Patrick,When are you scheduled to come home? I need to talk to you about our energy workshop in Honolulu in April. Ken Sumida

PLANET EARTH AND HUMANITY said...

Got your e-mail. Hope Mitch can be of help.