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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

LATEST UPDATE ON THE GREAT TOHOKU EARTHQUAKE, TSUNAMI AND NUCLEAR DISASTER

Nuclear power is dead, on to the renewables.  Right?  Nope, not necessarily, as in Kaminoseki, a town just south of Hiroshima, a pro-nuclear mayor, Shigemi Kashiwabara (above with a tie), beat out a pro-renewable challenger, Sadao Yamato (below).  How quickly they forget.  Well, I have long felt that the various utilities there would have to re-start their idled nuclear reactors, anyway, as their lifestyle would plummet if all of them were de-commissioned.  However, there is a strong nuclear lobbying organization in Japan, and they made sure that Kashiwabara won.

If you were in a coma these past 25 weeks (photo above of Great Tohoku tsunami on 11March2011 from Kyodo News), click on

The Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami: The Aftermath



Life today around Fukushima remains depressing, for, to quote a typical farmer and mother (Sachiko Sato to the right, photo from crisisjones.com):

  "the scenery in Fukushima is as beautiful as last year but all over us is radiation." She adds, "can you understand the pain of farmers who have to abandon the land they have cared for?"

The national government raised the safe level of radiation exposure for children from 1 milliSievert to 20.  Asks Sachiko:

  "were they saying that people's ability to withstand radiation exposure had increased miraculously?"


To recap:

1.  There are six nuclear reactors at Fukushima, averaging around 1000 MW each. According to Tokyo Electric Power, the temperature of all of them has dropped below the boiling point of water.

2.  There were 15,805 confirmed deaths, while 4,000 are still missing.

3.  There are 300,000 children in the radioactive zones around Fukushima.

4.  The exclusion zone will ultimately be in range of 50 square miles, while that of Chernobyl was almost 1100 square miles, and 200,000 people were relocated, slightly more than in Japan.

The region around Fukushima, translated to mean, ironically enough, Lucky Isle, had a population of 2 million.  Farming, last year a $3.2 billion industry, is decimated and there is now very little tourism.You might wonder how Fukushima compares with Hiroshima and Nagasaki, now thriving cities, including those areas just below the epicenters.  Click on:


Why Worry About Fukushima When Hiroshima and Nagasaki Are Safe?



You will be surprised and disheartened.  All the more surprising why the first test case of public decision-making, as reported in the first paragraph, was resoundingly in favor of a pro-nuclear mayor.

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The Dow Jones Industrials jumped 147 (+1.3%) to 11,190, with world markets also up, especially Europe, on order of +5%.  The Dow remains down 3.34% for the year.  Gold increased $30/toz to $1652, while the Brent Crude Future is at $107/barrel and WTI Crude Future at $83/barrel.

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There are five ocean storms, but only those two in the West Pacific look troublesome:


Typhoon Nesat stormed over the Philippines and is strengthening to next hit Hainan Island.  Only a tropical depression today, but Nalgae will get stronger and threaten the Northern Philippines.

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