Fukushima rumors and news

I read with frustration this story about the mainstream media (MSM) ditching coverage of the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns.  My upset was not because coverage of this event had diminished dramatically, which it has. But rather because the author is contending that MSM was somehow banned from covering the event and there was some conspiracy afoot to disinform us now.

While the BBC and other news agencies have stopped there up-to-the-minute news coverage, this neither reflects evidence of conspiracy nor that further crisis has been averted.  It is simply the managements best guess at the attention span of their viewers.  The MSM does not take it’s lead from the White House or the Japanese government, they are driven by ratings and if there are not reactors actively blowing up or fires blazing, their viewers would rather hear about celebrity gossip or perhaps the civil war in Libya.

Are things getting better or worse? Possibly both.  This NY Times piece contends that some experts think the longer it takes to full control the situation, the greater the chances of large radiation releases from either a cooling pool fire or more fuel melting inside reactors.  It also points out that power has successfully been brought into the plant (which was erroneously reported several times before) critical for pumping cooling water to the stricken reactors.  The prevailing wind is shifting away from to sea and instead towards Tokyo.

More paradox is evident in the whole issue of contaminated food.  CNN reports reassuring claims from an expert who says detected radiation levels in food have “very low” long term risks, while  the same expert confesses “radiation doses ingested through food is really very poorly understood.”  Unlike information about the reactor fires and explosions, the Japanese can be credited for early information about food contamination.

My favorite irony of the crisis is that the water cannons now being used to cool the reactors were most commonly used in the past on anti-nuclear protesters at the plant.   The government’s chief cabinet secretary has confirmed that the Fukushima reactors will be closed after the crisis is over.   We can only hope that US Rep Ed Markey is right that nuclear power has “met its maker”

Of course the story which the nuclear industry really does not want to get out is not happening in Japan, but everywhere, it is that off shore wind energy is now cheaper than nuclear.  And by the way, every wind farm in Japan survived the quake and Tsunami, including the semi-off shore units 300 km from the epicenter.

Japanese wind farms - what the future could look like