Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Great Fukashima Coverup

Commentary By Ron Beasley

Since the earthquake and nuclear disaster in Japan a few months ago information has been at best misleading and at worst out right lies.  We don't here about in the US media or in fact the media of most western media or in Japan.  It's not only still going on it's actually getting worse.  We were told from the beginning that it was the tsunami that knocked out the power to the cooling systems but was it?

Throughout the months of lies and misinformation, one story has stuck: it was the earthquake that knocked out the plant's electric power, halting cooling to its six reactors. The tsunami then washed out the plant's back-up generators 40 minutes later, shutting down all cooling and starting the chain of events that would cause the world's first triple meltdown.

But what if recirculation pipes and cooling pipes burst after the earthquake � before the tidal wave reached the facilities; before the electricity went out? This would surprise few people familiar with the 40-year-old reactor one, the grandfather of the nuclear reactors still operating in Japan.

Problems with the fractured, deteriorating, poorly repaired pipes and the cooling system had been pointed out for years. In September 2002, Tepco admitted covering up data about cracks in critical circulation pipes. In their analysis of the cover-up, The Citizen's Nuclear Information Centre writes: "The records that were covered up had to do with cracks in parts of the reactor known as recirculation pipes. These pipes are there to siphon off heat from the reactor. If these pipes were to fracture, it would result in a serious accident in which coolant leaks out."


The Independent has spoken to several workers at the plant who recite the same story: serious damage, to piping and at least one of the reactors, occurred before the tsunami hit. All have requested anonymity because they are still working at or connected with the stricken plant. Worker A, a maintenance engineer who was at the Fukushima complex on the day of the disaster, recalls hissing, leaking pipes.

"I personally saw pipes that had come apart and I assume that there were many more that had been broken throughout the plant. There's no doubt that the earthquake did a lot of damage inside the plant... I also saw that part of the wall of the turbine building for reactor one had come away. That crack might have affected the reactor."

We were all assured that not meltdown had occurred.  Of course it turned out that at least partial meltdowns had occurred in three of the reactors.  The good news is that radiation has been declining in the reactor number 1 building.  The bad news is that large cracks belching radioactive steam are forming around the building.  It is so radioactive that it is beyond the range of measurement instruments.

The China Syndrome - another thing they have told us couldn't possibly happen.

1 comment:

  1. If it's OK Ron, I'd like to repost an earlier comment here:
    "We need to pay more attention to the efforts of authorities around the world of covering up the damage caused by previous nuclear accidents.
    Three Mile Island; the official estimate of total radiation release is a sham.
    �Lochbaum says that figure is grossly underestimated, because it is based on a measurement of radiation levels on the Three Mile Island site a year after the fact and does not account for shorter-lived radionuclides like iodine-131, which would not have been measurable by that time. Nor, he says, does the official figure include any leakage from the containment building, the concrete dome surrounding the core of the reactor� Dr. Gordon MacLeod, Pennsylvania�s Secretary of Health at the time, tried to ensure all health impacts from the accident were fully disclosed. He was fired by then Governor Dick Thornburgh for his effort�
    Chernobyl: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5384001427276447319#
    At an international meeting headed by Hans Blix held the year after the event the Russians estimated that there would eventually be 40,000 deaths directly caused Chernobyl. There was no estimate of disease or birth defects. The Western experts ardently dismissed the number, over the weekend they argued the Russians down to 4000, which was conveniently the number arrived at by the UN in 2006. There are no overall statistical studies available; but raw numbers such as that 200,000 of the 500,000 member cleanup brigade have died is a terrible indicator, the majority of those men were young healthy soldiers who replaced the robots when the radiation ionized the circuit boards. Watch the documentary I linked to from the 1:15:00 mark to get the gist.
    Japan; it is likely that the events will prove to be the result of trying to save the economic value of the reactors.
    The profits seeked by the nuclear industry are based on charging for the fuel enrichment, specialized metallurgy and machining required to build Boiling Water Reactors or similar machines. There are only a few countries that have the tech to do this, all these reactors can meltdown if enough things go wrong.
    The safer heavy water reactors (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CANDU_reactor) are lower tech and also cheaper to build=(less profitable). The only way I see to use nuclear power (which will prbably be necessary when the oil runs out) is to standardize the reactor designs and everything else, which the industry would fight to the death, (they�re already seeking patents and permits for 36 different reactor designs) and remove the liabilities limit imposed by the Price/Waterhouse act. But neither of those are likely to happen unless the costs suffered so far are exposed."...
    ...The thrust of my post in the other thread is that as long as the nuclear industry and governments are able to hide the mortal costs of nukes, the pressure required to demand newer, safer tech will not be there. The light water reactors that are in the majority of plants in the world are based on requirements created by the US navy to build nuclear submarines, those specs are quite different than a civilian reactor, it's like the difference between a F-18's engine and a 777's, weight and performance or reliability and fuel efficiency. False date results in bad decisions.