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contains highly variable subject matter including commentary on the mundane, the extraordinary and even controversial issues. At Incoming BYTES
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Friday, March 18, 2011

As the World Turns: Who Shall We Believe? The Greedy? The Media?

Let us see the Light

It never ceases to amaze  how stories and events  evolve  in unexpected ways, even 'nonchalantly'  with all  the conflicting, inaccurate, and missing  information that eventually comes to light.    At times,  it seems that lies,  partial truths, overcautious withholding of information, failure to  release important information entirely, or zealous control of information -- skews  and spins valuable information out of context and control,  both when given to the media,  and then again when passed on to the public by  media  that at times,  itself is even intentionally misled by venerable leaders, officials  and perhaps others with questionable motive.

After any huge disaster when desperate rescue efforts must be conducted to rescue the general population there is  understandably worry, confusion, fear, and hurried misunderstanding --caused by intent or not.  

By the very nature of such events,  the disruption or destruction of infrastructure and communications,  reports from different authorities and agencies  may not always coincide.  Decades ago, that used to be the case only  because it was problematic or impossible to communicate when transportation,   services and "land lines" were destroyed,  but modern society now has cell phones and portable satellite communications systems for news services. 
Why is more accurate information not available?
Is that glaring contradiction one of the main causes of  the  public  distrust of "officialdom" and the media? 

Within the media there  always remains  a responsibility to report responsibly and  avoid the creation  more fear and  panic, but it seems logical that with  a major nuclear story seemingly headed in the direction  of and even exceeding Three Mile Island  (even Chernobyl ? )a current  major event such as  Japan's ongoing  nuclear dilemma  should require information be directed  accurately to the public at all times.  
With ever more serious consequences developing,  the horrific catastrophe unfolding in Japan  quickly captured the attention of the whole world, and understandably so. The Japanese catastrophe has unfolded to be clearly an exceptional and dangerous historical event with very long-term implications. 
   Unbelievable damage caused by the quake and ensuing tsunami now has implications that remain virtually incalculable .
  Six operating nuclear power generating plants, one of them containing plutonium-enriched fuel,  suffered major damage,  including damage to critical  power systems that provided necessary cooling not only for the active reactors themselves, but for a huge water-pond storage system that stores thousands of  "spent" fuel rods  (or  did ?)--at least until recently.  For the uninformed, spent (used) fuel rods remain highly radioactive for years and must be stored carefully to avoid overheating and exposure to air, which can cause radioactive materials to be released into the air.
  At the nuclear plants, there have already been 3 major hydrogen explosions,  storage pond fires,  and failure to cool the melting reactor cores  in spite of last-ditch emergency flooding with sea water, water bombing using helicopters, fire trucks and water cannons.  Dangerously overheated reactor cores have been exposed,  dry,  partially melted.  A partial meltdown  or meltdown(s) have already occurred.
We already know there has been major releases of radioactive materials, but reports of the official "danger" and levels of radiation being  measured differ substantially.  With world Atomic Energy associations, why should there be any question?
Although already having evacuated more than 500,000 people and are advising staying more than 20km from the  nuclear hot-spot,  Japanese officials  have finally admitted it is far more serious than previously thought. 
 U.S. and  other nuclear experts were advising a range of more than 80 km and countries are advising their nationals to leave Japan. 

Why the big discrepancy? Why is it so difficult for officials everywhere to come clean, correlate data with one another, and admit the true nature of the problem immediately?  
Do owners and officials  of operating nuclear power plants not want to accept responsibility for bad design and failure?  Now that the disaster is unfolding, and they are    in charge of a dragon that escaping  their control, will  they now deny culpability, and  admit lack of capability to control the potential disaster in it's entirety?   
Who shall we believe?  The greedy, the frightened, or the media?  Perhaps we should take careful note that it is the greedy and powerful that build and operate these  potential disasters.
To be clear, we at Incoming Bytes shall  not point fingers at the Japanese as a nation.  Japan is far from alone in this phenomenon;  around the world,  nuclear plants have had leaks, accidents, and failures and will continue to do so because that is what they do.   They are mechanical systems;  it is not IF they will fail, but WHEN.  
The world must now face that reality and change course. 
When clean solar energy and wind energy is freely available, what has  compelled  humanity to ignore common sense and use  problematic, dangerous and dirty nuclear plants that produce dangerous, dirty waste products that must be stored forever?  The answer is simple. Greed.
 I offered a comment following the previous post: 

"Where big money is concerned, it seems there is little genuine concern for the results of their money-making schemes, no matter how much pollution or how many potential problems they may cause." 
 An immediate response from a very astute reader  summed it up perfectly:  
  "Selfish motives impact whole civilizations. And its time we wake up to defending our lives that are at the mercy of a handful"
   As the world turns,  it is becoming more apparent that civilization in it's entirety may now be forced to  forever pay the  gargantuan and endless  economic and human costs of these disasters,  --and  only now at the very last moment in civilization,   try to discourage and disengage  a  foolish  energy policy that was followed only to satiate the endless greed of "a handful".   
So be it. We CAN do it.  We HAVE to do it.


  1. Thank you Raymond.
    I was reading the news on the blast and trying to study the tolerance levels of radiation... and this is what I came across.

    "The readings at the site rose beyond safe limits - 400 millisieverts per hour (mSv/hr), when the average person's exposure is 3mSv in a year."

    Despite knowing that the radiation levels are seriously dangerous, the government has been slow (retarded?????) in taking this as a very serious issue. I am appalled at the way government officials make public announcements that the people have nothing to fear and they have been evacuated, and that everything is under controls.

    HECK!!! They have to issue warnings like....

    1000 mSv is the fatal limit while those between 100 to 1000mSv are the cancerous, deformity causing and mutating agents that affect human life. Does it have to reach a level of 1000mSv for the officials to admit that it is highly dangerous?

    The way I see it, the government and all involved in the nuclear power deals are playing us to be 'fools'. No. They cannot pull the wool over our eyes. We are not ignorant, just because we are NOT involved with their money- making scams. Nuclear energy MIGHT have its benefits, but when compared to the cost in terms of HUMAN LIFE it is NOT worth the time, effort and investment.

    Perhaps this may be a wake-up call. I know that many lives in Japan are at stake, but this might perhaps be the only way for the government to come to its senses. Even then, at the cost of the innocent.

  2. Thank you Raymond.

    I posted a comment yesterday but it didn't seem to register. However, it is something to this effect.

    I was trying to research on radiation levels that can be tolerated by the human body, and some shocking figures turned up in my search. This is an excerpt...

    'The readings at the site rose beyond safe limits - 400 millisieverts per hour (mSv/hr), when the average person's exposure is 3mSv in a year.'
    BBC News, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-12740843

    You mean to say that scientists and government officials do not know that this is dangerous? In another search I found out that 1000 sVr can be fatal. There is a lot more information (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/03/110317-japan-reactor-fukushima-nuclear-power-plant-radiation-exposure/) but suffice to say that 400sVr is BAD.

    I cannot understand why scientists and government officials cannot make announcements such as
    to those who are the victims of radiation exposure in the area. Evacuation is not enough. They have told residents not to venture into the open. That is not good. Admit and announce that it is VERY DANGEROUS. The people of the surrounding area have to be evacuated totally and not left indoors as prisoners for extended periods of time just because scientists want to run tests. Radiation hazards do not vanish overnight or even a month. It takes years and years for the effect to subside to a calm level. Will these poor hapless victims be kept indoors indefinitely?

    I could go on and on about the injustices to human life by nuclear science. However, I'd rather spend my energy on what I have already mentioned elsewhere...


  3. Let us leave that duplicated comment as is. It seems that all of the information is not getting out to the public. Imagine that. One thing for sure-- the danger is not just "going away". The radiation readings are incredibly high and not safe for anyone, that is very clear. It is the job of officialdom and leadership to inform the civilians AND protect them.

  4. I agree with you on that Raymond.

    We might be a few to voice the 'warning', but nonetheless it has to start from somewhere. Combined effort from many sources too will help get the message across. It is our DUTY to offer our moral support to the victims of the Japan Nuclear explosions. We cannot sit back complacent and let 'Officialdom' (nice word, Raymond) have their way.

  5. It is human nature, proven repeatedly, that if nobody says anything and seriously insists upon change,the status quo will never be changed for the better, no matter how detrimental to humanity a set of conditions may be....so let us ALL insist upon change.

  6. Here's another thought that came to mind. Raymond, if you don't mind, I'm taking the liberty of adding my link here. http://www.brighthub.com/office/project-management/articles/101628.aspx

    This relates to a side note on Disaster Recovery Plans. Apparently there doesn't seem to be a Disaster Recovery Plan for the Nuclear Reactors. In places that are prone to floods, earthquakes and even Tsunamis, it is imperative that drastic Disaster Recovery Plans be in place. How can a set up of this magnitude not have any back-up plan?
    Absolute carelessness, I must say.


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