Saturday, March 19, 2011

Disaster.

I laughed uproariously last night. Apparently, according to a BBC reporter, the Fukushima 'disaster' is in danger of overshadowing the surrounding tsunami disaster. Um, hey Mr BBC reporter, don't you think you might have had something to do with that?

Define disaster. Let's see, 10,000+ people killed, whole towns wiped out, 10s of thousands made homeless, and now running out of food and water as opposed to, say, nuclear plants badly damaged and maybe having to be sealed in concrete, a handful of workers injured, and one killed in a crane accident.

Of course, no problem now. The imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya has apparently suspended the Japanese nuclear holocaust.

18 comments:

Alex Cull said...

Neil, it's not just the BBC; watching Channel 4 News a few nights ago, it was difficult to escape the impression that Tokyo has been emptying, as the population start to flee west and south, to escape the nuclear peril. I have friends and in-laws living in Tokyo, who tell me this is utter nonsense. My verdict: poor-quality, alarmist journalism at work.

The following tweet by Tokyo resident Todd Fouts (http://twitter.com/tokyo_todd) says it all: "#Tokyo Radiation Levels Remain Normal. Locals Enjoy Sunny Saturday. Foreign Correspondents, Looking Bored, Work on Gaddafi Stories."

Neal Asher said...

Yeah, I know. I watched Sky the other night and half expected the presenter to start donning a hazmat suit.

It is, in the end 'the news', and all of it is hyped.

Jebel Krong said...

ah, perspective is a wonderful thing, no?

Andrew said...

That's nothing, we have nuclear spinach now.

We're all doomed.

Alex Cull said...

There's a website where bad media coverage of the quake/nuclear apocalypse is being collected:

http://jpquake.wikispaces.com/Journalist+Wall+of+Shame

This has to be one of the worst:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/thousands-flee-tokyo-as-experts-try-to-calm-contamination-fears-2242992.html

"The stuff of science fiction novels and bad disaster movies has arrived in the world's largest metropolis after radioactivity was detected in Tokyo's city centre yesterday, the possible prelude to a disaster forewarned but never really expected: the meltdown of a nuclear power plant and the showering of fallout over 28 million people."

Or the "possible prelude" to nothing of the sort!

Apologies, Neal - just realised I misspelt your name earlier, probably it was before my first coffee of the day had a chance to kick in.

Neal Asher said...

20/20 hindsight, Jebel.

Wasn't that the stuff Popeye ate, Andrew?

Alex, that would be the radiation measured in Tokyo that wasn't even up to the dose you get in a passenger plane?

Alex Cull said...

That's just about right, I think - also the equivalent dose in 1.5 bananas, due to the radioactive potassium-40 therein. Apparently.

Nuno said...

Hehe! We travel that path and we'll stop using granite in our buildings. All that radon-222 is not good, no sir...

Neal Asher said...

Of course reading some sensible stuff in the papers today I see that there wasn't much panic in Tokyo, no food shortages there and just advertising signs switched off to save power. The only people to flee, of course, were the infantalized westerners brought up on HSE and the teat of nanny government. Our society simply deserves to be crushed by the likes of China.

Jebel Krong said...

being crushed by china is a tad over-dramatic - the corruption alone makes them just as bad, just in opposite directions, sometimes.

Nuno said...

Health & Safety is a good thing when sensibly applied (your OHSAS 18000 are the most advanced standards in the world). But I see what you mean, we're increasingly becoming more dependent on some governmental entity to proclaim some emergency level/color/whatever for each event, whether it is a tsunami/earthquake (a good warning that usually fails!) or just rain/wind/snow/influenza/etc that would make our not so far ancestors laugh. Telling people to leave Japan is plain fear mongering.

Phil M said...

Nuno: LOL, glad granite isn't a problem as it would make things a little uncomfortable in Aberdeen (known as The Granite City by the grey North Sea)mind you on saturday nights there a quite a few mutants out and about!

Nuno said...

Hehehe!! Granite does indeed mutate people on Saturday nights around the world. As said nights progress, they tend to vomit all over the streets, which is a clear sign of acute radiation poisoning!

AngryMurloc said...

I found it a bit satirical when the BBC did a small report on the radioactive fall out, when their presenter started harping on about the a killer that cannot be 'seen or heard' and that it'll be in the rain... almost face palmed in real life.

What they never mention is that Chernobyl has only killed ~4000 people to date, while the Tsunami has killed scores more.

Neal Asher said...

Murloc, Chernobyl has only killed about 50 people. That 4000 figure is pure speculation about how many people it might kill.

Nice one last night. Deliberate attempt to connect clear-up workers in white plastic suits with the radiation. Only problem was that they let slip that the suits were biohazard suits. These were workers clearing up the human dead from the tsunami and nothing to do with the nuclear plants. Sigh.

Neal Asher said...

Another sane look at events over at The Register:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/22/fukushima_tuesday_2/

Neal Asher said...

Tinyurl:
http://tinyurl.com/6l6uq9a

Nuno said...

Those three The Register articles you posted are very interesting, Neal. Sane insights are in great demand, I'm afraid.

One thing I still couldn't find is some info regarding the fate of the reactors themselves -- not sure if, in this particular context, 'decommissioning' means 'being in complete control of the situation and recovering all the fuel in the core before shutting down the site', or if it just means 'wait for things to cool down a bit and fill everything with concrete and sand'.