Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.

Albert von Szent-Gyorgy

Nuclear power is an unforgiving technology

New article by Elizabeth Douglas at InsideClimate News interviews Peter Lam who has an impressive background as a Nuclear Industry regulator. Lam changed his mind on the use of probability statistics in nuclear disaster preparations. He says:

One can plan for a lot of things, but things don’t always happen according to what you plan for. … Sure, I think everybody’s doing the . . . → Read More: Nuclear power is an unforgiving technology

Fukushima Mon Amour

Fukushima is still in the news. Reuters reports today that the initial estimates of the amount of radiation released are now known to have been 2 and a half times too low. Tepco will be nationalized due to the exceptionally large losses after the accident. Reuters also reports what we first surmised the clean up will probably take 30 years. In the meantime . . . → Read More: Fukushima Mon Amour

Anit-Employee Control Fraud

Bill Black has continually been on the watch for what he calls “control-frauds” which are just frauds by management of a company to hide illegal and/or greedy behavior. In a new article Anti-Employee Control Fraud in New Economic perspectives he departs from his usual target of banking to look at the recent news about Apple’s supply chain.

Businesses that pursue anti-employee behavior in . . . → Read More: Anit-Employee Control Fraud

Bad loans made boldly

I have heard it said by my friends that the mortgage crisis was caused by individuals taking on more mortgage than they could pay for, then refusing to pay up when the music stopped. In Everything You Need to Know About Wall Street, in One Brief Tale Matt Taibbi nails this, this way:

At one point during these deals, Verschleiser reamed out his . . . → Read More: Bad loans made boldly

Secret Fed Loans Helped Banks Net $13B – Bloomberg

Bloomberg continues reporting into Secret Fed Loans Helped Banks Net $13B. THe FOIA information that Bloomberg has acquired shows that the Fed gave the banks lines of credit, loans and access to the discount window to the tune of $7.7 trillion, yes that’s trillion. In their own calculation Bloomberg thinks that the banks netted profit of $13 billion on this largesse from the . . . → Read More: Secret Fed Loans Helped Banks Net $13B – Bloomberg

Economic with the truth / Late reports of plutonium 40 km from Fukushima

The Japan online had a nice way of putting it in their Report of long-range plutonium find tardy. The speed of updating the Japanese public on the potential health hazards has struck me previously in my blog. I found this amazing in this latest post:

“Plutonium . . . → Read More: Economic with the truth / Late reports of plutonium 40 km from Fukushima

Japan’s Nuclear Safety Commission admits to being liars – or at least parsimonious with the truth

In the British Parliament it is not allowed to call someone a “liar.” It is for this reason that Members of that august body have come up with such grand circumlocutions as: “My esteemed Colleague is being parsimonious with the truth!” Now just so we get our language right when dealing with nitty-gritty problems of truth telling in foreign cultures let me start . . . → Read More: Japan’s Nuclear Safety Commission admits to being liars – or at least parsimonious with the truth

Fukushima: It’s worse

Yoniuri Online diagram showing reduced water levels in Reactor 1 at Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Several people picked up on the Fukushima updates recently. A hat-tip to Krista Mahr of Time Online who in her article Fukushima: Er, Sorry…Worse Than We Thought repeats what I said yesterday about it being worse than we thought and pointed me to a Yomiuri Online report.

The Yomiuri Shimbun Online review of the situation has a very good image of the situation. . . . → Read More: Fukushima: It’s worse

Fukushima: fuel rods exposed, fuel melted, reactor vessel has holes…

This is probably the worst news about Fukushima yet, but it seems to be getting little media play. The short version, Reactor 1 has totally exposed fuel rods, melted fuel pooling at the bottom and holes in the reactor containment vessel. It is exactly similar to Chernobyl, with reactor fuel directly exposed to the environment outside the containment vessel. High radiation in the . . . → Read More: Fukushima: fuel rods exposed, fuel melted, reactor vessel has holes…

Hunt for plutonium source

Little Mr. Pluto – the cute and friendly plutonium avatar of the Japan Atomic Energy Bureau

The Wall Street Journal had a good article today with a sidebar on the Hunt for Plutonium I am quoting this in its entirety here because it disappears beyond the paywall after 24hours usually.

Hunt for Plutonium

Workers are still probing for the source of the . . . → Read More: Hunt for plutonium source