9 Million Ways to Collapse

It’s been about two years since HND was the FIRST publication to report that Fukushima was a level 7 incident and would dwarf Chernobyl. I had the dubious distinction of writing that article and it was generally dissed for every reason anyone cound think of. It turned out to be exactly correct.

We did this again when Fort Calhoun flooded and (then) Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Greg Jaczko visited the site and said there was no danger. There was. Ft. Calhoun still isn’t back online and when it comes back online, supposedly next month, it won’t be safe. In fact NONE of the hundreds of GE reactors built in the 60s are safe. He bailed out of that job last May and has now come out publicly and stated what everyone in the industry has known all along:  the 101 nuclear plants in the US have already exceeded their 30 year design lives. They should have been decommissioned years ago, but the NRC gave all of them a 30 year EXTENSION so they could keep operating — because they provide around 20% of the grid power in the US. But they are going to start blowing up.

Do you know where Iran got it’s first nuclear reactor? We (the United States) gave it to them. North Korea? We gave it to them. In fact, until a decade or two ago, the US, and General Electric in particular, was the major commercial exporter of nuclear reactors with France and Italy running to catch up. France sold a plant to Iraq and the Israelis bombed it in 1979. That’s an interesting story in itself — remind me to tell it one day.

The fact is that there is only one controllable ‘weapon of mass destruction’: a thermonuclear weapon. Poison gas is deadly, but not to masses of people except in enclosed spaced. Biologicals are coming on the scene again, though. Nature kills everyone eventually, and sometimes a virus gets loose that has over a 50% fatality rate. H7N9 looks one of those.

But let’s get back to Fukushima. The Japanese government has decided to admit that three of 7 underground water bladders are leaking radioactive water. That’s true, but it’s not the whole story. ALL of those reactors are still ‘hot’. All of them still need a continuous flow of cold water over them to keep them from exploding again. And the simple fact is that it’s all going into the ocean. The only thing that is being ‘contained’ is the water used to cool the above-ground fuel pools, and even if they could recycle it, it would be radioactive and get physically hot very quickly.

The truth is that all of that water goes into a bladder and then, when the bladder is full, it’s dumped right into the ocean. That’s been going on for two years. Think of it as using a garden hose to fill a coffee percolator . Cold water goes in the top, hot water comes out the bottom. After the pot is full, hot water still keeps coming out the bottom. Then imagine that even if you unplug it, you HAVE to keep the reservoir full of cold water or the thing will explode – and all of that hot water is still flowing out the bottom. But the water at Fukushima is different. You can’t drink it, you can’t touch it, and anything you use to hold it is immediately contaminated and becomes lethal. That entire site has become a complete disaster and no one can do anything about it. We don’t hear any more about it on the news. We just pretend it didn’t happen. But it did happen and it is still happening — at least for another 10,000 years.

You may have realized by now that an earth-crossing body whizzes by at least once a day. Just small rocks a few hundred feet in diameter — too small to see until they are within about 24 hours of passing, and THEN only if they are coming from the right direction. If they are coming around the sun, like the one that just blew up over Russia, we never know about them until they hit. The rock that just went by INSIDE the orbit of some of our geosynchronous satellites — in fact it went by closer than the diameter of the earth — would have completely changed life on earth if it had hit us straight on. It wouldn’t have caused an extinction event directly, but it might have triggered earthquakes and volcanos that could have.

I mention that in…passing…because life is resilient – but societies are fragile and people are stupid. Electric cars, for instance. Hybrids make sense to a point — but all-electric doesn’t. It requires the same amount of fossil or nuclear fuel to make an electric car as it does to make any other kind of car – and MORE to ‘refuel’ them every day. Same with wind power. Those windmills cost more to build than they can ever recoup. You are just kicking your guilt up the line. The power to build and recharge and maintain that stuff comes from power plants.

Here is the real problem. 40% of the population of the earth is unemployed. Over a billion people subsist on the equivalent of $1.25 a day. Around 25,000 per day don’t make it and die of starvation. A billion are undernourished, and almost another billion have no access to safe drinking water. Here are the numbers. Here are some US statistics if you want to see them. Notice that twice as many people kill themselves as kill someone else, and that 55 MILLION people are taking drugs for mental illness — including ALL of these nutcases who go on shooting sprees. When I was a kid, no one took drugs for mental illness. Sure, there were a few nutcases (and no one let them near firearms), but not one in every six people! WE ARE MAKING US CRAZY! No one has any idea of the long-term effects of psychotropic drugs except one – marijuana. And it has more benefits than detriments.

That doesn’t mean we need more jobs and more energy. It means we need to stop medicating ourselves into oblivion. It means the world has 40% more people than it can reasonably handle. And THAT means that of all the things we need to be worried about, who can live with whom and legalizing marijuana aren’t even in the mix. Neither is gun control. Because laws don’t actually matter. People are going to live with who they want, and why is that anyone else’s business? The President smoked marijuana for years, and probably still does, and so what? The Supreme court has said on numerous occasions that it NOT the job of the police to protect anyone from crime. That is your PERSONAL responsibility. The job of the police is to INVESTIGATE crime and try to identify and arrest the offender and bring him (or her) before a magistrate. That’s ALL the police are responsible for.

They do not have ANY legal responsibility to respond to 9-1-1 (or ANY) calls, and they may be busy or have a traffic accident on the way. YOU are responsible for YOU. The police and the fire department, paramedics and 9-1-1 are services, paid for by taxes. When cities and counties go broke, they have to cut back on those services. Some of the services are recent innovations. When I was a kid, there were no ambulances or paramedics.

Our fire department was all volunteer, and my town had three police officers. They didn’t have a night shift. If you had to shoot someone — which happened — you could call the answering service and someone might come out and they might not — or they’d send someone from a mortuary out to get the body and an officer might come take a look in the morning. There wasn’t any war on drugs, and it wasn’t illegal to defend yourself or your property, and everyone had a firearm. We had shooting teams at school. Students carried rifles and pistols with them all day long. There wasn’t any crime. Crimes occur when people can’t — or won’t — fight back. And once people are too frightened of their government to fight back against injustice, they are slaves.

One more completely different subject and I am done for the day. I highly recommend this article.

A hui hou

Dr. Tom is a retired scientist who is now farming on the Big Island of Hawaii.

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