Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Showing posts sorted by relevance for query fukushima. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query fukushima. Sort by date Show all posts

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Nuclear Leaks 34: Fukushima Meets America's Pro-Nuclear Lobby

Image Source: OpEd News.

It has been nearly three years since Japan's nuclear disaster. Just at the moment when ocean-bound pollution from Fukushima is reaching the Pacific coast of North America, with potential but unconfirmed impacts on fisheries and crops, the pro-nuclear lobby has mobilized in the United States. A new documentary is out, Pandora's Promise (2013), which extols the 'green' virtues of nuclear power. Anyone concerned about climate change, the film insists, should promote nuclear energy. Or, to put it another way, if you are anti-carbon, you have to be pro-nuclear. This campaign reveals the ugliness of political plays around the energy business, as it plays down any dangers from Fukushima's fallout.

Robert Stone, producer and director of film, measured energy safety in terms of "deaths per terawatt," that is, how many people die per unit of energy produced. Within the first minute of the film, one narrator instructs the audience that the political outlook of the documentary is "liberal democrat." A liberal political concern for the environment is aligned with the interests of the nuclear industry. Whatever you do, the film enjoins, don't lose your head, don't panic about Fukushima. The director's statement insists that if you want to be a liberal, true and forward-thinking environmentalist, then you must be pro-nuclear:
I’ve considered myself a passionate environmentalist for about as long as I can remember. My mother read me Silent Spring when I was nine and the specter of a Cold War nuclear arms race was not an uncommon topic around the dinner table in my family. So my anti-nuclear and environmental roots run very deep. My first film was an anti-nuclear weapons documentary, Radio Bikini, that premiered at Sundance in 1988 and went on to receive an Oscar® nomination for Feature Documentary. My film Earth Days, which was Closing Night Film at Sundance in 2009, chronicles the rise of the environmental movement of my youth. In the course of making Earth Days I began for the first time to see the deep pessimism that has infused today’s environmental movement, and to recognize the depth of its failure to address climate change. It was initially through getting to know Stewart Brand that I was introduced to a new and more optimistic view of our environmental challenges that was pro-development and pro-technology. From there I began to seek out and discover a small but growing cadre of people around the world who were beginning to stand up and challenge what had become the rigid orthodoxy of modern environmentalism.

It’s no easy thing for me to have come to the conclusion that the rapid deployment of nuclear power is now the greatest hope we have for saving us from an environmental catastrophe. Yet this growing realization has led me to question many of the founding tenets of traditional environmentalism, from the belief that we can dramatically reduce our energy demand through energy efficiency to the belief that solar and wind power will one day power the planet. The almost theological adherence to a set of unquestionable beliefs by most liberals and environmentalists has likely contributed as much or more to prolonging our addiction to fossil fuels as the equally appalling state of denial among many conservatives when it comes to climate change. Both sides are locked into rigid, self-righteous ideological positions with potentially disastrous consequences for us all unless we begin to face the facts.

For the past three years I have devoted almost every waking moment to taking these ideas and shaping them into a documentary about what is perhaps the biggest and most unwieldy subjects imaginable: how do we continue to power human civilization without destroying the environmental conditions that has made modern civilization possible? I knew from the beginning that this film would have to be firmly grounded in personal narrative if it were to have any impact at all on a mass audience. Early on I determined that the film would be framed around a few key individuals who had undergone a dramatic intellectual metamorphosis on the issue of nuclear power, as I, myself had done. The evolution of their apostasy on this issue – their journey from being staunchly anti-nuclear to passionately pro-nuclear -forms the central dramatic arc of the film. My hope is to take the audience on a similar journey of discovery through the process of watching the film.

PANDORA’S PROMISE is without question the most personal and important film of my career. I’ve learned that just about everything I thought I knew about energy turned out to be wrong. And most of what I had been lead to believe about nuclear energy and its historical events turned out to be significantly different from what had really happened.

The making of this film has taken me to four continents on a grand tour of the hidden world of nuclear energy. I’ve been inside the doomed power plant at Chernobyl (the first cameraman to do so, I believe), deep into the Fukushima exclusion zone, and to a popular beach in Brazil that has a naturally occurring background radiation level that’s over 300 times what is considered “normal!” I’ve visited a little known research facility in Idaho where a new kind of reactor was developed 20 years ago that can’t meltdown and is fueled by nuclear waste.

If there was a single ah-ha moment it was when I was granted entry into a room in France (the size of a basketball court) where all the waste from powering 80% of the country for 30 years is stored: four cylindrical tubes 10 meters long and 1 meter wide are all that’s left from powering the city of Paris for 30 years with clean nuclear energy! I thought, “My God, what on Earth were we thinking?”

Robert Stone

April 22, 2013

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Nuclear Leaks 1: Hanford

The GammaMaster: Japanese wristwatch and Geiger counter in one.  Image Source: MedGadgetCurrently sold out, the watch sells for USD $250 and was previously available out of Hong Kong.

Caption for the above photo: Leave it to the Japanese to integrate both a digital timepiece and a fully functional Geiger counter, all of it crammed into into a standard sized wristwatch. ... Feature-wise there are limits to what you can do in a wristwatch format. There's the time display in traditional dial analog format - it is a watch after all. For displaying radiation dosage, in addition to a digital display, the GammaMaster has an LCD analog display, which provides a visual indication of the current dose rate and cumulative dose. Both can be run in dosimeter mode or in survey meter mode.

Warning alarms can be set to indicate when a specified dose rate or cumulative dose is exceeded. Alarm settings are always displayed on the analog scales. Some minor negatives with the GammaMaster. For one, the radiation units of are in metric µSv/h and don't include mRems/hr, more commonly used in the U.S.

This month, I am doing a countdown to the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster by highlighting nuclear accidents, leaks, tests and similar incidents that have occurred elsewhere in the world. If oil is the fuel of our present, nuclear power is - or seemed to be - synonymous with the future. Yet it is a future not of clean burning high-tech scientific efficiency, but one of apocalyptic consequences if mismanaged, damaged or disrupted. The operation systems of nuclear facilities are also vulnerable to computer hacker attacks (which I have blogged about here and here).

In the wake of the Japanese crisis at the Fukushima plants, the internet public is getting very jumpy. One of my friends described the slow burn that is wearing down our sense of well-being as an "apocalyptic pressure on the metaphorical inner ear." (Thanks, J.)  On Twitter, I notice that nerves are raw. On 17 March, @ozcanyuksek tweeted: "travellers from Japan have triggered the radiation detectors at Chicago's airport. Though the report does stress the levels were very low." Amid assurances that Japanese radiation fallout levels were low, @MorrisonMD remarked: "Worried about radiation from Japan coming to US? Vast majority will be dispersed, but take antioxidants & Vit C." On 23 March, Tomoko Hosaka commented: "More on Tokyo tap water. Expert: Stress people get from radioactivity is more dangerous than radioactivity itself." On 28 March, @leashless commented: "Insomnia and flashes of ill temper. I am subtly, but deeply, stressed." On 1 April, after Tokyo Electric had repeatedly made alarming comments about radiation levels, then retracted them, the company announced they were sending in a robot to find out the source of an unknown leak, which they later isolated on 2 April. By 1 April, there were alarms raised by "experts" - despite all previous claims that levels of radiation currently spreading globally from Fukushima were harmless - that the world food supply was threatened by Japanese fallout.  There is a low grade, growing background fear that reflects our helplessness and global connections back at us.

Radiation from radioactive elements - an invisible, little understood force that can kill you at high or prolonged doses - is, like petroleum, one of the millstones hanging around our collective necks from the twentieth century.  Nuclear power may not survive very far into Millennium if public opinion turns sharply against the industry.  Yet it has overcome serious incidents before, so it may continue, no matter how people feel about it.  This is the central, all-consuming problem of our times - how to create enough energy to fuel our global economy without destroying ourselves in the process.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Anniversaries: Hiroshima in Colour

This week (August 6 and 9) marks the 69th anniversaries of the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There were two terrible legacies from the Second World War, never fully understood, which became mainstream post-war and were insidiously repurposed into false positives. The first legacy involved discoveries made around social control, derived from Nazi propaganda and the Holocaust. The other legacy was nuclear.

The latter paved the way for the Cold War, atomic weaponry and the 'green' nuclear energy industry. Nuclear tests, such as 1954's Castle Bravo (above), punctuated a line of technological developments which eventually led to the rise of the Internet. At that point, the two legacies came full circle and reunited: the Atomic Age gave birth to the Digital Age.

Image Source: PBS via ENE Energy News.

These underground continuities are rarely recognized, but they are all around us; they include the most recent Fukushima headline - that 11,000 metric tonnes of subterranean trench water containing uranium and plutonium are leaking into the Pacific. Finally, on 6 August 2014, PBS reported that the China Syndrome is indeed occurring, and the radioactive core is exposed to ground water. In 2011, commentators estimated that the molten core - which is basically radioactive lava - could melt through the concrete floor of the plant within hours. The report claims that the core - in Reactor #3? - has melted two feet into the ten-foot concrete floor (or further? and in which of the three reactors?), although how this reassuring fact has been confirmed is a mystery:
3:30 – Miles O’Brien, PBS: Three of [Fukushima Daiich's] cores are now melted down, still steaming hot, their steel containment structures breached. Engineers believe some of the nuclear fuel has melted right through the steel containment vessels on to a concrete basement floor, where it is exposed to groundwater. [...] Each and every day, about 100,000 gallons of fresh groundwater seeps into the basements of the plant, where it becomes contaminated with a witch’s brew of radionuclide. [...] No one disputes the plant is steadily leaking radiation-tainted water into the sea. ...

14:05 — Masuda: Unfortunately, the fuel itself is exposed.
14:10 - O’Brien: Melted through?
14:15 — Masuda: Melted through the pressure vessel, and coming down to this room and it goes down to the floor.
If you think PBS ran this story on the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing by coincidence, you are not paying attention. The Japanese hope to invent robots which can remove the radioactive melted cores at the Daiichi plant by 2020. In the meantime, expect continuous pollution of the atmosphere and the Pacific Ocean.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Nuclear Leaks 25: Radioactive Digest

Fallout Brown © (2013) by Theamat. Reproduced with kind permission.

What's new in the nuclear industry? Here is a round up. Bear in mind that the reports mentioned below come from pro-environmental, anti-nuke critics who are generally dismissed as 'alarmist' by nuclear industry counter-critics and government monitors. In the latter's favour, some commenters on anti-nuke Web pages indulge in New World Order conspiracy theories. With that debate in mind, this is the latest on what the 'alarmists' are saying.

Among the alarmists is Professor Takeda Kunihiko of Chubu University, who declares (based on incredibly flimsy evidence) that Japan will be uninhabitable by March 2015. From Fukushima Diary: 
Prof. Takeda Kunihiko from Chubu university roughly estimated anyone can no longer live in Japan after 3/31/2015. According to his explanation, the yearly dose will reach 5mSv/y (External dose and the slight internal dose) in 3 years and 4 months from January of 2012.
Let us hope he is wrong. This catastrophe would be both unimaginably tragic and a source of local, possibly international, conflict. One of the commenters on a related ENE report wonders: "What's the clock set at for the North American west coast? How long will it take for their allowance of the 80% of the radioactive contamination to rain out or wash up on the coast? [R]adioactive releases are continuing and will not end soon with Tepco at the helm." Someone answers: "[T]he so-called "safe" limit was recently hiked way up by the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency]. So we are not set for public warnings. The West Coast cannot possibly be safe ongoing, but it will probably take ongoing work to dig out the readings. Someone who does A LOT of that is Michael Collins on enviroreporter.com."

From a 29 May 2013 report, see below a picture of an inverted traffic cone and duct tape used to divert leaking materials at Fukushima Reactor 4. An ENE commented on the report: "I don't know how many times I have to tell TEPCO that foil tape is much better." Another commenter answered: "Foil tape is far too expensive. This is an economy operation."

Fukushima Reactor #4 patch job. Image Source: ENE Energy News.

Meanwhile, in California, they have been using masking tape, plastic bags and broomsticks to divert non-radioactive water leaks at Unit #3 of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. The report below is from December of 2012. From an ABC report, picked up by ENE:
An inside source gave Team 10 a picture snapped inside the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) showing plastic bags, masking tape and broom sticks used to stem a massive leaky pipe. ... Records obtained by Team 10 show SONGS staff were concerned about “hundreds of corrosion notifications” and “degraded equipment” throughout the plant. Staff sent a letter to management saying SONGS “clearly has a serious corrosion problem” in pipes throughout the plant. Inside Sources [state:]
  • “If that’s nuclear technology at work and that’s how we’re going to control leaks I think the public should know”
  • Sources also pointed to what appears to be corrosion on the pipe as a sign of the power plant’s age
  • They claim rust is rampant throughout SONGS — including what sources call a fire suppression pipe, which protects both units
  • “We are dealing with unknown territory here which has never been explored before”
  • Two inside sources called restarting SONGS “risky”
  • “This is nuclear, this should be tip top”
  • “Everything in that plant should be tip top, not bottom of the barrel”
You can see a report about San Onofre's serious problems from the LA Times here.

San Onofre patch job and degraded equipment report: ABC Local News 10 via ENE Energy News.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Nuclear Culture 12: Social Media on the Japanese Nuclear Restart

Ōi Nuclear Power Plant. Image Source: KEPCO/EPA via The Guardian.

After the Japanese government made a superficial gesture to shut down all of its nuclear power plants, officials are now restarting them, starting with the Ōi Nuclear Power Plant, southwest of Tokyo. This plant is run by KEPCO, the Kansai Electric Power Company, whose failed safety checks led to workers' injuries and deaths in 2004 and 2006. The Ōi plant is one of the world's largest nuclear plants. The move to restart Ōi distressed citizens, who are still worried about Fukushima, and about the original problems which caused that disaster and which still promise trouble at other plants. For example, building them on earthquake faults and in tropical storm corridors does not help: a 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit near Fukushima on 17 June 2012; and a strong typhoon (Guchol) is about to hit the area.

The Websites Ene News and Fukushima Voice are circulating video footage taken at a protest against this restart, held 15 June 2012 in front of the office of the Japanese Prime Minister. The Yomiuri Shimbun has reported (via the Stars and Stripes) that 500 people attended the protest. But the protestors claim that 11,000 people attended; they filmed the rally and posted the film on the Internet:
Despite the greatest-ever turnout of 11,000 protesters, the demonstration was not broadcast on TV, shielding the rest of the country from learning what was going on.

What is so moving about this short video is that you can hear the person who took the video crying. You feel like you are in the crowd with her, sharing the emotion of people who gathered there, desperately wanting to change the future of Japan, not only for the sake of their children, grandchildren and future generation[s], but also for the sake of the planet Earth.

You hear the crowd shouting in unison, “Saikado hantai! (再稼動反対!) meaning “We oppose the restart!”

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Nuclear Leaks 16: Chernobyl Anniversary - Wormwood Will Fall from the Sky

Control room in Chernobyl's Reactor #4. Image © (2005) Gerd Ludwig via Boston Globe.

Today is the 26th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Alla Yaroshinskaya, former Deputy to the USSR Supreme Soviet summed up the outcome: "The most dangerous element that came out of the Chernobyl reactor wasn't Cesium or Plutonium, but lies. The lie of '86, that's what I call it, a lie that was propagated like the radioactivity throughout the whole country and the entire world." Above, the control room of Chernobyl's Reactor #4 mirrrors worries about Fukushima's Reactor #4 (a number considered to be bad luck in Asia).

In 1986 and 1987, 240,000 liquidators and support workers passed through Chernobyl to contain the crisis. They were called biorobots. Ultimately, 600,000 people were recognized for their clean-up work; and according to the IAEA, there were 100,000 more who went unrecognized. Greenpeace claims that there was a total of 800,000 liquidators. National Geographic has some photographs of these workers here. The IAEA sees no direct correlation between their radiation exposure and their later cancer rates. Perhaps 40,000 are dead now, and some 100,000, now in their forties, are disabled and suffer from unending health problems, with about 4,000 dying every yearTheir children exhibited a seven-fold increase in genetic mutations. Their predicament has not been systematically studied or fully acknowledged. The debate on the number of deaths caused by the accident is inconclusive to say the least: Chernobyl's total number of deaths lies somewhere between 43 people and 1 million people.

The liquidators' efforts cannot be underestimated; they prevented a second explosion and China Syndrome at Chernobyl, which could have rendered Europe uninhabitable. The sheer size of the workforce, the speed at which they had to work, the resources they needed, and the costs involved to contain the fallout at Chernobyl all make Fukushima's smaller, valiant total workforce at the one year point of around 18,000 extremely worrying. Chernobyl is widely considered to be one of the key factors which brought down the Soviet Union.

The main medal (here) given by Soviet authorities to liquidators features a drop of blood irradiated with alpha and beta particles and gamma rays. First responders additionally received a medal with Lenin on it. There are various other medals for special workers, such as firefighters, and anniversary medals (see also here). One commemorative medal features a pregnant woman on one side and a Chernobyl clock on the other. According to Wiki, liquidator medals have been available for sale since the 1990s in Belarussian, Ukrainian and Russian markets. As their recipients died, some medals were sold by surviving family members. They are also sold on the Internet by antique dealers.

Mythology, water spirits and radiation: Chornobyl (Artemisia vulgaris) roots were traditionally used to banish Slavonic water nymphs, or rusalkyThis is: Renée Fleming singing Song of the Moon in Dvořák's Rusalka in a NY Met production. In folk medicine, overdosing on Chornobyl roots led to memory loss.

The Chernobyl disaster (described in this excellent documentary) has not just engendered lies. It has also become interwoven with popular culture and Biblical, Renaissance and Millennial eschatologies. It is, in fact, an object lesson in how engineering and scientific failures can easily and rapidly enter the realm of myth, symbols, superstitions and religious dreams. With Chernobyl, it happened almost immediately, starting with a July 1986 article in the New York Times, which associated the name of the exploded nuclear reactor with the Wormwood Star in the Bible's Book of Revelation. In this post, I trace a winding, very strange road to follow how the religious and linguistic etymology of the word 'Wormwood' contributed to the mythologizing of this nuclear event.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Nuclear Leaks 6: Mid-level Radiation Fallout Reaching North America

You Have Beautiful Eyes (2005) © Banksy. Image Source: California Literary Review.

There are a number of sources online that confirm that since roughly 13 April the radiation from Japan's Fukushima reactors is reaching mid-levels in North America, with low levels reaching Europe.  For a report on cesium-137 found in Vermont milk a week ago today - as well as radiation levels in water and milk across the US, go here.  Some experts believe that next week there will be more solid information in the United States. There is a general Japanese Ministry NISA fact page here and the French institute IRSN has a main page on this issue here.  The German institute GRS has a fact sheet here. A list of radiation-monitoring Webpages is here, including several links to Asian monitoring sites.

See the links below for other monitoring sites with radiation plume trajectories, local radiation levels, projections or nuclear installation locations (Hat tip: fooyoh and Continuous Learning and Development):

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Nuclear Culture 11: Why Cold Fusion Came to CERN

Cold fusion - holding the sun in the palm of your hand. Image Source: Discovery News.

On May 9, American theoretical physicist Michio Kaku discussed Fukushima on a popular Californian radio program and claimed that the uranium core of Reactor #2 had completely liquefied while promoting his book, The Physics of the Future. The book predicts an incredible future, filled with remarkable technological gadgets. But Kaku's anticipated Singularity will not happen if we don't solve our energy crisis.

Certainly, public concern about nuclear power plants is intense. But why is a string field theorist talking in the popular media about the downfall of nuclear power? From the way Kaku approached the subject, including his comments on the San Onofre plant in California, it almost sounded as though he implied that that downfall is now an inevitable precondition for the exponential acceleration of tech and culture.

String theory attempts to reconcile General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. Does Kaku's statement about Fukushima hint that quantum physicists are now reappraising 20th century nuclear physics and engineering as far as our energy problems are concerned?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Nuclear Leaks 30: Fukushima Leaks Chart

Image Source: Nuke Pro.

The news from Fukushima is getting more dire every day. Not only have mainstream media outlets increased their coverage, the tone of reports is sounding increasingly urgent, with international concern for the Pacific Ocean. Above, a chart which summarizes the information made public so far.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Floating Nuclear Power Plants

Image Source: RT via EX-SKF.

The search for energy to fuel the Technological Revolution and drag us out of the economic doldrums continues. The blog, EX-SKF, which covers the ongoing crisis at Fukushima, has another interesting story today. The Russians have designed floating nuclear power plants for use in the Arctic Sea to supply isolated settlements with electricity and to desalinize sea water.

Two energy nightmares - carbon and nuclear - look set to converge. Perhaps these plants will also support oil exploration around the Pole? Why do I get the feeling that the Arctic will be the next Middle East? Canada's current PM, Stephen Harper, was elected after sounding hawkish about the Arctic and planning increased military presence in Canada's northern territories. His Arctic policy stalled during the recession; although in 2011, Russia and Canada rattled sabres over the Arctic Ocean and the oil and gas beneath it.

Potential oil and gas fields in the Arctic (see enlarged map here). Image Source: Arctic Portal.

The high price of oil and associated profits of off-shore drilling are fueling plans for Scottish independence. Image Source: Guardian.

Arctic concerns aside, several countries (whose officials have never heard of tsunamis and 90-foot-high rogue waves) are interested in buying the completed floating nuclear plants. From EX-SKF:
According to Oilprice.com article quoting from an RT article in Russian, the floating nuclear plants are based on the Soviet-era nuclear-powered icebreakers.
Each 21,000 ton vessel will have two “modified KLT-40 naval propulsion reactors” that will provide up to 70 megawatts of electricity or 300 megawatts of heat, sufficient for a city with a population of 200,000 people. Additionally, the floating NPPs can provide water desalination services capable of supplying up to 240,000 cubic meters of fresh water per day.
According to the article below, 15 countries including China, Indonesia, and Malaysia are already interested in buying the floating nuke plants from Russians.

I have a feeling that Russians may not like the title of the article, but here it is, as I do not understand the Russian language.

From Oilprice.com's John Daley (7/10/2013; emphasis is mine):
Chernobyl at Sea? Russia Building Floating Nuclear Power Plants

So much for the lessons of Fukushima. Never mind oil spills, the Russian Federation is preparing an energy initiative that, if it has problems, will inject nuclear material into the maritime environment.

Speaking to reporters at the 6th International Naval Show in St. Petersburg, Baltiskii Zavod shipyard general director Aleksandr Voznesenskii said that the Russian Federation’s first floating nuclear power plantshould be operational by 2016.”
Note that the source for the information on floating nuclear plants is Russia Today, a media mouthpiece of the Russian government.

See my other posts related to Russia, here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Anniversaries: Lest We Forget Chernobyl

Chernobyl Liquidators (1986); location and original source of photograph unconfirmed. Image Source: Progetto Humus via Belarusguide.

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the worst nuclear disaster in history. The meltdown and explosion at reactor #4 of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant near Pripyat, Ukrainian SSR in 1986 was worse than 100 times the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs.  Aside from Fukushima, it is the only incident classified as level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale.  Below is an overview of Chernobyl, from its construction, to the accident, to the wildlife that lives there now.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Nuclear Leaks 2: Pickering, Ontario, Canada

A woman basks in the sun outside the Pickering Nuclear Plant, Ontario, Canada. Image Source: CTV News/CP/Kevin Frayer.

After the Japanese earthquake and ongoing problems with the Fukushima plant began last month, the Canadian authorities rushed to reassure citizens that Canada's nuclear sector is safe, with no reactors built on earthquake fault lines. Yet they had already launched a review of the state of atomic energy in the country before the Japanese disaster. Some older plants are being closed: Dalhousie University shut down its nuclear reactor and discreetly moved its uranium core from Halifax, Nova Scotia to an undisclosed federal facility in Ontario under cover of darkness in January, 2011.

The Canadian public remains jumpy.  Toronto newspapers report that there are calls to rethink a shift to nuclear energy.  For this post, I was going to cover the Chalk River medical isotopes plant that is north of Ottawa (Google has a timeline of incidents at that plant here), which featured Canada's only level 5 incident (the same level as Three Mile Island).  But unfortunately, there are news reports of something more pressing - a radioactive leak into Lake Ontario from the Pickering A plant - on 14 March 2011.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Chernobyl Experts Visit United States

Natalia Manzurova, shown here in 1988 in the "dead zone" of the Pripyat, is one of the few survivors among those directly involved in the cleanup of Chernobyl.

About a week ago, AOL News reported on Natalia Manzurova's words of warning for the workers who are desperately trying to contain the brewing disaster in Japan's wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant. Manzurova is one of the last surviving workers who worked to contain the Chernobyl disaster and she is on a tour of the United States this week.  At the time of the Chernobyl disaster, she was a 35-year-old engineer.  She spent four-and-a-half years helping clean the area.  She still lives in Ozersk, a closed town in Russia.  The town is near the Mayek plant which featured the second-worst nuclear accident in history, the Kyshtym disaster of 19 September 1957 (I will blog about that incident in April).  Ozersk is still highly radioactive, so it's strange that her words of advice for the Japanese workers in Fukushima are: "Run away as quickly as possible. Don't wait. Save yourself and don't rely on the government because the government lies. They don't want you to know the truth because the nuclear industry is so powerful."  She bears the so-called 'Chernobyl necklace,' also known as the 'Belarus necklace,' a scar formed after an operation conducted to remove her thyroid gland.  You can see a graphic photo of the necklace here.  She is the author of Hard Duty: A Woman's Experience at Chernobyl.

She explained that when called to help contain the Chernobyl disaster she had no idea how bad it was.  And if asked today to do the same task, "I'd never agree."  She and her fellow liquidators dug holes and buried animals, machines and buildings.  She described it as an unearthly experience: "I always felt I was in the middle of a war where the enemy was invisible. All the houses and buildings were intact with all the furniture, but there wasn't a single person left. Just deep silence everywhere. Sometimes I felt I was the only person alive on a strange planet."

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Coronavirus: An Abundance of Caution

#Wuhan #coronavirus #CoronavirusOutbreak (10 February 2020). Video Source: Youtube.

There are so many sources floating around relating to this pandemic that I will begin to present fragments of information briefly or without comment.

For today, I will say that Daniel Defoe's Journal of the Plague Year (listen to the audiobook here) is a good portrayal of psychology during an epidemic. In preparation, you should listen to it now, even though it is a 17th century English source.

People in China are suffering! #Wuhan #China #CoronavirusOutbreak (10 February 2020). Video Source: Youtube.

Defoe reported that some people who were infected became reckless and wished death on others. They knew they would die, and tried to take as many other people as they could with them. This may seem strange, but we have seen this reaction in Wuhan, China, where some infected people deliberately try to infect health care workers at hospitals. A video below shows a presumably infected group of people trying to spread the virus on elevator buttons. Notice in the next video that a cautious person has developed a counter-measure for riding elevators.

People trying to spread #coronavirus #wuhan #CoronavirusOutbreak (10 February 2020). Video Source: Youtube.

Best way to touch stuff while moving around in #Wuhan #China #Coronavirus (10 February 2020). Video Source: Youtube.

Preppers always talk about stocking up: sacks of rice and beans, batteries, water, vitamins, guns. The first and fourth videos above suggest that there is more to prepping that that. People who survive in disaster zones are clever, inventive, and observant. They adapt to a changed environment. They don't go into denial and they keep functioning. No one wants to become the poor person scaling the outside of a building in desperation, as in the above, tragic, second video.

There are many unknowns now, but if you want to prepare, cultivate a greater awareness of your environment and an abundance of caution, even when it seems silly or unnecessary. I don't mean go into full Bourne Identity paranoia, but learn to recognize when normal activity is out of whack. For example, regarding Hurricane Katrina and the Fukushima meltdown, I have written on this blog about one of the clearest warning signs of impending disaster: the wealthiest people in the area pack up and leave. They usually do this all at once, say, over a weekend. If you observe this happening, look around, ask some questions, have a think about things. Consider whether you are able to leave as well. If you couldn't do it now, figure out what it would take to be able to do that and work towards it. Do you need money, a passport, a visa? Plan where you would go. Have more than one option.

The Bourne Identity (6/10) Movie CLIP - Why Would I Know That? (2002) HD (16 June 2011). Video Source: Youtube. Reproduced under Fair Use.

Circumstances can change in an area in a matter of hours. Sometimes it takes the news cycle days to catch up with local events. Pay attention to people behaving or driving erratically.

Don't go everywhere in public staring at your smartphone. If you witness strange events unfolding, you may wish or need to use the smartphone to record what you see.

Be more mindful of the advice to avoid public transportation, lavatories, restaurants and laundromats, and plan accordingly. Pay attention to authorities, but don't rely on them to do everything for you. Know where public authorities' obligations to you start and stop.

Don't wait for the press conference which announces the outbreak has started. Two French schools near a touristed ski resort are closed after possible exposure to coronavirus and the area is facing a probe. Don't be like the French parents who are amazed that their children's schools and the local government didn't inform them of infection risks in the Alps. Parents should know exactly what their children's school policy and procedures are on the coronavirus, the regulated time frames for action, the contact names, the telephone numbers, the hierarchy of authority.

Everyone in your immediate circle should know these details. Don't rely on your spouse or partner to handle everything and remain oblivious. Don't leave your children in the dark.

House pets are not susceptible now, but imagine the heartbreak if the virus mutates and they become vulnerable. Even though it is not necessary to do so, look around now for alternatives to the communal dog park; clean out the cat box more often. You can see Redditors discussing pet care in the outbreak here.

That is, understand potentials and take cautious measures before you have no choice. Look at your life, and consider where the vulnerable points are. Scan online for policies, sources, regulations, administrative bodies, and reports, so that you know how those personal concerns may relate to public health. This information would not be part of general news coverage of the coronavirus, unless it later, unfortunately, becomes relevant.

See all my posts on Epidemics here and here.

Friday, February 7, 2020

China's Red Pill Moment

Cello lament for a pandemic: Deep Cello Meditation Music: Dark Meditation Music, Relaxing Music, Dark Cello Music for Relaxation (28 February 2018). Video Source: Youtube.

Perhaps it is this blog's subject matter, but a week does not go by without me receiving recruitment messages from the so-called Illuminati. Some notes are sophisticated overtures, some are more like Nigerian scams. The Nigerians are the new Illuminati? I know an illustrious Nigerian who would find that amusing. Here is today's recruitment message:
"Join the Illuminate cult online today and get instant sum of 666,000 dollars with a free home any where you choose to live in the world and also get 66,000 dollars monthly as a salary… If you are interested please kindly fill the following information to this email below {markgabriel666m@gmail.com). 
Full name………………………………
State of origin……………………….
Date of birth………………………….
Email address………………………
Attach Scan I’d card,passport or driver license containing your full details Tell us little about yourself…
Attach scan school certificate.. No dirty game, no human sacrifices and No evil….is a cult of peace, big aim Illuminate group our email: (markgabriel666m@gmail.com)"
Illuminati recruitment spam is pretty common now. A 2017 VICE investigation found that these scams also hail from Nigeria, so I guess the original Nigerian scammers rebranded themselves. Maybe they read my blog posts on the side, while scamming people around the world for money.

Ane Brun - Big in Japan (26 June 2012). Video Source: Youtube.

The Illuminati are the bogeymen who pop up before real horror unfolds. The coronavirus news leaves me with a mournful sense of inevitable change and unfolding disaster. If the virus was bio-engineered, it was a fatal stroke - which will hammer China as well as other Asian countries. It will not go without retribution.

To speculate wildly, perhaps the western press have strongly denied the bioweapon story for a reason. This conspiracy theory is dismissed in shrill terms as fake news and disinformation: the theory runs that the virus was built in Canada and smuggled by Chinese spies to Wuhan. There is inconclusive, very preliminary research which suggests that Asian males are susceptible to the virus.

Is it true? Perhaps the Chinese intended to reverse engineer this virus and develop a vaccine against it. Some conspiracists wonder if the Wuhan outbreak was a vaccine experiment gone wrong, and researchers accidentally unleashed upon their own people the very bioweapon which they were trying to decode and neutralize. Again, this is 100 per cent my baseless speculation. It is not intended to hurt or offend anyone; it is expressed with total sympathy for the troubled Chinese and all others who are battling this crisis. I am merely attempting to imagine what could have unfolded behind the curtains, smoke, and mirrors, so that we may all have a clue and a chance to survive.

Who knows what kind of double or triple loyalties were at work as China sought to recruit western researchers in its Thousand Talents Plan? Perhaps in their eagerness to compete and win at all costs on the global stage, the Chinese became blinded as they began to pull ahead of the pack. Maybe they underestimated the ruthlessness and loyalties of the western scientists they recruited and used. Did they invite a Trojan Horse into their own laboratories?

This may be the grim truth behind liberal globalism, with its open borders and free trade. Underestimate the globalists at your peril. They are not racists. They love freedom and openness, but they are fiercely competitive and they have a larger sense of final social architecture. It seems laughably easy to exploit their vast philanthropic network of round tables, consensuses, and concept-based friendship. Theirs is a glitzy, gushy world of honeypots, perquisites, and high-flying opportunities.

Did the Chinese really think they could surge ahead in this western liberal environment, unimpeded, and carve out an international empire, with no strings attached, and no roadblocks at the end of the day? Beneath its permissibility and high-minded rhetoric about civil society, globalist liberalism gives its competitors enough rope to hang themselves; no one sees the traps until it is too late. Everything is executed behind a smokescreen of plausible deniability. Cherished and celebrated, serious competitors will never know what hit them, except that somehow, victory is no longer within their grasp. The dream dematerializes in the strangest way. It dissolves as though it was never really there.

PSY - GANGNAM STYLE(강남스타일) M/V (15 July 2012). Video Source: Youtube.

Where the real crazy rich Asians of Singapore hang out (15 August 2018). Video Source: Youtube.

China's trillion dollar plan to dominate global trade (5 April 2018). Video Source: Youtube.

Whether these bizarre strategies lurk behind the pandemic or not, this virus is a hammer stroke which will hit all Asian economies, and soon non-Asian economies too. The Asian boom of the mid-2000s and 2010s is brutally, horrendously coming to an end. Fukushima was bad. The Gangnam Style era is done. What Belt and Road initiative? Say goodbye to the super rich children of Singapore. They will be swept away. The party is over. This is a heart-breaking space of awful outputs, because the dawn of Asian development and prosperity may now be irretrievably damaged. And with the demise of Asia, we will all suffer, every last one of us.

China Will Catch a Cold

Conspiracy theories have spread alongside this epidemic, with theorists convinced that the virus was created by Illuminati design, and will be followed by World War III, launched against Iran. The source in the video below is a speaker, Bill Ryan, from Project Camelot and Project Avalon. These projects constitute an anti-Tavistock-Institute conspiracists' hotbed, which sees itself as a British New Age spiritual bastion arrayed against the Illuminati and its supposed Fourth Reich Nazi-esque cabal. Project Camelot supported the possibly-murdered conspiracy theorist, Max Spiers (1976-2016).

Project Camelot rumours circulate about Masonic plans, hatched in 2005 in the City of London, to depopulate China by using a flu-like virus. China Will Catch a Cold! (5 February 2020). Video Source: Youtube. The full video is here.

This chatter has gained a lot of traction on Chinese social media, because the Chinese believe this virus was a western bioweapon, which was deliberately aimed at their nation. In the Project Camelot account, there will be retaliation, as the Chinese unleash their own bioweapon on the rest of the world, or perhaps the virus simply mutates. The rumour runs: "And then the real war starts ... with a much more major nuclear exchange."

We live in a nascent global technocracy, where science and tech are king. It is a bit outdated to imagine that the usual cavalcade of European characters - Zionists, Freemasons, Bismarckian politicians, Jesuits, and the Bavarian Illuminati - are pulling the strings to create a New World Order. Indeed, that may be the very function of outfits like Project Camelot - to create a grand smokescreen of New Age disinformation about the existence and continuing power of Illuminati grand masters.

I cannot say, but to return to grounded consideration, it is not outside the realm of ugly possibility that science and tech are progressing very quickly, without regulation at the highest levels, and that the riches and power thus gained invite extreme, world-level players everywhere, who are interested in the greatest stakes and profits. The coronavirus may be part of that chess game.

Virus Shockwaves

As for the virus, a lot of details remain unclear. Why are the Chinese spraying their streets with chemical foggers? What is the mist being sprayed on passengers in Indonesia? Business Insider identified it only as "a substance." The tanks are labeled "ALKOHOL." Some say it is a germicide or cholorphenol. There are fears that the virus may become communicable by mosquitoes or house pets.

Unconfirmed: The Sun reported via AsiaWire that panicked Chinese pet owners threw their pets out of high rises because they thought that their pets could catch the coronavirus and would be killed anyway by the government. Pets Are Thrown Out Apartments Buildings By Owners In Fear Of Wuhan Virus. (1 February 2020). Video Source: Youtube.

The true source of the virus, and thus the spread, mortality rates, and species which are vulnerable to this virus, are unclear. It does not help that China suppressed a lot of information, and authorities elsewhere are also doing so, while the MSM papers over the rest, and citizen journalists on the ground are censored. The virus has not necessarily run its full course yet, even among the initially infected, or at least among the initially infected who could be monitored by external health authorities other than the Chinese government.

Based on Chinese numbers, the infection rates among hospital staff are catastrophic. However, those assessments do not account for the fact that Chinese numbers of infected and dead are likely artificially lowered. The latest German research states that the virus can survive on a surface for nine days and there are comments linking the source of the virus to the pangolin.

China's Red Pill Moment

The management of the pandemic is becoming China's Red Pill moment which will test the authority of the CCP. The coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, a city of 11 million, had the same energetic impact as if an atomic bomb had dropped there. Not everyone grasps this because it was not an act of conventional war. The impact is obscured by cautious MSM reports and muted WHO statements. But the shock waves from the epicentre are nevertheless rolling out beyond China's borders. A deluge of sickness, truth, and political awakening is coming.

"Every Chinese must have a conscience. You are not their dog [slave]." Can you see and share for Wuhan Citizens and people who are fighting.. (7 February 2020). Video Source: Youtube.

Two Weeks

It has hardly been two months since Chinese authorities knew about the virus. It has barely been two weeks since the coronavirus came to global public notice. At first, the city of Wuhan was locked down, followed by other cities. But then, diplomats flew the ex-pats out, and more draconian measures were implemented.

It shows how innocent and naïve we were in late January, given that we watched the livecam of Wuhan's new hospital being built and did not understand what it really was. The unveiling of China's fast hospitals indicates that the CCP government knew and knows how catastrophic the situation is, and what it must do to try to contain this virus.

Unfortunately, it looks as though the CCP is also using this epidemic as an excuse to settle scores or crush political opposition. The MSM, as usual, provide anodyne analyses which don't really explain what is happening. They present this outcome as an abstract question of public health versus liberty and civil rights.

What is clear on the ground is that men, with their identities obscured by HAZMAT suits, are suddenly seizing people off the streets, out of their homes, and out of their cars, under the guise of protecting public health. They are starting to look like death squads and their quarantine centres smack of death halls. Life becomes death: reversals in meaning are a marker of extreme authoritarianism.

It took one fortnight for the Chinese government to build locked quarantine death halls, labeled as hospitals. The government passed a new law, which states that even if you feel healthy, but have had any contact with someone diagnosed as infected, you must go into quarantine. If you resist, you will be arrested and taken to the quarantine centre by force. The hall is guarded by the army and has no medical staff, no sinks or baths for personal washing, and a toilet in an outer courtyard. With these facilities and a new quarantine law in place, the government began 'disappearing' people off the streets with little white vans. Doors to apartment buildings are also being welded shut by authorities, with all the inhabitants left trapped inside.

Again, to consider what could happen outside of China, understand that it took two weeks to reach this point inside China. This is not just the moment where the Chinese Communist Party drops its mask. This is China's Red Pill moment. It should be everyone's Red Pill moment.

The fate of Wuhan's citizen journalist and lawyer Chen Qiushi is being discussed on Chinese social media and on Twitter. Chen has disappeared and been quarantined. Today, his friend and fellow citizen journalist Fang Bin revealed what he knows. A commenter under a Youtube video about the situation remarked: "Only in lies can you live peacefully and die happily." ["王娜 中国人知道真相会恐慌?你是在讽刺中国对吧,只有在谎言里才活得安详,死得愉快。"] And so it is that only in truth can you survive, albeit unhappily.

See all my posts on Epidemics here and here.