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News of Japan earthquake reveals Media faults

News of Japan earthquakes on March 11th, 2011, put the ignorance of the experts in the media on bold display. Reporters proved they have only a thin film of a brain lining inside of their talking heads, while economists are smoking weed. It’s pretty bad when a non-nuclear-expert like me can see the risks better than the top people in the field.

 

I sent the following email on news of the Japan earthquake to Stan on March 14:

Here’s another instance of someone only thinking with the fringe of his brain:

The worst earthquake on record in Japan has triggered worries that global growth would suffer a setback just as the world economy is emerging from the effects of the financial crisis. Japan’s recovery costs could top $180 billion, or 3 percent of its annual economic output and more than 50 percent higher than the costs of the 1995 earthquake in Kobe, economists said. (Reuters)

Fifty percent higher than Kobe??? Hello? Is anyone home in those heads? The Kobe quake did not trigger a tsunami that wiped out the entire eastern coast of Japan! This reporter thinks the recovery from this will only be 50% higher than Kobe??? What is he smoking? But, look, the article says “economistS” (plural) state this. Are they all smoking weed? Or have they just lost their balance because of all the shaking. This earthquake is easily a hundred times more expensive than Kobe…. It wiped out entire ports, refineries, cities, power generation facilities … on and on … and that’s just the cost directly in Japan!

“The earthquake could have great implications on the global economic front,” said Andre Bakhos, director of market analytics at Lek Securities in New York. “If you shut down Japan, there could be a global recession.”

Yes, it could — easily when the economy is already this fractured. You cannot destroy the third-largest economy on earth, as this event has very nearly done, and not have it impact the rest of the global economy.

 

Yet news of the Japan earthquake only got dumber as the day raged on:

I read the following article and was amazed at how nuclear people in high positions can say things as stupid as economists and bankers. The article strongly suggests the worst is over for the nuclear plant in Japan and that meltdown is now impossible. I listened as one expert in the U.K. stated that there was no way the reactor housing istelf could blow up or send nuclear material into the environment.

Even the title of the report was a disgrace to Reuters for not questioning the experts:

 

Japan nuclear disaster risk seen receding fast

The risk of a major radiation leak in Japan is subsiding as stricken nuclear reactors cool….

 

Within minutes of the time this article was posted, which claimed the coast is nearly clear, another was posted on another news website stating that the situation was now far worse, which is exactly what I was thinking as I read the above article.

 

Japan earthquake: Meltdown alert at Fukushima reactor

International nuclear watchdogs said there was no sign of a meltdown but one minister said a melting of rods was “highly likely” to be happening….

 

There is no question that some level of meltdown has occurred. While the Reuters article stated that the rods that stop the reaction were in place so nothing really serious could happen like Three-Mile Island, the BBC article suggests the very thing I was thinking — that without the ability to put any cooling water into the reactor, one of two things could happen — the rods could heat up to where they deteriorate and fall apart, leaving the reactor uncontrollable entirely and allowing it to go into full nuclear production because there are no buffering rods between the fuel rods … or the FUEL rods could melt to where they all settle together at the bottom of the reactor, rendering the control rods completely ineffective because the fuel is now completely joined together with no rods buffering the reaction.

So, one article (and a few videos of world experts that I watched) stupidly proclaims we’re in the clear now from any major release of fuel while another article posted at nearly the same minute states the situatiion is now far more dire than ever (the truth, I’m sure). One other thing the media’s nuclear experts are not taking into account when they compare what can happen here to what happened in Chernoyble or Three-Mile is that neither of those events occurred because of an 8.9 earthquake (or any quake at all)!

Since NO ONE can see inside of the reactors (as camera equipment will not survive inside a reactor) how can they know what damage all of that extreme shaking did to either the control rods or fuel rods, possibly cracking or breaking away their protective coatings or causing them to break up and fall into the bottom of the reactor even before the reactor’s cooling failed?

 

There seemed to be no limit to the inane comments from experts that Reuters took at face value in its Japan earthquake reports:

 

U.S. stocks fell in the aftermath of Japan’s devastating earthquake on Monday, but other than specific industries such as nuclear power, the broad impact on equities was expected to be short-lived….“The Japanese economy will likely take a dip on this, but it appears the growth path we’re [the U.S.] on here won’t see a significant detour.” (Reuters)

A dip?

[It was certainly obvious to me that this was going to be an economic catastrophe for Japan and would have an economic impact on the global economy. I couldn’t help but wonder that day if I was living in the story The Earth Abides, only it was not all the people other than me who were missing … just their brains. How could you look at something so massive and come up with such trivial thoughts? Then it dawned on me that these experts and the reporters who accepted everything they said without questioning it were probably all education in Oregon public schools where children are taught not to compete by giving the whole class the same grade for working together as a collective.]