Welcome to Sott.net
Tue, 03 Oct 2023
The World for People who Think

Society's Child


Full Steam Ahead

© Unknown
A U.S. nuclear power plant
Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., represents Madison in the House. Her district leans to the left, and so does she. But on at least one issue she may be at odds with Madison's stereotypical constituency, which is to say aging bearded liberals who wear "No Nukes" T-shirts from the 1980s and until recently could be seen all over the State Capitol: She supports the building of new nuclear power plants.

"I think that climate change poses such a significant challenge to us that we have to have all the tools on the table, and this is a very significant source of energy that doesn't release greenhouse gases into the environment," said Baldwin. She laughed. "It's a very cautious support, if you will."

In Japan, there is a race against time to stop meltdowns at reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. In Washington, no one wants to overreact. There is near unanimity on the idea that the United States needs to keep building those plants, as President Obama requested in his budget and as Republicans request every day.

"If we can learn any lessons from Japan's experience, sure," said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor at a press briefing. (He was answering the only question, of about 20, about Japan.) "But I believe nuclear power is part of this country's energy strategy and the president has said so."

Bizarro Earth

The True Costs of Nuclear Power

© Unknown
Fukushima nuclear power plant
In the aftermath of a disaster, the strengths of any society become immediately visible. The cohesiveness, resilience, technological brilliance, and extraordinary competence of the Japanese are now on full display. One report from Rikuzentakata - a town of 25,000, annihilated by the tsunami - describes volunteer firefighters working to clear rubble and search for survivors; military personnel and police efficiently directing traffic and supplies; survivors not only "calm and pragmatic" but coping "with politeness and sometimes amazingly good cheer."

Thanks to these strengths, Japan will eventually recover. But at least one Japanese nuclear power complex will not. As I write, three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station appear to have lost their cooling capacity. Engineers are flooding the plant with seawater - effectively destroying it - then letting off radioactive steam. There have been two explosions. By the time you read this article, the situation may be worse.

Yet Japan's nuclear power stations were designed with the same care and precision as everything else in the country. More to the point, Japan is the only country in the world to have experienced true nuclear catastrophe. They had an incentive to build well, in other words, as well as the capability, the laws, and regulations to do so. Which leads to the unavoidable question: If the competent and technologically brilliant Japanese can't build a completely safe reactor, who can?

Black Cat

The Hachiko Coalition Calls for Immediate Evacuation of Animals Inside Japan's Nuclear Exclusion Zone


San Francisco, -- The Hachiko Coalition is calling for the organized and immediate evacuation of all uncontaminated domestic animals, pets and livestock inside the 20km radiation contaminated exclusion zone Fukushima, Japan.

The Hachiko Coalition has also published a rush translation of a report previously available only in Japanese. A special committee issued this report after their landmark conference on handling animals exposed to radiation. The report contains the opinions of wildlife and radiological experts on how to deal with the animals inside the radiation zone.

On April 22, 2011, Japanese policy makers began enforcing a strict "no-entry" policy into the 20km evacuation area around the destroyed TEPCO nuclear reactor.

Heart - Black

Schwarzenegger reveals he had child with staffer

© Matt Sayles/AP
Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks at the Israel 63rd Independence Day Celebration hosted by the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles, May 10.
Los Angeles - Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has acknowledged that he fathered a child with a member of his household staff, a revelation that apparently prompted wife Maria Shriver to leave the couple's home before they announced their separation last week.

Schwarzenegger and Shriver jointly announced May 9 that they were splitting up after 25 years of marriage. Yet, Shriver moved out of the family's Brentwood mansion earlier in the year after Schwarzenegger acknowledged the child is his, The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

"After leaving the governor's office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago," Schwarzenegger told the Times in a statement that also was sent to The Associated Press early Tuesday. "I understand and deserve the feelings of anger and disappointment among my friends and family. There are no excuses and I take full responsibility for the hurt I have caused. I have apologized to Maria, my children and my family. I am truly sorry.

Heart - Black

IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn stuns European media

© Reuters
The "DSK" affair is having a big impact in France and elsewhere in Europe
The sexual assault charges against IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn in New York have sent shockwaves across Europe.

Nicknamed "DSK", he was widely expected to challenge Nicolas Sarkozy for the French presidency next year, as a powerful Socialist candidate. He has also been a key player in the eurozone bail-outs of debt-laden Greece, the Irish Republic and Portugal.

What do Europe's media make of the Strauss-Kahn case?
In a few instants DSK risks having lost everything: the IMF, his reputation, the presidential election, his family honour. A charge of "sexual aggression" does not mean a conviction... and it cannot be ruled out immediately that he was the target of manipulation. But the feeling of an enormous mess has already spread everywhere.

It has all come crashing down. The left has lost its favourite just a few weeks from the Socialist primary and Strauss-Kahn dropping out of the race has exploded the whole campaign.

For 2012 DSK seemed the best equipped to respond to the distress of the French people, exhausted by the crisis and upset by the crazy reign of [President Nicolas] Sarkozy. -Liberation, France

Eye 1

The Unexamined Victim: Women Who Love Psychopaths

[This article first appeared in Issue 13 of The Dot Connector Magazine]

"We can't prevent what we don't identify, we can't treat what we don't diagnose. And we can't teach how to spot them unless we understand pathology ourselves."
Millions of dollars have been spent researching and writing about psychopaths while almost nothing has been spent, either in terms of time or money, on the profoundly disturbing byproduct of psychopathy - its victims. Since male psychopaths outnumber the female variety by about 3 or 4 to 1, I'll be talking mainly about female victims of male psychopaths in this article.

Despite the fact that psychopaths devastate everyone in their path including the women and children who love them, why have clinicians not seen fit to study and write about the single most obvious source of insight into this issue: the survivors of intimate relationships with psychopaths? The study of any disease involves carefully collecting and examining its symptoms, and psychopathy is definitely a societal disease. Even our legal system gathers information about criminals by taking testimony from on-site, first hand witnesses. So again, I ask: why is there no clinical material about - much less interest in - the psychopath's partner?

Eye 1

US: School Punishes Child for Witnessing Sex

An Ohio woman says a charter school is punishing her daughter for not immediately reporting that she saw two classmates having sex on a school bus and for changing her seat during the bus trip.

Saundra Roundtree told The Associated Press on Monday that her 14-year-old daughter had changed seats with a boy who wanted to sit beside a girl on a Dayton View Academy school trip.

Roundtree says her daughter told her at home afterward that she later saw the two having sex but was afraid to say anything.

Roundtree notified school officials. She says they told her Friday that her daughter cannot attend the eighth-grade prom or picnic. The mother thinks that's unfair.

The school did not immediately return calls Monday.


Irish Army Discovers Bomb 'Hoax' in Dublin

© unknown
The Irish army has discovered a suspicious device in Ireland, shortly after it carried out a controlled explosion to ward off the threat of a booby-trapped bus.

Irish soldiers performed a controlled explosion of a makeshift bomb found on a bus outside Dublin, ahead of the first state visit to the country by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.

The bomb was found in the town of Maynooth, 25 km (15 miles) from Dublin and blown up by an army bomb disposal unit in a controlled explosion, the military said.

Police later said the army's bomb squad was investigating a second suspicious device found at a Dublin tram station, but an army spokesman said the second device was a hoax.


Was Fukushima a China Syndrome?

© Associated Press
Workers from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex are shielded with tarps before receiving decontamination treatment at a hospital on Friday March 25th.
The China Syndrome refers to a scenario in which a molten nuclear reactor core could could fission its way through its containment vessel, melt through the basement of the power plant and down into the earth. While a molten reactor core wouldn't burn "all the way through to China" it could enter the soil and water table and cause huge contamination in the crops and drinking water around the power plant. It's a nightmare scenario,the stuff of movies. And it might just have happened at Fukushima.

Last week, plant operator Tepco sent engineers in to recalibrate water level gauges in reactor number 1. They made an alarming discovery: virtually all the fuel in the core had melted down. That means that the zirconium alloy tubes that hold the uranium fuel and the fuel itself lies in a clump---either at the bottom of the pressure vessel, or in the basement below or possibly even outside the containment building. Engineers don't know for sure, though current temperature readings suggest that fission inside the reactor core has definitely ceased for good (i.e. there will be no further melting).

Anecdotal evidence doesn't bode well for how far the fuel melted: Tepco has been pumping thousands of tons of water onto reactor 1 to try to cool it - yet the water level in the containment vessel is too low to run an emergency cooling system. That means the water is escaping somewhere on a course cut by molten fuel--probably into the basement of the reactor building, though it's also possible it melted through everything into the earth.

Arrow Down

Singapore: Cathay Pacific Airbus A330 makes emergency landing in Singapore after engine catches fire

The engine on a Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 caught fire in midair Monday, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing in Singapore. No one was injured in the incident.

Flight CX715 took off from Singapore heading to the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, at 1:12 a.m., but soon turned around after engine trouble and landed at 1:57 a.m., Singapore's Changi Airport said in a statement.

Firefighters extinguished the fire and normal flight operations resumed on the runway about an hour later, the airport said.

It was the second time in six months an Airbus had to make an emergency landing in Singapore because of engine problems. A Qantas A380 turned around shortly after takeoff Nov. 4 when one of its Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines disintegrated.

The airport would not say how many passengers were on board Monday's flight or what kind of engines the plane used. A spokesman for Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific was not immediately available for comment.

Source: The Canadian Press