Sunday, April 10, 2011

Some Review Required

The top guys in Japan are thinking.

On the nation's atomic energy policy, the minister told reporters afterward, ''While I can't say at this point, we need to review standards to enhance safety.''
No s**t Sherlock. I believe that man has bought a clue.

And from the same report it appears there is a minor revolt going on among some workers.
In a sign that workers remain worried about high levels of radiation at the plant, companies dispatching workers to the troubled nuclear plant have refused to adopt the government's provisionally raised limit on radiation exposure for nuclear plant workers dealing with a crisis.

The ceiling was lifted from 100 millisieverts to 250 millisieverts in an announcement made on March 15 by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare to enable workers at the plant to engage in longer hours of assignments and to secure more workers, but officials of the companies other than TEPCO say those at the site would not accept the elevated limit.
Just to give you some idea of the doses involved. 1,000 millisieverts will make you sick and 4,000 millisieverts is a death sentence. On average.

I suspected that it would be difficult to get voluntary biorobots in Japan. Which makes their plan to build real robots to do the job a very sound idea.

And finally it appears that they are admitting that "mistakes were made" in design an operation of the plants.
The nuclear crisis erupted after last month's 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami knocked out external power supplies and backup generators for cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi plant and allowed reactors there to overheat.

The agency's Nishiyama displayed candor about the missteps and failures that precipitated the disaster, saying, ''We had said all along that (nuclear power) was absolutely secure thanks to its multiple layers of protection and five-layer barriers, and I believed this, but we brought this situation onto ourselves.''

''We need to review everything to ensure safety, regardless of precedents,'' he said.
I guess "we have always done it this way and nothing has ever gone wrong" is no longer operative. Of course if they had reactor systems designed to these criteria they might not be dealing with a total melt down now. Ya live and ya learn. Most often the hard way. Let us hope that we in America can profit by Japan's mistakes.

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