UPDATE: SMOKE BILLOWING FROM REACTOR, JAPAN MAY ASK U.S. MILITARY ASSISTANCE
A COUPLE OF THINGS WORTH MENTIONING before hitting the sack early tonight.
FIRST, an interesting article about how the design of the Fukushima nuclear reactors---by GE over 35 years ago--- seemed so flawed at the time that a GE scientist resigned in protest. The article goes on to say:
Dale G. Bridenbaugh and two of his colleagues at General Electric resigned from their jobs after becoming increasingly convinced that the nuclear reactor design they were reviewing -- the Mark 1 -- was so flawed it could lead to a devastating accident.Questions persisted for decades about the ability of the Mark 1 to handle the immense pressures that would result if the reactor lost cooling power, and today that design is being put to the ultimate test in Japan. Five of the six reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, which has been wracked since Friday's earthquake with explosions and radiation leaks, are Mark 1s.
"The problems we identified in 1975 were that, in doing the design of the containment, they did not take into account the dynamic loads that could be experienced with a loss of coolant," Bridenbaugh told ABC News in an interview. "The impact loads the containment would receive by this very rapid release of energy could tear the containment apart and create an uncontrolled release."
Read the article for more. Interesting how whistle blowers are often ignored for a long time until the chickens finally come home to roost, isn't it? And brother, are they roosting now.
SECOND: Keith Koffler at The White House Dossier---an independent, unauthorized White House blog---writes a great piece on President Obama's Trivial Pursuits:
The Middle East is afire with rebellion, Japan is imploding from an earthquake, and the battle of the budget is on in the United States, but none of this seems to be deterring President Obama from a heavy schedule of childish distractions.
The newly installed tandem of White House Chief of Staff William Daley and Senior Adviser David Plouffe were supposed to impart a new sense of discipline and purpose to the White House. Instead, they are permitting him to showcase himself as a poorly focused leader who has his priorities backward.
This morning, as Japan’s nuclear crisis enters a potentially catastrophic phase, we are told that Obama is videotaping his NCAA tournament picks and that we’ll be able to tune into ESPN Wednesday to find out who he likes.
Saturday, he made his 61st outing to the golf course as president, and got back to the White House with just enough time for a quick shower before heading out to party with Washington’s elite journalists at the annual Gridiron Dinner.With various urgencies swirling about him, Saturday’s weekly videotaped presidential address focusing on “Women’s History Month” seemed bizarrely out of touch.
Obama Friday took time out to honor the 2009-10 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks. Thursday was a White House conference on bullying – not a bad idea perhaps, but not quite Leader of the Free World stuff either.
There's more where that came from on Koffler's site. Well worth a read.
THIRD: I subscribe to a daily email investment service of The Mad Hedge Fund Trader who is very high on the Nissan Leaf and has ordered one for himself. While I don't share his enthusiasm for the overly, now even more delayed vehicle at this point, I can appreciate the fascinating YouTube link of its production process he sent his readers tonight.
Take a look and see if you don't too. Great music! BTW, the new Leaf plant in the U.S. is scheduled to open next year outside Nashville in Symrna, TN.--far away from fault lines and the chance of tsunamis. But we do have great floods and an occasional tornado to contend with.