Posted by Harvest Dream on Monday, May 14. 2012 in Bioengineering, BioHazards, Corporate Power, Economy, Education, Energy, History , Intelligence , Japan/Southeast Asia, Media, Military, Perception, Radiation, Scientific Advance, Social Evolution, Social Insights, Space/Air Travel, Technology
Source: The Economist
THE capital is now under siege from the waters slithering down from the north towards the Gulf of Thailand. Shops, businesses and government offices in Bangkok cower behind makeshift concrete parapets and piles of sandbags. Bridges and elevated expressways are filling up with fleets of parked cars, to spare them from the deluge below. And all the time people speculate about just how bad it might get in a city the Europeans once called the Venice of Asia.
Despite the defences, there is likely to be some flooding. The government desperately wants to divert water around the capital, to east and west, but the volume is too great. The desire to save densely populated Bangkok is understandable. But the strategy is angering those in the northern suburbs, where neighbourhoods are filling up with water as the sluice gates remain closed. An admirable steadfastness among Thai people is wearing thin.
Flood Map Of Thailand
Source: Bloomberg - June 14, 2011
Billionaire Masayoshi Son has a track record in taking on monopolies after building a business that opened up the nation’s telecommunications industry. Now he aims to shake up Japan’s power utilities after the worst nuclear crisis in 25 years.
Son, the 53-year-old chief executive officer of Softbank Corp. (9984), plans to build solar farms to generate electricity with support from at least 33 of Japan’s 47 prefectures. In return, he’s asking for access to transmission networks owned by the 10 regional utilities and an agreement they buy his electricity.
Tokyo-based Softbank plans to set up an affiliate that will use some of the company’s 3 trillion yen annual revenue to build solar power stations, Son said at a May 26 conference. One option would be to raise funds to invest about 80 billion yen into building 10 solar farms, each with about 20 megawatts of capacity, said Softbank spokeswoman Makiko Ariyama.
The combined 200 megawatts of power capacity will provide more than 10 times the 19 megawatts in total produced at eight photovoltaic power stations run in Japan by the regional utilities as of June 9. Japan produced 988 terrawatt hours of electricity in the year ended March 31.
Prime Minister Kan pledged to generate 20 percent of the nation’s electricity through renewable sources by the 2020s as the nation rewrites its energy blueprint.
“We will do everything we can to make renewable energy our base form of power, overcoming hurdles of technology and cost,” Kan said in a speech in Paris before the Group of Eight summit last month. Japan aims to cut the cost of solar power generation to one-third current levels by 2020 and one-sixth in 2030 and will install roof-top solar panels at 10 million homes, Kan said.
Source: Chris Martenson - June 3, 2011
"I have said it's worse than Chernobyl and I’ll stand by that. There was an enormous amount of radiation given out in the first two to three weeks of the event. And add the wind blowing in-land. It could very well have brought the nation of Japan to its knees. I mean, there is so much contamination that luckily wound up in the Pacific Ocean as compared to across the nation of Japan - it could have cut Japan in half. But now the winds have turned, so they are heading to the south toward Tokyo and now my concern and my advice to friends that if there is a severe aftershock and the Unit 4 building collapses, leave. We are well beyond where any science has ever gone at that point and nuclear fuel lying on the ground and getting hot is not a condition that anyone has ever analyzed."
Click the play button below to listen to Part 1 of Chris' interview with Arnie Gundersen (runtime 36m:31s):
Source: The Mainichi Daily News - May 16, 2011
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) admitted for the first time on May 15 that most of the fuel in one of its nuclear reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant had melted only about 16 hours after the March 11 earthquake struck a wide swath of northeastern Japan and triggered a devastating tsunami.
According to TEPCO, the operator of the crippled nuclear power plant, the emergency condenser designed to cool the steam inside the pressure vessel of the No. 1 reactor was working properly shortly after the magnitude-9.0 earthquake, but it lost its functions around 3:30 p.m. on March 11 when tsunami waves hit the reactor.
Based on provisional analysis of data on the reactor, the utility concluded that the water level in the pressure vessel began to drop rapidly immediately after the tsunami, and the top of the fuel began to be exposed above the water around 6 p.m. Around 7:30 p.m., the fuel was fully exposed above the water surface and overheated for more than 10 hours. At about 9 p.m., the temperature in the reactor core rose to 2,800 degrees Celsius, the melting point for fuel. At approximately 7:50 p.m., the upper part of the fuel started melting, and at around 6:50 a.m. on March 12, a meltdown occurred.
On the reason why it took over two months after the earthquake to reveal the information, TEPCO said it had only been able to start obtaining detailed data on the temperature and pressure in the reactor for analysis in early May.
Junichiro Matsumoto, a senior TEPCO official, said, "Because there is similar damage to the fuel rods at the No. 2 and 3 reactors, the bottoms of their pressure vessels could also have been damaged." He said the utility would carry out similar analysis on the two reactors.
Hiroaki Koide, professor of nuclear safety engineering at Kyoto University, was critical of TEPCO.
"They could have assumed that when the loss of power made it impossible to cool down the reactor, it would soon lead to a meltdown of the core. TEPCO's persistent explanation that the damage to the fuel had been limited turned out to be wrong," he said.
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