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“We are wide open to receive the most advanced knowledge from overseas to contain the problem,” Abe said in his English speech to open the conference on energy and environment. “My country needs your knowledge and expertise,” [Prime Minister Shinzo Abe] said. (Tokyo, October 6, 2013 by Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press)
Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Plant: Contaminated Water Tanks (Numbering About 1,000)
Unabated leaks continue at Japan’s nuclear power plant following the initial 2011 cataclysmic earthquake and tidal wave event that caused the Fukushima site to experience meltdown.
Does elevated, uncontrolled radiation gush–as from an artery–out of Japan’s maimed Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant and into the Pacific Ocean? The world needs to know, because as vast as is the ocean, high levels of radiation emission into open water can have latent, crippling consequences. As an example, spawning sockeye salmon journey via the North Pacific Current from the top of Japan to Northern California, British Columbia and Alaska. This same current carries whatever Fukushima is in the process of vomiting forth, bathing salmon and herring all along the way in radioactive cesium.
Can radioactive rods have reached soil and be in contact with ground water?
Murray E. Jennex, Ph.D., P.E. (Professional Engineer), Professor of MIS, San Diego State University:
The active fuel rods at the time of the accident would have to have melted and then caused the reactor vessel to breach followed by the containment structure to breach. Not a reasonable or even plausible likelihood. I expect parts of the active fuel rods melted, but this has been contained in the reactor vessel and containment as I’ve seen no evidence to support breaches of those two barriers. On the other hand, the rods in the spent fuel pool may have melted, they are much less active but the most recent still may have had decay heat sufficient to melt them. I consider it more likely that these rods were breached during the explosions associated with the event and their contents may be in contact with the ground water, probably due to all the seawater that was sprayed on the plant.
The reality of the situation is not as gentle as potential contamination of salmon, which may or may not be of a harmful magnitude–completely as yet unknown–but instead, the world is faced with the challenge to step up and stop. Stop the continuous feed of radioactive water into the open Pacifc Ocean.
The latest acknowledged spill, detected Thursday, October 3, 2013 is attributed to rainfall:
Tetsuro Tsutsui, an engineer and expert of industrial tanks, said the latest problem was emblematic of how TEPCO runs the precarious plant. He said it was “unthinkable” to fill tanks up to the top, or build them on a tilted ground without building a level foundation. “That’s only common sense,” Tsutsui, also a member of a citizens group of experts proposing safety measures for the plant. “But that seems to be the routine at the Fukushima Dai-ichi. I must say these are not accidents. “There must be a systematic problem in the way things are run over there.”
Murray E. Jennex:
On Fukushima, there is so much contamination possible from outside the reactor (spent fuel buildings and turbine decks) that you don’t need to believe in a very unlikely reactor vessel/containment structure failure to have large scale contamination that needs to be addressed. I believe the real issue is the huge mass of contaminated water resulting from cooling the damaged reactors.
Japan has organized major utilities and nuclear experts to discuss decommissioning and to confront the contaminated water problem. Not yet reached is transparency on how much radiation is spilling or by what means. The most likely scenario being that nobody knows.
Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) has not demonstrated that it understands its responsibility as owner/operator of the Fukushima plant now hideously crippled following nuclear meltdown. Flagrant is the ongoing disregard for human and marine welfare and ocean water integrity as water leaks continue.
Tepco has lost $27 billion since the 2011 disaster at its Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant. Land decontamination needs to happen for a zone said to be the size of the state of Connecticut and radioactive water flows from the plant into the ocean.
Focus is not on immediate resolution of the containment/clean-up crisis now leering out at the world like a weeping monster straight out of a Boris Karloff and H.P. Lovecraft horror movie. What is going on?
Mandar Apte co-founded Media Rise Festival, part-conference, part-movement, to transform modern-day media. The US-based organization is making a case for media that’s smarter, more sensitive, and more solutions-driven. Dr. Srivi Ramasubramanian and Erica Schlaikjer complete the Media Rise team: an academic, a media entrepreneur, and an educator, respectfully. Each though are taking on this task outside their day jobs, because they see a demand for more “enlightened” storytelling.
We met in the Sri Sri Center for Peace and Meditation in DC- an apt place for a conversation about mindfulness and media. Here are a few tidbits from our chat that look at hope for future media collaborations, redefining what “media” entails, and why current media is missing the point.
Mandar: I teach the Art of Living programs and meditation. I teach everyone from battered women to high school students. One of the courses I did was in a predominantly low-income school in DC. It was a profound experience for me, even though, I’ve been living in the city for quite some time. They live in a neighborhood where they’ve gone through so much that even a sixth-grader asks for peace. I think they value peace more than we do; because we’ve not seen as many struggles. So, how can we help these kids? Stress-management classes are not enough. One solution is through media. They spend so much time on their phones.
Two reasons why we need to transform media:
More positive content that is purpose-driven and hopeful.
You need media to scale up anything that is “good” which people don’t know about.
Media consumption is huge. It’s approximately 10 hours a day. Everybody’s looking at a tablet or a phone. People are perhaps closer to friends all over the world but we’re not saying, “hello, how are you?” to someone next to us. And being more sensitive to each other.
The tools are not going to away. We need to use these tools for social impact, positive change.
Media Rise is a call for action for creatives who want to do more in their life, more than just Bachelor and Bachelorette. I want to create a platform that is more inspirational.
Dr. Srivi: Media scholars study the negative effects on media. How has media negatively affected us? – that’s the question they tend to ask. But, I wanted to change the question.
Rather, what is the role that media can play in a positive way, individually and as a society?
I thought it’s important for us to create a space for those who are already using media for inspiration. And bring them together. There’s something to be said about working together.
Mandar: You need people to be leaders now. They can be a junior person in an organization such as CNN. He’s not a leader in the organizational sense but is a potential leader. Maybe he wants to do a different kind of story. So that is why we need to bring together these people and empower them with the right tools to make it happen.
It’s a relationship economy. If you improve your interpersonal skills, then you can make the editor happy and make yourself happy. The situation is the same; the approach differs.
So, we want to create a movement of media leaders.
Dr. Srivi: Media can be a variety of platforms. It’s not just TV, online, or film. Video games that enable you to donate to charities are another media platform. So many people are using media in creative ways. That’s why we need to form these networks; we need to connect them to each other. We need to celebrate them, and empower them.
Mandar: Peer-to-peer recognition is where Media Rise can help this space.
Erica: Social entrepreneurship is a term that people didn’t know a decade ago. It’s a new language that was created. So, we’re helping craft a new language around media. There hasn’t been a taxonomy for media makers who are dedicated to social change.
Morgan Spurloch, the success story behind the famous documentary “Supersize Me,” compared it to eating vegetables. “No one wants to eat their vegetables.” So, how do you make it more appetizing? How do you make media for “good” on par with other media – how do you make it viral and as closely followed, as say Keeping Up with the Kardashians?
That’s really the challenge. But people are beginning to do it and we want to help them.
This post originally appeared on Dowser. Read more here: