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Japan Goes Nuclear – The Nippon Syndrome? [Updated Below]

12 March 2011 @ 18:04

Sitting here, deficient in my knowledge of nuclear reactors and how they are constructed — a poor autodidact lost in the fission fog of faint familiarity — I’m starting to feel like Larry Hagman in Fail Safe, with every sentence I translate from what’s being reported into the area of my brain where Right Reason is stored, my sense of dread is growing.  I suppose it’s okay as long as I don’t start channeling Blackie [‘The Matador, the Matador…me…me’].

The question many of us are asking is How much can we believe the Japanese Officials who are telling us that the situation is under control?

Stacy McCain has been reporting and commenting on this whole situation since this morning in a post that he’s been updating.  Please do click here to check it out.

At one point, he comments on what Japanese Officials have been telling the public:

Trying to spin a nuclear reactor meltdown? Charlie Sheen should hire those guys to do his P.R.

Later on in his post, Stacy makes this very good point:

On the one hand, there is a specific, technical, scientific meaning for the word “meltdown” and, if officials are to be believed, has not happened at Fukushima Daiichi. On the other hand, there is the ordinary layman’s understanding of “meltdown,” which is less precise: Something very, very bad has happened, resulting in a significant release of radiation and OMIGOD RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!

Whether or not this situation meets the first definition, it certainly meets the second and — unless and until we see Fukushima Daiichi erupt in a fireball mushroom cloud — I doubt any Japanese officials will ever publicly call this a “meltdown.”

Regarding the whole denial question: I would worry only because bureaucrats are known for being in denial most of the time.  I have worked over thirty years in the government and most career government employees are very well-practiced in the art of convincing themselves that everything is just ‘A-Okay’ – that their actions and programs are working just fine [‘Nothing to see here – move along’].  Throw a disaster into the mix that requires straight-shooting with the public and you’ll see them engage in overkill, to one extreme or the other.  My moderate knowledge of Japanese Culture leads me to worry that they are in serious denial – they have a history of this [see: Japan, July 1945].

However, I am struggling to remember that the majority of situations one encounters in life end up looking a lot worse while they are happening then they turn out to be.  I would appreciate your thoughts.

Oh, well…hell: if it’s the end of the world as we know it, then I feel fine…

PS: The RETRO Movie Channel has on their regular schedule for 8PM EDT tonight The China Syndrome.

UPDATE at 2357 [three minutes ’til Midnight — stop me before I Cold War reference again!]…

-Mike, That Mr. G Guy, has chronicled all the Gloom, Doom And Despair over at his joint and was kind enough to include your’s truly [aka: The Most Cynical SOB In The Rightosphere; aka: Buck].  He also manages to add some doom of his own, quoting this report from Jim Duran of TheWeatherSpace:

…Six quakes, including a 5.3-magnitude moderate quake have struck the [Gulf Of California] today….

I feel fine, however.

-Samurai Stacy McCain has published a new post wherein he previews for us The Battle Of The Network Star News Readers: Japan:

As with the Egypt protest Live-From-Cairo Derby – where the rioting mobs were in danger of getting crowded out of Tahrir Square by all the American network anchors setting up for live remotes — this pilgrimage of TV talking-heads to Japan has absolutely nothing to do with providing news coverage.

Each of these networks has foreign correspondents who could do the job of reporting from the scene. No, let’s call this what it is: A publicity stunt, a star-system celebrity-status game where it’s not enough to let reporters do the reporting, but instead the networks want to send their Famous Faces With Big Names.

Having watched Fox News off and on throughout the day, I can report that I have not heard that they’re doing the same.  Good for them if this is true.  However, if they send ‘Cadillac Shep’ Smith over, perhaps, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing if one of them there nuke reactors…well, you know….

  1. 12 March 2011 @ 20:26 20:26

    94% of everything I fear and worry about in life never comes to pass. I heard it from a gent named Bob Earl.

  2. 12 March 2011 @ 21:15 21:15

    This has seemed to be fishy to me. There isn’t much news coming out of there.

  3. 13 March 2011 @ 01:20 01:20

    Your welcome and Thank You also. Maybe in a day or two, we’ll get the real scoop about what happened in Japan. As an aside, my wife has been studying up on the Madrid fault which goes up through Missouri. And she’s all worried because we live less than ten miles from a Nuke plant…Duke Energy’s Oconee Nuclear Power Plant, which has it’s little problems from time to time. Get out the Iodine tablets and charcoal filtered face masks…have we got enough duct tape and plastic dear?


    • bobbelvedere permalink*
      13 March 2011 @ 13:09 13:09

      Mike: You might want to consider implementing the procedure I had in place during the Cold War when I lived within a few miles of the Soviets #6 nuclear bombing target…
      If DEFCON-1 is declared: (1) pour yourself a tall bourbon and (2) bend over backwards so you can kiss your ass goodbye.


  1. Japan Disaster Gets Worse: Meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant UPDATE: Meltdown or Not? Also: Cooling Failure Reported at 2nd Plant UPDATE: Now 3rd Reactor in Trouble? : The Other McCain
  2. Gloom, Doom And Despair « That Mr. G Guy's Blog

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