Tag Archives: Japan

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Natural disasters are terrible events. Sometimes, when one happens far away, we aren’t aware of the full scope of effects it causes. I created this infographic to bring attention to the lasting consequences of the 2011 Japanese Tsunami.

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Japan exports fall as China sees world slump | http://t.co/fcfxZXQF — Bloomberg Business (@business) November 21, 2011

Women’s Soccer World Cup Final 2011: Soccer is that good (and brutal)

What a game! The Women Soccer World Cup Final 2011 was an incredible game. Everyone that saw the game today went from one emotional outbreak to another. Pain, disappointment and excitement turned into joy, early celebrations, outbreaks of pride and all the way back to the beginning. At the end, we all sat there with an open mouth and couldn’t believe what just happened.

After two hours of world class soccer and a stunning pk shoot-out, Japan was the new World Champion. For those holding it with the U.S. women, heaven appeared to come down and excitement turned into disbelieve. Those that were holding it with the Japanese were ecstatic Continue reading

U.S. soccer women beat France, reach final against Japan

It wasn’t pretty for a long time. Only in the 82nd minute was the final secured and the fans able to breath easier. Until then, the French dictated the game and had clear advantages. And again it was the same difference, Abby Wambach and Hope Solo. There is not much to say these days about Wambach. The best description, absolute World Class. Preparation, attitude, ability, intelligence and incredible will power took her and the team to where they are.

The second superstar in the team, Hope Solo, is following not far behind Wambach. On the “hit list” of some, for her unfortunate comments at the 2007 world cup, she demonstrated absolute focus on the task at hand. Fit, cool and no fuzzing around playing style helped her to become the best goalie in the world at this event. How important she is? If she would have been French Continue reading

Nuclear power is not a safe option Thomas Kostigen’s Ethics Monitor – MarketWatch

Nuclear power is not a safe option Thomas Kostigen’s Ethics Monitor – MarketWatch.

What’s your stand on this?

Japan – Fukushima-Daiichi – The language of reporting softens and other miracles

The language of the nuclear disaster reporting in Japan and around the world softens. While on Wednesday the reporting was full of concern and fear, after the helicopters and water throwers unloaded tons of water on the rods, there is a sound of hope in the reporting from Japan. It seems so easy.

The news agencies around the world are reporting that Japan “upgraded” the misery to a “3 Mile Island” status. That is the point where one becomes skeptical again about the truth of the information provided to the public. Looking over the past days of news and the diverse criteria to grade this mess, it is clear that “3 Mile Island” status was passed at the moment when those rods were sitting blank in a dry pool, due to numerous explosions, basically under the blue sky. That was never the case at the time in Pennsylvania. How can this now be upgraded to that status when it already exceeded that status days ago? Here are a few questions to ask!

It appears that the Japanese government and the “believing” media are trying to save the moment rather than reporting based on facts. Reflecting on the past days and what was reported, somehow the successes of the water sprinkling action seem not to fit in. It looks like we, and most important, the Japanese people, have to wait a few months or years until the entire nuclear mess shows its ugly face.

Japan and Fukushima-Daiichi: Crisis management and public information management the dangerous way!

Japan’s government is hiding valuable information regarding the busting nuclear power plant Fukushima-Daiichi. Who, at this point, has any doubt that something really terrible is developing at this plant? Over the past days, reporting about the status of the plant appeared at times ridiculous and dangerous and made no sense. While reading the international press, it became obvious that the news organizations around the world create their own conclusions, different from statements made by the Japanese government and Tepco, the owner of the plant. For the European press, the plant is experiencing a meltdown since Sunday, at the latest. In the US, so-called experts are more careful with their statements. Frustration about the crisis management of the Japanese is rising day by day, but the word meltdown is still not spit out. While the Japanese government and the owner of the plant, Tepco, try to avoid to inform the world of what is really going on, everybody is able to put the pieces together and can create a picture of the tragedy going on.

First of all, putting up a nuclear power plant today is not a major challenge for an industrialized nation anymore. However, the problem of deactivation, where to put the trash and safety is unsolved. In other words, nobody has a safe option other than digging in the fuel rods. This, most safe option, is currently out of the picture at Fukushima. All that’s left is, keep them cool, in water, and contain them. The containers have leaks. On Sunday the Japanese government stated, they are trying to fill the containers with sea water, however, the water level is not rising. In my play book, if I try to fill a bucket with water and the water level is not rising, the bucket has a hole. It is obvious that the company is not able to pump water into the containers. It was tried to cool the plant and rods with water poured from the air with helicopters. This effort is nothing else than a desperate move to do something. Even this couldn’t be maintained, because it is too dangerous for the pilots. It is also important to know that using sea water is a kill for the entire plant, it cannot be used anymore. This underlines the desperation of the entire rescue operation. Fact is also, no water, or not enough water, means meltdown!

There are other indications that the situation is worse than admitted. Besides multiple fires and explosions, the USS Ronald Reagan, after participating in rescue and supply efforts, relocated after only 24 hours, on Sunday. That is about how long it takes to figure out how bad the situation really is. Also, many foreign countries and corporations are pulling out their people since Sunday and if not, ask them to go further south, out of the danger zone. Furthermore, leaving the power plant and six(!) about to bust reactors doesn’t display a lot of confidence as well. That the workers are back now, can be considered a “Kamikaze” operation and who knows what’s behind that “comeback”.

The Japanese government is very lucky to have such peaceful citizens. Anywhere else in the world there would be riots going on. It is time to inform these citizens, and everyone else, about what is really going on and how bad it is. Then the problem can be approached much better and with international help it might be possible to limit the damage to people and environment. Fuzzing around with this problem can cause incredible damage. While there is not a lot of comparison possible, because of lack of “busted” plants and reactors, the question at this point is, can the damage be limited to “Chernobyl damage” or is it going to be worse. It certainly has exceeded the damage of “Three Mile Island” already.