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Earthquake/tsunami in Tohoku, North East Japan (11th March 2011)

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Leading Moto GP riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo do not want to race the Japanese Grand Prix because of radiation concerns following the earthquake and tsunami earlier this year.

Rossi would prefer to avoid the Oct. 2 race but will go unless a majority decision not to race is reached by riders and their teams.

"People are very scared," Rossi, the seven-time champion, told reporters Saturday. "The problem is, for example, that I don't really know what the real danger is.

"Everyone that I know in the paddock thinks the same, that they would prefer not to go to Japan. Let's hope we can reach a consensus and not go."

Lorenzo intends to persuade his fellow riders to boycott the race in Motegi, which lies north of Tokyo but several hundred kilometers south of the worst-affected radiation zones in northeastern Japan.

"To be asking yourself (for) your entire life if (the radiation) will affect you doesn't sit well with me," the defending world champion said from the Catalunya GP. "I'm going to try to convince as many riders as possible not to run in Japan."

He added in El Pais newspaper: "I don't want to go. I'm very young and I don't want to be asking myself if in 20 years I'll have some kind of reaction or if my children will be born with some kind of deformity."

The March earthquake and tsunami left 24,000 people dead or missing and tens of thousands of others living in evacuation centers — including residents near the Fukushima Dai-ichi power station, which was damaged in the tsunami.

Workers have been fighting to get the plant under control since the disaster caused the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

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Defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo and current championship leader Casey Stoner have confirmed that they will not take part in the Japanese Grand Prix in October.

The earthquake and tsunami disaster in the country in March caused the race to be postponed until October 2.

However, the Motegi circuit due to host the race lies just over 100km from the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant and both Lorenzo and Stoner refuse to race there.

“I will not go and most riders have the same opinion,†said Stoner, the 2007 world champion.

“That’s my opinion and I’ve had it for some time. Not as long as Jorge. I took more time to make my decision, but I will not go there.

“That’s my decision. I guess it’s up to the organizers to figure out what’s going to happen.

“If a similar thing happened near my home in Australia I wouldn’t be going back there. It’d be the same situation.â€

Both Stoner and Lorenzo ride for Japanese teams -- Stoner for Repsol Honda and Lorenzo for Yamaha -- and the Motegi circuit is owned by Honda.

Lorenzo, though, says he will not reverse his decision to boycott October’s race.

“I took this decision not to go to Japan a long time ago,†said the Spaniard. “So I am not active in the ongoing discussions about going to Japan because I have already made my decision.

“I think if we can help Japan in another way we will, but I think going there is not real support.â€

Stoner and Lorenzo were both competing in the German Grand Prix here on Sunday.

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As much as I care nothing for these bike riders, stuff like this does not help any with the image of Japan from overseas.

 

sadface

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Originally Posted By: soubriquet
Yes. That's the history of engineering. Steam boilers exploding. Railway bridges collapsing. Ships sinking. Aircraft falling from the sky. Thousands of dead.

We continue to travel by rail, ship and aircraft, because the lessons have been (and continue to be) learned, and we do it better next time. Life (and progress) are not without risk.


Been thinking about this, and it seems to me one difference is that, for example with flying, what makes the risk worthwhile is the benefits that come from being able to move people and stuff quickly over long distances. There is no better way to accomplish this than with airplanes for the time being.

On the other hand, with nuclear power, in exchange for the risk of accidentally making a big mess, one gets... electricity. That's it. There is nothing special about the electricity generated by nuclear power, so it has to be justified on economic grounds. It has usually been claimed to be a cheap source of power, but if the cost of dealing with the occasional "oopsie" is included, I am not sure that claim really holds. Plus, like oil, coal and gas, it is dependent on digging stuff out of the earth, which will eventually run out anyway -- and none of these are available for mining in Japan in any large quantities to begin with. So it is not a long-term, permanent solution anyway.

I don't know, I had always thought nuclear power was going to be a savior from fossil fuel dependence, but I'm starting to think that it makes more sense for us to focus on sources we can supply from right here in Japan, such as solar, wind, and for base load, geothermal.

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I agree with you MO. I don't think that the benefits outweigh the occassional problems.....when Nuclear develops a problem, it really messes up BIG. Its not renewable either, as you said we still have to mine it from the ground....leave it there. Invest money in making renewable energy more efficient. Does anyone know why Japan doesn't use more Geo-thermal power? With all the onsens and Volcanoes dotted around the place you'd think if its viable somewhere then Japan'd be a good bet

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I think I read somewhere that lots of the places they could put those facilities is some protected places/national parks or something. Though I could be mistaken.

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Yeah, I have heard the same thing, that the best locations are either in national parks, or in onsen towns that are afraid of the scenery and hot spring water flow being messed up.

 

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Yes, don't feel many now around here.

Still seems to be a fair few each day along the Tohoku eastern coast, but mostly small ones.

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Originally Posted By: Metabo Oyaji
Yeah, I have heard the same thing, that the best locations are either in national parks, or in onsen towns that are afraid of the scenery and hot spring water flow being messed up.


although I can understand the scenery question, surely a power station doesn't NEED to be a blight on the eye, couldn't they actually think about how to hide the ugliness? I've also heard, although I'm not sure how true this is, but the fear of "onsen drying up" is unfounded...right now I've had a few too many beers to remember why, but it sounded believable at the time! lol

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Originally Posted By: TubbyBeaverinho
although I can understand the scenery question, surely a power station doesn't NEED to be a blight on the eye, couldn't they actually think about how to hide the ugliness?


Now there's an idea. Perhaps put the whole thing underground? With some fans to stir the steam coming out to make it look natural?

I'm thinking pie-eater could come up with some good ideas here.

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Why don´t people realise that nuke power generation is the most expensive and dangerous method there is ... taking into account of disposal costs.

Where are we going to dump the waste?

Transport with full military escort to some obscure place and posting security to prevent some terrorists attacking and stealing them to make dirty bombs ...

What about ground water contamination when there is a spill (not the matter of "if" since there has been one accident where the storage drums broke in Germany recently )

So dump it and let the future generation deal with it!?

 

What really is a pisser is that all these chicks who are supposed to be green enviromentalists, talking about saving energy and fossil fuel, they don´t click that all the lipstick and cosmetics that they use are made out from.... Petrolium.

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agree Jynxx, as I mentioned before the -ves outweigh any power +ves IMO, Green is the way ahead and the sooner my lipstick is eco friendly, the better!! A guy can't go without his Shock Red lipstick for too long!!

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We are still at the point where an outbreak of disease from an organic farm in Germany caused 35 more deaths than radiation from Fukushima. Lets close down organic farming.

 

I note that following (yet again) the financial meltdown from sub-prime mortgages in the USA, we are now entering another (yet again) period of financial meltdown in europe. How many people are out of work? How many people have lost their homes? How much money has the incompetence cost?

 

I propose that we abandon organic farming and the finance sector.

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Don't know much about organic farming, but I'd be quite happy to see the financial sector get completely keeloverhauled.

 

Don't see what that has to do with the cost/benefit analysis of nuclear power, though. Even if one assumes no deaths, how should one account for the costs of decontamination, mitigation, compensation, and spent fuel disposal?

 

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Originally Posted By: soubriquet
We are still at the point where an outbreak of disease from an organic farm in Germany caused 35 more deaths than radiation from Fukushima. Lets close down organic farming.

I note that following (yet again) the financial meltdown from sub-prime mortgages in the USA, we are now entering another (yet again) period of financial meltdown in europe. How many people are out of work? How many people have lost their homes? How much money has the incompetence cost?

I propose that we abandon organic farming and the finance sector.


Well, sure, nobody has died.....YET!! Wait for it though. Cesium 137 vs some funky German bean sprouts.. hardly comparable.

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The effects of what is happening re: Fukushima are so different from a malfunctioning plane. Surely. In that kind of situation, it happens, we know what happens, the casualties or whatever are known and that's it. To compare that with the situation we are in now here is really stretching it.

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Hey didn't NHK last night tell me that "Step 1" of the Fukushima Daiichi work has been 'completed'?

 

So, we all safe now then!? clap

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Originally Posted By: Metabo Oyaji
Originally Posted By: TubbyBeaverinho
although I can understand the scenery question, surely a power station doesn't NEED to be a blight on the eye, couldn't they actually think about how to hide the ugliness?


Now there's an idea. Perhaps put the whole thing underground? With some fans to stir the steam coming out to make it look natural?

I'm thinking pie-eater could come up with some good ideas here.
I'm on the case Metabo. Of course I work from a purely theoretical viewpoint not being fully conversant with all the science. I'll let you know my findings asap!

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Seriously though, is the actual radioactive water they are recirculating hot due to it's radioactivity or what? If so, what kind of temperatures and for how long? You'd assume so due to the effort to get the de-contamination thingy working right. Curious..

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Decontaminate? What´s that? Get everything that´s been exposed, including surface soil, and dump it somewhere and cover it with concrete and put a fence across and wait for a few hundred years?

 

I hope that the Japanese have a 10 year plan to shut down most of their nuke power stations and fund alternatives.

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There is a very informative piece on nuclear energy by Professor Barry Brook here.

 

http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/07/17/nuclear-climate-necessity/

 

"Professor Barry Brook holds the Foundation Sir Hubert Wilkins Chair of Climate Change and is Director of Climate Science at The Environment Institute, University of Adelaide."

 

Warning: Professor Barry Brook uses arithmetic. veryshocked

 

Excerpt:

 

"If we aim for society to be nearly completely powered by zero carbon sources by mid century, what is the size of the task? This might require 8 to 10 thousand gigawatts of electrical capacity, worldwide. Let’s say we were to do it all with wind and solar. Even if we ignore the substantial issue of energy storage and backup, this would still require building 1,200 huge wind turbines and/or carpeting 45 square kilometres of desert with mirror fields, every day, for forty years. For wind, this would consume 1.25 million tonnes of concrete and 335,000 tonnes of steel. For solar, it would be 2.2 million tonnes of concrete and 690,000 tonnes of steel. That’s what’s required to be built every single day, for decades and decades. What if we did it with nuclear power? Using the AP1000 design currently being deployed in China, we’d have to build two reactors every three days, using 160,000 tonnes of concrete and 10,000 tonnes of steel per day. Once again, a massive task, but one that is substantially less material- and land-intensive than the wind and solar options. When large-scale energy storage and its required peak-capacity overbuilding is considered, the numbers blow out ever further in favour of nuclear."

 

My bold.

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