Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Uploaded by itnnews on Mar 29, 2011
Dramatic new video footage of the death of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests
Members of his family wept when the footage was played, revealing previously unseen images of the 47-year-old newspaper seller lying on the ground, being tended to by a female medical student.
The jury of 11, attending the International Dispute Resolution Centre in Fleet Street, London, was shown footage of Tomlinson and PC Simon Harwood, the officer filmed striking him moments before his collapse on 1 April 2009.
Judge Peter Thornton QC, sitting as assistant deputy coroner, told the jury that Harwood, of the Met police’s territorial support group, was not on trial.
“This is an inquest, not a public inquiry. But every inquest is an inquiry into the death. That involves looking at the circumstances in which the death arose, but not all of the much broader issues which a public inquiry might consider.”
Thornton said that Harwood’s shoving of Tomlinson at 7.20pm on Royal Exchange Buildings was unlikely to be contested. The jury saw footage of Harwood striking Tomlinson with a baton and pushing him hard in the back. Tomlinson was propelled and fell to the ground. “PC Harwood accepted later that he did those things, and he gave his reasons for doing them,” Thornton said.
Tomlinson then walked about 100 metres along Cornhill before collapsing. He was pronounced dead at 8.10pm.
Thornton said there was likely to be “controversy” over the medical evidence. Freddy Patel, the pathologist who did the first postmortem examination, concluded that Tomlinson died of coronary heart disease. Two other pathologists, Nat Cary and Kenneth Shorrock, said he died of internal bleeding.
“It is likely to be a controversial area in the inquest,” Thornton said. “There is likely to be controversy about the finding by Dr Patel in the first postmortem about the presence of fluid in the abdomen and the extent it contained blood.”
The jury was shown footage compiled by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, including video from CCTV cameras, bystanders and police helicopters. It included images obtained from trawling websites such as YouTube and was shown in two batches.
The first batch showed Tomlinson at Monument tube station just before 7pm. He was repeatedly turned away from police cordons blocking his route home, before he appeared, at about 7.20pm, on Royal Exchange Buildings.
He collapsed on the pavement at Cornhill about three minutes later. Lucy Apps, a medical student, went to his aid. Video showed riot officers arriving on the scene and moving her away. There was no evidence that protesters impeded police medics from treating Tomlinson, who was carried away by police minutes later.
The second film batch followed Harwood. Fifteen minutes before he struck Tomlinson he tried to arrest a protester, dragging him into the crowd by his jacket. Harwood could have had confrontations with at least two other people in the minutes before his encounter with Tomlinson.
Among the witnesses giving evidence at the hearing was Barry Smith, an Evening Standard seller, who had worked with Tomlinson for more than 20 years. He said Tomlinson had left the stall earlier than usual that day because they had run out of newspapers.
Tomlinson’s widow, Julia Tomlinson, and his stepson, Paul King, also gave evidence at the inquest.
Both described a loving father generous with his time and money, who was “idolised” by his four daughters and five stepchildren. Both also spoke of Tomlinson’s problem with alcoholism.
Julia said: “He would always walk with his hands in his pockets and his head down, even from the living room to the kitchen. This was partly because he had a limited use of one of his hands from an old injury. But I think this was also because he didn’t like to impose himself – he didn’t want no bother.”
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
BP says missing laptop has personal information on residents who filed claims
Oil makes a pattern in the waters of Chandeleur Sound La., Thursday, May 6, 2010. Oil giant BP PLC's oil rig exploded April 20, in the Gulf of Mexico killing 11 workers. It sank two days later, and oil is still pouring into the Gulf. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Posted on March 29, 2011 at 4:11 PM Updated today at 4:46 PM
Michael Kunzelman and Harry R. Weber / Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS - BP employee lost a laptop containing personal data belonging to thousands of residents who filed claims for compensation after the Gulf oil spill, a company spokesman said Tuesday.
BP spokesman Curtis Thomas said the oil giant on Monday mailed out letters to roughly 13,000 people whose data was stored on the computer, notifying them about the potential data security breach and offering to pay for their credit to be monitored. The company also reported the missing laptop to law enforcement, he said.
The laptop was password-protected, but the information was not encrypted, Thomas said.
The data included a spreadsheet of claimants' names, Social Security numbers, phone numbers and addresses. But Thomas said the company doesn't have any evidence that claimants' personal information has been misused.
"We're committed to the people of the Gulf Coast states affected by the Deepwater Horizon accident and spill, and we deeply regret that this occurred," he said.
The data belonged to individuals who filed claims with BP before the Gulf Coast Claims Facility took over the processing of claims in August. BP paid roughly $400 million in claims before the switch. As of Tuesday, the GCCF had paid roughly $3.6 billion to 172,539 claimants.
The employee lost the laptop on March 1 during "routine business travel," said Thomas, who declined to elaborate on the circumstances.
"If it was stolen, we think it was a crime of opportunity, but it was initially lost," Thomas said.
BP is offering to pay for claimants to have their credit monitored by Equifax, an Atlanta-based credit bureau.
Asked why nearly a month elapsed before BP notified residents about the missing laptop, Thomas said, "We were doing our due diligence and investigating."
Matt O'Brien, part owner of Tiger Pass Seafood, a shrimp dock in Venice, La., said he had filed a claim with BP before the GCCF took over processing claims in August. A call from an AP reporter on Tuesday was the first he had heard that his personal information may have been among the data compromised.
"That's like it's par for the course for them," O'Brien said of BP. "They can't seem to do nothing right."
Beau Weber, a fishing guide in Lafitte, La., also had filed a claim with BP prior to Aug. 23, and he had even received several monthly payments from BP. He said he hadn't received a letter from BP about the missing laptop.
"It's terrible," he said of the breach. "I kinda work hard for the things I have. I wouldn't want somebody with a computer to be able to take it from me. It's very disturbing. It's like another gallon of gas thrown on the fire."
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
"IBM says the most parallel application of that in the real world is in medicine. Imagine a day when doctors can type in their patient's symptoms, and feed it into a Watson computer that can comb through literally every medical journal ever published. Watson would be able to tell what the best course of treatment is and what the most likely diagnosis is. But Watson doesn't just spit out one thing. It's able to display, in a user-friendly way, every possible diagnosis with a confidence level for each. Doctors could relay that information to their patients."
The device bears no resemblance to Mother Nature's counterparts on oaks, maples and other green plants, which scientists have used as the model for their efforts to develop this new genre of solar cells. About the shape of a poker card but thinner, the device is fashioned from silicon, electronics and catalysts, substances that accelerate chemical reactions that otherwise would not occur, or would run slowly. Placed in agallon of water in a bright sunlight, the device could produce enough electricity to supply a house in a developing country with electricity for a day, Nocera said. It does so by splitting water into its two components, hydrogen and oxygen.
The hydrogen and oxygen gases would be stored in a, which uses those two materials to produce electricity, located either on top of the house or beside it.
Doctors in France on Monday announced the country's first birth of a "saviour sibling," selected at the embryonic stage to be a close genetic match to save a brother or sister suffering from a fatal inherited disorder. The baby was born at the Antoine Beclere Hospital in Clamart, in the suburbs of Paris, said doctors Rene Frydman and Arnold Munnich. The child, born to parents of Turkish origin and named Umut-Talha (Turkish for "our hope"), was conceived through in-vitro fertilisation and was born on January 26 with a weight of 3.65 kilos (8.03 pounds), they said. "He is in good health," Frydman told AFP.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Movie Review By: SFAM
Directed by: Richard Linklater
Written by: Philip K. Dick (Novel) Richard Linklater (Screenplay)
Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: Medium
Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: Medium
Key Cast Members:
Overview: In a very faithful adaptation to Philip K. Dick’s story of the same name, Linklater treats us to an interesting, slow moving story about abuse – abuse of power, drug abuse, abuse fo friendships, and abuse of the self. While most of the publicity about Scanner Darkly is about the rotoscoping technique used, the story itself is good enough that it probably could have worked in live action as well. A Scanner Darkly is engaged in a slow-opening process – hopefully you all get to see soon in a theater near you.
The Setting: Seven years into the future, a drug known as Substance “D” has transformed society. People are divided into addicts and those who haven’t taken Substance “D.” Society is quickly collapsing. In response to this threat, the government has transformed the society into a surveillance state, where neighbors spy on neighbors, and personal freedoms have been minimized. Everything is organized for instant observation – license plates are now bar-coded, and security is all DNA based. Trust has all but vanished in the world where Scanner Darkly resides. In its place, we have people who are constantly concerned about each other’s ulterior motives, and think nothing of stabbing someone in the back if only to win short term gains.
The Story: Scanner Darkly takes place seven years into the future and follows the plight of a close-knit group of addicts living outside of Anaheim, California. Bob Arctor (Keanu Reeves) is works as a reluctant undercover police officer (called “Officer Fred” at work), who lives with group of addicts that he eventually needs to perform surveillance on. Bob no longer believes in what he is doing, but still goes through the motions. At work, all the police wear “scrambler suits” to ensure nobody knows who they are. As the story progresses, we get to see the absurd lives that each of the addicts lead. Bob’s girlfriend (Winona Ryder) is a coke addict who freaks out if touched; his friend Charles (Rory Cochrane) sees insects crawling over him at all times, and his two room mates are clearly fried beyond all recognition.
Unfortunately for Bob, his addiction is growing too. His grasp on reality starts to weaken as the hallucinations increase. He starts seeing his room mates as huge insects. Worse, one of his room mates (Robert Downey Jr.) visits the police department to narc on Bob. Bob, as the disguised Officer Fred, has the task of taking down his room mate’s statements and investigating them. As the movie proceeds, Bob becomes more disillusioned with his job and life, and begins to realize that he is losing his humanity.
An Excersize in Duality: Scanner Darkly sets a number of issues up in a duality. We have left brain – right brain separation as a side effect from extreme exposure to Substance “D,” we get surveillance and security opposing personal freedoms, and the two doctors treating Bob overtly represent the left and right hemispheres. Everything in Scanner Darkly is about dualities of tension, and the descent of humanity in the face of this tension.
The Paranoia: A Scanner Darkly delves into the paranoia mindset that develops when drug use combined with an out of control surveillance society has taken hold. Personal rights and individual freedoms are significantly subordinated in a society where the government is after the supposed drug barons. One begins to question, however, whether the drug barons themselves are just yet another tool by the government to gain complete control over the population. The idea of government abuse of power permeates virtually every scene. The ranting sessions within the drug addict group are all based on paranoid delusions about what the government is currently doing to them. Worse, some of their “paranoid delusions” end up being true!
Drugs Are Bad, K? Scanner Darkly pounds this message in as many ways as possible. Wanna screw up your perception? Substance “D” is for you! But don’t worry, its effects are not always permanent, just most of the time! Within the addict group, we see different people in various states of insanity. The message is clear – once you’re on this stuff, the descent into insanity is all but assured.
The Rotoscoping: The rotoscoping in Scanner Darkly works well as a device to create an atmospheric, otherworldly film, even though most of the scenes almost came off as red-neck central. Unlike Waking Life, where the hand drawn animation on top of live action is wildly uneven (on purpose) with the characters, for the most part the rotoscoping just gives it an ambiance. Also, the rotoscoping provides a wonderful base for the various hallucinations that happen in the course of the movie. Linklater’s rotoscoping technique seems to work best when there isn’t that much action on-screen. In some of the movement scenes (car riding, running, etc.), there is almost no difference between the rotoscoping and live action. There was also a lot of variances with the black lines around the faces – mostly this was pretty subdued, but in a few scenes, the black lines almost dominated the scene.
The Acting: For the most part, the acting is terrific in Scanner Darkly. Robert Downey Jr. especially shines, but Reeves’ performance fits perfectly for a man overtaken by events. Winona Ryder has some pretty solid moments (especially at the end), as does Woody Harrelson and Rory Cochrane. The better scenes usually involve Downey and another character involved in truly bizarre conversations. Some with Downey and Harrelson in particular are pretty funny.
The Bottom Line: A Scanner Darkly is a movie with great acting, interesting discussions and a very powerful ending. That said, some parts of Scanner Darkly come off as overkill (the drugs are bad part, for instance), whereas others could easily have benefited from more elaboration. Still, these are minor complaints, as the overall movie has terrific acting, a great score (by Radiohead), and an interesting, well constructed message. Fair warning though - this is NOT an action movie. The vast bulk involves people milling around and talking, without any real action ever taking place. As long as action isn’t necessary for you to enjoy a good cyberpunk flick, give Scanner Darkly a try.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Obama "IP czar" wants felony charges for illegal Web streaming
« on: March 15, 2011, 05:04:59 PM »
The Obama administration wants to make sure that the illegal streaming of music and movies over the Internet is a felony, and it also wants to give the federal government wiretap authority in copyright cases.
Victoria Espinel, the Obama administration's IP Enforcement Coordinator, today released her long-awaited wish list (PDF) of intellectual property law changes. Most focus on counterfeit drugs and economic espionage, but the list does contain three suggestions more likely to have some effect on home Internet users.
Streaming: The government wants to make sure that, as online piracy moves increasingly to streaming, the law keeps up with the activity. Currently, "reproducing" and "distributing" copyrighted works are felony charges, and they cover peer-to-peer file-sharing. But streaming seems more like a "public performance"—and holding a public performance without a proper license is not a felony.
As Espinel's paper notes, "questions have arisen" about this distinction, and those questions "have impaired the criminal enforcement of copyright laws." She wants Congress to "clarify that infringement by streaming, or by means of other similar new technology, is a felony in appropriate circumstances."
Wiretaps: The FBI and other federal agencies can tap phones and Internet connections for a whole host of serious crimes, but criminal copyright and trademark cases are not among them. Espinel wants to change this situation.
"Wiretap authority for these intellectual property crimes, subject to the existing legal protections that apply to wiretaps for other types of crimes, would assist US law enforcement agencies to effectively investigate those offenses, including targeting organized crime and the leaders and organizers of criminal enterprises," says the new whitepaper.
Radio: Radio stations currently pay cash to songwriters for the music they play, but the stations don't have to pay the actual bands who recorded the material. That's because the US lacks a public performance right for recorded music played by radio stations, unlike most other nations (a situation which means that most other countries won't pay US artists, either, until we pay their artists).
Espinel suggests the creation of public performance rights for music on the radio, which the US already has for satellite broadcasting and webcasting. But the broadcasting lobby has opposed the move ferociously, claiming that its unique exemption from payment is because radio has such promotional force...
Monday, March 21, 2011
Since the real world is so different from the misinformation we've been given by media and conventional education, most of our current efforts are somewhat misdirected. At this point, there is almost nothing more important than immediately researching and confirming all of above facts for yourself. It is only when you correctly perceive the world you're in that you can respond to it appropriately. Also, as the truth of the above points becomes apparent to you, please pass the information on to your friends, family and anyone else you can persuade to listen. You may also want to ask people you trust to help you research and evaluate these issues. But hurry, we are in serious trouble and the time for action is very soon.
Good info-hunting – Martin Truther
Martin Truther Blogs!
- Martin Truther
- Note on advertising: I only include ads for materials that (1) aren't freely available on the web or (2) take a very long time to download or (3) are from cool filmmakers working on a shoestring like me.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
The first video has now emerged of what appears to be the aftermath of allied airstrikes in Libya. The video to the left (warning graphic content) shows an armored personnel carrier which was presumably destroyed by allied air attacks. The next scene shows cars rushing to get away from exploding munitions of another vehicle. The exploding munitions were likely secondary explosions following an attack from the air. Rebel forces on the ground seem to be celebrating the destruction of pro-Ghadafi forces. One of the rebels then reveals a charred body of a pro-Ghadafi soldier. At the end of the video a very large explosion can be seen. It is unclear if that explosion was caused by a bomb from the air or another secondary explosion on the ground.
The video appears to confirm reports that the allied forced had destroyed many of Gadhafi's vehicles in the attacks yesterday. The United States military used cruise missiles and B-2 stealth bombers to destroy many of Gadhafi's air defenses and air fields. French planes began enforcing the no-fly zone and also reportedly attacked Gadhafi forces that threatened the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.
EXCLUSIVE: Libya, the Brega battle (Featured)
Senator Robert Byrd's Speech Opposing Iraq War March 19, 2003, Along with Ron Paul's Recent Speech Opposing War with Libya
"Who The Hell Do You Think You Are?" Farrakhan Blasts Obama For Calling For Qaddafi to Step Down (Video) (Repost)
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
If, as might well be possible, the concussions happen to be properly timed their combined action could start tectonic adjustments in any part of the earth.....That man can produce such terrestrial convulsions is beyond any doubt, and the time may be near when it will be done for purposes good or apt. (Nikola Tesla) 1915
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
9 March 2011, by Tyler Durden (Zero Hedge)
Li Yining, a senior economist at Peking University and member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Committee, an advisory body to the national parliament, said that
China should use the precious metal to hedge against risks of foreign currency devaluations.
"China should increase its gold reserves appropriately, and China must take every chance to buy, especially when gold prices fall," Li was quoted by the official Xinhua news agency as saying."
And so the immaculate record of all those calling for the "inevitable" correction in gold continues with a roughly 0% success rate.
8 March 2011, by Eric King (King World News)
With gold near all-time highs and silver near multi-decade highs, today King World News interviewed James Turk out of London. Turk remarked, “Eric I have really been focusing a lot on what central banks are doing and how their actions might be impacting my long-standing forecast for the price of gold. You probably know back in 2003 I stated in a Barron’s interview that the Dow/Gold ratio would be 1 to 1 again sometime between 2013 and 2015. My thinking had been that gold would be $8,000 and the Dow would be 8,000, but now my thinking has changed.”
“I think that my gold forecast was too conservative. Given the way central banks are printing money when they are buying government debt, I think the 1 to 1 ratio is going to be reached at a much higher price.
People don’t understand how much wealth destruction has yet to occur as this financial bust that we are in works to its inevitable conclusion. In effect, the Dow has to lose 90% vs gold. This wealth destruction is going to devastate a great many investors, in fact most of them will never recover from this event.
As I said earlier Eric, my thinking has changed as we have been going through this cycle. This time around is not going to be like the gold bull market of the 1970’s. The dollar is going to lose its status as the world’s reserve currency. This is fundamentally different than what occurred in the 1970’s.
The US government has been running some of the largest deficits in history. That means a lot of dollars are going to be created by the Federal Reserve to fund this newly created debt. Recently we have been focusing on the US dollar and I want to be clear that I expect the dollar to drop to levels never seen before in history, and the scary part Eric is that it could do it very, very quickly.
When we take out the all-time low of 71.33 on the dollar index, we move into uncharted waters and there is no telling where the collapse of the dollar will end. Some states are already taking steps to protect their citizens from the collapse of the dollar. The Utah House just passed a bill calling for the return of the use of gold as a currency and there are at least half a dozen other states considering similar legislation.
I’m often asked by people when do I think they should sell their gold? I tell them this time around it’s going to be easy because you are not going to sell your gold, you’re going to spend it. In other words, gold will once again become currency.”
The dollar collapse will be like a thief in the night for most people. As Turk mentioned previously it will shock the world, and as Sam Zell stated recently, it will cause a disastrous decline in the standard of living for Americans. For investors who are overweight the Dow they stand to lose 90% vs gold. I agree with Turk, most of those people will never ever recover from that wealth destruction.
11 March 2011, by Phoenix Capital Research (Zero Hedge)
This is not mere conjecture or prediction. It’s fact. Utah has already passed a bill allowing Gold and Silver to be used as legal tender. Similarly, Virginia has passed legislation (though the Governor has yet to sign the bill) that would permit the state to mint its own Gold and Silver coins.
You can see this on the international stage as well. China’s Gold demand rose 500% last year. And world central banks became net buyers of Gold for the first time in 2010 as well.
These are of course baby steps. China and all central banks’ reserves are only minimally invested in Gold at this time. However, these changes DO mark the beginning of necessary structural changes to the global monetary system that will eventually culminate in a Gold standard of some kind being adopted again.
It’s not difficult to see why. We’ve been on this insane “paper only” since the early ‘70s. While everyone wants to claim we’ve seen a massive boost in GDP and stocks since that time, the reality is that when you account for inflation, it’s clear that most GDP and stock strength has been a result of inflation, NOT real organic growth.
Indeed, Bill King, Chief Market Strategist M. Ramsey King Securities recently published the following chart comparing REAL GDP (light blue), GDP when you account for inflation (dark blue), and the Dow Jones’ performance (black) over the last 30 years.
What follows is a clear picture that since the mid-70s MOST of the perceived stock gains have come from inflation. You should also note that MOST of the GDP growth we’ve seen since the early ‘70s has been the result of inflation as well (REAL GDP, the light blue line, is MILES below the “claimed” GDP, dark blue line).
What does all of this mean? That the inflationary system in place for the last 30+ years is crumbling, that paper money is going to become more and more worthless, and that we’re going to return to some kind of Gold standard in the coming years.
9 March 2011, by Chris Weber, editor, The Weber Global Opportunities Report (Daily Wealth)
Over the last six months, you see how the gold-to-silver ratio has been moving lower. Silver has been relentlessly moving up faster than gold. Back in early September of last year – just six months ago – the ratio was over 60 to one. Now, as I write, it has broken 40.
In other words, the ratio got to where silver's relative strength has been turned back several times in recent years... and kept going. On Monday, the ratio got as low as 39.32. It has since backed up a bit. But it has broken the boundary, and this is very bullish for silver.
In the latest issue of my newsletter, I told my readers to be prepared for the possibility that the ratio would be again turned back at 40. This would either mean that gold and silver would both continue to rise, but that gold would start to soar much higher than silver, or both metals would fall, but silver would fall more than gold.
In that case, you'd want to make sure to own some gold along with your silver. That advice still stands.
But as I told my readers – and as you can see from the long-term chart above – the gold-to-silver ratio hasn't flatlined for decades: It's usually going one way or the other rather dramatically.
Right now, it's going down dramatically. That's big news for silver.
The Silver Door Is Closing
13 March 2011, by Silver Shield (Dont Tread On Me)
The Elite use a multiple pronged attack on silver to hold it down. All of their weapons are paper tigers.
The Aware have found that by taking physical delivery of silver, the Elite’s powerful weapons are rendered useless.
Actually even worse than useless, these paper weapons actually help the Aware to buy more physical silver at discounted and subsidized prices, hastening the Elite’s ultimate demise.
Keep those shorts coming and we will keep stacking!
As a result of this battle, the CRIMEX now has less than half of what it had in registered inventory than it did at the bottom of the Bear Trap of 2008.
In July of 2008 there were 87 million ounces in the registered CRIMEX vaults.
Today, there is just over 40 million ounces left.
The trend line is pretty dramatically down even as the price of silver spikes up.
Less than $1.5 billion would empty the CRIMEX of the last bit of silver at current prices.
With no silver to deliver, the jig is up for the Elite.
Damaged Japanese Nuclear Plant Has Five Mark 1 Reactors
By MATTHEW MOSK
March 15, 2011
Thirty-five years ago, Dale G. Bridenbaugh and two of his colleagues at General Electric resigned from their jobs after becoming increasingly convinced that the nuclear reactor design they were reviewing -- the Mark 1 -- was so flawed it could lead to a devastating accident.
Questions persisted for decades about the ability of the Mark 1 to handle the immense pressures that would result if the reactor lost cooling power, and today that design is being put to the ultimate test in Japan. Five of the six reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, which has been wracked since Friday's earthquake with explosions and radiation leaks, are Mark 1s.
"The problems we identified in 1975 were that, in doing the design of the containment, they did not take into account the dynamic loads that could be experienced with a loss of coolant," Bridenbaugh told ABC News in an interview. "The impact loads the containment would receive by this very rapid release of energy could tear the containment apart and create an uncontrolled release."
The situation on the ground at the Fukushima Daiichi plant is so fluid, and the details of what is unfolding are so murky, that it may be days or even weeks before anyone knows how the Mark 1 containment system performed in the face of a devastating combination of natural disasters.
But the ability of the containment to withstand the events that have cascaded from what nuclear experts call a "station blackout" -- where the loss of power has crippled the reactor's cooling system -- will be a crucial question as policy makers re-examine the safety issues that surround nuclear power, and specifically the continued use of what is now one of the oldest types of nuclear reactors still operating.
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GE told ABC News the reactors have "a proven track record of performing reliably and safely for more than 40 years" and "performed as designed," even after the shock of a 9.0 earthquake.
Still, concerns about the Mark 1 design have resurfaced occasionally in the years since Bridenbaugh came forward. In 1986, for instance, Harold Denton, then the director of NRC's Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, spoke critically about the design during an industry conference.
"I don't have the same warm feeling about GE containment that I do about the larger dry containments,'' he said, according to a report at the time that was referenced Tuesday in The Washington Post.
"There is a wide spectrum of ability to cope with severe accidents at GE plants,'' Denton said. "And I urge you to think seriously about the ability to cope with such an event if it occurred at your plant.''
By TOM ZELLER Jr.
Published: March 15, 2011
The warnings were stark and issued repeatedly as far back as 1972: If the cooling systems ever failed at a “Mark 1” nuclear reactor, the primary containment vessel surrounding the reactor would probably burst as the fuel rods inside overheated. Dangerous radiation would spew into the environment.
Now, with one Mark 1 containment vessel damaged at the embattled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and other vessels there under severe strain, the weaknesses of the design — developed in the 1960s by General Electric — could be contributing to the unfolding catastrophe.
When the ability to cool a reactor is compromised, the containment vessel is the last line of defense. Typically made of steel and concrete, it is designed to prevent — for a time — melting fuel rods from spewing radiation into the environment if cooling efforts completely fail.
In some reactors, known as pressurized water reactors, the system is sealed inside a thick steel-and-cement tomb. Most nuclear reactors around the world are of this type.
But the type of containment vessel and pressure suppression system used in the failing reactors at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant is physically less robust, and it has long been thought to be more susceptible to failure in an emergency than competing designs. In the United States, 23 reactors at 16 locations use the Mark 1 design, including the Oyster Creek plant in central New Jersey, the Dresden plant near Chicago and the Monticello plant near Minneapolis.
G.E. began making the Mark 1 boiling-water reactors in the 1960s, marketing them as cheaper and easier to build — in part because they used a comparatively smaller and less expensive containment structure.
American regulators began identifying weaknesses very early on.
In 1972, Stephen H. Hanauer, then a safety official with the Atomic Energy Commission, recommended that the Mark 1 system be discontinued because it presented unacceptable safety risks. Among the concerns cited was the smaller containment design, which was more susceptible to explosion and rupture from a buildup in hydrogen — a situation that may have unfolded at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Later that same year, Joseph Hendrie, who would later become chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a successor agency to the atomic commission, said the idea of a ban on such systems was attractive. But the technology had been so widely accepted by the industry and regulatory officials, he said, that “reversal of this hallowed policy, particularly at this time, could well be the end of nuclear power.”
In an e-mail on Tuesday, David Lochbaum, director of the Nuclear Safety Program at the Union for Concerned Scientists, said those words seemed ironic now, given the potential global ripples from the Japanese accident.
“Not banning them might be the end of nuclear power,” said Mr. Lochbaum, a nuclear engineer who spent 17 years working in nuclear facilities, including three that used the G.E. design.
Questions about the design escalated in the mid-1980s, when Harold Denton, an official with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, asserted that Mark 1 reactors had a 90 percent probability of bursting should the fuel rods overheat and melt in an accident.
Industry officials disputed that assessment, saying the chance of failure was only about 10 percent.
Michael Tetuan, a spokesman for G.E.’s water and power division, staunchly defended the technology this week, calling it “the industry’s workhorse with a proven track record of safety and reliability for more than 40 years.”
Mr. Tetuan said there are currently 32 Mark 1 boiling-water reactors operating safely around the globe. “There has never been a breach of a Mark 1 containment system,” he said.
Several utilities and plant operators also threatened to sue G.E. in the late 1980s after the disclosure of internal company documents dating back to 1975 that suggested that the containment vessel designs were either insufficiently tested or had flaws that could compromise safety.
Kyodo News noted earlier that Reactor Number 4 has caught fire:
The Herald Sun reported:
RADIATION levels near a quake-stricken nuclear plant are now harmful to human health, Japan's government says after explosions and a fire at the facility.
"There is no doubt that unlike in the past, the figures are the level at which human health can be affected," said chief government spokesman Yukio Edano.
Although the number-four reactor was shut for maintenance when the quake and tsunami struck last Friday, "spent nuclear fuel in the reactor heated up, creating hydrogen and triggered a hydrogen explosion".
He said radioactive substances were leaked along with the hydrogen.
"Please keep in mind that what is burning is not nuclear fuel itself," Mr Edano said. "We'll do our best to put out or control the fire as soon as possible."
AP now says the fire has now been put out, although the Japanese government says that high levels of radiation are being released:
Prime Minister Naoto Kan said radiation has spread from four reactors of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Fukushima province, one of the hardest-hit in Friday's 9.0-magnitude earthquake and the ensuing tsunami that has killed more than 10,000 people. "The level seems very high, and there is still a very high risk of more radiation coming out,"
The fire was put out. Even though it was unoperational, the fourth reactor was believed to be the source of the elevated radiation release because of the hydrogen release that triggered the fire.
"It is likely that the level of radiation increased sharply due to a fire at Unit 4," Edano said. "Now we are talking about levels that can damage human health.
Hopefully, Edano is right, and the high levels of radiation were due to a temporary fire, which has been put out.
However, high radiation levels were reported before the fire, when reactor number 2 exploded earlier today, and the government said that its containment core had been breached.
Third blast hits nuclear plant as it's confirmed radiation 'has been released into the atmosphere'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1366308/Japan-earthquake-tsunami-Race-avoid-meltdown-blast-rocks-nuclear-plant.html#ixzz1GeicS5qb
# Radiation 'has been released into the atmosphere at damaged nuclear plant'
# Explosion at Number 2 reactor follows destruction of 1 and 3
# Fire breaks out at Number 4
# Fears for residents yet to make it outside 19-mile exclusion zone
# Radioactive wind could reach Tokyo today
# Stock markets in chaos as Nikkei plummets 10.5% in one day
Radiation fears after Japan blast
Radiation from Japan's quake-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has reached harmful levels, the government says.
The warning comes after the plant was rocked by a third blast which appears to have damaged one of the reactors' containment vessels for the first time.
If it is breached, there are fears of more serious radioactive leaks.
Officials have extended the danger zone, warning residents within 30km (18 miles) to evacuate or stay indoors.
The crisis was sparked by a 9.0-magnitude quake and tsunami on Friday.
'Don't go outside'
On Tuesday morning, reactor 2 became the third to explode in four days at the Fukushima Daiichi plant - 250km (155 miles) north-east of Tokyo.
A fire also briefly broke out at the plant's reactor 4 on Tuesday and is believed to have led to radioactive leaks.
TOKYO (Reuters) - Workers were ordered to withdraw briefly from a stricken Japanese nuclear power plant on Wednesday after radiation levels surged, Kyodo news reported, a development that suggested the crisis was spiralling out of control.
Just hours earlier another fire broke out at the earthquake-crippled plant, which has sent low levels of radiation wafting into Tokyo in the past 24 hours, triggering both fear in the capital and international alarm.
The workers were allowed back into the plant after almost an hour when the radiation levels had fallen.
Japan's chief government spokesman said it was "not realistic" to think the Daiichi nuclear plant in Fukushima, 240 kms (150 miles) north of Tokyo, would reach the start of a nuclear chain reaction, but said officials were talking to the U.S. military about possible help.
While public broadcaster NHK said flames were no longer visible at the building housing the No.4 reactor of the plant, TV pictures showed smoke or steam rising from the facility around 1 a.m. British time.
Academics and nuclear experts agree that the solutions being proposed to contain damage to the reactors are last-ditch efforts to stem what could well be remembered as one of the world's worst industrial disasters.
"This is a slow-moving nightmare," said Dr Thomas Neff, a research affiliate at the Centre for International Studies, which is part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Concern had earlier been mounting that the skeleton crews dealing with the crisis might not be big enough, or were possibly exhausted after working for days since last Friday's massive earthquake damaged the facility. Authorities had withdrawn 750 workers on Tuesday, leaving only 50.
The plight of hundreds of thousands left homeless by the quake and devastating tsunami that followed worsened overnight following a cold snap that brought snow to some of the worst-affected areas.
While the official death toll stands at around 4,000, more than 7,000 are listed as missing and the figure is expected to rise.
In the first hint of international frustration at the pace of updates from Japan, Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said he wanted more timely and detailed information.
"We do not have all the details of the information so what we can do is limited," Amano told a news conference in Vienna. "I am trying to further improve the communication."
Several experts said that Japanese authorities were underplaying the severity of the incident, particularly on a scale called INES used to rank nuclear incidents. The Japanese have so far rated the accident a four on a one-to-seven scale, but that rating was issued on Saturday and since then the situation has worsened dramatically.
France's nuclear safety authority ASN said Tuesday it should be classed as a level-six incident.
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Tuesday urged people within 30 km (18 miles) of the facility -- a population of 140,000 -- to remain indoors, as authorities grappled with the world's most serious nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine in 1986.
Officials in Tokyo said radiation in the capital was 10 times normal at one point but not a threat to human health in the sprawling high-tech city of 13 million people.
But residents have nevertheless reacted to the crisis by staying indoors. Public transport and the streets are as deserted as they would be on a public holiday, and many shops and offices are closed.
Winds over the plant will blow from the north along the Pacific coast early on Wednesday and then from the northwest towards the ocean during the day, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
Fears of trans-Pacific nuclear fallout sent consumers scrambling for radiation antidotes in the U.S. Pacific Northwest and Canada. Authorities warned that people would expose themselves to other medical problems by needlessly taking potassium iodide in the hope of protection from cancer.
The nuclear crisis and concerns about the economic impact from the quake and tsunami have hammered Japan's stock market.
The Nikkei index ended the morning up 4.37 pct after closing down 10.6 percent on Tuesday and 6.2 percent the day before. The fall wiped some $620 billion (386 billion pounds) off the market.
SCRAMBLE TO STOP WATER EVAPORATING
Authorities have spent days desperately trying to prevent the water which is designed to cool the radioactive cores of the reactors from evaporating, which would lead to overheating and the release of dangerous radioactive material into the atmosphere.
Levels of 400 millisieverts per hour had been recorded near the No. 4 reactor, the government said. Exposure to over 100 millisieverts a year is a level which can lead to cancer, according to the World Nuclear Association.
Several embassies advised staff and citizens to leave affected areas in Japan. Tourists cut short vacations and multinational companies either urged staff to leave or said they were considering plans to move outside Tokyo.
German technology companies SAP and Infineon were among those moving staff to safety in the south. SAP said it was evacuating its offices in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya and had offered its 1,100 employees and their family members transport to the south, where the company has rented a hotel for staff to work online.
"WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?"
Japanese media have became more critical of Kan's handling of the disaster and criticised the government and plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. for their failure to provide enough information on the incident.
Kan himself lambasted the operator for taking so long to inform his office about one of the blasts on Tuesday, Kyodo news agency reported.
Kyodo said Kan had ordered TEPCO not to pull employees out of the plant. "The TV reported an explosion. But nothing was said to the premier's office for about an hour," a Kyodo reporter quoted Kan telling power company executives. "What the hell is going on?"
Nuclear radiation is an especially sensitive issue for Japanese following the country's worst human catastrophe -- the U.S. atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
There have been a total of four explosions at the plant since it was damaged in last Friday's massive quake and tsunami. The most recent were blasts at reactors Nos. 2 and 4.
Concern now centres on damage to a part of the No.4 reactor building where spent rods were being stored in pools of water outside the containment area, and also to part of the No.2 reactor that helps to cool and trap the majority of cesium, iodine and strontium in its water.
VILLAGES AND TOWNS WIPED OFF THE MAP
The full extent of the destruction from last Friday's 9.0-magnitude earthquake and the tsunami that followed it was becoming clear as rescuers combed through the region north of Tokyo where officials say at least 10,000 people were killed.
Whole villages and towns have been wiped off the map by Friday's wall of water, triggering an international humanitarian effort of epic proportions.
There have been hundreds of aftershocks and more than two dozen are greater than magnitude 6, the size of the earthquake that severely damaged Christchurch, New Zealand last month.
About 850,000 households in the north were still without electricity in near-freezing weather, Tohuku Electric Power Co. said, and the government said at least 1.5 million households lack running water. Tens of thousands of people were missing.
Hiromichi Shirakawa, chief economist for Japan at Credit Suisse, said in a note to clients that the economic loss will likely be around 14-15 trillion yen (106-114 billion pounds) just to the region hit by the quake and tsunami.
"The earthquake could have great implications on the global economic front," said Andre Bakhos, director of market analytics at Lec Securities in New York. "If you shut down Japan, there could be a global recession."
Saturday, March 12, 2011
as radioactive steam is being released into the air
following an 8.9 magnitude earthquake.
( this photoshopped photo is not an official release, it is an estimation )
"This is a situation that has the potential for a nuclear catastrophe. It's basically a race against time, because what has happened is that plant operators have not been able to cool down the core of at least two reactors," said Robert Alvarez, a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington. (source)
An explosion occurred at the Fukushima nuclear plant around 3:30 PM in Japan Saturday.
Here's the latest on the nuclear situation.
The explosion was not in the reactor's container and it didn't cause a major radiation leak. In fact, the amount of radioactive elements actually decreased after the explosion, and radiation levels are not rising, according to JibTV, a Japanese TV station with live coverage of the event.
However the the two most recent nuclear explosions, 3 Mile Island in the U.S. in 1979 and Chernobyl in 1986, were rated a 5 and a 7 on the INES (Interntional Nuclear Event) scale, and the Japanese nuclear agency has rated Fukushima a 4, according to Reuters, which is live-blogging the disaster. (A reminder of what happened during Three Mile and Chernobyl is below.)
Iodine and cesium, two byproducts of the nuclear fission process that occurs in nuclear plants, were detected around the area. In addition, radiation levels of 1,015 micro sievert have been found outside the plant, which is the equivalent to receiving the maximum amount of healthy exposure someone can get in one year, in one day, according to JibTV and the WSJ.
A team of doctors, nurses and experts on radioactive measurement is on standby in case of a radioactive disaster.
The reactor, which the ECCS (emergency core cooling system made up of a series of sysems designed to shutdown the reactor in emergency systems) is meant to cool and can't because the power is out and the generators are not working, is not exploded yet, but it is still in danger.
Hibbs spoke with Japanese government officials who told him the force of the tsunami was so severe that the water may have flooded the reactors, power generators, and cooling mechanisms, disabling the equipment. "Which means they have to resort to basically a military-type exercise, to rush in to the devastated site equipment that they can quickly hook up to the reactor to get power in there and start this emergency equipment, to get cooling water into that core and prevent that fuel from overheating.
“And if they can’t do that,” he told Newsmax, “then you’re going to have this meltdown.
At least three people near the plant have radioactive exposure, but there's no confirmation that it came from the explosion. JiBTV said they discovered the 3 exposed people when they randomly tested three out of 90 people (and they all had been exposed to radiation) the hospital. Apparently they have no health problems.
People have been asked to evacuate from a 20km radius around the plant.
The death toll is said to be expected to reach 1700. Over 680 have been found dead and number of people found dead is rising hourly as more people are found.
The Ring of Fire strikes again.
We're starting to see satellite imagery of the damage caused by the massive earthquake and resulting tsunami that struck northeastern Japan yesterday (this aerial video shows the waves approaching shore, and the terrifying destruction as they sweep through coastal towns). Some resources:
DigitalGlobe has a Flickr gallery of high-resolution images and produced a cursory analysis (PDF).
The MODIS imaging team's website at NASA now has a Japan Earthquake Project page. The low-resolution MODIS sytem captured an image at about noon local time on March 12, showing a large plume of smoke blowing out to sea from Sendai. Before-and-after images give a glimpse through the clouds of broad coastal flooding as of 10am local time yesterday.
the real truth about the March 11 Japan earthquake is this is turning out to be the worst, the most deadly, most devastating, in modern Japanese history.
Cities, towns, tens of thousands of people swept away. A disaster now of a scale beyond the imaginations even of Japanese disaster management specialists, the most earthquake paranoid people on the planet, who seem mostly stunned, broken, dazed, at press conferences. Who can blame them. The massive earthquake and horrifically devastating repeat tsunamis are beyond the worst scenarios ever workshopped or modeled, a surreal nightmare has become their reality.
The death toll may climb to over 30,000 within days.
Expected Effects of Acute Whole-Body Radiation Doses Acute Dose (rads) Probable Effect
0 - 50 No obvious effect, except possibly minor blood changes.
80 - 120 Vomiting and nausea for about 1 day in 5 to 10 percent of exposed personnel. Fatigue but no serious disability.
130 - 170 Vomiting and nausea for about 1 day, followed by other symptoms of radiation sickness in about 25 percent of personnel. No deaths anticipated.
180 - 220 Vomiting and nausea for about 1 day followed by other symptoms of radiation sickness in about 50 percent of personnel. No deaths anticipated.
270 - 330 Vomiting and nausea in nearly all personnel on first day, followed by other symptoms of radiation sickness. About 20 percent deaths within 2 to 6 weeks after exposure; survivors convalescent for about 3 months.
400 - 500 Vomiting and nausea in all personnel on first day, followed by other symptoms of radiation sickness. About 50 percent deaths within 1 month; survivors convalescent for about 6 months.
550 - 750 Vomiting and nausea in all personnel within 4 hours from exposure, followed by other symptoms of radiation sickness. Up to 100 percent deaths; few survivors convalescent for about 6 months.
1000 Vomiting and nausea in all personnel within 1 to 2 hours. Probably no survivors from radiation sickness.
5000 Incapacitation almost immediately. All personnel will be fatalities within 1 week.
The Effects of Nuclear Weapons U.S. Government Printing Office, May 1957
|Japan Nuclear Plant Explosion Happening Now!|
|Written by RC Christian|
|Saturday, 12 March 2011 04:56|
Already defined as the worlds second most disastrous Nuclear event, Chernobyl being the first. Fukushima, Japan's 3rd largest power provider and one of Japan's 50 nuclear plants has reached high alert status as an explosion expelled potentially radioactive material into the surrounding area. The government has evacuated people up to 70 miles from the facility.
Photo from watchmojo
The apparent explosion has destroyed the walls containing the reactor, but the actual reactor container is still intact for the time being. Conflicting reports state the the reactor temperature is actually
going down. But radiation levels have exceeded 1,000 times the normal level.
As of 6:00am Pacific time, Sources have told Coup Media that the Japanese Government has issued Iodine to residents near the blast in a preimptive effort to thwart the affects of radioactive poisoning.
As of 6:30am Pacific time, Sources have also told Coup Media that there may be a potential breech in the main reactor. This could spell a massive nuclear meltdown in the region that could threaten the United States and other Nations with Radioactive fallout. Fox news stated this morning that this threat to the rest of the world likely will not kill a lot of people quickly and would be more or less like being slowly poisoned by low level radiation over time. Later Fox news changed their story stating that there is no real threat of meltdown at the moment.
However, the three people who have escaped the failing facility have been heavily exposed to radiation.
Fires And Devestation Video in Sendai
Radiation leaking from Japan’s quake-hit nuclear reactor
Radiation level low, major leakage not expected-government
Police officers wearing respirators guide people to evacuate away from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant following an evacuation order for residents who live in within a 10 km (6.3 miles) radius from the plant after an explosion in Tomioka Town in Fukushima Prefecture March 12, 2011. (source)
more information as it becomes available..
Monday, March 7, 2011
5 March 2011, by Lewis Smith (The Independent UK)
Soaring petrol prices could reach £2 a litre if the situation in Libya and other oil-producing nations in the region worsens, the Overseas Development Minister has warned.
Alan Duncan fears the record $147-a-barrel price reached for oil in 2008 will be smashed unless calm returns to the Middle East and North Africa in the coming months.
The minister, a former oil trader, said that $200 a barrel is quite possible, and if oil-producing nations are hit by co-ordinated terrorist action on top of the revolutionary unrest, the price could reach $250 a barrel, which would see the advent of the £2 litre.
He said in a newspaper interview: "I've been saying in government for two months that if this does go wrong, £1.30 at the pump could look like a luxury. $200 is on the cards.
The suggestion that oil prices could reach $200 a barrel prompted renewed warnings that it could lead to a double-dip recession because of the increased pressure on household income.
A survey by Theos, a think tank, suggested that fuel price rises combined with cuts in public services are the issues most likely to bring widespread protests in Britain.
Saudi Arabia's `Day of Rage' Lures Record Bets on $200 Oil: Chart of Day
7 March 2011, by Ann Koh and Kim Kyoungwha (Bloomberg)
Options traders are betting more than ever that crude oil is heading to $200 a barrel as some websites call for a “Day of Rage” in Saudi Arabia and anti- government protests spread in the Middle East and North Africa.
The CHART OF THE DAY shows open interest, or the number of outstanding contracts, for “call” options to buy New York crude for June delivery at $200 a barrel.
The number has escalated, along with crude futures, to the highest since the options started trading in July 2009 amid worsening civil unrest in Libya and rare demonstrations in Saudi Arabia.
“The price of oil is going to go up, whether you like it to or don’t,” said Juerg Kiener, chief investment officer at Swiss Asia Capital Ltd. in Singapore.
“If Saudi Arabia fails, then I say you have a fire in the house. They gave out $30 billion of money so maybe they’ll buy time. But I don’t see the problems disappearing.”
Call options grant the holder the right, but not the obligation, to buy a security at an agreed price before a set date.
The $200 June New York crude options expire May 17. Oil rose to $106.45 a barrel today, the highest intraday price since Sept. 29, 2008
Global natural gas supplies could be reduced by about 3 percent if production cuts in Libya spread to other producing nations in the Middle East, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) said in a report dated March 6.
Gas exports totaling 79 billion cubic meters a year could be cut if social unrest causes disruptions in Egypt, Oman, Yemen and Algeria, said the Goldman analysts led by London-based Samantha Dart. That is the equivalent of 2.6 percent of global supplies and includes 10 billion already suspended in Libya, the report said. Potential disruptions to Algeria would have the largest impact as the country produces 2.7 percent of global output, according to the report.
"well first of oil if you own oil and it goes up a hundred dollars you profited mightily ...but Larry they will then print more money , all Bernanke knows to do is print money it's the wrong thing to do but the dollar will continue to go down ..you have to protect yourself , you protect yourself with silver or rice or natural gas or something , you gotta own real assets "
"...well of course it will Larry but remember supply is going down too , that was to suppress demand but supply of everything is going down , we're running out of agricultural products , the world is running out of known reserves of oil supply is going down too , now of course there will be corrections along the way there always are ..but still commodities are the best place to be , and Larry on the scenario things get worse , you're gonna make any money on stocks your only hope is commodities or foreign currencies "
"I am short NASDAQ type technology stock and I am short emerging markets those are the two areas of the world stock market which have been over exploited in the last two to three years , I got to have a hedge so I am shorting emerging markets and the NASDAQ "
Tha above transcript was done manually by the owner of this blog and hence it is far from being accurate
Mar. 4 2011 |Weighing in on inflation and how investors can turn some of this pain into profit, with famed investor Jim Rogers, Rogers Holding chairman.