Nonexistent nuclear regulation in Japan

An Associated Press review of Japan’s approach to nuclear plant safety shows how closely intertwined relationships between government regulators and industry have allowed a culture of complacency to prevail.

We should be so thankful that U.S. regulators aren’t also bought, sold, and paid for. Oh, wait…

Regulators simply didn’t see it as their role to pick apart the utility’s raw data and computer modeling to judge for themselves whether the plant was sufficiently protected from tsunami.

Of course not, why should regulators do something foolish like regulate?

Seabed radiation 100-1,000 times normal level off Fukushima plant,” but don’t go getting all alarmist about this, y’hear?

Japan government does nothing while radiation soars

While we certainly have regulatory capture here in the US, it’s now clear that the entire government of Japan is an inept and corrupt entity, completely captured and controlled by big business.

TEPCO knew radiation in seawater was 7.5 million above normal before it started dumping radioactive water in the ocean on Monday

The Japanese government has done nothing to stop this and, unbelievably, is just now getting around to setting radiation levels for what is safe in seafood. Presumably they will say if it’s not glowing, it’s safe.

It’s painfully obvious that the government of Japan and Tepco have no concern for human life and are deeply incompetent as well.

In bizarre coincidence, Japan says 1600x normal radiation is a-ok

New radiation alert at Fukushima – Levels soar to 1600 times normal

That radiation reading was 20 kilometers from the crippled reactors. But no need to worry your silly little head, no doubt their government will raise the permissible amount of radiation (as they’ve already been doing continually) so people in the affected areas who are starting to vomit and glow can rest assured the cause is absolutely positively not due to radiation. You must understand, Tepco needs to protect their investment, even if that means more radiation is spewed and people die, rather do the right and sane thing and bury the accursed plant like they did at Chernobyl.  So it’s Save the Nukes at all costs. Financial interests must come before human life.

In other disaster news, Operation Underpants Gnomes is hitting a patch of rough road. Juan Cole says the no-fly zone is only in the rebel-held east. Further to the west, the fighting is fierce and UN allies do not own the skies. I’m sure this little jaunt in the park will be over in just a few days, don’t you?

Disaster capitalism, a new variant emerges

Capitalism doesn’t just profit from disasters, as Naomi Klein says. It also, through greed, shortsightedness, and corruption, creates disasters. It could be a real estate bubble, inflated by corruption and a deliberately asleep government, that finally popped and took down the US economy with it. It is also nuclear plants built to inadequate specs and monitored by toothless regulatory agencies that have been compromised by the very industry they pretend to regulate.

In both cases, the causes are the same, a lunatic capitalism that is concerned only with short-term profits and governments who are beholden to and owned by it.

For example

A noted physicist describes what Japan is doing at the reactors as using a squirt gun against a raging forest fire. What’s worse, attempting to dump salt water on the reactors could damage them even further. Instead, he says, do what they did at Chernobyl, bury the reactors in boric acid, sand, and concrete and be done with it.

The reaction from supposedly savvy Japanese government and business to this admittedly huge disaster has been like the Keystone Kops and not anything coherent. No doubt Tepco wants to save the reactors, thus their increasingly deranged attempts do something, anything, and not write them off completely. The government has not been forthcoming and has evaded so consistently that it can no longer be trusted. Instead of championing the needs of their increasingly desperate populace, it manufactures fantasy statements and pretends things will be better soon. Their interests intertwine with those of the corporatists. They are the same. Japan has a disaster, one that is made much worse by an enfeebled government that is more concerned with saving face than saving people and a poisonous form of capitalism that cares little about anything but profits. And that, my friends, is why we have yet another disaster of capitalism.