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Fukushima leak of the week

by Susie

This was the second time in 11 days they’ve had this kind of leak, so you might get the impression that the plant isn’t all that stable. This sort of thing might also explain why the seaweed on the West Coast is testing so much higher for radiation lately.

But the question I have is, in a place where the radiation is so high that it’s not safe for robots, why the hell would they use plastic pipes?

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said as much as 12 tons of radioactive water leaked from a pipe at its crippled Fukushima nuclear station, the second such incident in 11 days at the same pipeline, raising further doubts about the stability of the plant.

Part of the water may have poured into the sea through a drainage ditch, Osamu Yokokura, a spokesman for the utility, said by phone. The company known as Tepco stopped the leak from a pipe connecting a desalination unit and a tank today, he said.

“There will be similar leaks until Tepco improves equipment,” said Kazuhiko Kudo, a research professor of nuclear engineering at Kyushu University, who visited the plant twice last year as a member of a panel under the Nuclear and Industry Safety Agency. “The site had plastic pipes to transfer radioactive water, which Tepco officials said are durable and for industrial use, but it’s not something normally used at nuclear plants,” he said. “Tepco must replace it with metal equipment, such as steel.”

Tepco has about 100,000 tons of highly radioactive water accumulated in basements at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear station nearly 13 months after the March 11 quake and tsunami caused meltdowns and the worst radiation leaks since Chernobyl. The tsunami knocked out all power at the station, causing cooling systems for reactors to fail. The utility was forced to set up makeshift pumps to get cooling water to the reactors, with most of it then draining into basements.

Tepco has been criticized before over its handling of the radioactive water following several leaks into the sea, including the one reported on March 26.

Last year, the environment group Greenpeace International said it found seaweed and fish contaminated to more than 50 times the 2,000 becquerel per kilogram legal limit for radioactive iodine-131 off the coast of Fukushima during a survey between May 3 and 9.
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Hot teen exorcists!

by Susie
No, really. Home-schooled, pastor father, being wooed for a reality show. But Charlie Pierce explains that Joss Whedon did it already, and much better.

The Poor People’s campaign

by Susie
Martin Luther King was killed for saying things like this, not for his “I have a dream” speech:

Ted Rall is writing a book

by Susie
And it’s on Kickstarter. The way that works is, you pledge an amount and you only have to pay it if his project is fully funded. The book? It’s about how to pick up the pieces and start over if we have a revolution. (That Ted! Never a controversial moment!) Anyway, if you want to support it, click here.

The ruling class of U.S. intelligence

by Susie
Enlightening post by Tim Shorrock about the private security apparatus that’s now taken over most of what used to be government intelligence operations. Implied but not said is that they can do more end runs around the American laws that are supposed to protect us but hey, no big deal!


by Susie
An old man publicly kills himself in Greece. The austerity crowd shake their heads and wonder why people don’t appreciate the very hard work they’re doing to keep the bond vigilantes happy!

“The occupation government… has literally wiped out my ability to survive, based on a respectable pension which I had paid for during a 35-year period,” the pensioner said in an excerpt published in Greek newspapers.

“I find no other solution for a dignified end before I start sifting through garbage to feed myself,” he allegedly wrote in red ink.

‘Trust me’

by Susie
A man who wears a gold dress warns priests they should support whatever he says without question.

There were no laws about clerical celibacy until the 12th century, when church officials drew up such restrictions – mostly because they were worried about the legal claims of priests’ bastard children. If the church was wrong before they made those rules, who’s to say they’re not wrong now?

One of my aunts was complaining about women wanting to be priests. “Jesus only picked men to be apostles,” she told me. “Well, Aunt Aggie, if you really want to be accurate, Jesus only picked Jews to be apostles. So maybe you should have to be a Jew to be a priest.” She was speechless.

Aunt Aggie’s dead now, and soon the rest of the people who think like her will be gone, too. So if Benedict wants a smaller, purer church, he’s going to get one.

As predicted

by Susie
There will be a lot of pain in the coal industry, especially on the workers’ side. But breathing is pretty basic, too.

Holy Thursday

by Susie

St. Adelbert’s on Allegheny Avenue.

The local Polish shops were packed today, because tomorrow is Good Friday and a lot of people will be in church instead of shopping. At the Krakus supermarket, located on a busy artery and a bus route, it was even more difficult to find a parking spot than usual. I saw many out-of-state plates from people headed back to the old neighborhood for their traditional holiday treats.

I gave up on getting kielbasa at Krakus because the line was so long. Instead, I bought a cheese babka and some chrusciki (Polish cookies made from scraps of fried dough and covered in powdered sugar). Then I headed over to the Polish butcher near my house, where I got some smoked kielbasa and some potato pierogis. There was a line of people waiting all the way around the store to place orders at the butcher counter, so they weren’t making hoagies today. I was starved, so after I was done, I headed over to the Korean Polish grocery, where they make a very nice hoagie. No lines there, even though they carry a lot of the same Polish food. But at the other store, it’s homemade.

Anyway, I’m done, I’m home and as ready for Easter as I’m going to get.

You’ve got mail — for now

by Odd Man Out
Bernie Sanders is fighting the reactionaries who are trying to put the U.S. Postal Service out of business, but where are Obama and the Democrats?

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