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Evan Bayh

Ezra Klein with a great smackdown.

Breaking news

Another fire at Reactor 4.

SOMA, Japan — The world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl rose to a new level Wednesday as another fire erupted at Japan’s stricken nuclear complex and engineers worried about the possibility of blasts at two other reactors. In addition, two workers were reported missing after an earlier fire.

The new fire broke out Wednesday morning at Unit 4 of the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. A blast and fire at Unit 4 nearly 24 hours earlier opened a hole in the outer building, emitting radiation from overheating spent fuel in a storage pool.

Two workers inside the unit were missing after the first fire, Japan’s nuclear safety agency said.

Officials were also concerned about Units 5 and 6.

“Plant operators were considering the removal of panels from units 5 and 6 reactor buildings to prevent a possible buildup of hydrogen,” the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement.
“It was a buildup of hydrogen at units 1, 2, and 3 that led to explosions at the Dai-ichi facilities in recent days,” it added.

Michigan rally Wednesday

Free buses to the capitol, sign up here.

Yep

Customer service

Defunding NPR

The Republicans away with shit because they have the balls to go for the jugular. Too bad Democrats haven’t learned that lesson.

Redistribution of wealth

I’m so happy to be part of the system that continues to distribute wealth to the top, where it’s most needed to buy the kinds of things that are advertised in Vanity Fair.

Earthquake history

In November 1755, a 9.0 earthquake shook the ground for ten minutes and resulted in a 100-ft. tsunami that swept Lisbon, Portugal.

Lesson to be learned

You can’t run a safety-critical power plant with a FOR-PROFIT company:

On August 29, 2002, the government of Japan revealed that TEPCO was guilty of false reporting in routine governmental inspection of its nuclear plants and systematic concealment of plant safety incidents. All seventeen of its boiling-water reactors were shut down for inspection as a result. TEPCO’s chairman Hiroshi Araki, President Nobuya Minami, Vice-President Toshiaki Enomoto, as well as the advisers Shō Nasu and Gaishi Hiraiwa stepped-down by September 30, 2002.[6] The utility “eventually admitted to two hundred occasions over more than two decades between 1977 and 2002, involving the submission of false technical data to authorities”.[7] Upon taking over leadership responsibilities, TEPCO’s new president issued a public commitment that the company would take all the countermeasures necessary to prevent fraud and restore the nation’s confidence. By the end of 2005, generation at suspended plants had been restarted, with government approval.

In 2007, however, the company announced to the public that an internal investigation had revealed a large number of unreported incidents. These included an unexpected unit criticality in 1978 and additional systematic false reporting, which had not been uncovered during the 2002 inquiry. Along with scandals at other Japanese electric companies, this failure to ensure corporate compliance resulted in strong public criticism of Japan’s electric power industry and the nation’s nuclear energy policy. Again, the company made no effort to identify those responsible.

Radiation

CNN is explaining how good it is for us. I feel better already.

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