The cat’s on the roof

Every single time we get an “official” update on Fukushima, I think of this joke.

Fuel of the Fukushima nuke plant plant’s No. 1 reactor could be melting, an official said on Wednesday at Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) , the operator of the crippled plant.

TEPCO said last week some of the spent nuclear fuel rods stored in the No. 4 reactor building of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant were damaged..

The company’s workers have put iRobot PackBots to measure radiation, oxygen and temperature inside the reactor..

In other reports, they’re having problems with the robots:

Tokyo Electric Power Company says radioactive debris and high humidity are hampering the investigation by robots at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The company began using remote-controlled robots to explore the first three
reactor buildings on Sunday and Monday.

At the Number 2 reactor building, the robot’s camera lens was instantly clouded by high humidity. TEPCO officials think that the steam is coming from the damaged section of the reactor’s suppression pool. But they have not found a way to resolve the problem as the steam could be highly toxic.

Robots entered the Number 3 reactor building through the southern entrance, but their path was blocked by debris. The firm is considering using another robot that can remove obstacles weighing up to 100 kilograms.

At the first reactor building, robots were able to advance 40 meters along the northern side wall.

The use of robots is aimed at paving the way for staff to work inside the contaminated buildings to stabilize the reactors, but the prospects of success remain unclear.

Do I hear a “meow”?

3 thoughts on “The cat’s on the roof

  1. For anyone else who, like me, is unaware of the “cat’s on the roof” joke, here’s a link with the joke and an explication.

    For some reason, reading the joke brought back an anecdote, “words of wisdom” story, I was told when I was young.

    Goes something like a hired hand was told to crop the tail of, and here I can’t recall what animal, so let’s say a dog.

    The day he’s told to do the deed, there is sharp, pained yelping, and the owner thinks the job is done and the poor dog will soon heal and forget about the pain.

    The next day, the owner hears the same pained, loud yelping. But he’s off on errands and can’t talk to the hired man that day.

    The third day, he hears the same yelping, and he goes to look for the hired hand. When he finds him, the dog’s tail is not entirely cropped, but has obviously been shortened and is bleeding. The owner asks the hired hand why the tail hasn’t been cut off at the right place and what has caused the dog’s yelping.

    The worker replies that he knew cropping the tail would hurt a lot, so he was just doing a little at a time…to make it easier on the dog.

    It was my uncle, iirc, who was telling me it’s best to get bad news out all at once, to get it over with, so people can deal with it.

    OK, kinda the same principle. I think.

  2. I was reminded of the joke that goes like this:

    There was a mishap at the nuclear power plant and as a result, the director resigned. When he met his successor, he gave him two envelopes, one marked No. 1 and the other, No. 2, with the following instruction: The first time something goes wrong, open envelope No. 1 and the second time something goes wrong, open envelope No. 2.

    Some time passes and something goes wrong at the plant and it’s in all the news. The director opens the first envelope and reads, “Blame it on me (your predecessor),” and so at the press conference, he does.

    Some more time passes and something else goes wrong, and the director opens the second envelope and reads, “Prepare two envelopes…”

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