Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Which Means It Did

Headline in the NY Times tonight:
Japan Says 2nd Reactor May Have Ruptured With Radioactive Release
D'you think?

The vessel had appeared to be the last fully intact line of defense against large-scale releases of radioactive materials from that reactor, but it was not clear how serious the possible breach might be.

The announcement came after Japanese broadcasters showed live footage of thick plumes of steam rising above the plant.

We're making toxic radiation holes in the Earth. Are we living in The Simpsons?

Only fifty committed workers are bravely standing between us and total nuclear meltdown:

They crawl through labyrinths of equipment in utter darkness pierced only by their flashlights, listening for periodic explosions as hydrogen gas escaping from crippled reactors ignites on contact with air.

They breathe through uncomfortable respirators or carry heavy oxygen tanks on their backs. They wear white, full-body jumpsuits with snug-fitting hoods that provide scant protection from the invisible radiation sleeting through their bodies.

They are the faceless 50, the unnamed operators who stayed behind. They have volunteered, or been assigned, to pump seawater on dangerously exposed nuclear fuel, already thought to be partly melting and spewing radioactive material, to prevent full meltdowns that could throw thousands of tons of radioactive dust high into the air and imperil millions of their compatriots.

If that's not insanity, that's courage.

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