Fukushima, Godzilla and Chuck DeVore

Chuck DeVore

Chuck DeVore

I miss Chuck DeVore sometimes.  I really do.  Chuck was OC’s biggest walking, talking billboard for the benefits of nuclear energy, often promoting it as clean energy (with a toxic for millennia waste byproduct).  Chuck made some public statements after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami damaged the Fukushima Nuclear Facility in Japan saying it was the earthquake and the tsunami that caused all those death and injuries, not the nuclear plant.

But as Japanese authorities still struggle to fix the Fukushima problem, Chuck hasn’t said much about nuclear energy lately.  And for good reason.

It seems there’s some scientific debate if the fallout from Fukushima is causing health problems along the West Coast of North America. I mean if 95%of the world’s scientists say climate change is a result of man’s impact on the environment and 5% oppose it, conservatives insist we should debate scientific fact.  If that’s the case, then we should debate these reports on Fukushima, right?

But Fukushima’s impact isn’t going away soon. From Truthout.org:

On New Year’s Day 2014 (nearly three years after the initial incident) operators of the Fukushima plant reported that “plumes of most probably radioactive steam” had been seen rising from the reactor 3 building. According to RT.com, “the Reactor 3 fuel storage pond still houses an estimated 89 tons of the plutonium-based MOX nuclear fuel composed of 514 fuel rods.” Unfortunately, high levels of radiation inside the building make it nearly impossible to determine the source of the mystery steam. Although TEPCO, the plant’s operator, claims there’s no increased danger (small comfort from the people who admitted to the world that they have no control over the situation), most agree that the plant is just seconds away from another disaster.

Seafood Industry Threatened

Toward the end of last year, U.S. scientists and wildlife specialists officially became worried about Fukushima’s impact on the fishing industry. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s all one big ocean. If a massive amount of contamination is dumped into the ocean on one side of the world, rest assured it will eventually make it’s way to the other. We saw this with physical rubble from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, and the same currents are bringing the invisible contaminants as well. Fish, especially salmon, must migrate through the radioactive plumes coming off Fukushima before being harvested on North American coasts. Some believe this represents an eventual health crisis, and that it’s no longer safe to eat fish from the Pacific Ocean

Radiation in U.S. Snow and Beach Sand

If you live in a landlocked state, you might think you’re safe from toxic fish and Fukushima fallout, but that’s not necessarily the case. Just days ago, snow falling in Missouri was found to contain double the normal radiation amount. No snow where you live? You’re not out of the clear yet. Early in the New Year, Infowars reported on a YouTube video that showed background radiation at a Coastside beach reaching over 150 micro-REM per hour. Health officials in San Mateo County confirmed the spike but remain ‘befuddled’ as to its cause.

After the disaster, DeVore told a Conservative blog in 2011, “not to worry.”

From the post, DeVore is quoted: “The important thing, though, is the containment dome itself. And what happens when you have a meltdown, or partial meltdown, is that there’s a fair amount of very hot, as in vaporized, cesium and strontium and iodine that gets released. These are products of nuclear fission, and what’s happening is that these products of nuclear fission are embedded in the concrete of the containment dome. They’re very sticky: They like to seek out and find concrete when they’re at that temperature. And they actually bind with the wall of the containment dome. So even if there’s a partial rupture of the containment dome, which can happen, and there’s a crack in it, the bottom line is these materials are going to coat themselves, in their super-heated state, on the side of the walls of the containment dome. And as long as it functions as it’s supposed to, then the secondary damage–you’ve had the earthquake, and the tsunami–then the likelihood of civilian casualties at these nuclear power plants is actually very limited.

I don’t want to discount it — the bottom line is it’s a serious situation — but let’s look at Chernobyl: according to UN reports in the aftermath, roughly 50 people died at Chernobyl, about half of them being direct responders, people who were putting out the fire, and about half of them being civilians. So this is the worst nuclear power accident in the history of mankind, put that into context of Japan–we may be looking at thousands of people dead from the earthquake and tsunami. So in the greater context of things, this nuclear power plant meltdown is mainly in the minds of Western media as a big deal, when the big deal was the earthquake and tsunami.”

So what got me thinking about Fukushima, dishonest government officials not telling the truth about a nuclear incident, the storage of nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada and Chuck DeVore?  Simple.

Godzilla.

My wife and I attended the world premiere of the new Godzilla movie Thursday night in Hollywood (more on that later) and, for me, it was a lot of fun.

Godzilla made its American debut in 1956 as “Godzilla, King of the Monsters” which was a badly re-cut version of the 1954 Japanese movie “Gojira” which added Raymond Burr as an American reporter named “Steve Martin.”  The new reboot aims to take Godzilla back to his roots instead of the awful 1998 Matthew Broderick movie that turned Godzilla into a giant Iguana with long legs and arms (a box office success but a critical failure).  It’s entirely possible the 2011 Fukushima disaster and pending fears of a runaway nuclear disaster could have inspired the reboot.  Google searches for “Godzilla” spiked in Asia in the wake of the nuclear disaster in Japan.

Today’s Godzilla, much like the 1954 “Gojira” has the same theme — it’s a dark and cautionary tale about what happens when nuclear power is out of control. And that led me to research what’s going on with Fukushima.  Much to my surprise, a recent hit in the OC Register popped up.  Nothing to worry about today, according to the Rgeister, but possibly this summer.

From the Register’s story:  “Results from kelp samples taken in February and March from 26 sites along the West Coast show no indication of radioactive contamination, according to Kelp Watch 2014, a collaborative of more than 20 universities and science labs led by Cal State Long Beach professor Steven Manley.

Data from the testing was posted at kelpwatch.berkeley.edu Wednesday.

“We’re pretty sure radiation from Fukushima has not come to our shores at this time,” Manley said. “Models predicted that the earliest levels would come in March and others in the summer. This gives us good baseline data.”

Kelp, a complex ecosystem, has long been viewed as a barometer of ocean health. The kelp’s large surface canopy and long, fast-growing stalks act as sponges, as they’re bathed in seawater. Monitoring what the kelp is sucking up will give scientists an idea of the health of the marine ecosystems.

Scientists predicted radioactive seawater could strike California beaches this summer.

“I think the amount will be small, but small doesn’t mean insignificant,” Manley said. “It is imperative that we monitor this coastal forest for any radioactive contaminants that will be arriving this year in the ocean currents from Fukushima disaster.”

Like I said, I miss Chuck DeVore sometimes.

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The new Godzilla movie is a fun and enjoyable “popcorn” movie.  For Godzilla fans, there’s a lot to like the Godzilla’s look and trademark roar.  The film is spectacular in its detail of the destruction of three major cities and the sound editing (we saw it at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood and Dolby had the placed optimized for sound) was truly incredible.  I wouldn’t bring a kid younger than 11 to the theater, because the movie will scare them.  The story is a little on the weak side, but it works and you have to go with it and be prepared for major characters to not survive to the end credits. When you get to the scene at Yucca Mountain, you can think of Chuck DeVore.  Sorry, I’m not offering spoilers.

Non-Godzilla fans will struggle to stay awake for the first hour of the movie.  It was a little slow.  But the ending is very satisfying.  I’ll give it three out of five stars.

 

 

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  6 comments for “Fukushima, Godzilla and Chuck DeVore

  1. Cynthia mae Curran
    May 10, 2014 at 6:43 am

    Chuck has a good job in Texas but Chuck of course never tells you that the 2rd and 2nd ward of Houston which consists of the problems of a lot of low income Afro-Americans and Hispanics is far worst than anything in either Anaheim or Santa Ana. In fact Chuck Devore turn me off from the political Right since he pitches Texas way too much and knowing about the demographics of Texas particularly Houston and Dallas which are not that conservative anyway. The 3rd ward of Houston Texas has a poverty rate of 47 percent. In fact the all praise of Texas and even villianzed the few places were Republicans won elections Orange County and purplish San Diego is another reason I left the Republicans. In fact Santa Ana and Anaheim are not turning back white and Irvine is going to be less white in the future which means in the next decade as the aging Tea Party silent generation that benefited the most form prop 13 dies if, then the Republicans will even lose Orange County in president elections. The same will happen to Chuck Devore’s Texas as Hispanics and Asians continue to grow there by 2030.

  2. Cynthia mae Curran
    May 10, 2014 at 8:51 am

    The Republican Party is putting too many eggs into Texas, in the short term it works since Texas whites vote more Republican but in the long term they will lose the state. In fact the midwestern states sometimes have lower poverty than Texas and while not fast growing are not going to have major demographic shifts but the Republicans don’t know how to court the Midwest as much as the south and Texas. Texas now controls the Republican Party, one reason why Chuck Devore got his job. Both the Orange County Register and Chuck Devore see the future of the Old Orange County whites in Texas but some of Texas is not only more Hispanic but major metro areas like Houston and Dallas have a lot more Afro-Americans than Orange County which Orange County whites are not use too.

  3. Cynthia mae Curran
    May 10, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Actually, Orange County is only number 2 among large counties for the Republicans and in the state it was way behind tiny Modoc. Republican philosophy appeals to small rural counties now without minorities unless they do farm work or meatpacking. Republicans are losing in the long term because of a shift out of manufacturing where in the past white middle class folks could get good pay and benefits, not so anymore, because of outsourcing which Republicans tend to support more than Democrats and automation. Republicans opposed rising the minimum wage since many Tea Party folks own small business and don’t like to pay higher wages but since the economy is more service oriented where is a demand to rise minimum wage which hurts the Republicans in Urban and Suburban Counties. Also, Republicans tend to support H1B vistas which takes away jobs from native born and transfers them to immigrants from India, China or Russia. Ted Cruz is a big supporter of H1B vistas this reduces better paying job employment for the native born.

  4. junior
    May 11, 2014 at 7:58 am

    I see that it is all about race – race & more race for Cynthia mae Curran.

  5. Cynthia mae Curran
    May 12, 2014 at 7:14 am

    True, both Liberals just like Conservatives don’t mention that Texas and California Texas are behind whites in income and education and as both states go Hispanics, studies show higher poverty because both states don’t spend much on education for poor Hispanics. Steve Murdock has an article on this.

  6. Cynthia mae Curran
    May 12, 2014 at 7:14 am

    True, both Liberals just like Conservatives don’t mention that Texas and California Texas are behind whites in income and education and as both states go Hispanics, studies show higher poverty because both states don’t spend much on education for poor Hispanics. Steve Murdock has an article on this.

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