Japan's Nuclear Crisis is Serious, But Media Coverage is Ludicrous
March 17, 2011BEGIN TRANSCRIPTRUSH:
Now, the nuclear situation in Japan. You notice whenever the media gets stuck covering a single subject for a long time, like the Japan nuclear problem, they really start saying crazy things. During the news last night (I think it was on CNN) they had on a guy who went on and on and on about how this is all uncharted territory. He said, "Nobody's even thought that the fuel rods could catch fire! They've never even thought about something like that!" I look at that, and I say, "Where did the networks find these people? What do you mean nobody has ever thought about what would happen if the fuel rods catch fire?"
People who design and build nuclear power plants, that's all they think about -- especially since Chernobyl, but even long before that. Since nuclear power began this is what people think about. To go get an "expert" to say that nobody's ever pondered this, that we're in uncharted territory? It's pure, fearmongering hype. I've noticed how CNN and other supposed news channels are constantly putting on the anti-nuclear advocates as nuclear "experts." There's one glaring example. There's a guy out there named Arnold Gundersen. He's not an unbiased expert by any stretch. Google his name: Arnold Gundersen.
He's a longtime anti-nuclear activist, but CNN does not identify him as such or any of their other experts as having axes to grind, and I haven't seen anyone in the media apologize to the Tepco workers after they falsely accused them of walking off the job a couple of days ago, nor have I heard them apologize to their viewers for ratcheting up the hysteria unnecessarily. No such things will be forthcoming. The hysteria continues to ratchet up. The fearmongering, the crisis-mongering continues. People are wondering about when will the plume arrive. "How long do we have to live? Where should I go to avoid the plume?" There's more radiation in a banana than's gonna be in that plume that hits Southern California.BREAK TRANSCRIPTRUSH:
All right, the fearmongering, the hysteria continues to be effective. Angela Merkel in Germany has now pledged to shut down nuclear plants there. Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, says he wants to shut down a nuclear plant in New York. (interruption) Nooo! No! No. Is it Indian Point or some such...? Indian Point. He says he wants to shut down Indian Point. Been worried about Indian Point for a long time, longtime concerns about the Indian Point nuclear plant. So the Germans are gonna shut it down, we got various people in our country want to shut it down. You know... (groans)
I hate to be the one to have to offer all this perspective because the impression is that I am missing the boat about how serious this is, and nothing could be further from the truth. I just long time a student of media. I cringe daily at how they specifically attempt to influence the nation. This Charlie Sheen-Sarah Palin poll, for crying out loud! If there was ever anything to discredit the real purpose of a poll, does anybody ever believed Charlie Sheen's gonna run for president? No. So what's the purpose of the poll? The purpose of the poll is to tell Palin she's got no chance and to stay out of it.
The purpose is something totally other than to tell us what public opinion is. They are trying to make and shape public opinion, and they have an agenda. They're not disinterested bystanders, objectively telling us and reporting what's going on. So now we've got all this hysteria about the plume. The plume. There are aerosols in this plume. By the time they travel the thousands of miles it's gonna take to get here, they will dilute. Many will plummet into the oceans where they will be eaten just like the oil was in the Gulf of Mexico. The stuff that survives will have less radiation than a banana.
"What do you mean?"
They irradiate bananas to delay ripening so that when you buy one at the store it still looks yellow. Bananas have been known to set off radiation detectors at airports. (interruption) Yeah. Look! Dawn's in there, "I didn't know that!" It's true. It's not your fault I didn't know it. They don't tell you this stuff. The sun? For crying out loud, you want to talk about radiation? Precious solar power relies on radiation. Obama's high-speed trains? If you don't think those things are gonna produce radiation, you got another think coming. Wind turbines. There's radiation in virtual everything, in sunshine. I mean, folks, even over-the-air television and radio broadcasts emit radiation, right there off the broadcast towers. There's radiation all around us.
It's as though the tiniest amount will be infectious and could be deadly, when in fact some people say a little radiation is good for humans in that it prevents some cancers, but it's like everything else: You can get too much of it and cause yourselves serious problems.BREAK TRANSCRIPTRUSH:
Minor, minor correction. Dr. Roy Spencer, our official climatologist from the University of Alabama at Huntsville says that bananas are naturally radioactive, even before they are irradiated for whatever purpose. The radioactive levels in bananas are quite natural. They're born that way, so to speak. And it's just an example of some things which are natural being hyped into a circumstance where people are being led to panic over a number of things that are quite natural and harmless.
RUSH: There's a website that people tell me is the most reliable information about what's happening. It's called the Nuclear Energy Institute, and as of 11:35 this morning Eastern Time, this is their update from Fukushima Daiichi: "The reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant are in stable condition and are being cooled with seawater, but workers at the plant continue efforts to add cooling water to fuel pools at reactors 3 and 4.
"The status of the reactors at the site is as follows: Reactor 1's primary containment is believed to be intact and the reactor is in a stable condition. Seawater injection into the reactor is continuing. Reactor 2 is in stable condition with seawater injection continuing. The reactor’s primary containment may not have been breached, Tokyo Electric Power Co. and World Association of Nuclear Operators officials said on Thursday. Access problems at the site have delayed connection of a temporary cable to restore off-site electricity. The connection will provide power to the control rod drive pump, instrumentation, batteries and the control room.
"Power has not been available at the site since the earthquake on March 11. Reactor 3 is in stable condition with seawater injection continuing. The primary containment is believed to be intact. Pressure in the containment has fluctuated due to venting of the reactor containment structure. TEPCO officials say that although one side of the concrete wall of the fuel pool structure has collapsed, the steel liner of the pool remains intact, based on aerial photos of the reactor taken on March 17. The pool still has water providing some cooling for the fuel; however, helicopters dropped water on the reactor four times during the morning (Japan time) on March 17.
"Water also was sprayed at reactor 4 using high-pressure water cannons. Reactors 5 and 6 were both shut down before the quake occurred. Primary and secondary containments are intact at both reactors. Temperature instruments in the spent fuel pools at reactors 5 and 6 are operational..." Now, when you read this -- and this is from a site that I'm not told is as credible as anything out there, not a news media site: Nuclear Energy Institute. This contradicts almost everything I'm seeing on television. On television, it's the apocalypse. So what are we to do? Answer: Don't panic.BREAK TRANSCRIPTRUSH:
Here's this New York Times story which is the only accurate story I have seen in that publication of what's going on. I'm just gonna summarize the story for you. The problem is not the active nuclear reactors. There is not an active nuclear reactor meltdown going on. The problem is the unused spent fuel rods that the Japanese had on site in storage ponds. It's those ponds that are evaporating, that have caught fire, if you will. The water may have dried up in these storage ponds. The point is that these are not the active rods of the reactor. Most sites don't have any spent rods sitting around. The Japanese still did, hadn't moved them out. The active reactors are not the problem. And I can't believe this is day four of this and this is the first accurate story I have seen to explain what's going on in Japan in the New York Times. So it's not the active reactors. It's the unused, spent fuel rods sitting around in the storage ponds, the Japanese had 'em on site, did not have them moved out. END TRANSCRIPT