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If we can believe reports and public statements, there is nothing but indifference on the part of the Japanese government, and rather a sense of urgency.


Prime Minister Naoto Kan turned down the request, telling TEPCO: "Withdrawal is impossible. It's not a matter of whether TEPCO collapses. It's a matter of whether Japan goes wrong," according to Mainichi.
However, the technical know-how is within TEPCO and the Japanese nuclear safety agency, so there can be a lot of bungling without indifference.

In any case, it is telling that the government has set up the crisis management committee in TEPCO's headquarters, with the PM and minister of industry heading the committee, while the president of TEPCO ha variously been reported AWOL or "sick" since that happened.

It does happen that a culture becomes unable to replicate the artifacts it was itself able to make in the past, and this may be happening to industrial civilization now: we're losing the ability to adequately handle technologies we ourselves created 40 years ago. For at least 30 years we've been busy at replacing technocracy/meritocracy with cleptocracy. The problem is that this was the result of ideological/cultural shifts which seem hard to reverse and may take another 30 years even if we started now, which we're not.

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 04:11:38 AM EST
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