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They need to bite the bullet and acquire some river barges outfitted for liquid transport. China may be the closest available supply, as they do lots of bulk transport by river. While they are at it they need to line up two old tankers into which the barges can offload contaminated water. They are failing to come up with storage that is adequate to what contaminated water currently exists but continuing to have to add freshwater that immediately becomes contaminated water if it doesn't evaporate. They need to get out in front of this. Again the response seems like that of the typical crowd in a bad horror movie -- frozen by fear.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 07:46:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the whole event has just stunk of that US saying A day late and a dollar short.

If you look at the cardinal virtues, one of them is Temperance, now this isn't the religious not drinking meaning, theres another meaning, doing things in the right proportion at the right time. and that is one that appears to be a consistent point of failure.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 08:31:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It appears that looking desperate, hurried is frown upon in the Japanese culture. When shit hits a fan, you are supposed to rather swallow it whole than show sweat cleaning, to keep your status.

In his "Outliers", Gladwell describes a cultural reform at "Korean Air", that used to have a frightening safety record. What was changed is flight crews' tendency to show too much reverence to its senior officers, and communicate to them tentatively, indirectly, ambiguously.

by das monde on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 09:37:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That makes total sense. In trying to save face they are in the process of loosing their asses,  much of Honshu and, quite possibly, Tokyo. Would it be culturally acceptable for PM Kan to decapitate the management of TEPCO, declare them to have been an obstacle to handling the problem and then to proceed with alacrity? Surely this current inappropriate response is not how the Japanese reacted to bad news during WWII and earlier, is it?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 12:01:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Would it be culturally acceptable for PM Kan to decapitate the management of TEPCO, declare them to have been an obstacle to handling the problem and then to proceed with alacrity?

I suspect this may have happened already.

However, suppose you're PM Kan and have removed the TEPCO management. Who do you put in charge of the operations since you yourself don't have the expertise? I would hope the higher-ranking technical people at TEPCO are already in charge of the operations.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 05:36:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect this may have happened already.

The Government may have effectively taken control, but what ever they have done does not seem to enable them to move with any alacrity. That is what they need. Perhaps "foreign pressure" will enable them to get ahead of the situation instead of engaging in a series of tentative half measures. Now is a time to err on the side of an overly robust response.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 01:30:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do they have the expertise?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 01:45:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From what I can gather:  no.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 02:23:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do they realise this, and who does?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 02:24:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know the answer to either question.

I don't know if there IS anybody living on this planet who has the expertise to come in and do a better job.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 02:30:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's my problem with a lot of the second-guessing going on.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 02:39:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because people who can't manufacture it cannot fix it when it breaks.

Whether people who can manufacture it can fix it when it breaks remains an open question.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 02:30:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh c'mon.  It's not ALL bad.

The disaster released multitudes of radiation resistant bacteria into the environment.

So if worse comes to worse cockroaches will have something to eat.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 02:42:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do they have the expertise?

They understand that they need to deal with contaminated water. If nothing else, there are large rubberized floating containers that could be used to shuttle contaminated water from the harbor, which a US destroyer can obviously enter, out to where a tanker could be anchored. This would provide interim storage in the range of 100,000 tons or more. With two such tankers available and some shore based storage facilities in which to offload the tankers, an operational capability adequate to at least the next month could be created. This is not nuclear engineering so much as logistics.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 03:34:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Government may have effectively taken control

Some symbolic clarity would be welcome already. At least, the government could form a commission of non-TEPCO experts (local or international) that could have full access to developments, make their own assessments, have say in measure implementation, and would represent public concern.

So far it looks like TEPCO is enjoying fully the privilege of "managing" the situation, controlling the information and own responsibility scope, keeping others dependent. Corporate emperors...

by das monde on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 08:52:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the trouble with temperance is you have to go too far first to know what it is. eg:
the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. (william blake)

world is full of folk going too far right now, in every direction...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 08:32:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now would be a good time for some excess in the application of remedial measures at Fukushima.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 01:33:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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