Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Japan

Japan Marks 3rd Anniversary of Tsunami Disaster 77

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the lingering-effects dept.
AmiMoJo writes "Today Japan marks the third anniversary of the 11th of March 2011 disaster when the country was hit by a magnitude 9 earthquake huge tsunami and severe nuclear accident. More than 18,500 people were killed or went missing. Nearly 3,000 others died while evacuated from their homes, and over a quarter of a million people were still living in temporary housing as of February. Work to build new housing on higher ground is lagging behind schedule.

Three reactors melted down at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant following the quake and tsunami, but the exact cause of the accident is still unknown. How massive amounts of radioactive materials from the reactors were dispersed is also unclear. Today was also the day when hundreds of former residents announced that they were suing TEPCO, the plant operator, and the government for additional compensation."
Although the nuclear accident was dwarfed by the other devastation, the effects of the meltdown will be felt for much longer. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists published an article today on the reactors that didn't meltdown, and the NRC chair has some comments on the progress at Fukishima.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Japan Marks 3rd Anniversary of Tsunami Disaster

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @01:19PM (#46455815)

    Although the nuclear accident was dwarfed by the other devastation,

    Yet the nuclear accident is all people panic about, completely forgetting the actual tsunami.

    • Yeah, but the amount of death, destruction, and long term economic cost was lower. This is like saying that the sun doesn't dwarf the earth because a lot of people don't know that.

      • by peon_a-z,A-Z,0-9$_+! (2743031) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @01:47PM (#46456049)

        You mean the 20,000 deaths caused by the Tsunami compared to the 0 deaths related to anything nuclear, where the handful of deaths surrounding the incident were caused by inaction and fear of radiation?

        http://fukushima.ans.org/

        The physical effects of the Tsunami were incredibly more devastating than the Fukushima meltdown, however the psychological effects of the meltdown are truly staggering. It's a difference between facts and perception that, three years later, isn't going anywhere it seems. Nuclear is only scary if you don't look at what it actually is.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by i kan reed (749298)

          There are two kinds of people, those that try to quantify everything, and an abstract, unclear bunch of other groups.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo @ w orld3.net> on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @02:23PM (#46456337) Homepage

          The key difference being that the tsunami was a natural disaster that was difficult to prevent. The Fukushima accident was caused by incompetence and could have been avoided, as it was at other nuclear plants.

          Focusing on deaths is arbitrary and designed solely to try and underplay the devastating effects of the nuclear disaster on the people forced to evacuate and on Japan's economy. As TFA points out there are still too many unknowns to say exactly how bad Fukushima is.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            Then you can focus on numbers other than $Deaths, like:

            Some 160,000 people were evacuated as a precautionary measure, and prolonging the evacuation resulted in the deaths of about 1100 of them due to stress, and some due to disruption of medical and social welfare facilities.

            http://www.world-nuclear.org/i... [world-nuclear.org]

            Or perhaps look at a chart showing the magnitude of radiation around Fukushima with respect to time:

            http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2f/Fukushima7.png

            There is always radiation around us from natural sources (cosmic, ground, foods), so when the background radiation of the surrounding area is at a normal level, then why are people concerned? The numbers don't add up, but the perception of fear continues.

            O

            • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo @ w orld3.net> on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @04:22PM (#46457499) Homepage

              Some 160,000 people were evacuated as a precautionary measure, and prolonging the evacuation resulted in the deaths of about 1100 of them due to stress, and some due to disruption of medical and social welfare facilities.

              So you are basically agreeing with me. There was no way to know how bad the disaster was at the time they evacuated, and the levels in the evacuation area above safe limits in parts so clearly it was necessary. Your map has hundreds of metres per pixel, it doesn't show hot spots which are the problem, only an average.

              I'm not sure what your point is... It was a disaster, people died as a result.

              • I'm not agreeing, I'm just trying to point out a few more numbers that show the magnitude of the damage caused by radiation is significantly less than the magnitude of psychological damages and unwarranted fear of radiation that seems to espoused throughout the internet.

                While not everyone is expected to be an informed citizen on every topic (nuclear science and engineering in this case), it's harmful to let dis-information spread and generate more fear.

                • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

                  But most of it isn't unwarranted fear of radiation, it was due to a necessary and prudent evacuation and the subsequent delays in returning due to high measured levels.

          • by khallow (566160)

            The Fukushima accident was caused by incompetence and could have been avoided, as it was at other nuclear plants.

            I glanced through your posts to get an idea of what you thought "incompetence" was. It appears [slashdot.org] that you think not building the seawall higher at Fukushima was an example and that you agree with the blithe and wrong assumption that it was "corporate culture" which was at fault - even though the same TEPCO corporate culture also existed at the Onagawa plant.

            Focusing on deaths is arbitrary

            Death is a very concrete measure of harm.

            underplay the devastating effects of the nuclear disaster on the people forced to evacuate and on Japan's economy

            Keep in mind that a lot of the harm comes from hysteria not nuclear accidents. For example, why are no Japanese n

            • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

              I glanced through your posts to get an idea of what you thought "incompetence" was. It appears that you think not building the seawall higher at Fukushima was an example and that you agree with the blithe and wrong assumption that it was "corporate culture" which was at fault - even though the same TEPCO corporate culture also existed at the Onagawa plant.

              You are not very good at reading comprehension.

              Death is a very concrete measure of harm.

              Except that it ignores all the people who survived by are now suffering. In the case of Fukushima it is often chosen deliberately to ignore those people because the speaker is trying to make out that it was not very harmful.

              For example, why are no Japanese nuclear plants on line? There's no safety issue for most of the nuclear plants which weren't effected by the earthquakes.

              Actually there is. Many of them experienced near or above their lateral force limits during the earthquake, and it is standard procedure after one to shut down and do a full inspection to look for damage. It takes a lot of time to do, and si

              • by khallow (566160)

                You are not very good at reading comprehension.

                That's what's written there. I'll quote it in full so we don't have this particular disagreement again:

                The key paragraph:

                Most people believe that Fukushima DaiichiÃ(TM)s meltdowns were predominantly due to the earthquake and tsunami. The survival of Onagawa, however, suggests otherwise. Onagawa was only 123 kilometers away from the epicenterÃ"60 kilometers closer than Fukushima DaiichiÃ"and the difference in seismic intensity at the two plants was negligible. Furthermore, the tsunami was bigger at Onagawa, reaching a height of 14.3 meters, compared with 13.1 meters at Fukushima Daiichi. The difference in outcomes at the two plants reveals the root cause of Fukushima DaiichiÃ(TM)s failures: the utilityÃ(TM)s corporate Ãoesafety culture.Ã

                A natural disaster is a tragedy. A man-made disaster due to corporate culture is a crime.

                TEPCO runs both the Fukushima Daiichi and Onagawa plants. It's the same corporate culture which in one case you laud and another you declare a "crime".

                Also, note that Onagawa remains off line. When is it going to be rewarded for its good "corporate culture" by being allowed to restart?

                Death is a very concrete measure of harm.

                Except that it ignores all the people who survived by are now suffering. In the case of Fukushima it is often chosen deliberately to ignore those people because the speaker is trying to make out that it was not very harmful.

                If we're going by that measure, the earthquake still caused a lot more suffering. Also a lot - if not most - of that suf

          • Are you sure other deaths from the tsunami couldn't have been prevented? Perhaps some of them could have been avoided if there hadn't been incompetence and official neglect. Even a few cases of badly placed construction and inadequate disaster planning could have resulted in a lot of deaths. We don't hear about those.

            Many of the devastating effects from the Fukushima disaster proper were because of ignorance and irrational fear of radiation. You're claiming that nukes are scary because people are sca

    • Because the people are dead and the destruction has been done and is over. The meltdown is ongoing and will affect the region for a lot longer than the tsunami ever could.
      It also highlights not the threat of nuclear power, but the threat of politics and nuclear power combined make. That plant should have been shutdown for years, a new one should have been built using upgraded technology. But thanks to politics, that wasn't done and they extended the reactor for many more years than it was made to be oper

    • by nucrash (549705)

      That's be cause while 20,000 died as a direct result of the devastation, and and billions upon billions was lost and millions lives were displaced because of the matter, there is an end in sight for those people where they can rebuild. There are no concerns in the long term for their life. That doesn't make their loss any less insignificant, just their loss will not linger as long as those of the Fukushima area. Look at Chernobyl 28 years later. We still have concern for what happened there.

      While I am

      • Right. Your life was altered because somebody you love was near the disaster.

        Consider that with twenty thousand deaths, there were a lot of people who died who were loved by people who came out OK. They can't be rebuilt. The effects of that are going to last more than 28 years.

  • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo @ w orld3.net> on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @01:32PM (#46455925) Homepage

    The key paragraph:

    Most people believe that Fukushima Daiichiâ(TM)s meltdowns were predominantly due to the earthquake and tsunami. The survival of Onagawa, however, suggests otherwise. Onagawa was only 123 kilometers away from the epicenterâ"60 kilometers closer than Fukushima Daiichiâ"and the difference in seismic intensity at the two plants was negligible. Furthermore, the tsunami was bigger at Onagawa, reaching a height of 14.3 meters, compared with 13.1 meters at Fukushima Daiichi. The difference in outcomes at the two plants reveals the root cause of Fukushima Daiichiâ(TM)s failures: the utilityâ(TM)s corporate âoesafety culture.â

    A natural disaster is a tragedy. A man-made disaster due to corporate culture is a crime.

  • While Tohoku Electric learned from past earthquakes and tsunamis--including one in Chile on February 28, 2010--and continuously improved its countermeasures...Tepco "resorted to delaying tactics, such as presenting alternative scientific studies and lobbying."

    Doesn't this sound very familiar?

  • "An unfortunate wave and harmless radiation that inconvenienced a small group of our citizens"
    • by tp1024 (2409684)

      No it doesn't.

      And that, folks, is how you can tell apart arrogant people who are spouting propaganda from arrogant people who don't. The guys spouting the propaganda habitually make up lies. They put words into people's mouths that they would have liked them to have said, because it would prove their point.

      Google [google.com] finds exactly one place on the whole of the internet, in which this quote appears:

      Japan Marks 3rd Anniversary of Tsunami Disaster - Slashdot
      slashdot.org/.../japan-marks-3rd-anniversary-of-tsunami-disaster
      Slashdot
      1 hour ago - ... else (Score:2). by JoeyRox (2711699) writes: "An unfortunate wave and harmless radiation that inconvenienced a small group of our citizens" ...

      You may recognize this as your very own sorry piece of shit.

  • I watched it on TV (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lemur3 (997863) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @02:08PM (#46456215)

    I remember when this happened it was like 1am or so.. maybe a bit later and I was flipping through channels and I saw this weird looking flood type thing.. and a bunch of Japanese looking text.... it was the NHK channel

    it was going for a very long time, perhaps an hour or more, before it appeared on your CNNs and and NBCs and such..

    It was shocking and compelling footage from a helicopter of the tsunami rolling over the landscape..

    it was an interesting way to come up on a news story... it was in a language I didnt understand, not on a "news" channel (this channel normally just had japanese language variety type programming) and I couldn't even quite tell what was happening at first.. but by the warnings on the screen, and the tone of the voices of the people talking you knew it was a huge event.. you could see that it was..

    over the next few days that channel was what I watched almost exclusively.. I never understood a word of it.. but the scope of things just got worse and worse.. and that was something that seemed missing from the American coverage.... it never quite conveyed the violence, the horror and the magnitude.. ..it is kind of hard for CNN do when they need to cut away for Cheerios commercials

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo @ w orld3.net> on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @04:37PM (#46457597) Homepage

      I was in Japan when it happened.

      It was mid afternoon and I was doing some shopping in a model train shop in Akiba. 5th floor. Everything started to sway a lot and I knew it was big, but at the time didn't really appreciate just how big. Japan is mostly earthquake proof so it's not like buildings were falling down around me or anything, but the shop took some damage as stuff was knocked over. When it finally stopped everyone made their way down the stairs and out onto the street, away from buildings in case of aftershocks and falling debris.

      I sent an email to my mother from my phone, letting her know I was okay. After a while people just went back to shopping again, or wondering around seeing if there was much damage. There wasn't really in Tokyo, a few burst pipes and bits fallen off buildings but nothing too terrible. Some shops closed, others stayed open for a while but then decided to close early as news came in that the trains were not running.

      I was actually kind of annoyed about the trains and eventually walked home since it was only maybe 5-6km. Watched some coverage on the news that evening with friends and it slowly started to become apparent just what had happened and how bad it was. More and more footage kept coming in and we just couldn't stop watching. NHK covered it 24/7 for the next week or so.

      The next day we were hearing that Fukushima was in crisis, but there was little information to go on. Foreign news agencies were hyping it up, CNN called it worse than Hiroshima. People were mostly quite calm about it though, more worried than anything. Over the next few days it got worse and worse, but even so there wasn't mass panic.

      The real concern now is the long term effects. People are aware that it took years for children near Chernobyl to be diagnosed with cancer, so they want their own children checked regularly to catch it as early as possible. Some people say it isn't needed, but if you had been in Japan at the time and seen the lack of information and clarity from the government and TEPCO you would understand why they feel they can't take their word for that.

  • A while back I caught a local story about a company making tsunami survival pods that are being sold in Japan now. After that disaster, I guess it doesn't seem like such a far-fetched thing to be prepared for one of these if possible. It would be nice if the price could come down to the point that ordinary people could actually afford them. Unfortunately, there's just no way to run far enough with so little warning like they had back then.

    http://mynorthwest.com/11/2297725/Mukilteos-tsunami-survival-capsu [mynorthwest.com]

  • Maybe what they should do is mark the high water mark and encourage people to not build below that point. Stones in the ground around the ocean front of the country might work. Then if there is ever another Tsunami then there won't be so much damage! Wait what? They have those already? http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04... [nytimes.com]
  • Onagawa plant article [thebulletin.org] is very insteresting.

    It explain how a more stressed nuclear plant on the sea shore hadn't catastrophic consequences after the tsunami:
    Safety culture impulsed by a man.

    Onagawa was only 123 kilometers away from the epicenter—60 kilometers closer than Fukushima Daiichi—and the difference in seismic intensity at the two plants was negligible. Furthermore, the tsunami was bigger at Onagawa, reaching a height of 14.3 meters, compared with 13.1 meters at Fukushima Daiichi. The difference in outcomes at the two plants reveals the root cause of Fukushima Daiichi’s failures: the utility’s corporate “safety culture.”
    [...]
    Yanosuke Hirai, vice president of Tohoku Electric from 1960 to 1975—a time period that preceded the 1980 groundbreaking at Onagawa—was adamant about safety protocols and became a member of the Coastal Institution Research Association in 1963 because of his concern about the importance of protecting against natural disasters. With a senior employee in upper management advocating forcefully for safety, a strong safety culture formed within the company.

    See what they did in Onagawa in the article: plant built on higher ground, five times the estimated average tsunami height, plus tsunami response aware teams.
    Tepco did the oposite: "to make it easier to transport equipment and to save construction costs, in 1967 [they] removed 25 meters from the 35-meter natural sea

Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth. -- Nero Wolfe

Working...