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Japan Marks 3rd Anniversary of Tsunami Disaster 77

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.
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Japan Marks 3rd Anniversary of Tsunami Disaster

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  • 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.

  • by The_Human_Diversion ( 3564171 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @01:37PM (#46455975)

    Why do you hate the Japanese? The A-bombs likely saved a million+ Japanese lives. Invasion or starving them out, would have cost much more.

    No they weren't ready to surrender. That's pure bullshit.

    Has there ever been any conclusive proof on this? I'm sure that's the thought process the US wanted everyone to think, as the US is the only country to ever use a nuclear weapon outside of testing. But the victors usually do get to write history, and I've never seen any kind of historical (or even statistical) consensus that dropping the bomb saved lives. Seems to me that the Truman administration -and any administrations following- would want the prevailing narrative to be "dropping the bombs saved lives." I have no doubt it saved allied lives, but just how many?

  • 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?

    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.

  • by LordLimecat ( 1103839 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @02:13PM (#46456261)

    Trying to justify anything in a war, particularly one operating on a principle of "total war", is a fool's errand.

    Im not sure anything, even the supposed lives it saved or the apparent necessity, could justify the indiscriminate bombing of a civilian population. Yes, that goes for the various firebombings. Claiming that they were potential combatants doesnt change that they werent actual combatants.

    Bombing Japan may have been the lesser of two evils, but dont let anyone tell you that it wasnt one of the two.

  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <> on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @02:23PM (#46456337) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • Japan was close to surrender before the bombs were dropped. It's a well established historical fact. The situation was already dire, the Pacific fleet was mostly resting on the bottom, Russia was threatening to attack from the west, it was obvious that victory was impossible and defeat was only a matter of time. Even the military knew it, which is why they were resorting to ever more desperate tactics like suicide attacks.

    There are plenty of letters written by those in positions of power at the time stating all this, it was very clear to them. The political will to do it was proving hard to muster, but it was building and it's doubtful that the bombs shorted the war by more than weeks or a few months at most. In particular the threat of being split in two like Germany if Russia attacked meant that surrender would actually have been preferable.

    America had developed this terrible new weapon and realized that it was only a matter of time before others did too. They wanted to find out what the effects of a nuclear attack would be, especially on cities and human beings. Computer modelling and the like didn't exist, but here was an opportunity to try it out.

    If the goal was simply to end the war swiftly the bombs could have been dropped on unpopulated or remote military only targets. They were not, they were dropped on civilian cities. I have yet to hear an explanation of why that was, other than to conduct tests. How do you explain it?

"Oh my! An `inflammatory attitude' in alt.flame? Never heard of such a thing..." -- Allen Gwinn, allen@sulaco.Sigma.COM