Cats are creatures of nature par excellence, which is why the not-entirely-natural disaster at Fukushima, Japan, has Ms. Manx doing a near-constant facepaw, followed by a good ol’-fashioned kitty duck-and-cover. She peeked out between her furry toes just long enough to spot these links of interest, which she asked me to pass along to you:
First up, from Japan’s Kyodo News, a creepy revelation. A neutron beam has been detected at one of the Fukushima reactors, at least 13 times. The report seems to seek to downplay that, but when the shit is actually beaming out of the fan, that can’t be good.
And, according to the NY Times, salt from evaporated seawater used to cool the reactors could lead to further cooling problems down the road. Catch-22 à la japonaise.
And that 1600-times-higher-than-normal radiation? Not a good sign. The worst thing about radiation is that without a Geiger counter, you can’t detect it. It’s invisible, inaudible, colorless, odorless, tasteless. Even radiation burns can’t be felt until after the damage is done. It’s all too easy to absorb a lethal dose through your lungs or your gut.
Courtesy of Germany’s Der Spiegel, a terrific article about how TEPCO’s general crappiness (complete with prior scandals and serious safety failures!) made a nuclear disaster in one of their power stations not only likely, but inevitable. The LA Times has its own article to similar effect.
Meanwhile, in the good-news department, Germany has been gradually weaning itself off nuclear power since the Chernobyl disaster showered the entire country in radioactive fallout. Green energy is becoming the Germans’ electricity of choice, with wind and solar growing. The Stumpy Cat is flapping her little German flag proudly, and half wishing she had a tail she could fly it from.