I do not quite know how many people were awake on the East coast while the disastrous earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan, but I do know that I was one of them. The only two television stations covering it at the time were CNN and BBC. This was then followed by the big three networks 2 HOURS LATER. For the first five minutes after the occurrence of the 8.9 magnitude earthquake (meaning a 9 magnitude) I was witnessing a mess of ungodly images which left me fixated to my television set. Unfortunately and shortly thereafter, a tsunami struck the island covering it like a ravaged bedspread because it literally eat a portion of the Japanese island. I felt as if I could not breathe. I acknowledge that I could not move. Then moments later I whispered, 'Jesus.'
Several years ago, the train I rode in was stuck inside the tunnel because of supposed congestion ahead of [us]. Moments later, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) Agent pronounce over the loud speaker that two airplanes had recently collided onto the two towers of the World Trade Center. Obnoxiously, I felt safe because my first instinct was to determine my evacuation to a safety zone. Fortunately, the locomotive commenced and dispatched [us] at the proximal station. However, after witnessing two natural disasters back to back I felt threatened. Not once did the phrase “this is the end of the world” crossed my mind, but during that period I just could not think of what to do because there was nothing I could do. Sadly, the only will I had was to stand back and let nature take its course. Speechless, my conscience asked, “Superman where are you now...?”
Bruce Lee once said, “Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object and you shall find a way round or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.” As my heart raced, the gentle water pulverized everything within its path. The water progressively charged like a ton of bulldozers and dared to called Her self the big bad wolf because She brushed, She tackled, and She tore everything down. People trying to escape this natural disaster never had a chance. Several attempts of bravery were made by the people of Japan, yet Her brutal punishment dismantled a portion of their way of life. I will never forget that one white minivan speeding across the narrow road like a dove out from hell exhaustively attempting to outlast mother nature's roar. Unfortunately, at the end of the road there approached Her; roaring like an unimaginable machine fueled by currents and at the blink of an eye the white minivan was no longer in sight. As She dragged structures, automobiles, and corpses along with Her, never did the tsunami showed signs of a stoppage. From my point of view, She felt free to roam as She pleased and was ranked as a rebel with a cause.
The bird's eye view's images presented were unbearable, but I just could not and would not turn away from them because I yearned-for the underdogs and encourage the Japanese in peril to make it to safety. Evidently, I found myself shouting at the screen, "COME ON! COME ON, MAKE IT!" as I saw cars racing and people running for their lives. Unfortunately, the water's current was just too fast and the misfortunate were swept away.
After ravaging a mark over the portion of the island, Her currents weakened and normality was left with misery. As the network's helicopter continuously revealed realtime images of the devastation, circulating reports began to pour in about an explosion near one of the nuclear plants at Fukishima, Japan. Shortly, the reports disclosed that one of the nuclear reactors at Fukishima had just exploded as a result of the earthquake. Swiftly, images of the nuclear reactor's roaring flames were presented. Witnessing this, I frowned and grew with confusion. I began to look around the room to search for answers that were not there; the four walls only spoke stories of wind blows and doorways. With a cognitive conscience, I rested my back on the back of my seat like a bored coach potato.
Not allowing myself to let this defeat me, I swiftly asked, 'How is that even possible?' I quickly smirked frowning and asked once more, 'How is this-even-possible?' Right from start, I knew there was something wrong. This was not supposed to happened. This was perhaps next to impracticable. Something was seriously wrong, how could there not be? Then my architectural mind set flickered into gear. The island of Japan is heavily known for its earthquakes. With that in mind, such hazardous structures ARE designed to withstand the maximum imaginable trembling events. Which means that such designations should be able to laugh on the face of danger and ridicule, “Is that the best you got!?” Obviously, this is not justifying that some structures will not dismantle but these hazardous structures ARE to be designed with specialized backup generators in case a catastrophe of such magnitude does indeed happened to prevent perhaps a nuclear holocaust. Just what the hell happened to those generators? I did not know, but I did assume that the generators chillingly failed. Or at least one of them did. The following afternoon, reports briefed that another nuclear reactor blew to smithereens releasing radioactive vapor which quickly consolidated with the atmosphere. Now the city of Japan is absorbing and inhaling radioactive vapor twenty-four hours a day and the best news reports from the island are nothing more than panics. After two days of spoon fed news reports, I concluded that I had just about enough of it.
Moments after, however, my conclusions were wrong...
On March 14 of 2011, investigative reporter Greg Palast reported the truth behind the mask. In Palast's article (1), he writes about an abundance of reports based on government nuclear plants fraud and racketeering investigations. Unfortunately, this includes our own backyard. Palast revealed that all nuclear plants around the world must pass a Seismic Qualification where all components are designed to withstand conceivable shaking events. However, when failure is not an option the most inexpensive process to meet a Seismic Qualification is to lie. Lie. Palast elaborates that in the late 1980s correcting Seismic Qualifications would have cost a billion dollars. If that was so, in 2011 it would probably cost twenty times that amount. So when reports disclosed that the Seismic Qualification tests at a nuclear plant failed, the engineers were ordered to change the attempts from failed to passing. Why am I not surprised? Simple...this is nothing new in the industry. Obviously, this is not revealing the prolific sum of money which I assume was twined for this “Seismic Qualification change” by the owners of the nuclear plants and their engineers. What am I referring to? Ask yourself this question, how many construction cranes collapsed in 2010 in New York City alone? Far too many. And this was due to lack of responsibilities and investigations, right? Bull-crap. Money called the shots to prevent construction to be placed on hold by the building department. The last thing one needs at a construction site is a sudden stoppage. To the inexperienced everything can appear proportionate according to blueprints, just do not ask me how twenty grand got to the inside of the building examiner's shirt's pockets. (For clarifications purpose, twenty grand is just a number used as an example). Think of it this way, if the crane is not stabilized and attached to the structure one way or another something is seriously wrong.
Feel threatened yet? No? Fine. What about the back-up generators that I assumed failed? Well, CNN progressively reported that the tsunami disabled the pumps needed to cool the reactors. So water somehow managed to disable the GEN-ER-A-TORS that makes the pumps run? “These safety back-up systems are the 'EDGs' in nuke-speak: Emergency Diesel Generators. That they didn't work in an emergency is like a fire department telling us they couldn't save a building because “it was on fire”” (Palast, 1).
Recently, the New York Daily News bombarded their front page with the Fukishima nuclear plant chaos and a headline that (almost) read “50 Hero Scientists Are The Nation's Last Hope” (this is as close to the headline as I can get because I cannot find the actual one). Now, I am about to be as politely distasteful as I possibly can. Those scientists risking their lives maybe “heroes,” but who is the Tokyo Electric Power Company kidding? This is a coverup served on a silver platter. This is just like certain scenes in movies where one of the characters realizes that he or she must risk their life for the brutal suffering that character has caused another to settle their unfortunate score. The best explanation for this is the “good” Nazi. “Hey, I helped kill hundreds of people, but I made up for it by sheltering one Jew from execution,” said the “good” Nazi. The world's greatest magician, Houdini, developed a strategically unique style known as misdirection. Without a doubt, Tokyo Electric is pulling a Houdini. How? Well, that is the four billion dollar question. Tokyo Electric needs to demonstrate to the world that they are courageous and are willing to stop at nothing to fix a national disaster from dispersing with more than just a band-aid. And what better way to glorify this statement than organizing 50 scientists to risk their necks to stabilize a national if not global dilemma? Because there is no other way, Tokyo Electric must do everything in their power to keep the four billion dollars the United States government has provided them with. So the problem must be fixed. Period. End of story. Wait a minute...did I just mentioned four billion dollars? Oops... I must be vomiting words and phrases again. “Obama's $4 billion bail-out-in-the-making is called the South Texas Project,” (Palast, 1). The South Texas Project is a proposal for a nuclear plant which will be established on Texan soil. Thankfully, the use of this bail-out-in-the-making will be part of the good old United States of America. This sounds awesome. I am sold. So, who will be the architect for this South Texas Project? Tokyo Electric Power Company. “Now hold on here,” you say, “First you tell us that the pumps at [their] nuclear plants failed after the tsunami struck. Now you are telling us four billion dollars of our money are being used to construct a nuclear plant down in Texas by the same people involved in this Japanese fiasco?” Hey, there is nothing wrong with this because it is not like there are schools closing nation wide and there aren't any police officers and firefighters being dismissed due to insufficient funds. So, why the heck not? Besides, it is only Texas and we all know everything is bigger there. So, if anything does happen it will eventually be okay because nothing devastated the Gulf Coast last year, right? “The Obama Administration is planning a total of $56 billion in loans for nuclear reactors all over America,” (1). Yeah, I would not worry too much about this because Tokyo Electric guaranteed us that a nuclear meltdown could never happen.
Hmm...perhaps that was an understatement.
At least there is one man willing to attach himself to the solution and not to the problem—Governor Andrew Cuomo. Several news reports revealed that Governor Cuomo is requesting an investigation of all nuclear plants within the state of New York. Finally, someone who is inclined to stand up for us. You are doing what is appropriate for your state, Governor Cuomo. Bravo! On the downside, there are still four billion dollars on the table with fifty-four more expecting an approval, so who are you kidding Governor Cuomo? When I heard the news in regards to this matter, I squinted as if to say, 'this sounds fishy.' At first I made it clear to myself not to make any assumptions because I was not quite briefed on the situation but my conscience spoke a different tune. In 1988, Palast informs that he was part of a governmental investigation that blew the whistle on the Shoreham nuclear plant in New York. His team discovered that the Shoreham plant was a recipe for disaster because their Seismic Qualification test was confirmed as passing when in reality it was a complete failure. Imagine the Shoreham plant was aggravated by a tsunami before any of these revelations saw the light of day. A tsunami withering the Shoreham plant is possible because its location was right near the water just like the one in Fukushima. Now, George Bush with his no more new taxes becomes President Elect and Governor Cuomo (the father of our current governor) governs the state of New York. The tsunami roughens the New York peninsula and takes apart the Shoreham nuclear plant releasing radiation into the atmosphere. While New York City rests less than 70 miles away from this plant, the governor issues a state of emergency. Evacuations are in order, but the aftermath has claimed the lives of many. Governor Cuomo (the father) is provided with an estimation of the devastation which indicates that the cost of the damages are nearly scraping the sky with a finger. For several years professionals will blame the levels of radiation on the inhumane tsunami and the reasons why the Shoreham nuclear plant failed to retain radiation within their walls will eventually fade away. Luckily, the investigation team Greg Palast was part of discovered these parsimonious jackasses before a catastrophe of such magnitude occurred. My concern is that the Shoreham nuclear plant has been the only of many to be apprehended for their strategic “cutting corners” procedures. So then all other nuclear plants generators around the globe are working as they should even under extreme pressures without a single problem.
This sounds great, but I resent it. In his report, Palast states that during his Shoreham investigation two engineers working there provided his investigation team with enough confidential information to red flag the son of a gun like a Christmas tree. Unfortunately, after the Shoreham plant was demolished the two scientists were fired and blacklisted from the industry for performing courageous acts to save the lives of thousands if not millions. The key word here is blacklisted. This places the 50 scientists inside the Fukushima plant in an entirely different perspective. "The [Japanese] culture does not allow the salary-men, who worked all their lives for one company, to drop the dime," (Palast, 1). Have these Japanese scientists been threatened somehow? Clearly, it seems like it. I can understand Jacky Chan risking his life to acquire the perfect shot for his fans, but risking your life for a company that will only gruesomely benefit you with a cancerous death is no where near a jollity; more like a malevolent encouragement. Sadly, we are left with misdirected speculations and misconceptions. Misconceptions because of how the media signifies the levels of radiations as “not dangerous.” By all means... beware that fact because there cannot be such clarifications.
Now Japan has been rocked by yet another lesser earthquake in the city of Honshu. This may have jeopardize whatever work was produced by the scientists inside the Fukishima nuclear plant because both cities are less than 150 miles apart. With nothing but terrible news rapidly encroaching the airwaves there are no single indications of a positive outcome for Japan or the gratifying accomplishments by Tokyo Electric Power Company.
(1) Greg Palast