Frungy's past comments

  • 0

    Frungy

    NessieJul. 30, 2014 - 12:54PM JST Every single large river is already dammed and generating hydropower. The next wave is micro-hydropower, but there are diminishing returns. You can't say Japan has not invested in hydro, and hydropower has environmental problems of its own.

    With all due respect Nessie, you are only half correct. While there are dams across most of the rivers only a few are generating power, courtesy of the government's penchant for awarding contracts to dodgy individuals who half-finish the project, run into "additional" costs which they milk until the government gets tired of the delays, and then abandon the project unfinished.

    Posted in: Do you support the restart of nuclear reactors in Japan?

  • 1

    Frungy

    Fox Sora WintersJul. 30, 2014 - 10:53AM JST @Frungy: As I understand it, most modern Nuclear plants have back-up systems and other countermeasures in place in the event of a Solar Storm, a decision that came about after the '89 blackout. Your very concerns were addressed, and reactors developed since then had new installations made. I believe several older reactors were also updated with these countermeasures. I've also heard that many reactors have a manual mechanical fuel rod retraction system.

    Thank you for your response.

    However it appears that Japanese nuclear power companies may not have installed these safeguards in their older plants (more than half the plants in Japan were built before the 1989 blackout). Certainly the Fukushima Daiichi plant didn't have them as the primary generator going out when it was flooded by the tsunami was what caused the crisis.

    I guess it all comes back to the central problem of nuclear power in Japan, namely trust. There are safeguards available, but they involve additional expense, and so we have to trust that companies will install these safeguards. Until Fukushima Daiichi we never really looked too closely, but now we have compelling and irrefutable proof that not only were adequate safeguards not installed, but the picture that emerged after the disaster was that even routine maintenance was not being done adequately, and that companies were cutting corners to maximise profits on nuclear power plants that were running well past their safe operating dates.

    Personally I think that trust is something one earns back after a disaster through openness and transparency, but the nuclear power industry seems to be hell-bent on keeping everything secret, pushing to re-open plants and THEN do then maintenance and upgrades LATER (at some unspecified date), and all without the public's consent or agreement.

    Frankly I don't think that the nuclear power plants in Japan have these safeguards installed, and that we have every reason to believe that (like adequate tsunami protection) the companies have installed the bare minimum to meet legislated standards, which does not include solar surge protection.

    Posted in: Time to be afraid - preparing for the next big solar storm

  • 1

    Frungy

    Fox Sora WintersJul. 30, 2014 - 10:53AM JST @Frungy: As I understand it, most modern Nuclear plants have back-up systems and other countermeasures in place in the event of a Solar Storm, a decision that came about after the '89 blackout. Your very concerns were addressed, and reactors developed since then had new installations made. I believe several older reactors were also updated with these countermeasures. I've also heard that many reactors have a manual mechanical fuel rod retraction system.

    Thank you for your response.

    However it appears that Japanese nuclear power companies may not have installed these safeguards in their older plants (more than half the plants in Japan were built before the 1989 blackout). Certainly the Fukushima Daiichi plant didn't have them as the primary generator going out when it was flooded by the tsunami was what caused the crisis.

    I guess it all comes back to the central problem of nuclear power in Japan, namely trust. There are safeguards available, but they involve additional expense, and so we have to trust that companies will install these safeguards. Until Fukushima Daiichi we never really looked too closely, but now we have compelling and irrefutable proof that not only were adequate safeguards not installed, but the picture that emerged after the disaster was that even routine maintenance was not being done adequately, and that companies were cutting corners to maximise profits on nuclear power plants that were running well past their safe operating dates.

    Personally I think that trust is something one earns back after a disaster through openness and transparency, but the nuclear power industry seems to be hell-bent on keeping everything secret, pushing to re-open plants and THEN do then maintenance and upgrades LATER (at some unspecified date), and all without the public's consent or agreement.

    Frankly I don't think that the nuclear power plants in Japan have these safeguards installed, and that we have every reason to believe that (like adequate tsunami protection) the companies have installed the bare minimum to meet legislated standards, which does not include solar surge protection.

    Posted in: Time to be afraid - preparing for the next big solar storm

  • 1

    Frungy

    Fox Sora WintersJul. 30, 2014 - 10:53AM JST @Frungy: As I understand it, most modern Nuclear plants have back-up systems and other countermeasures in place in the event of a Solar Storm, a decision that came about after the '89 blackout. Your very concerns were addressed, and reactors developed since then had new installations made. I believe several older reactors were also updated with these countermeasures. I've also heard that many reactors have a manual mechanical fuel rod retraction system.

    Thank you for your response.

    However it appears that Japanese nuclear power companies may not have installed these safeguards in their older plants (more than half the plants in Japan were built before the 1989 blackout). Certainly the Fukushima Daiichi plant didn't have them as the primary generator going out when it was flooded by the tsunami was what caused the crisis.

    I guess it all comes back to the central problem of nuclear power in Japan, namely trust. There are safeguards available, but they involve additional expense, and so we have to trust that companies will install these safeguards. Until Fukushima Daiichi we never really looked too closely, but now we have compelling and irrefutable proof that not only were adequate safeguards not installed, but the picture that emerged after the disaster was that even routine maintenance was not being done adequately, and that companies were cutting corners to maximise profits on nuclear power plants that were running well past their safe operating dates.

    Personally I think that trust is something one earns back after a disaster through openness and transparency, but the nuclear power industry seems to be hell-bent on keeping everything secret, pushing to re-open plants and THEN do then maintenance and upgrades LATER (at some unspecified date), and all without the public's consent or agreement.

    Frankly I don't think that the nuclear power plants in Japan have these safeguards installed, and that we have every reason to believe that (like adequate tsunami protection) the companies have installed the bare minimum to meet legislated standards, which does not include solar surge protection.

    Posted in: Time to be afraid - preparing for the next big solar storm

  • 0

    Frungy

    ... and this of course begs the question, what would one of these storms do to the highly sensitive and almost completely automated processes required to keep a nuclear power plant from going critical?

    As I understand the article it wouldn't stop the nuclear reaction, it would merely disable all the electrical systems that stop the plant from becoming a nuclear disaster, i.e. the cooling pumps would shut down, the motors that retract the fuel rods would shut down, the monitoring equipment would be fried, etc.

    ... but nuclear power is SAFE they keep telling us...

    Posted in: Time to be afraid - preparing for the next big solar storm

  • 2

    Frungy

    There are two problems inherent in this comment:

    1. Innovation doesn't have to come from the CEO. They need to know how to foster and support it in others, but this idea that a single man or woman can be responsible for every major idea to improve a business is just nonsense. It is also this pressure on CEOs to be seen as the originator of major ideas that causes them to steal ideas from junior employees and generally act in a dishonest fashion... a dishonesty that taints the entire business environment as less senior managers copy the CEO's actions right down to shop floor level and leads to nobody being willing to share any of their ideas with colleagues.

    2. Cost-cutting has its place, but given the increasingly high salaries given to CEOs isn't the logical place to start with their own salaries?

    Posted in: Most Japanese CEOs were promoted because they are really good at cost-cutting, not doing something new. Those people can’t manage in this kind of situation where you can find more business opportunities.

  • 1

    Frungy

    I sadly have to agree, but this is not just a phenomenon in Japan, but also internationally. Success in tertiary education (university or college) is becoming in many places a foregone conclusion - you pay your fees, you get your degree.

    The generally accepted rule when I was a student was that a "normal distribution" rule applied to passing a class, i.e. that approximately half the class would fail, and you had to work your ass off to be at least in the top half of the class, because everyone else knew that the same rule applied and so everyone was clawing to be in the top half. A grade of 51% meant you worked harder and were brighter than more than half the students in your class... anything above 75% meant you were a flaming genius, because you were in top quartile of a very small and very elite group.

    First year classes were a joke with hundreds of students in a class, but by third year the weaker students who didn't belong at university had been weeded out, and by fourth year you were sweating blood in very small classes of 20 or so students and we all knew that at least 10 of us would be repeating the course.

    Sure, I boozed it up in first year, attended parties and had a great time, but by 3rd year I was pulling all-nighters in the library almost every night looking for some paper or book to cite in my assignments or examination that would prove to the lecturer that I deserved to be in the top 50% (or dare I hope, top 25%) of the class.

    ... and that's what a University degree is supposed to be. It isn't supposed to be a receipt for monies paid, it is supposed to be a sign that you are capable of doing research, motivated enough to get off your ass and show you're the best, and bright enough to comprehend the material presented and then take it beyond what's in the course material and show you understand and can apply it.

    Frankly Japanese universities just don't get this, but this is an international trend. I find it irritating when some young pup arrives with triple doctorates and when I read them out of curiosity I find a mind so devoid of understanding or original thought that they wouldn't have been able to earn their undergraduate degree in my day.

    And no, this isn't just an old man "in my day we walked up hill to school, BOTH WAYS" post. Things genuinely are pathetically easy at University these days. Bring back the old, "fail 50% of the class" rule and then we'll separate the wheat from the chaff, and having a degree will mean something.

    Posted in: The number of academic degree holders produced by universities is seen as a measure of the schools’ value. Therefore, universities may grant degrees to students even if they don’t deserve them.

  • 3

    Frungy

    gaijintravellerJul. 29, 2014 - 07:33AM JST Does ice for at 5 degrees? I thought it formed at 0 with pure water and required a lower temperature if the water is not pure.

    You're right. And with the high salinity of the water near Fukushima (it is right next to an ocean plus run-off of salt from the land-side following the tsunami) the water is almost definitely not pure, and probably has a freezing point closer to -10.

    ... of course anyone who did science at JHS level could have told TEPCO this, so evidently TEPCO's pool of crack scientists consists of elementary schoolers.

    Posted in: Ice wall to contain Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant isn’t freezing

  • 2

    Frungy

    The mental health system in Japan (or rather lack of any mental health system in Japan) resulted in this girl's death.

    It looks like there were plenty of warning signs: - dismembering animals - trying to poison people - broken family

    And there were probably more warning signs if there had been any sort of mental health professional in the area... instead schools in Japan have "counsellors" who have little or no training, and undergrad degree in psychology and education, and no support or referral powers.

    Oh, and the prognosis for this girl might actually be quite good... if she was in a Western medical health care facility... but in Japan she'll be locked away for life with little or no real treatment or hope of rehabilitation. Another burden on an already overburdened social security system when she could have been a productive member of society.

    What a waste of two lives.

    Posted in: Sasebo girl says she wanted to see what it was like to kill someone

  • 0

    Frungy

    Daniel NeagariJul. 28, 2014 - 02:25PM JST Well... instead of assuming that, wouldn't then be better to push for the Nuclear plants not to be treated as "business as usual"?

    Except that the government now owns a massive stake in the nuclear power plants. And people tend to defend their investments. You can't have government acting as referee while placing side-bets on the game.

    If people keep quiet, then coal or LPG or what ever is going to be used and be keep using it until the next crisis.

    No, it won't because it is unprofitable and the price is rising all the time. The sooner we stop dangling the possibility of the nuclear reactors restarting in front of them the sooner the power companies will adjust to the new paradigm and shift to cheaper green power sources in order to maximise their profits.

    One does not manage humans by hoping they'll magically change their natures and suddenly stop chasing profits, instead one changes the landscape so that maximising profits coincides with pursuing green power.

    There is no white (keep the plants off) or black (turn 'em on)... the use of the nuclear plants has to be done under commitment and to ensure that commitment people should push so new energies are implemented.

    You're asking the leopard to change its spots. That doesn't happen.

    Saying "NO" without a solution is the same as saying "YES" and keep using the Nuclear Plants.... either way the problem is still there and left for "latter"

    The solution is to say "no" to nuclear power loudly, clearly and unequivocally, then increase tarrifs on coal and LPG and funnel that money into subsidising green power development. The big power companies will rapidly realise that the money is in green power and won't need someone standing over them with a stick beating them into green power, they'll run towards it with open arms and they'll think it is their idea.

    Once you embrace the idea that big companies are full of profit-centered, selfish asses then manipulating them becomes child's play.

    Posted in: Do you support the restart of nuclear reactors in Japan?

  • 4

    Frungy

    Daniel, the problem with allowing the reactors to restart is that once they're restarted there is absolutely no incentive for reform. Once the crisis is past it'll be back to "business as usual". Sometimes you need to eat the frog.

    Posted in: Do you support the restart of nuclear reactors in Japan?

  • 0

    Frungy

    No. Shut them down, bankrupt the companies that have been exploiting a credible and trusting public by running nuclear power plants in Japan well past their agreed safe operating life spans. Confiscate their assets and use the money to build safer and more sustainable power sources.

    Simply and clearly the power companies in Japan are criminal. When the reactors were built a "safe" operating life span of 40 years was agreed. Every single power company is operating at least one reactor that is beyond the safe operating life span (http://blogs.nature.com/news/files/2012/09/reactorage.jpg).

    This is a massive betrayal of public trust and given the loss of life and property damage that a reactor failure could cause the only sensible course is to revoke these companies' licenses, confiscate their assets and prosecute their directors.

    Posted in: Do you support the restart of nuclear reactors in Japan?

  • 6

    Frungy

    Focus more on the highly unlikely but worst case scenarios.

    Except that the Fukushima disaster was caused by a highly likely scenario. The engineers recommended moving the generator higher up the hill in the design phase. The generator was located only 10m above sea level. There have been several tsunami higher than this in Japan, for example:

    1923 - Over 10 meters 1933 - Over 25 meters 1944 - Over 10 meters 1946 - Over 5 meters 1983 - Over 10 meters 1993 - Over 30 meters 2011 - Over 40 meters

    While the waves were particularly huge in the 2011 earthquake the chances of a wave over 10 meters were not "highly unlikely", since of the last 7 major tsunami all but 1 exceeded 10 meters.

    This article is either misinformed or more pro-nuclear disinformation.

    Posted in: Fukushima offers key lesson for U.S. nuclear industry

  • 9

    Frungy

    the NRA still has to perform on-site operational checks

    ... so what they're saying is that they haven't actually checked anything yet, but are still prepared to give them the green light?

    Nothing changes but the date.

    Posted in: Residents within 5 km of Kyushu nuclear plant given iodine tablets

  • 0

    Frungy

    letsberealisticJul. 28, 2014 - 12:24AM JST So whether an apology is acceptable or is up to the perpetrator. Riiiiight.

    Except that the Japanese government wasn't the perpetrator. That was the Imperial Japanese government. I suppose they could try and find the Japanese soldiers from that period and ask them to issue a joint apology? That would seem fitting in my opinion.

    Posted in: Japan rejects U.N. committee's call on 'comfort women'

  • -1

    Frungy

    StrangerlandJul. 27, 2014 - 09:23AM JST Let's say you owe me $10. You give it to my friend and say 'give it to Strangerland'. My friend doesn't give it to me. You still owe me $10. You also have a separate issue with my friend where he owes you $10, but I don't care about that, because the one who owes me the money is you.

    Except that your example misses one CRITICAL point, namely that you authorised your "friend" to act on your behalf. That's exactly what a government is, it is a group of people elected by the people and authorised by the people to make agreements, collect monies, etc. on behalf of all the people in that country.

    So a more accurate example would be you authorising your friend to collect $1000 from me on behalf of a whole lot of people, and you're one of those people. Then your friend doesn't pay you your $10. The problem is now between you and your friend. I paid the money to him in accordance with your wishes. You have no moral or legal right to complain about your decision to trust someone who wasn't trustworthy.

    And this is precisely the situation with Japan and the comfort women. They authorised their government to act on their behalf. Their government betrayed them and now they're coming to Japan asking for more money. Japan has done its part. Their real quarrel is with the Korean government.

    Posted in: Japan rejects U.N. committee's call on 'comfort women'

  • -2

    Frungy

    On the issue of the necessity for the death penalty the answer is purely economic. If someone is genuinely incapable of rehabilitation then they need to be imprisoned for life, which will in most cases be 20+ years. That means society has to foot the bill for 20+ years of supervision, food, accommodation, medical care, etc. for someone who will never be of any value to society in any way. In an economy where resources are limited and money spent on a criminal means money NOT spent on caring for those with disabilities the choice is clear and simple, spend the money where it can do the most good for society.

    Once you accept the "most good with limited resources" hypothesis the means of execution becomes obvious. Place the convicted criminal in a sealed room with no food or water and an overdose of sleeping tablets (massive overdose). It is their choice when to take the tablets, or even if to take the tablets, however no food, water or oxygen will be provided, they have had everything society is prepared to spend on them. In 1 month the room is flushed out and the remains buried. How they die is entirely up to them.

    This method is humane to those who deserve it most, as there is no executioner to be traumatised, the criminal has a choice (admittedly a limited choice, but more than their victims got), and the method consumes minimal resources.

    Of course it would require much stricter criteria for the death penalty, namely that the criminal is (in the unanimous opinion of a panel of psychologists and psychiatrists) impossible to rehabilitate using current methods. If there is any reasonable hope of rehabilitation then this must be exhausted first. Under the current system the death penalty seems to be decided purely on body count, which has nothing to do with how likely rehabilitation is.

    Posted in: If a country has to have the death penalty, what is the most humane way of carrying it out?

  • 4

    Frungy

    StrangerlandJul. 26, 2014 - 08:24PM JST

    The Japanese Government today is not the same as the Imperial Japanese Government of WW2
    

    It's still the official government of the country of Japan. They don't suddenly get to drop responsibility just because the members change.

    ... and the constitution changed, and the laws changed, and the society changed.

    By your logic Nelson Mandela should have stood up, taken responsibility for, and apologised for Apartheid.

    Some Koreans chose not to accept it because it didn't come from the Japanese government, but the Imperial Japanese government is gone. These people are asking for the impossible.

    No they aren't. They are asking for the government of Japan to compensate them for the wrongs that happened to them. The government of Japan can do this. So it's not impossible.

    The government of Japan paid compensation to the government of Korea after WW2, although the government of Korea used the funds elsewhere and none of it made it to the comfort women (in no small part because of sexism and the stigma of admitting to having been a comfort woman).

    The citizens of Japan then raised money and offered it to the comfort women. Some refused it, but many accepted it.

    ... and now they want the government of Japan to pony up again? This sounds more and more like a blackmail operation where the demands are endless, and each time they pay the amount escalates.

    I can seriously understand why Japan has drawn a line in the sand on this issue, and says, "Enough is enough.".

    Posted in: Japan rejects U.N. committee's call on 'comfort women'

  • 3

    Frungy

    Hang on a second everyone. I think that this article has highlighted two important issues:

    1. The Japanese Government today is not the same as the Imperial Japanese Government of WW2

    This may seem like a small issue, but it is an important one. What the UN is asking Japan to do is for the government of today to accept responsibility for actions undertaken under a different constitution by a different government. The date didn't just change after WW2 for Japan, the entire political, social and legal system changed.

    This is probably why the past apology didn't take responsibility on part of the Japanese government. The government that committed those crimes is dead and gone.

    1. Compensation was paid by private citizens

    Some Koreans chose not to accept it because it didn't come from the Japanese government, but the Imperial Japanese government is gone. These people are asking for the impossible.

    ... however if Abe has his way we may soon have a return of the Imperial Japanese Government, Mk II... in which case bring it up again.

    Posted in: Japan rejects U.N. committee's call on 'comfort women'

  • 3

    Frungy

    No monopolies thank you, especially in what passes for "news" these days. It is hard enough to find an even vaguely balanced story even one reads multiple newspapers and compares notes because the tendency is increasingly towards just buying the story from a syndicated news feed... just like this one from Reuters.

    Posted in: Fox-Time Warner deal would give Murdoch new pull in China

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