Japan's Nuclear Crisis, Averted.

The following is a guest-post written in a sort of retrospective year-a-versary to the solemn Fukushima Disaster. While you're reading, remember that a Natural Disaster caused core malfunction in the first place. "Guns don't kill people; people kill people", as the saying goes.
The writer asked not to be named.

For Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant: March 11, 2011
In the wake of the pandemonium at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in northern Japan caused by a large earthquake and a tsunami, I spent months at a nuclear power plant and tried to understand how a nuclear power plant works and what really happened in Japan.

I can tell you that those operators did a marvelous job. They went in to work as operators and came home as heroes. Imagine the courage it took to run into a battle with a nuclear meltdown! Things happen in fractions of a second.

Reader, please pause here for a moment and allow yourself to submit to your imagination. Imagine being in a grey-white facility with pipes, wires, and valves all around you, much like being inside a very complex car engine. Now imagine a rainbow of lights flashing (mostly red ones since you're in trouble), sirens blaring, announcements signaling urgency, and all around you are your fellows scrambling about in an attempt to save the plant, themselves, and the innocent people for fifty miles around who will not be able to escape the damage if your coworkers fail to be fast enough. Reader, does your heart beat faster? As I write this, mine does.

When a nuclear operator goes to work, a small mistake could cost the lives of many people, very likely physically damaging the next generation as well. That is too much blood and guilt on a person's hands. It's not worth a mistake. So I'll say that in a situation like that one, an operator would feel fear, not for his own sake, but for the sake of a thousand others.

For those men and women who went to work day at Fukushima, they were faced with every operator's nightmare: the wrath of Mother Nature. It takes a certain level of OCD to do this job and operators do their very best to have everything in its place, but they can't control the weather. What they can do is hope the abuse stops soon and to recover as quickly as possible. Recovery is not easy. Everything happens by the second.

How was the disaster minimized? I'm sure it's because the caliber of employees there are as high as those in the U.S.--only the most intelligent men and women are chosen to operate the plant (so I'm so glad that the smartest people I know support Dr. Ron Paul for President in 2012!) and an operator's training is continuous. To "think like an operator" is to figure out a perfect solution, get together with your peers to find all the flaws, then come up with a better plan.

A lot of operators have humble beginnings and a majority have served in the military. I've noticed that operators have an instinct to protect. This military background, coupled with spending 60% of their lives working together explains the teamwork of the Operations organization at your local nuclear power plant. And this teamwork, intelligence and the instinct to protect is why I can reassure you, America, that you are safe in the hands of the average operator.

Do you know how I know the Japanese feel the same? Because their operators put SALT water in the plant to cool that core! Let me explain, TAP water is bad for the reactor, so if the operators are willing to put nasty, unfiltered, ionized SALT water in, they must be desperate to buy time for their families and fellow citizens to get away. And they did. Good job, courageous Fukushima nuclear operators, we applaud you.

Now, watch these clips from a Denzel classic, "Crimson Tide". (You could play a drinking game for every time you hear the words "Nuclear Holocaust" in the full film. Below is the gist of the main plot.)


  1. FYI: given your comments above, I thik you would find the novel "Rad Decision" very interesting.

    The plant involved and the climactic event in Rad Decision are similar to Fukushima. Rad Decision is free online, no advertisements or sponsors - just google the title or go to my homepage. This is an entertaining way to learn what the one thousand workers at a typical nuclear plant are up to, and it's not feel-good propaganda either - both good and bad are profiled. Reader reviews are at the homepage or Amazon.

  2. @Mr. Aach, your insight is much appreciated. We look forward to hearing more from you in the future (especially considering your background and experience, I am curious as to your thoughts on things in the realm of the legendary not-yet-real "Arc Reactor" technology portrayed in the Iron Man films)! Additionally, tell us what it is your and your colleagues would like to see more of/less of.

    Thank you for your time, and keep reading and sharing The Daily Serge.