Adonis Diaries

Archive for April 13th, 2011

What level 7 means in nuclear disasters?  

What do you expect the Japanese government to reveal?

The scale of the disaster has reached the highest of level 7:  Beyond level 7, nuclear scientists had not the guts to think of a worst case scenario.

And it is not over; and it is not yet under control; and the region is still witnessing horrible earthquake after shocks of magnitude 7 and over.

What do you expect the Japanese government to reveal?

1. “Brace for the worst!  You are to die soon?”

2. “We have the good news and the bad one.  The good news is that Japan managed to have the highest life expectancy on earth, above 75 years.  The bad news is that Fatality reduced it to 30 years. Much lower than during the long deadly samurai period.”

Japanese officials announced on Tuesday morning that they were planning to raise the event level at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant from 5 to the maximum level of 7, the highest on the international scale for nuclear incidents.

It is the same level assigned to the 1986 disaster at Chernobyl in the Ukraine.

The decision was made after Japan’s nuclear safety body determined that at one point after the March 11 earthquake, the plant was releasing 10,000 terabecquerels of iodine-131 for several hours.  Level 7 accidents are defined as releasing tens of thousands of terabecquerels.

What I know, it is not a good idea to drink tap water.

What I know, it is not a good idea to eat fish:  The ocean is irradiated to 500 km.

What I know, it is not recommended to eating most grown products in Japan…

“The INES [International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale] rating is not an indicator of a daily phenomena, but the assessment after careful consideration and calculation on the event that happened in the past,” Ken Morita of Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) tells TIME.   If you comprehended this statement, explain it to me, quick.

INES scale was designed in 1989 by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The scale ranges from 1 (anomaly) to 7 (major accident). The scale is intended to easily communicate the magnitude of the catastrophe to the public; it is meant to indicate the seriousness of a nuclear event.  No kidding.

For example, what level 5 means to the general public?  Start demonstrating against nuclear plants? Go immediately underground, as deep as you could afford?  Shut down this particular plant?  Shut down ALL nuclear plants?

NISA  (Remember Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency?) noted that the amount of radioactive material being released at Fukushima today is less than 1 terabecquerel. The agency said that to date, Fukushima has released only about 10% of the total radiation released 25 years ago at Chernobyl, or about 1.8 million terabecquerels.

The real question is:  “For how long this amount of release will last? ” A century?

About 30 people, mostly workers, died in the immediate aftermath of Chernobyl, though the UN has estimated that the long-term death toll due to exposure could eventually be as high as 4,000.  Forget the physical and emotional calamities of those who didn’t die yet, the the new born in the coming two decades…

Chernobyl is the only other event to have been given a rating of 7, an accident classified as having a major radioactive release with widespread impact on the environment and public health. According to INES, “Such a release would result in the possibility of acute health effects; delayed health effects over a wide area, possibly involving more than one country; long-term environmental consequences.”

Tuesday’s announcement comes on the back of a minor fire spotted by workers outside Fukushima’s Reactor 4 on Tuesday morning, shortly after three major aftershocks hit the beleaguered northeast in a span of 24 hours. T

hree people in Iwaki died in landslides triggered by the 7.1-magnitude aftershock on Monday night. The government also expanded the exclusion zone around Fukushima on Monday to include several towns within a 30 km  radius.  Residents had been told they could remain at home but were recommended to stay indoors. The towns were added to the mandatory evacuation zone of high levels of radiation.

Meanwhile, Greenpeace said that in a survey conducted in Fukushima last week, its team of experts found radiation levels 75 times higher than the government recommendation in 11 samples of vegetables from gardens and small farms. The environmental group also announced that it found radiation levels equivalent to an annual exposure of 5 millisieverts — the evacuation threshold for Chernobyl — at a playground in Fukushima City, pop. 300,000.   Greenpeace is urging the government to delay the start of the school year.

Though raising Fukushima’s level to 7 may not herald any immediate worsening of events, it is sure to add to many residents’ growing concern — and feeling of helplessness — over what could happen at dozens of other nuclear reactors spread across this seismic archipelago.

On Sunday, more than 17,000 people protested at two demonstrations in Tokyo against nuclear power. It was the first time that Yohei Nakamura, 45, had ever been to a protest. “For a long time, I’ve been suspicious of nuclear power, but now I realize it’s a serious problem,” he said amid the crowds carrying placards and shouting slogans. He said anti-nuclear demonstrations were under covered in the Japanese press because of the influence of the Tokyo Electric Power Co., which owns Fukushima.

TEPCO is one of the most powerful companies in Japan,” Nakamura said. “They use a tremendous amount of money for advertising. If the mass media shows anti-nuclear-power activities like demonstrations, they risk losing TEPCO as an advertiser.”

You may refer to my previous article:

Note:  I extracted the news from the TIME.

Who is this Lebanese? Who is the quirkiest specie of all?  Any rationale for society quirky behaviors?

Lebanon is the only State that kicked Israel occupation forces out of Lebanon without negotiation, or any preconditions.  And yet, you have got a bunch of Lebanese refusing to admit this fact.

Lebanon is the only State that defeated Israel in any war, specifically in 2006, and by the resistance forces, and Israel admitted its defeat.  And yet, you have got a bunch of Lebanese still very skeptical about this fact.

Worse, WikiLeaks published documents of what you cannot believe:  Pseudo Lebanese leaders begging the US and Israel to resume the war beyond 33 days, until Hezbollah is reduced politically and militarily. Why?  Because the political sectarian structure of Lebanon will eventually change.

No foreign armies, regional or not, have managed to occupy any portion of the land in Lebanon for any length of time.  And yet, you have a bunch of Lebanese pseudo-politicians and leaders, coaxing and begging foreign States to come in and occupy Lebanon; only to quickly change their decisions and turn against the occupying forces.

The State of Lebanon acquired such renown in instability and irrationality that no State is about to enter Lebanon or actively meddle in its internal affairs for any length of time.  And yet, you have a bunch of faked Lebanese leaders constantly roaming earth to get in contact with any stupid interlocutor, mediator… who has no idea where Lebanon is located and what this weird Lebanese is talking about.

The bored Lebanese faked politicians want to  snatch any kind of recognition, while foreign politicians are running away from this unwelcomed quirk intruder:  The foreign politician is screaming: “Get away from me.  I have a handful of problem to resolve.  I am in no mood to untangle a truckload of your impossible problems.”

We had a civil war that lasted 17 years (1975-1992) and we ended up with 20 versions of what caused the war

18 versions corresponding to the 18 recognized religious sects and two versions for the two secular political parties, mainly the Communist and the Lebanese-based Syria National Social Party.

Worse, after the civil war officially ended with no victors, every war-lord was appointed deputy in the Parliament and offered a ministerial portfolio, as a recompense for a job well done.

These war-lords as still in the government and their extended family members are deputies.  Not a single war-lord apologized for any wrong doing:  Every year, each war-lord celebrates His “Fallen martyrs“, and the government (President, PM, and Chairman of the Parliament) send their official representatives to the ceremony.

We don’t even know an adequate approximate numbers of the dead, the injured, and the disappeared.  You hear that 200,000 died (more than 15% of the population).  With such number of dead casualties, it is normal to estimate that 600,000 were injured.   Not a single war-lord dared give location of the mass graves in his “canton“.

What is this “let bygone be bygone?”  The same war-lords issued a law in the Parliament for amnesty to all criminals!

For example, there are over 70,000 Lebanese living in Ivory Coast and making a living.  Ivory Coast has been in trouble for over three years now, and the latest election took place a year ago.  We all knew that eventually the civil war will escalate.  Many Lebanese returned for vacation and then returned to their work in Ivory Coast.

You are wondering: “Why this Lebanese didn’t decide to return to Lebanon for good?”

And the answer is basic: “What can they do and work in this non-State of Lebanon?”  Whatever enterprises that already exist are monopolized by elite classes of merchants, feudal lords, new real estates developers, and their extended clan and family members of these well-established oligarchy.

Any Lebanese returning home has to start from scratch and be ready to lick asses in order to have any facility to open an enterprise.

Ask any Lebanese who returned whether he managed to start a business in this non-State of Lebanon!  The Lebanese immigrants are willing to take dangerous choices instead of contemplating a stupid return to Lebanon.

Every generation demonstrated massively for reforms of this archaic political and social system, and failed miserably:  Every generation saw The System creating a civil war to delude any worthy reforms .

The current new generation has been at it, consistently and with more determination.

The youth is demanding the Impossible:  The youth want to earn a citizenship!

The youth want to know that they have erected a State that represents their identity and their dreams for a sustainable Lebanon.

When almost everyone is applauding your success, can you face the other perspective that you also have failed?  Is not being ready to accepting failure, in one phase of the process, and recognizing your failure worth learning the art of “How to fail?” 

Do you think that the end product of your project is the main criteria for success?  What about all the near-misses of accidents, “minor” incidents, and errors during the projects?  Should accidents and erroprs committed during the project to be ignored, forgotten, and hidden under the carpet, once you are declared a success story?

Have you considered the health and safety of end-users when designing your product?  Have you tried to use your product and have a good feel of the risks involved in the application of the products?  Have you asked other people, not in the design team, to test and evaluate the performance of the product, mainly the rate of errors, misuse, and potential risks to health and safety?

It is not that “if you don’t plan for the eventual failure that it won’t happen”.  Recurring problems and accidents in project procedures are resolved by “redesigning the product” and not by repairing what are considered minor glitches.  We mostly learn in the redesign phases of what we failed to initially consider.  Thus, it is previous failures that are fundamental to improving our knowledge and methodical behavior.

It is worth describing failure in general terms, before describing the project, the procedures, the performance criteria, the constraints, and what should be tested and evaluated for a product to be considered working successfully?

For example, Seth published a post on How to fail.  Here we go: “All of us fail. Successful people fail often, and, worth noting, learn more from that failure than everyone else.

Two habits that don’t help:

  • Getting good at avoiding blame and casting doubt
  • Not signing up for visible and important projects

While it may seem like these two choices increase your chances for survival or even promotion, in fact they merely insulate you from worthwhile failures.

I think it’s worth noting that my definition of failure does not include being unlucky enough to be involved in a project where random external events kept you from succeeding. That’s the cost of showing up, not the definition of failure.

Identifying these random events, of course, is part of the art of doing ever better. Many of the things we’d like to blame as being out of our control are in fact avoidable or can be planned around.”

Seth published a sample of six random ideas that will help you fail better, more often and with an inevitably positive upside:

  1. Whenever possible, take on specific projects.
  2. Make detailed promises about what success looks like and when it will occur.
  3. Engage others in your projects. If you fail, they should be involved and know that they will fail with you.
  4. Be really clear about what the true risks are. Ignore the vivid, unlikely and ultimately non-fatal risks that take so much of our focus away.
  5. Concentrate your energy and will on the elements of the project that you have influence on, ignore external events that you can’t avoid or change.
  6. When you fail (and you will) be clear about it, call it by name and outline specifically what you learned so you won’t make the same mistake twice. People who blame others for failure will never be good at failing, because they’ve never done it.”

Now, I am wondering, if you cannot figure out what is the product or project that Seth is talking about, can you remember the guidelines for not failing?  What is random event? Can we have example of what is considered a random event so that we get a handle on the guidelines?

Seth terminates his post by stating: “If that list frightened you, you might be getting to the nub of the matter. If that list feels like the sort of thing you’d like your freelancers, employees or even bosses to adopt, then perhaps it’s resonating as a plan going forward for you.”

Let me give you a homework for tomorrow:  Try to remember the guidlines for avoiding failure and whatever you recollect from this article.




April 2011

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