‘Fukushima reactors not stable’ – plant ex-boss
The reactors at crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant are not stable, says its former head. He urged for international expertise to be called in to make the site of one of world’s worst nuclear disasters safe.
“People won’t come back to Fukushima until the plant is stabilized and we still need to find a way to do that,” Masao Yoshida said as cited by The Australian newspaper. “We have to bring people in from around the world. It will require people, technology and wisdom from all corners.”
Yoshida, 57, was speaking on Saturday after a 17-month silence in a video message, in which he described his experience of leading a desperate drive to tame the disabled plant. He and his men, dubbed the Fukushima 50 in Japan, were working to hold down melting down reactors at the facility hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
He said he had no right to go public with his warning until four investigations into the disaster were concluded. Yoshida, who is currently in hospital suffering cancer of the esophagus, said he and his workers cooperated with the probes, but since their human stories did not enter the official reports, he agreed to an interview.
“It was clear from the beginning that we couldn’t run,” Yoshida said. “Reactors five and six would have also melted down without people staying on site.
“My colleagues went out there again and again. The level of radiation on the ground was terrible, yet they gave everything that they had.”
The former Fukushima manager said he feared for his life three times in the first days of the disaster. Three huge explosions of hydrogen released from water injected into reactors rocked the facility, ripping through the roof and sending debris flying. More…
Foreign troops are dying at the hands of their Afghan “allies” in large numbers, underscoring a lack of trust.
Imagine for a moment that almost once a week for the last six months somebody somewhere in this country had burst, well-armed, into a movie theatre showing a superhero film and fired into the audience. That would get your attention, wouldn’t it? James Holmes times 21? It would dominate the news. We would certainly be consulting experts, trying to make sense of the pattern, groping for explanations. And what if the same thing had also happened almost once every two weeks in 2011? Imagine the shock, imagine the reaction here.
Well, the equivalent has happened in Afghanistan (minus, of course, the superhero movies). It even has a name: green-on-blue violence. In 2012 – and twice last week – Afghan soldiers, policemen, or security guards, largely in units being trained or mentored by the US or its NATO allies, have turned their guns on those mentors, the people who are funding, supporting and teaching them, and pulled the trigger.
It’s already happened at least 21 times in this half-year, resulting in 30 American and European deaths, a 50 per cent jump from 2011, when similar acts occurred at least 21 times with 35 coalition deaths. (The “at least” is there because, in May, the Associated Press reported that, while US and NATO spokespeople were releasing the news of deaths from such acts, green-on-blue incidents that resulted in no fatalities, even if there were wounded, were sometimes not reported at all.) More…
Ecuador to decide on Assange plea ‘this week’
President Rafael Correa says he fears WikiLeaks founder could face death penalty if tried in United States.
Rafael Correa, Ecuador’s president, has said he expects to respond to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s application for political asylum some time this week.
“We expect to have a meeting on Wednesday [with Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino] and I hope to make an announcement before the end of the week,” the leftist leader said in an interview with public broadcaster ECTV late on Monday.
“We have to review the process in Sweden,” Correa said in the interview.
“We have to look at the possibility that he may be extradited to the United States, that there may be a secret court there, that he may face the death penalty.”
Assange, 41, took refuge at Ecuador’s embassy in London on June 19 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning on sex crime allegations.
Neither the US nor Swedish authorities have charged Assange with anything. Swedish prosecutors want to question him about allegations of rape and sexual assault made by two WikiLeaks supporters in 2010. Assange says he had consensual sex with the women. More…