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Masao Yoshida, Director of Fukushima Daichii Nuclear Plant, Has Died 119

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the thanks-for-saving-the-countryside dept.
Doofus writes "Masao Yoshida, director of the Daichii Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, has passed away. Colleagues and politicos in Japan praised his disobedience during the post-tsunami meltdown and credited him with preventing much more widespread and intense damage. From the article: 'On March 12, a day after the tsunami, Mr. Yoshida ignored an order from Tepco headquarters to stop pumping seawater into a reactor to try and cool it because of concerns that ocean water would corrode the equipment. Tepco initially said it would penalize Mr. Yoshida even though Sakae Muto, then a vice president at the utility, said it was a technically appropriate decision. Mr. Yoshida received no more than a verbal reprimand after then-Prime Minister Naoto Kan defended the plant chief, the Yomiuri newspaper reported. "I bow in respect for his leadership and decision-making," Kan said Tuesday in a message posted on his Twitter account.'"
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Masao Yoshida, Director of Fukushima Daichii Nuclear Plant, Has Died

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  • Re:Tepco (Score:5, Informative)

    by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @12:03PM (#44240631)
    If you want to make the preposterous claim that Yoshida's esophageal cancer was induced by the radiation released in the Fukushima incident, fine, go ahead, make a fool of yourself. His cancer went symptomatic mere months after the incident, which is a timeframe that makes it all but certain that the neoplastic changes leading to the malignant growth in his esophagus had been going on for years before that and that the timing is mere coincidence. Although there have been cases of fast-acting radiation-induced cancer, such cases are associated with massive doses of radiation leading to severe acute radiation poisoning, which, AFAIK, he hadn't experienced (from what I know, only two workers were treated for acute radiation poisoning, and he was not one of them), and the fast-acting cancer usually happens to be leukemia (and it takes at least year and two to develop anyway, not months), whereas other kinds of tumors (hint! Hint! Esophageal cancer!) take something like ten years to develop, at the minimum.
  • Re:Esophageal Cancer (Score:5, Informative)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @12:14PM (#44240807)

    What TFS doesn't mention was that he died of esophageal cancer. And he got it after nine months of being at the power plant after the accident.

    TEPCO claims the cancer is not related to the accident. Of course they would.

    Because it's not. Cancer takes a long time to show up (decades) unless it's leukemia, which isn't what he had. If the works are going to start dieing from cancer (which they very well might) it'll start happening around 2020

  • Re:Esophageal Cancer (Score:5, Informative)

    by sjames (1099) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @12:15PM (#44240831) Homepage

    Medical facts are on their side. You simply cannot go from cancer free to death by esophageal cancer in this timeframe. That means he was already developing it before the tsunami.

  • Re:Blame Fukushima (Score:2, Informative)

    by interkin3tic (1469267) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @12:18PM (#44240889)
    Except they haven't in this case. Anyway, the damage is done: they're already backing away from clean relatively safe nuclear power.
  • Re:Blame Fukushima (Score:5, Informative)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <{ten.3dlrow} {ta} {ojom}> on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @12:40PM (#44241197) Homepage

    Japan has a long history of anti-nuclear movements. Like most of the world it went off the technology when it turned out to be insanely expensive in the late 70s and 80s, but even in the hayday of the 50s and 60s there was a strong anti-nuclear movement.

    The cost of Fukushima has destroyed any hope of nuclear power ever being economical in Japan. No-one trusts TEPCO to run plants any more, no-one wants to invest in new nuclear, even energy companies don't want to take on the risk. What shareholder would back something that might ultimately destroy all profits and nationalize the company?

  • Re:Tepco (Score:4, Informative)

    by Megane (129182) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @12:42PM (#44241227) Homepage

    Furthermore, Japan loves to smoke. [wikipedia.org] And this is one of the cancers that you can get from smoking. [wikipedia.org]

    A little google-fu turned up this article which shows that he was most definitely a smoker: [simplyinfo.org]

    He recalled in the interview often passing out cigarettes to workers in a heavily used smoking room beside the bunker during the disaster and once joked: “We don’t have the US army fire trucks we need but at least we have got smokes.” Fukushima boss Masao Yoshida breaks silence on disaster -- The Australian

  • Re:Blame Fukushima (Score:5, Informative)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <{ten.3dlrow} {ta} {ojom}> on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @05:26PM (#44244653) Homepage

    Germany using more coal and gas has nothing to do with the shut down of nuclear plants. It is all to do with the very good feed-in tariffs for renewables making it hard for power companies to compete. They stop trying to use more expensive but cleaner forms of energy, including the remaining nuclear plants, and instead go for the cheapest options which are goal and gas.

    Renewables currently make up about 40% of Germany's energy mix, and 40% of that is individuals with solar PV. It's really impressive how much they have done in so little time, and it's because the feed-in tariffs really make investing in your own clean energy attractive. During a peak last year they got up to 60% purely renewable energy for a few hours, and power companies were actually having to pay to dump energy into the grid because they were producing too much. Germany also exports a lot of. energy.

    During this transition, which will last until about 2022, there is going to be more carbon emissions from coal and gas plants. At the end of it though Germany will be a majority renewable supply country and the need for coal and gas will be reduced to lower levels than before the nuclear shut-down. It takes time for the grid to be upgraded to support this, and it takes time for new forms of cleaner energy to come online. It's a huge project, but Germany is leading the world in many respects and will be the one making huge profits by exporting the technology and know-how in the next few decades.

  • Re:Blame Fukushima (Score:4, Informative)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <{ten.3dlrow} {ta} {ojom}> on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @05:30PM (#44244701) Homepage

    Nope. Turns out that the earthquake damaged the cooling system so even with power it may not have worked. At the time they did actually get emergency cooling system on to the site but they failed to work because due to the damage caused by the tsunami they failed to notice that a bleed-off valve on the coolant pipe was open. They pumped in a lot of water with fire engines but most of it ended up in storage tanks instead of the reactor, leading to the eventual hydrogen explosions.

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