Daily Digest

Daily Digest 3/19 - Courage Of The Fukishima 50, The "Permanent Bull Market", New Ways To Store Nuclear Waste

Saturday, March 19, 2011, 10:46 AM
  • Courage of the Fukushima Fifty: This Is Suicide, Admit Workers Trying To Avert A Catastrophe
  • TEPCO Director Weeps After Disclosing Truth About Fukushima Disaster
  • Japan Quake Shakes U.S. Treasury Bond Market Get Ready for Financial Meltdown
  • Volatility and the "Permanent Bull Market"
  • Quake Response Puts Yen on the Line
  • Yentervention - G7 Style 
  • Nothing Left To Steal
  • The F-35: A Weapon That Costs More Than Australia
  • Japan's Fearless Women Speculators
  • New Process Cleanly Extracts Oil From Tar Sands And Fouled Beaches
  • Nuclear Waste: From Bombs to $800 Handbags

Crash Course DVDShare the Crash Course with your friends and family – buy the DVD today (NTSC or PAL)

Economy

Courage of the Fukushima Fifty: This Is Suicide, Admit Workers Trying To Avert A Catastrophe (jdargis)

One of the 'Fukushima Fifty' said they were stoically accepting their fate 'like a death sentence'.

Another, having absorbed a near-lethal dose of radiation, told his wife: 'Please continue to live well, I cannot be home for a while.'

TEPCO Director Weeps After Disclosing Truth About Fukushima Disaster (pinecarr)

Unfortunately, judging by how horrendously the government and the utility have handled the crisis so far, we are extremely skeptical any further attempts to improve the situation with fail spectacularly. In the meantime, the Japanese economy is slowing grinding to a halt as more people leave Tokyo, as factories lie dormant, and as high tech supply chains are suddenly halted. Out estimate, unlike that of an increasingly less than credible Bloomberg, is that the adverse impact to 2011 world GDP will be well at least 2% when all is said and done just factoring the events to date. Should the situation continue to stagnate it will get far worse.

Japan Quake Shakes U.S. Treasury Bond Market Get Ready for Financial Meltdown (pinecarr)

With Japan and the Gulf States alone accounting for 25% of the total 4.4 trillion USD of US federal debt (December 2010), LEAP/E2020 believes that this new situation which is asserting itself during the first quarter of 2011, against a background of China’s increasing reluctance (holding 20% of US Treasury Bonds) to continue to invest in US government debt (4), carries the seeds for the collapse of the US Treasury Bond market in the second half of 2011, a market that now has only a single buyer: the US Federal Reserve (5).

Volatility and the "Permanent Bull Market" (pinecarr)

But something is going wrong with the interventionists' delight: each new run of the "permenent Bull market" is shorter than the last one. Consider this chart of the S&P 500…

Quake Response Puts Yen on the Line (pinecarr)

This new round of inflation will overwhelm the ability of the Japanese economy to offset upward pressure on consumer prices. Combine that with the lost output associated with the quake and the expense of reconstruction, and it becomes evident that inflation will soon become a major threat to Japan. As this realization forces interest rates higher, the cost to Japan of servicing its massive government debt will be crushing.

    Crash Course DVDShare the Crash Course with your friends and family – buy the DVD today (NTSC or PAL)

Yentervention - G7 Style (Ilene)

Much of the “wealth” in this country (not just this one, of course) is based on Ponzi or Pyramid schemes. As Pentax pointed out in Member Chat yesterday, the operation of a nuclear plant is a Ponzi scheme because the plant operators are using dangerous, deadly materials that are capable of unleashing hundreds of Billions of Dollars worth of environmental damage (not to mention the cost in human life and long-term health consequences) for their fuel source – ignoring the true cost of the operation based on the very flawed assumption that the worst case won’t happen.

Nothing Left To Steal (Vedha)

I wouldn't necessarily say "steal" ... I just don't feel that "stealing" is necessarily the right verb for this. It's something else. Stealing [implies] that there is some kind of physical commodity that's being stolen... that the currency is being debased implies that if we didn't do this the currency would be solvent, and the whole problem here is that the currency itself is disconnected from any kind of physical value. It exists as a debt against future production rather than a store of value. And all of this comes down to the immaterial basis that we are now living in.

The F-35: A Weapon That Costs More Than Australia (David B.)

The F-35 is the most expensive defense program in history, and reveals massive cost overruns, a lack of clear strategic thought, and a culture in Washington that encourages incredible waste.

Japan's Fearless Women Speculators (NolaM, article from 2009)

It wasn’t long before the markets began to notice something was stirring. In the first half of 2003, individual Japanese investors bought Y2,700bn of foreign bonds, easily a record. Brokers were delighted, partly because they made a killing on fees. (Soon, however, many Mrs Watanabes got wise to the benefits of low-commission online broking.) But there was nervous chatter, too: if Japanese housewives opened the floodgates and sluiced money abroad, there could be a collapse in Japan’s enormous government bond market. Hitherto, the large sums of money trapped inside the country in savings had allowed the government to negotiate remarkably low rates of interest on the country’s massive foreign debt.

Energy

New Process Cleanly Extracts Oil From Tar Sands And Fouled Beaches (Joe M.)

Tar sands, also known as bituminous sands or oil sands, represent approximately two-thirds of the world’s estimated oil reserves. Canada is the world’s major producer of unconventional petroleum from sands, and the U.S. imports more than 1 million barrels of oil per day from Canada, about twice as much as from Saudi Arabia. Much of this oil is produced from the Alberta tar sands.

Environment

Nuclear Waste: From Bombs to $800 Handbags (jdargis)

At the Hanford site, which sprawls across a sagebrush plain in the south-east of the state, none of the 53m gallons (200m litres) of highly toxic waste stored in 177 ageing and leaky underground tanks has been mopped up, even though the last reactor was shut down in 1987. That must wait until 2019, when a unique waste-treatment plant—described as the largest and most expensive nuclear clean-up project ever undertaken—will begin transforming radioactive leftovers that could poison the nearby Columbia river into still-radioactive glass logs more suitable for long-term storage. If all goes well, gunk-to-glass processing (“vitrification”) will continue until at least 2047 and cost about $74 billion, more than the annual budget of America’s Department of Education.

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to dd@PeakProsperity.com. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

24 Comments

CB's picture
CB
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 18 2008
Posts: 365
French jets over Benghazi

Al Jazeera, AP, and others are reporting that French jets are currently running missions over Benghazi trying to catch Gadhafi's forces before they have had time to disperse:

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe/2011/03/2011319132058782326.html

rjs's picture
rjs
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 8 2009
Posts: 376
theyd better hope they get

theyd better hope they get that hanford facility cleaned up before the big one hits em:

Pacific Northwest Faces Nearly Identical Risks To Japanese Quake - .—It’s being called one of the largest recorded earthquakes in world history. Also, according to Robert Yeats, “This is our wake up call.” Japan today is struggling with the aftermath of a massive 8.9 earthquake on a subduction zone, a short distance offshore, which unleashed a devastating tsunami that killed hundreds and has turned large parts of cities into rubble.Click here to find out more! Yeats, a professor emeritus of geology at Oregon State University, said that if people didn’t already get the message from recent disasters in Sumatra and Chile, they should pay attention now. “This is an earthquake of the same type, with about the same magnitude and proximity that we face here in the Pacific Northwest from the Cascadia Subduction Zone,” Yeats said. “What you are seeing in Japan today is what you will also see in our future. Except they are better prepared than we are.”

  & btw, the savannah river nuclear site where they have 51 montrous casks of too hot to handle nuclear waste stored underground is near the site of 1886 charleston earthquake, second only to the new madrid quakes of 1811-12 among the largest quakes east of the rockies:

Radioactive Waste Piling Up at Savannah River Site: The 310 square mile Savannah River Site is located close to several major cities, including Augusta and Savannah, Georgia; as well as Columbia, Greenville, and Charleston, South Carolina. The site is owned by the Department of Energy's Savannah River Operations Office and managed by Westinghouse Savannah River Company. The facility was built in the early 1950s to produce plutonium and tritium for the U.S. nuclear arsenal. More than a third of U.S. weapons plutonium and almost all of its tritium was produced there. The federal government has stored the high level radioactive waste produced at the plant on site in 51 massive underground tanks with the aim of retrieving it and moving it elsewhere for safe storage. Although the liquid wastes can be drawn out and removed, the Energy Department's method for removing the most radioactive sludge out of the tanks has proven unsafe and alternatives are being explored.

they say it wont get into the water supply...

dps's picture
dps
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 27 2008
Posts: 442
New Process Cleanly Extracts Oil From Tar Sands And Fouled Beach

Really!  "Cleanly"  You must be kidding!  Have you ever seen videos of what they are doing up there?

Johnny Oxygen's picture
Johnny Oxygen
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 9 2009
Posts: 1441
Re: The F-35: A Weapon That Costs More Than Australia

Each plane clocks in at around $90 million.

Washington intends to buy 2,443, at a price tag of $382 billion.

In a decade's time, the United States plans to have 15 times as many modern fighters as China, and 20 times as many as Russia

So they can be shot down by a $50,000 missle.

that1guy's picture
that1guy
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 11 2009
Posts: 333
never happen

Johnny Oxygen wrote:

Each plane clocks in at around $90 million.

Washington intends to buy 2,443, at a price tag of $382 billion.

In a decade's time, the United States plans to have 15 times as many modern fighters as China, and 20 times as many as Russia

So they can be shot down by a $50,000 missle.

never happen..........we wil crash hard long before they get even close to that

Grover's picture
Grover
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 16 2011
Posts: 507
Cleanly extracting oil

dps wrote:

Really!  "Cleanly"  You must be kidding!  Have you ever seen videos of what they are doing up there?

dps, Are you familiar with this new technique? Any insights? I'm always leary of these claims. They may work well in the lab, but always seem to have a "gotcha" when it comes to full scale implementation. If it works as they claim, we'll have a new oil source that will delay the inevitable oil decline and allow us to ignore the problem several more years. At least it may improve oil spill cleanup - where time and expense aren't primary concerns.

Thanks, Grover

Johnny Oxygen's picture
Johnny Oxygen
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 9 2009
Posts: 1441
French jets attack Gaddafi targets

French jets attack Gaddafi targets

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe/2011/03/2011319132058782326.html

French warplanes have bombed targets in Libya, marking the first international military action against forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, following a UN resolution to protects civilians in the country.

Al Jazeera believes four tanks belonging to pro-Gaddafi forces were hit on Saturday.

Other repors confirmed that French fighter jets had opened fire on targets in Libya, but said that only one military vehicle had been destroyed.

 Gaddafi forces encroaching on Benghazi

Video here: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/03/201131934914112208.html

 

Johnny Oxygen's picture
Johnny Oxygen
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 9 2009
Posts: 1441
Re: never happen

LoL

True. Unless the contractors will accept worthless fiat currencies.

dps's picture
dps
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 27 2008
Posts: 442
Cleanly extracting oil

Here's a place to start:

http://www.cbc.ca/doczone/tarsands/

Grover wrote:

dps wrote:

Really!  "Cleanly"  You must be kidding!  Have you ever seen videos of what they are doing up there?

dps, Are you familiar with this new technique? Any insights? I'm always leary of these claims. They may work well in the lab, but always seem to have a "gotcha" when it comes to full scale implementation. If it works as they claim, we'll have a new oil source that will delay the inevitable oil decline and allow us to ignore the problem several more years. At least it may improve oil spill cleanup - where time and expense aren't primary concerns.

Thanks, Grover

Grover's picture
Grover
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 16 2011
Posts: 507
Cleanly extracting oil

dps wrote:

Here's a place to start:

http://www.cbc.ca/doczone/tarsands/

dps, That looks like the way they are currently extracting oil from the tar sands. I agree that the current process is anything but sustainable.

I was interested in the technique that Penn State researchers claim is cleaner and more environmentally sensitive than what is currently employed. Do you have any knowledge or experience with that technique? Here is a link to the article ...

http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-03-cleanly-oil-tar-sands-fouled.html

Grover

plato1965's picture
plato1965
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 18 2009
Posts: 615
   Because the bitumen,

Because the bitumen, solvents and sand/clay mixture separate into three distinct phases, each can be removed separately and the solvent can be reused.

Interesting !

Equally important, the WATER can be reused... which avoids one of the major environmental problems with the current method.

dps's picture
dps
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 27 2008
Posts: 442
Cleanly extracting oil

Grover,

In answer to your question, no I have no knowledge or experience with the Penn State method other than reading the article originally posted.  However, no matter how "cleanly" we destroy our landbase, it still leaves us with a destroyed landbase.  Our landbase, and it's water shed, are the very basis of sustained life.  The tarsand operation leaves the landbase completely incapable of sustaining life.  That's what is shown at the site I suggested earlier.

Hugs ... dons

Grover wrote:

dps wrote:

Here's a place to start:

http://www.cbc.ca/doczone/tarsands/

dps, That looks like the way they are currently extracting oil from the tar sands. I agree that the current process is anything but sustainable.

I was interested in the technique that Penn State researchers claim is cleaner and more environmentally sensitive than what is currently employed. Do you have any knowledge or experience with that technique? Here is a link to the article ...

http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-03-cleanly-oil-tar-sands-fouled.html

Grover

Grover's picture
Grover
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 16 2011
Posts: 507
Cleanly extracting oil

dps wrote:

Grover,

In answer to your question, no I have no knowledge or experience with the Penn State method other than reading the article originally posted.  However, no matter how "cleanly" we destroy our landbase, it still leaves us with a destroyed landbase.  Our landbase, and it's water shed, are the very basis of sustained life.  The tarsand operation leaves the landbase completely incapable of sustaining life.  That's what is shown at the site I suggested earlier.

Hugs ... dons

dons, Thanks for clarifying a bit. Your first post led me to believe that the new process is not as advertised. I just wanted to know what truths were being glossed. I concur that the extraction of oils from the tar sands is an environmental catastrophe. Unfortunately, our oil addiction will provide huge incentives to the synthetic oil producers exploiting that source. It will enrich a few, delay the inevitable a few years, and allow us to get in a worse predicament. In the long run, it changes nothing.

Grover

idoctor's picture
idoctor
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 4 2008
Posts: 1731
Ron Paul

Ron Paul

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 2743
worthless?

Johnny Oxygen wrote:

LoL

True. Unless the contractors will accept worthless fiat currencies.

They aren't worthless...........yet. Undecided

Doug

rhare's picture
rhare
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 30 2009
Posts: 1270
Dominic Tierney wrote: Each

[quote=Dominic Tierney]

Each plane clocks in at around $90 million.

Washington intends to buy 2,443, at a price tag of $382 billion.

Add in the $650 billion that the Government Accountability Office estimates is needed to operate and maintain the aircraft, and the total cost reaches a staggering $1 trillion.

This article was extremely left leaning propaganda and not reporting.  Doesn't mean I don't disagree with the waste, but it's $1T over 20 years, or $50 billion/year.  Peanuts!   We are hemoraging $1.5T this year alone, or 30x the amount of this project.   Millitary projects like these are an easy target to go after and villify.   I would much prefer we spend our defense money on weaponry (like this) than wars and military personel to fight the wars.

Anyway, just thought I would point out the "staggering" costs are very small compared to many other things like SS, Medicare, Medicaid and even if you eliminated this program completely it would not make a significant difference in our situtation.

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 2634
LA sees supply shopping surge amid radiation fears

"Another military supplier in Maine reported a big bump in orders from California for masks and chemical suits.

Buehre said most customers haven't been seeking radiation protection but food rations, survival blankets, water purification tablets and other items to fill out their home earthquake kits.

Owner Benjamin Susman said he needed to add a trailer to his truck because of the volume of supplies he had to pick up in downtown Los Angeles which, he said, "is terrific in this economy.""

Electric power partially restored at Japan nuclear plant

Iran protesters stone Saudi consulate : report

Iran calls on Saudi Arabia, UAE to leave Bahrain "immediately"

Saudi slams 'attacks' on Iran diplomatic missions

Iraqi protesters jeer Saudi king as puppet of US, Israel in Bahrain unrest

Thousands in Iraq protest against Saudis in Bahrain

1500 protest US occupation in Iraq, Libya (Chicago)

Clinton warns Iran over meddling in Persian Gulf

Johnny Oxygen's picture
Johnny Oxygen
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 9 2009
Posts: 1441
Re: Dominic Tierney wrote: Each

This article was extremely left leaning propaganda and not reporting.  Doesn't mean I don't disagree with the waste, but it's $1T over 20 years, or $50 billion/year.  Peanuts!   We are hemoraging $1.5T this year alone, or 30x the amount of this project.   Millitary projects like these are an easy target to go after and villify.   I would much prefer we spend our defense money on weaponry (like this) than wars and military personel to fight the wars.

Anyway, just thought I would point out the "staggering" costs are very small compared to many other things like SS, Medicare, Medicaid and even if you eliminated this program completely it would not make a significant difference in our situtation.

IMO this is missing the point.

The US threw its hand by engaging Afghanistan and Iraq in war. What it revealed to the world is that our military machine is not efficent at fighting protracted guerilla warfare. It showed that our military was designed to fight an adversary that had roughly the same modern military and was willing to engage in 'modern' warfare.

It also revealed our willingness to spend endless amounts of money to the point of bankrupcy 'to win'. Using a million dollar bomb to make big rocks turn into smaller rocks. It shows that we are neither wise nor disiplined. It shows that we react rather than think. But most importantly it shows that we don't learn and are unable to adapt. Building several thousand of these new planes implies that we see them as a way to gain an advantage over an adversary that can clearly hold there own with antiquated weapons.

These new planes will not give us an advantage. In fact, the cost, is what will cause us to lose the advantage. I have mentionbed this before as an example. The Germans possesed the highest form of warfare technology during WWII but were beaten down by shear numbers of inferior technological weapons from both the US and Russia. We should have learned the lesson. High tech can actually create a weakness if not properly employed. We have 10 years of warfare to underscore this fact but we still think with our pocket books.

affert's picture
affert
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 22 2008
Posts: 100
Thoughts of preparedness are getting more mainstream

http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/03/19/1625208/Ask-Slashdot-How-Prepared-Are-You-For-a-Major-Emergency

I read slashdot on a regular basis, but this is the first time I've seen anything about preparedness there.  The responses vary from "Realistically, I'll probably just die" to "I've got lotz of gunz" to well throught through plans.  

irongamer's picture
irongamer
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 2 2009
Posts: 22
Still tapping long term carbon cycle

It doesn't really matter if they can "cleanly" obtain oil from a new source, it still has the same problem. Tapping into these geologic oil sources releases carbon from the long term carbon cycle. From what we know it will take millions of years for this carbon to be naturally sequestered back into geologic structures. Which leaves us with a bunch of extra carbon in the atmosphere.  The short term carbon cycle (plants, phyotplankton) will not, and cannot, sequester the amount of extra carbon we are releasing. We are releasing carbon on the period of decades in a system that takes millions of years to recycle.

X amount of funds can be spent researching new, alternative, lost technology. We could split that money to develop energy technology that taps systems that recycle on a geologic time scale and some real green tech solar, hydrogen, molten salt storage (even small battries are in the works).  Or we could focus the money on technology that doesn't mess so directly with the carbon cycle, which in the long run we will need to do anyhow.

These alternative sources of oil are just a quick fix, keep things the same, solutions. Reminds of a line from the latest podcast, "kicking the can down the road."

dps wrote:

Here's a place to start:

http://www.cbc.ca/doczone/tarsands/

Grover wrote:

dps wrote:

Really!  "Cleanly"  You must be kidding!  Have you ever seen videos of what they are doing up there?

dps, Are you familiar with this new technique? Any insights? I'm always leary of these claims. They may work well in the lab, but always seem to have a "gotcha" when it comes to full scale implementation. If it works as they claim, we'll have a new oil source that will delay the inevitable oil decline and allow us to ignore the problem several more years. At least it may improve oil spill cleanup - where time and expense aren't primary concerns.

Thanks, Grover

SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 11 2009
Posts: 2115
New GoM oil spill?

Getting a few reports -- http://www.examiner.com/environmental-news-in-tallahassee/potential-new-... -- of a major oil spill in the GoM.

FWIW, the stock of the company running the rig in question (W&T Offshore Inc.) tanked in the last few hours Friday:

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=WTI&t=1d&l=on&z=l&q=l&c=

As ZH is putting it, it's a whole clusterflock of Black Swans these days...

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1509
prepping on Slashdot

At Slashdot? Really?

For those of you who have no idea who and what Slashdot is:

Slashdot's traffic is estimated at approximately 5.5 million users per month ...Occasionally, a story will link to a server causing a large surge of traffic, which can overwhelm some smaller or independent sites. This phenomenon is known as the "Slashdot effect".

Otherwise known as "News for Nerds," this is where the +1 you've seen on this site originated in webspeak. My site was slashdotted once and it crashed our server. If slashdot is carrying prepping stories, that means the need top prep has finally seeped into the mainstream (or is about to - it's at least hit geekdom). The emergecy food suppliers have a 180-day waiting period, emergency iodine tabs are out of stock...this is an indication that we do not have much time left, in my humble opinion.

rhare's picture
rhare
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 30 2009
Posts: 1270
Guerrilla warfare versus defense

JohnnyOxygen wrote:
IMO this is missing the point.

I don't think it does.  The issue you bring up is do we need a strong defense versus are we going to do empire building.  For empire building where we are going to try and rout people out of caves, no - it doesn't work.  For a defensive war against someone attacking us, yes, I want the high tech, primarily air superiority that the F-35 provides.

Also, the article was very much a left propaganda piece starting with the title "The F-35: A Weapon That Costs More Than Austrailia".  Really,  since it compared the cost over 20 years to a 1 year GDP number of $1.2T, but saying "The F-35: A Weapon That Costs Slightly less than 1/20ths Australia's GDP" just doesn't sound quite as good.

Also you have the obligatory punch at the Tea Party in the first couple of lines, I'm really surprised the article didn't start talking about the education budget - oh wait, it did!  At least I can see that an F-35 works, is it cost justified? unknown, but I can see that education spending isn't working, so which is more of a waste?

My main point was if your going to go after waste and unsustainable issues, at least focus on the big ones, but alas, the major problems in the US budget are untouchable.

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 2634

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments